Last September, Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham attempted to unilaterally impose strict gun control in the city of Albuquerque with executive action and a dubious public health order that banned the carrying of firearms, whether licensed or otherwise, throughout most of the metropolitan area.

Now, making good on their initial threat of consequences for that unconstitutional act, two Republican lawmakers in the state legislature have filed an impeachment resolution to have Gov. Grisham removed from office, Fox News reported.

The governor's emergency order, which was substantially walked back and narrowed following the sharp criticism it received, has nonetheless been allowed by a court to take partial effect in its more limited form while multiple legal challenges against it remain pending.

Impeachment resolution filed

According to Fox News, the impeachment resolution against Gov. Grisham was filed on Wednesday by New Mexico State Reps. John Block and Stefani Lord, both of whom have loudly protested that the governor's order was a gross violation and infringement of the fundamental rights of New Mexican citizens.

"The rights of New Mexicans are not up for debate, and no matter how hard Lujan Grisham tries to violate the Constitution, she will never succeed," Lord told the media outlet.

She added, "I stood firm against her tyranny when she tried to use a Covid health order to take our guns, and I will continue to stand firm against her continued attempts to destroy our Republic."

In a social media post, Block shared a photo of the resolution and wrote, "Today, @Lord4NM and I officially filed articles of impeachment against @GovMLG for her malfeasance in office by flagrantly breaking her oath to the Constitution by infringing upon New Mexicans’ inalienable rights."

🚨 Today, @Lord4NM and I officially filed articles of impeachment against @GovMLG for her malfeasance in office by flagrantly breaking her oath to the Constitution by infringing upon New Mexicans’ inalienable rights. In the coming days, the articles will be available on the NM…

— Rep. John Block (@RepBlock) January 17, 2024

Impeachment odds appear slim in Democrat-controlled legislature

Local media outlet KRQE reported on the filing of the impeachment resolution against Gov. Grisham by Reps. Block and Lord, who had vowed to do so when the governor first announced her gun control order last September following a recent uptick in gun violence across the state.

Unfortunately for those two GOP lawmakers, the odds of success for their effort to impeach the Democratic governor appear to be rather small, given that Democrats maintain majority control of both chambers of the New Mexico legislature.

In order to achieve their goal of ousting Grisham from office, the Republican minority will need to first convince a majority of the House to pass the resolution and then convince two-thirds of the Senate to vote to convict the governor in a trial presided over by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Shannon Bacon.

Governor's office dismissive of "political stunts" and "inane effort" at impeachment

Rep. Lord told KRQE of prior comments from the governor in defense of her order, "When Governor Lujan Grisham, when she said that her oath is not absolute, that opened her up to impeachment," and added, "So we had started that process through the summer, and now we are bringing it back now."

Rep. Block said to the outlet, "What she said is so inexcusable, it would be hard for even the best attorney on planet earth to save her."

The governor's office said in a statement that it was ready to "fight" back against what it described as "embarrassing" efforts by the legislators who were "more interested in political stunts" than serving their communities, and added dismissively, "There’s not much to say in direct response to this inane effort."

There were recently rumors that a reality TV star real estate broker and a rising star professional tennis player had joined together as the latest celebrity couple, but that gossip has since been debunked.

It has been confirmed through inside sources and social media posts that "Selling Sunset" star Jason Oppenheim, 46, is not dating Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard, 29, according to the Daily Mail.

Speculation that the two celebrities had become a romantic pair swirled after they both shared on social media a photo of them sitting together in a vehicle with matching designer shoes.

"They're just friends"

Various celebrity gossip sites and forums ran wild with rumors earlier this week that Oppenheim and Bouchard had become a couple after they both posted a picture to their respective social media accounts that featured them with their feet touching while wearing the same Prada loafers.

Those same sites and forums already kept close tabs on Oppenheim's love life, as the elite real estate broker in Los Angeles with his own reality TV show on Netflix has often been spotted courting a variety of attractive younger women for brief periods before moving on to the next one.

Yet, almost as soon as the rumors of an Oppenheim-Bouchard coupling began to gain traction they were debunked as false by at least one inside source and other recent social media posts, per the Daily Mail, with the unnamed source clarifying that "They're just friends."

Oppenheim previously claimed he was taking a break from dating

The Daily Mail reported that Oppenheim appears to be single at the moment after previously being linked with German model Marie-Lou Nurk, with that relationship lasting less than a year despite prior reports that they were quite happy together.

When they reportedly split last May, the celebrity real estate broker told the outlet, "I'm just enjoying kind of taking a step back from dating. I'm not eager to be back into a relationship or anything serious."

Oppenheim added at the time, "I'm just enjoying my time right now. I'm genuinely happy. I'm not really dating."

Bouchard still dating Jack Brinkley-Cook

As for Bouchard, the Canadian tennis star has been romantically linked since mid-2022 to Jack Brinkley-Cook, 28, the son of former supermodel Christie Brinkley, 62, who has seemingly granted her approval to the young couple.

That was made evident over the New Year's holiday when Brinkley posted photos from a family vacation to the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean in which Jack and Genie were prominently featured together and clearly in love with one another.

Their continuing relationship appeared to be further confirmed just last week in a report from Sports Illustrated about how Bouchard, still in the Caribbean with the Brinkley family, participated for fun along with a few other celebrities in a local tennis tournament.

Several pictures and videos from the event showed Bouchard and Brinkley-Cook together both on and off the court and, again, there was little mistaking that they appear to be quite happy together.

That was substantially different than just one year earlier when the tennis pro played in the 2023 Australian Open -- a Grand Slam tournament for which she failed to qualify this year -- though she arguably had more fun playing in the relaxed local tournament alongside her boyfriend this year than in the far more serious and pressure-filled major competition last year.

It has long been suspected that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others within her circle have lied about -- or at least been less than forthcoming and selective with details -- what really happened during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021.

Now recently released surveillance camera footage from that fateful day seems to strongly suggest that the head of Pelosi's security detail, U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Lazarus, committed perjury on the stand while testifying against members of the Oath Keepers organization, according to The Western Journal.

The testimony from Lazarus in support of claims against the Oath Keepers members by fellow USCP Officer Harry Dunn was considered critical in helping federal prosecutors obtain convictions of those individuals -- along with lengthy prison sentences -- for their alleged actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including on charges of seditious conspiracy.

Head of Pelosi's security detail appears to have committed perjury about alleged Jan. 6 incident

TheBlaze recently released a video report about Capitol surveillance camera footage it had obtained along with permission to publish it from new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) that calls into question the sworn testimony of USCP Special Agent Lazarus and Officer Dunn about an alleged encounter with members of the Oath Keepers inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot.

Dunn initially told FBI investigators, and the footage backs him up, that the Oath Keepers had been friendly and actually formed a protective line between him and other protesters, but the officer later changed his story in a second FBI interview and accused the Oath Keepers of being "antagonistic" and argumentative toward him.

When it came time for trial for the Oath Keepers, and in light of Dunn's conflicting accounts, Lazarus was brought in to corroborate Dunn's second claim and thus testified under oath that he had personally witnessed the Oath Keepers being "very antagonistic" toward Dunn.

Except, as seemingly proven by the now-public video footage, Lazarus appears to have perjured himself on the stand as he was nowhere near the area where the alleged confrontation occurred between the Oath Keepers and Dunn at the time that it supposedly happened.

Surveillance video footage contradicts claims and testimony of Lazarus and Dunn

According to TheBlaze's investigative journalist Steve Baker, Capitol surveillance camera footage shows several Oath Keepers standing near and speaking with Officer Dunn, including forming a protective line in front of him, on the House side of the Capitol building for roughly six minutes, between 2:44 and 2:50 pm, before the men then made their way through the crowded rotunda and exited the building.

At the same time that that incident began, Special Agent Lazarus was actually in an entirely separate Senate building across the street from the Capitol and, while the alleged confrontation occurred, was busy making his way through the underground tunnel system to enter the Senate side of the Capitol building.

In fact, the camera footage shows that Lazarus didn't arrive at the area where Dunn claimed to have been accosted by the Oath Keepers until several minutes after those men had left that area -- yet he testified under oath that he had personally witnessed the confrontation as it occurred.


- Thanks to new House Speaker Mike Johnson, We now have permission to release Capitol CCTV footage proving that a member of Nancy Pelosi's security detail, Special Agent David Lazarus, perjured himself on the stand during the Oath Keepers trial.…

— TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 15, 2024

Exculpatory evidence withheld from defense attorneys

If this report from TheBlaze, and the video footage that supports it, can be verified as true, it directly undermines Special Agent Lazarus' sworn testimony, not to mention that of Officer Dunn, and calls into question the entire prosecution and conviction of the Oath Keepers members.

Indeed, this video footage that has been in the government's possession the entire time, which appears to be exculpatory evidence that bolsters the claims of innocence from the Oath Keepers, was inappropriately withheld from their defense attorneys when by law it was supposed to have been turned over as part of the discovery process.

Furthermore, while that video evidence may help the Oath Keepers reverse their convictions on appeal, it could also serve to help convict Lazarus and Dunn of perjury -- which could result in a fine and up to five years in prison -- as it directly contradicts their claims to FBI investigators and sworn testimony during the trial.

Amid all of the speculative talk about who former President Donald Trump might select as his 2024 running mate, GOP primary challenger and business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has frequently earned a mention in large part due to his general alignment with Trump's "America First" and MAGA agenda.

However, following some sharp criticism of Ramaswamy from Trump on the eve of the Iowa Caucuses, a senior Trump adviser suggested that Ramaswamy is likely no longer in contention to be the vice presidential nominee, according to the New York Post.

Trump slams Ramaswamy ahead of Iowa Caucus; Vivek holds back return fire

Throughout the GOP primary season thus far, former President Trump and Ramaswamy had largely refrained from being critical of each other and, in fact, were often complimentary instead, which fueled the rumors that Ramaswamy could be rewarded for his loyalty with a prime position in a future Trump administration, perhaps even the VP slot.

All of that changed over the weekend, though, as Trump lashed out on Truth Social against his ostensible competitor ahead of the Iowa Caucuses and urged voters not to be "duped" to support or"waste your vote" for the "deceitful" and "sly" candidate who "is not MAGA."

Interestingly enough, Ramaswamy declined to fight fire with fire, and in response said on social media, "Yes, I saw President Trump’s Truth Social post. It’s an unfortunate move by his campaign advisors, I don’t think friendly fire is helpful."

The young challenger added, "Donald Trump was the greatest President of the 21st century, and I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack."

Trump adviser said Ramaswamy "probably" won't be Trump's VP choice

The New York Post reported Sunday that top Trump adviser Jason Miller suggested that everybody could "probably" rule Ramaswamy out as a potential vice presidential candidate for the former president in the general election, given what Trump had posted about him over the weekend.

Miller told the outlet that in terms of who Trump might pick to be his running mate, it was "Pretty safe to say it won’t be Vivek."

Yet, in light of the deferential reaction Ramaswamy had to Trump's unsolicited pre-caucus attacks, not to mention his conciliatory outreach to the GOP frontrunner in the immediate aftermath of the Iowa election handily won by the former president, Ramaswamy may have re-endeared himself to Trump and maintained a position on Trump's list of prospective vice presidents.

"This entire campaign is about speaking the TRUTH. We did not achieve our goal tonight & we need an America-First patriot in the White House. The people spoke loud & clear about who they want," Ramaswamy posted Monday night. "Tonight I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Donald J. Trump and will do everything I can to make sure he is the next U.S. President. I am enormously proud of this team, this movement, and our country."

The former president shared a screenshot on his Truth Social account of that message from Ramaswamy and wrote in response, "Thank you Vivek, a Great Honor!"

Ramaswamy could still be on the list of possible VP contenders

USA Today reported last month on the handful of likely possibilities to be chosen as former President Trump's 2024 running mate, and that list of prominent Republican figures who are generally or outspokenly allied with Trump included Ramaswamy along with several members of Congress, a few current, former, and would-be governors, and one former Cabinet member.

Earning mention on the list of VP contenders were Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, along with former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson as well as former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

As for all of the reported rumors about Trump's possible VP pick and other senior administration appointments, an unnamed Trump campaign spokesperson told the outlet, "Second term policy priorities and staffing decisions will not -- in no uncertain terms -- be led by anonymous or thinly sourced speculation in mainstream media news stories," and added, "President Trump is solely focused on winning the Republican nomination for president."

Actress Joyce Randolph, best known for her role in The Honeymooners, has died at the age of 99. 

TMZ reports that Randolph passed away on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at her home in New York City.

Per the outlet:

Her son tells TMZ ... Joyce passed Saturday at her home in New York City. We're told she died in her sleep. She had been suffering from the effects of old age ... unable to walk. She was in hospice care at the time of her death.

Randolph's passing has been confirmed by her only son, Randy Charles. Charles told Fox News that Randolph died "peacefully in her sleep" after being in home hospice for several months.

The Honeymooners

As stated at the outset, Randolph is most well known for her role in the 1950's sitcom The Honeymooners. There, she played the character Trixie Norton for all 39 episodes of the series.

People magazine reports, "Her character was married to Ed Norton (Art Carney), and the on-screen couple were neighbors to Ralph and Alice Kramden, portrayed by Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows, respectively."

For those unfamiliar with the series, the outlet explains, "The sitcom follows pals Kramden, a bus driver, and Norton, a sewer worker, as they 'struggle to strike it rich while their wives look on with weary patience' . . ."

The sitcom, which was comedy, debuted in 1955 on CBS, and it ran for one season, which amounted to 39 episodes. It was very popular at the outset, and it is still considered one of the greatest television comedies of all time.

People reports that "Randolph was the last surviving cast member of" The Honeymooners. 

Randolph recalls The Honeymooners

Over the years, Randolph participated in several interviews in which she spoke about The Honeymooners. 

According to USA Today, in one interview, Randolph said that she had "a handful of favorite episodes, including one in which Ed is sleepwalking." Randolph recalled, "And Carney calls out, ‘Thelma?!’ He never knew his wife’s real name."

In another interview with Forbes, Randolph described what it was like working on the set of The Honeymooners.

She said, "The pacing was frantic when we did The Honeymooners.  The script was delivered to my apartment in Manhattan and a few days later we went and did the show live. Jackie was against doing rehearsals. He wanted everything to be spontaneous, which for me was no issue. I never had that many lines, after all."

Prior to The Honeymooners, Randolph worked on Broadway. She also appeared on less-known television shows.

This is shaping into a really bad week for President Joe Biden's White House. 

According to the Daily Mail and other sources, "hundreds" of Biden administration staffers plan to walk off the job Tuesday in protest of President Biden's stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

Staffers from over two dozen federal agencies are staging the walkout after several younger staffers circulated letters building support for the protest.

The date is significant, as it will mark the 100th day of Israel conducting its retaliatory strikes against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza -- terrorists that many Biden administration staffers seem to strongly support.

What's happening?

The situation has become so serious that an internal "cabal" of the Biden administration and other federal employees have organized a group called "Feds United for Peace."

The Daily Mail noted:

The move is reportedly fueled by growing resentment inside the administration over Biden's unwavering support for Israel's military bombardment of Palestine, which has killed upwards of 23,000 people, mostly civilians.

The president was already struggling with capturing the support of young voters, and his stance on the Israel-Hamas war has cost him significantly in that regard.

For reasons unknown, many younger people have been totally brainwashed into believing Israel doesn't have a right to defend itself and have launched protests around the country supporting the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

SCOOP: Hundreds of US Gov. Employees plan Walkout on Tuesday over Biden's Gaza Policies. **22 Agencies** involved:

— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 12, 2024

Organizers of the movement have stayed anonymous and have expressed confidence that they will "easily" draw "hundreds" of supporters from within a multitude of federal agencies.

Social media reacts

Social media users jumped on the news of the impending walkout.

"I am a 40+ year federal employee. I will be at work on Tuesday. This is selfish behavior on the part of those whose salary is funded by the taxpayers. Also, it is not the way to force any Executive Branch policy changes," one X user wrote.

Another X user wrote, "Please fire them all. We don’t need deranged leftist Hamas lovers in government."

Only time will tell how large the event becomes. It'll certainly be interesting to see how the White House tries to spin the PR damage it causes.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) is one of only a few Republicans in Congress who have had the courage to speak out about the Democrats' overblown rhetoric around the events of January 6, 2021.

On Thursday, Spartz said on the House floor that most of those who participated in the Capitol breach were not insurrectionists, criticizing Democrats for "intimidation tactics" aimed at discouraging conservatives from speaking out about elections and other concerns.

We cannot paint with a broad brush and call everyone who came to D.C. on January 6, 2021 an insurrectionist.

Many people came to peacefully express dissatisfaction with a government that truly became corrupt and tyrannical.

These intimidation techniques are very dangerous.

— Rep. Victoria Spartz (@RepSpartz) January 11, 2024

"We cannot paint with a broad brush and call everyone who came to D.C. on January 6, 2021 an insurrectionist," Spartz said. "Many people came to peacefully express dissatisfaction with a government that truly became corrupt and tyrannical. These intimidation techniques are very dangerous."


The subject of government tyranny is likely a much more important topic for Spartz, who emigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine, which was the U.S.S.R. at the time of her birth, in 2000 after meeting her husband Jason, than it is for other members of Congress, who have never really been on the receiving end of it.

That may not be true for much longer, though, given the way both parties have taken to ruling by executive order and letting the president get away with having a lot more power than he should.

After all, if the president is making most of the tough decisions, members of Congress don't have to stand up for their principles and risk their viewpoints being unpopular and costing them their seats, right?

Spartz is not backing down, however.

"If the people that showed up there wanted to do [an insurrection], they would have succeeded," she said. "They were mad because we are not governing for the people."

She's getting out

Unfortunately, this voice of reason will be leaving Congress after 2024. Spartz announced in February that she would retire from Congress and would not run for Senate in Indiana, as she had previously considered.

It's sad for the people, but no one can blame Spartz for getting out of Washington.

Most people with virtue usually do, which makes one wonder about politicians who have spent most of their lives in politics, as President Joe Biden has.

Even when he's lost most of his faculties, Biden won't loosen his grip on power, which is exactly the fate people of conviction like Spartz want to avoid.

Let's hope she can find some part of the world where freedom still lives to go and enjoy her retirement.

There has been plenty of discussion about who former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee in 2024, might choose as his running mate, and one strong contender who is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate is Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who serves as chair of the House Republican Conference.

One influential Trump ally who is now calling for the former president to name Stefanik as his running mate is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), who recently sang the New York congresswoman's praises during a public event, according to the Washington Examiner.

That event was a celebration at the Richard Nixon Foundation of what would have been the late former Republican president's 111th birthday in which Gingrich, a member of the foundation's board of directors, delivered the keynote address.

Stefanik a strong and loyal supporter of Trump

During his speech about former President Nixon, former Speaker Gingrich made mention of Rep. Stefanik as deserving credit for the recent resignation of Harvard University President Dr. Claudine Gay over serious allegations of plagiarism that came to light under the intense scrutiny that she and other university presidents received after Stefanik grilled them about rampant antisemitism on their respective campuses.

Following his prepared remarks, Gingrich took a few questions from the audience, the first of which also mentioned Stefanik and her recent appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," where she stood strong in a combative interview with host Kristen Welker.

The congresswoman had been pressed over her loyal support of former President Trump and was asked if she would consider an offer to be Trump's vice president, to which she replied that she, "of course, would be honored to serve in any capacity in a Trump administration. I'm proud to be the first member of Congress to endorse his reelection. I'm proud to be a strong supporter of President Trump, and he's going to win this November."

Stefanik went on to acknowledge that she speaks with Trump "frequently" but declined to disclose the "content" of those conversations and insisted that her primary focus was on helping Republicans win the White House and maintain majority control of the House.

Stefanik should be on Trump's "short list" for potential VP nominees

In response to the question from the audience about Rep. Stefanik, former Speaker Gingrich said, "Look, I’m a very big fan of Elise’s. Certainly, if there is a short list for vice president, she should be on it."

"I think that what she did the other day was historic and genuinely changed history, and it took a lot of courage," he continued, "so I absolutely believe that she has sort of fought her way onto the national stage, and I hope that she will continue to grow and develop and certainly my advice to the president would certainly be to consider her on whatever short list he develops for potential vice presidential nominees."

Later in the event, after sharing some of the reasons why he has firmly supported former President Trump over the years amid the incessant attacks from Democrats and the political establishment, Gingrich further clarified why that support has continued.

"The only person I have seen who I think has the potential to disrupt the old order is Trump, and that's why, frankly, despite clear weaknesses, despite every effort of the left to smear and destroy him, I think he is, frankly, the best possible hope for us to try to turn the country around," he explained.

Stefanik a "strong possibility" to be Trump's running mate

The Washington Examiner previously reported in August 2023 on its rankings of the top 10 most likely contenders to be picked by former President Trump as his vice presidential nominee, and Rep. Stefanik placed third on that list.

The outlet assessed that Stefanik, who had previously expressed how "honored" she would feel to serve alongside Trump, "also happens to be the highest-ranking GOP official in Congress to endorse the former president. She allegedly already talks to Trump weekly, but claims to have never discussed the vice president job. Clearly the two get along, and clearly Stefanik is willing. She is a strong possibility."

Special Counsel Jack Smith was reportedly targeted last month with a dangerous tactic known as "swatting," in which law enforcement is directed to respond to a falsely reported emergency, often with guns drawn, at the target's location, according to NBC News.

The swatting attempt reportedly occurred on Christmas Day at Smith's Maryland residence and involved a fraudulent 911 caller who anonymously asserted that Smith had shot and killed his wife in their home.

However, as the Montgomery County police were dispatched in response to the call, they made contact with the U.S. Marshal's Service detail that protects the special counsel and were informed that everything was fine and the 911 call had been a false alarm.

Special Counsel Smith, Judge Chutkan targeted by swatting calls

Special Counsel Smith, of course, is leading two federal prosecutorial efforts against former President Donald Trump, the first for his alleged retention of classified government documents after leaving the White House and the second for his alleged efforts to interfere with and overturn the results of the 2020 election.

As of now, no arrests have been made in connection with the reported swatting attempt, and requests for comment on the incident have been declined by the special counsel's office, the U.S. Marshals, and the Montgomery County police.

This appears to be the latest, and arguably most serious, of a series of alleged death threats that have been aimed against Smith and other prosecutors in his office over the past year, and NBC News reported that, according to the Justice Department, more than $4.4 million was spent between April and September of 2023 on security for Smith and others in the special counsel's office.

Interestingly enough, ABC News reported that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Special Counsel Smith's election-related prosecution of former President Trump, was also recently the victim of an attempted swatting incident on Sunday.

Local police in Washington D.C. received a call of a shooting at the judge's home but quickly realized no such thing had occurred and everything was fine.

Swatting calls pose serious danger to officers and targets

In September 2022, the FBI issued a press release that warned about the "dangers of swatting," which it described as "a form of harassment to deceive an emergency service provider into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person’s address due to the false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency."

"Traditionally, law enforcement has seen swatters directing their actions toward individuals and residences," the release continued. "Increasingly, the FBI sees swatters targeting public places such as airports, schools, and businesses. Another recent trend is so-called celebrity swatting, where the targeted victims are well-known personalities."

The FBI noted that swatting calls "are dangerous to first responders and to the victims" because the calls often allege serious crimes in progress that provoke an aggressive and rapid response from armed officers, who in addition to being pulled away from real emergencies are then "placed in danger as unsuspecting residents may try to defend themselves."

Republicans have also been targeted with swatting calls

Lest anyone suspect that swatting calls are a tactic of the political right, given the recent targeting of two high-profile anti-Trump figures, a CBS News report on those incidents also made mention of a few prominent Republican elected officials who have also been targeted with swatting calls, in some cases more than once.

That includes Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Brandon Williams (R-NY), as well as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), but by no means are they alone in being conservative-leaning targets of the dangerous swatting tactic.

Incidents of death threats, harassment, and intimidation against public figures are bad enough, but the reporting of false emergencies to elicit an armed police response against oppositional targets goes above and beyond that, and, unfortunately, this dangerous trend will likely only continue to be increasingly used unless or until somebody ends up dead and there are real consequences for the fraudulent callers.

The progressive left, as part of its ceaseless efforts to undermine American culture and tradition, has increasingly sought to remove and destroy statues memorializing prominent figures in our nation's history.

The latest target was William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but plans to remove a statue of him from a national park in Philadelphia were swiftly withdrawn following immediate and intense public backlash, according to the Daily Wire.

That removal effort aimed at Penn -- a staunch anti-slavery abolitionist who supported democracy, religious freedom, and peaceful coexistence with the local native tribes -- seemingly proved accurate the prior Republican warnings that the left's statute removal efforts were never just about taking down monuments to the Confederacy or demolishing memorials for slave-owning founding figures.

William Penn's statue in the crosshairs

On Friday, President Joe Biden's National Park Service proudly announced its proposal to "rehabilitate" Welcome Park in Philadelphia, which was named in honor of William Penn's ship and featured a large statue of Penn and a replica of his famed and historic "Slate Roof House" that served as his residence when the British Quaker first colonized the area that eventually became known as Pennsylvania.

As part of the NPS park rehabilitation plans, "The Penn statue and Slate Roof house model will be removed and not reinstalled. In a separate and future effort, new exhibit panels will be installed on the south site wall to replace the Penn timeline" -- or, in other words, to completely write Penn out of the picture.

In place of the statue and historic home would be an "expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia" created in conjunction with descendants of the native tribes that populated the area at the time, to make the park "a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors."

NPS quickly backtracks amid immense outcry

That Friday announcement also served to open a 14-day public comment period on the Welcome Park rehabilitation proposal, but those two weeks proved unnecessary as the public blowback was so swift and severe that the NPS completely reversed course and abandoned the plan just a couple of days later.

In a Monday press release, the NPS said it had "withdrawn the review of a draft proposal to rehabilitate Welcome Park and closed the public comment period."

"The preliminary draft proposal, which was released prematurely and had not been subject to a complete internal agency review, is being retracted," the new release added. "No changes to the William Penn statue are planned."

That retraction was heralded by Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, who said in an X post, "My team has been in contact with the Biden Administration throughout the day to correct this decision. I’m pleased Welcome Park will remain the rightful home of this William Penn statue -- right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Penn founded."

"They only stopped because they got caught"

Not everybody believed the NPS' retraction was made in good faith, however, as summed up by one particular respondent to Gov. Shapiro's post, who explained that "the only reason why this decision was stopped is because the public got wind of it and became rightfully outraged. If the public did not speak up, William Penn’s statue would’ve been cancelled just as Jefferson & Washington have."

Likewise, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said of the sudden reversal amid the sharp public outcry, "Make no mistake: the Biden Administration tried to tear down a statue of William Penn as part of its toxic obsession with 'equity.' They only stopped because they got caught."

As for how the whole developing situation reflects on the prescient warnings from the right over the past few years that the left had more in mind than merely toppling old Confederate statues, that was efficiently summarized by patriotic entrepreneur Michael Seifert.

In an X post on Monday, Seifert wrote, "It started with Confederate statues. Now they've arrived at William Penn. It doesn't matter that he supported religious freedom, opposed slavery, and treated Native Americans with respect. It was always about replacing the history of the United States."

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