The Brew: It’s 6 A.M., Do You Know Where Your Secretary of Defense Is? – The Stream

Happy Monday!

This weekend was a prime example of why the most used sentence this year will be, “Well, that’s 2024 for you.” 

And it starts with the case of the missing Secretary of Defense. 

Secretary of Defense Kept Commander-in-Chief in Dark About Being in ICU

Last Friday, a couple of your hard-working Streamers had coughs and were feeling a bit under the weather. Rather than hack their germs all over the beautiful offices of LIFE Outreach, they informed me they would be taking sick leave or working from home. Because that’s what professionals do. Keep bosses in the loop. 

Inept DEI hires? Apparently not. At least not at the Pentagon. Even though our best and brightest in the Middle East are under daily attack from missiles, rockets, drones and kitchen sinks, even though we are one bad moment from regional wars in both the Middle East and Ukraine, and North Korea is back firing missiles willy-nilly, the U.S. military’s top dog Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin did not bother to tell the Commander-in-Chief he was in ICU and out of action for days.  

Sure, you might be thinking, “Nobody tells Biden anything other than where to sit and stand and how to exit a stage.” But National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan didn’t know either. Nor did Department of Defense staffers, nor congressional leaders. In a time of war.

As Sen. Tom Cotton noted:

The Secretary of Defense is the key link in the chain of command between the president and the uniformed military, including the nuclear chain of command, when the weightiest of decisions must be made in minutes. If this report is true, there must be consequences for this shocking breakdown.

Despite the Pentagon at first saying that Austin had still been carrying out his duties, it has now been revealed he signed his duties and powers over to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks … who rushed home from her vacation to helm the ship. 

Right? Well, no. She stayed in the fun and sun of Puerto Rico. Indeed, CNN reported Sunday that even Hicks did not know Austin was in ICU until Thursday. So why wasn’t the White House notified? The Pentagon is now saying Austin’s chief of staff was sick and couldn’t communicate the news. For three days. With nobody in the biggest office building in the world able to do it? 

Don’t worry. It’s just our national defense. Not something crucial like a soldier using the wrong pronouns.

Secretary Austin should have been fired for the debacle in Afghanistan. Will Biden can him now?  

Biden: “I Understand Power!”

Joe Biden had a curious conclusion to his J6 anniversary “democracy” in peril speech. And I’m not talking about the viral moment where Dr. Jill came to lead him off stage. He turned back to the mic after appearing to have finished and bellowed “I understand power!”

What’s it say about your power when your staff is in open rebellion, including your Secretary of Defense?

Perhaps Joe was talking about what was to come the following day. That’s when U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves announced Biden’s Justice Department will now be going after thousands of people who were at the Capitol J6 (exercising their constitutional right to petition the government), but never went inside.

Maybe I’m slow, but I’m not sure how mass arrests and intimidation of your political opposition meshes with your claim to be protecting democracy. Sounds more like an abuse of power, says Mollie Hemingway.

Then again, perhaps “I understand power” should only be taken to mean Joe finally comprehends the workings of a light switch.

One last bit about J6. The family of Ashli Babbitt has filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit. Jonathan Turley has a nice write-up about it, including evidence that the officer who killed the unarmed military vet lied, both when he radioed in about trouble and when he claimed he shouted warnings to Babbitt. Tom Fitton, whose Judicial Watch is representing the Babbitt family, tweeted some of the details. 

Oh, by the way, did you catch John Zmirak’s intense J6 column, which includes his prescient words just two days after the riot? “January 6, 2021: An Epiphany of Evil, When Our Unwise Men Spied for King Herod.

Federal Government Erasing William Penn?!

“Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.” William Penn

The National Park Service is erasing William Penn. William Penn. The founder of Pennsylvania. Specifically, they are planning to “rehabilitate” Welcome Park in Philadelphia in the interest of being more “welcoming, accurate and inclusive.” In other words, continue deep-sixing the people who founded the country. Welcome Park is named after the Welcome, the ship that brought Penn to our shores to birth a colony steeped in religious freedom. The park rests on the site of Penn’s home, the Slate Roof House and contains a statue of this crucial figure in American history.

But the statue and Slate Roof House will be removed, never to return. Panels laying out Penn’s life will also be torn down. Instead visitors will see an “expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia.”

The NPS is welcoming comments on the erasure of William Penn – excuse me, “rehabilitation” of Welcome Park —  starting today, to be submitted through the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) at

“Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.” William Penn

California Taxpayers Now Footing Bill for Illegal Immigrants to Have Sex Change Operations

Well, that’s 2024 for ya’. As of January 1st, everyone in California, legal and illegal, is covered by the state’s public health insurance program. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation of Medi-Cal uncovered a memo that makes clear that the coverage includes sex-change treatments and surgeries “when medically necessary.” But it’s California, where chopping off the healthy breasts of teen girls and castrating boys is deemed so medically necessary they offer a “sanctuary” program to bring in kids from states that maintain some semblance of sanity. 

Meanwhile, Ohio’s Gov. Mike Dewitt has signed an executive order banning sex-change surgeries for minors. Just days earlier, Dewitt inexplicably vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have not only banned the surgeries, but also destructive hormone therapies and puberty blockers. 

Along The Stream

Dr. Michael Brown has had his fill with those who prophesied a 2020 Trump victory and won’t fess up to the mistake. “Enough Already with the Pro-Trump Prophesies!” 

And John Zmirak went to the movies and gives a big thumbs up toThe Boys in the Boat: A Film That Will Make You Miss the America We Once Had.”

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