DC Council member Charles Allen is facing a recall effort from fed-up citizens as carjackings in the nation’s capital nearly doubled last year while violent crime rose by 39 percent. Murders hit their highest level in two decades in 2023.
The campaign to recall Allen is being led by Jennifer Squires, a former federal government worker who says she voted for Allen previously but found herself troubled by the councilman’s attempts at so-called criminal justice reform. Allen was behind the attempts to revise DC’s criminal code last year. His changes would have eliminated nearly all mandatory minimums and lowered some mandatory maximums, including for carjackings. Allen insisted the code needed to be updated because it was authored by slaveowners, but even members of his own party weren’t buying it; Muriel Bowser vetoed the legislation and Congress got involved by passing its own bill to block the changes. President Joe Biden said he would not veto the blockage on Allen’s proposal.
Last year’s attempt to update the criminal code is far from the only time Allen has pushed soft-on-crime policies in the district. He was also responsible for the Second Look Act and its subsequent amendments, which allowed violent criminals to be released early from prison after serving fifteen years if their crime was committed when they were under the age of twenty-five. That means if a twenty-year-old were to commit a rape or murder, they could be released in their mid-thirties. The latest amendment to the bill also took away judicial discretion on the nature of the crime when determining whether or not a criminal shall be released.
“I don’t think Mr. Allen gets it,” Squires said of his approach to crime.
Allen is defiant, pointing out that he won re-election while running unopposed in 2022 with over 90 percent of the vote, which raises the question of why DC residents would willingly vote for the destruction of their own city.
“I never take the support of my neighbors for granted, but I also know I share their values and provide leadership they’re proud of,” Allen said.
On our radar
BORDER SHOWDOWN The House Republican Conference says it is prepared to partially shut down the government if Democrats do not acquiesce to increased funding for border security. The GOP border security bill would tighten amnesty law and resume the building of a border wall, among other measures.
SHOT DOWN NRA chief Wayne LaPierre announced his resignation Friday amid a lawsuit in New York accusing the organization of self-dealing and fraud. LaPierre, who has served as CEO for thirty-two years, said he is stepping down due to health reasons.
DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK? President Joe Biden launched his new campaign strategy on Friday with a speech in Pennsylvania painting his likely opponent, former president Donald Trump, as a threat to American democracy. It was reported earlier this week that Biden campaign staffers reportedly want the president to start directly comparing Trump to Hitler.
From the Potomac River to the Salton Sea
California kicked off its 2024 legislative session by having its state capitol stormed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, who hijacked the legislative body to demand that Israel surrender to the demands of Hamas terrorists.
Lawmakers left the chamber as it was taken over by activists who want the United States to fully cut off aid to Israel and support a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine before Hamas is eliminated. A review of footage from the protest found no condemnation of Hamas violating international law by taking hundreds of hostages, including an eight-month-old Jewish baby. Last month, infamous Women’s March founder Linda Sarsour led activists in a similar protest in the United States Capitol, accusing Israel of “genocide” as it seeks to eliminate those responsible for the October 7 massacre.
Members of the California press corps were outright banned from entering the areas that were normally open to the public.
“Strange move here to allow protestors to continue chanting in the Assembly gallery while keeping journalists out,” Ashley Zavala, a Capitol correspondent, lamented.
California Democrats seemed to suffer from Stockholm syndrome about the saga. Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, who chairs California’s Legislative Jewish Caucus, said that Jews find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the far right (which had not invaded his workspace) and the far left (which did). Likewise, Democratic speaker Robert Rivas minimized the insanity of the protest and urged lawmakers to get back to focusing on issues like climate change.
Their counterparts across the aisle were less sympathetic. Assemblyman Vince Fong, who is running to succeed Kevin McCarthy in Congress, said that “we cannot allow pro-Hamas radicals to continue shouting down government proceedings and bullying people into silence.” Fong added that “people have a right to protest, but they don’t have the right to prevent elected representatives from doing the people’s business.”
Radical activists have taken to storming California Democrats’ events in recent months to push for an Israeli surrender. At the state’s Democratic Party convention, thousands of organizers forced event cancellations due to “security concerns.”
Pentagon buries report on military extremism
In a shocking turn of events, the military is not overrun with domestic extremists, despite a years-long campaign by many on the left — with the blessing of the Pentagon — to smear our fighting forces.
Following the January 6 Capitol riot, the Pentagon commissioned a study on “domestic extremism” in the military. While the study has been complete since 2022, it was only released around Christmas — perhaps in the hopes that no one would read it.
While the study found “no evidence that the number of violent extremists in the military is disproportionate to the number of violent extremists in the United States as a whole,” plenty of damage was done by journalists eager to hype up the threats posed by our own troops.
Since defense secretary Lloyd Austin commissioned the study, a steady stream of stories from outlets like NBC News, Axios, the Boston Globe, and more warned of everything from white supremacists to domestic extremists in the military, as the Daily Caller’s Brianna Lyman chronicled. VICE News even published a documentary on “American Terror: The Military’s Problem With Extremism in the Ranks.”
These claims were bolstered by a group of Democratic lawmakers, spearheaded by Senator Dick Blumenthal, whose most notable military experience is lying about his service in the Vietnam War. The lawmakers’ warning that “white supremacists are joining the military and permeating the ranks” looks to have aged about as well as a bowl of Elizabeth Warren’s famed “pow wow chow” left on the sidewalk.
Lloyd Austin, who has presided over surrenders of both Afghanistan and Iraq, “created the false impression with the public that the military has an extremism problem, thereby politicizing the Pentagon, undermining trust in the military and exacerbating the recruitment crisis with an already skeptical cohort of young Americans,” according to Representative Mike Gallagher, himself an Iraq War veteran.