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The Speaker's Radical Foes
Mike Johnson's very existence bothers the left
It’s pretty incredible that all it takes for Mike Johnson to bother the left is his claim to believe in The Bible. But it really does. Check out this piece from David Corn, which accuses Johnson of believing that environmentalists are LITERALLY SATAN because of disagreements about climate policy. It’s absolutely nuts. It tracks as nuts, too, because even if Mike Johnson is a bit more Jesus-y than your average politician, he’s very much within the mainstream of every churchgoing American. Which, of course, is truly extreme from the perspective of people like David Corn. If Johnson was an atheist, he’d be more to their liking, but he isn’t. Too bad, so sad, get used to it. You and your partisan oh-so-cute Democrats wanted to knife Kevin McCarthy, now you deal with the Louisiana Bible-thumper who prays for your eternal soul. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes — in this case, a man who just wants you to come home to the truth about your personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What a nightmare! Maybe he’ll throw some holy water on you when you’re not looking? Noooooooooo…..
Virginia’s Tea Leaves Election
For clues about the strength of both parties’ messages heading into 2024, look no further than this suburban Northern Virginia enclave, where Democrats and Republicans are betting big on a hotly contested state Senate race.
Typically, such local elections don’t have a major impact outside their direct communities. But this one could decide control of the Virginia legislature and Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s ability to enact conservative policies on abortion, taxes and education—making it closely watched in the run up to next year’s presidential race.
The Nov. 7 contest pits Republican Juan Pablo Segura, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, against Democrat Russet Perry, 39, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and prosecutor. The seat is key to Democrats’ bid to keep their slim edge in the 40-seat Senate, where they have squared off against Youngkin and Republicans who narrowly lead the House.
Virginia’s odd-year elections traditionally offer signals about the electorate’s mood heading into national contests. Both parties have had recent statewide success in the state: Youngkin won the governor’s mansion in 2021, and President Biden won its 13 Electoral College votes a year earlier. In a campaign that mirrors the political playbook across Virginia this year, Perry is pledging to prevent a rollback of abortion access, while Segura emphasizes education, crime and cost-of-living concerns.
“Whoever wins this seat probably is in the majority,” said J. Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
RFK is Winning Republican Leaners
Kennedy is running as a self-described “spoiler,” and the draw that the former Democrat has with both the GOP and those who don’t have an obvious political home makes him an unpredictable threat to the establishment of both parties. Some Republicans are already trying to redefine Kennedy as a “typical Democrat,” revealing they’re worried about his appeal to GOP voters.
Both Kennedy and Trump present a fundamental question to voters, said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio): “Do you think the country has been well-governed by the bipartisan establishment for the past generation?”
“When Kennedy goes out there and runs against that establishment, he has to appreciate it probably ends up splitting votes off from President Trump,” said Vance, who has endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign.
Federal law requires campaigns to disclose donations only from donors who give at least $200. The POLITICO examination relies on Federal Election Commission data of those large-dollar donors, who make up about two-thirds of Kennedy’s money raised through Sept. 30, the latest campaign finance reporting deadline.
That data shows more than 500 of Kennedy’s biggest donors gave to Trump’s 2020 campaign, more than three times the number of donors who gave to Biden in that race. And in this cycle, more than 160 donors have given to both Trump and Kennedy, while only a handful have given to both Biden and Kennedy.
Canada’s Growing Death Cult
Canadians call it Medical Assistance in Dying now, or “MAID” for short. It began with a 2015 decision by the Supreme Court striking down the nation’s euthanasia ban and discovering a right to assisted suicide in Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which asserts a universal right to “life, liberty, and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” Canada’s highest court determined that assisted suicide would be ethical only “with respect to voluntary adults who are competent, informed, grievously and irremediably ill,” and only when it would be “clearly consistent with the patient’s wishes and best interests, and [provided] in order to relieve suffering.” The judges agreed with a lower court’s finding that a system with “properly designed and administered safeguards was capable of protecting vulnerable people from abuse and error.” In 2016, Parliament began passing and amending laws allowing euthanasia.
When critics argued that the ruling would result in euthanasia being offered to the mentally ill, the depressed, those with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed such concerns, saying, “this simply isn’t something that ends up happening.” He was wrong. In 2021, Parliament removed the law’s previous requirement that a person’s natural death must be imminently foreseeable for him to elect suicide. Reports immediately began circulating of physicians pushing MAID on people who had suffered strokes or other survivable challenges. These people were isolated and depressed in many cases, but hardly at death’s door. In one alarming instance, a 71-year-old widower was admitted to hospital after a fall. He contracted infectious diarrhea in hospital, where he was humiliated by staff for the smell of his room. Staff claimed that he had end-stage COPD and offered him MAID; he took their advice and was euthanized within 48 hours of his first assessment. A post-mortem examination, however, proved that he did not have end-stage COPD.
The expanded MAID policy did not distinguish between medical infirmities and avoidable suffering caused by neglect or poverty. Bioethicists Kayla Wiebe and Amy Mullin contended that Canada should not deny people assisted suicide if living conditions make their lives intolerable. Physicians have offered MAID to people who cannot afford housing or find proper medical care. A rogue bureaucrat within Canada’s department of veterans affairs offered MAID to an elderly veteran struggling to make ends meet; the matter was turned over to the police.
Canada’s euthanasia regime has grown rapidly since 2021. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada 2022, “the most commonly cited sources of suffering by individuals requesting MAID were the loss of ability to engage in meaningful activities (86.3%), followed by loss of ability to perform activities of daily living (81.9%) and inadequate control of pain, or concern about controlling pain (59.2%).”
More than 13,000 people in Canada were euthanized in 2022, an annual rise of 31.2 percent since 2021. In 2022, 4.1 percent of all deaths in the country were the result of euthanasia; MAID could now be listed as the nation’s fifth-leading cause of death. Nearly 45,000 people have been euthanized since 2016, when Parliament first introduced MAID legislation. This number will keep rising as stigma disappears and MAID advocates continue to push for relaxed standards. The Canadian government seems to be on board with that agenda, as it reportedly plans to make MAID available to anorexics and drug users.
The slippery-slope argument that Trudeau scoffed at has proved true. Simons, a Canadian fashion company, released a disturbing advertisement presenting 37-year-old Jennyfer Hatch’s decision to die as a posh lifestyle choice. A funeral home in Montreal notably offers a $700 “turnkey” package of MAID and funeral. Vulnerable people are told, in so many words, that their lives are not worth living. I hesitate to draw a parallel with the concept of Lebensunwertes Leben, or “life unworthy of life,” but that was the Nazis’ excuse for killing the infirm and mentally ill. We should know where Canada’s policy can lead because we have seen it before.
Items of Interest
“I believe the common denominator of the Universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility and murder.”
— Werner Herzog