1 – Crenshaw wants Congress to declare war against Mexican cartels ‘poisoning’ Americans with fentanyl
Washington Examiner reports: A border state lawmaker will debut a bill to stomp out fentanyl production and smuggling by Mexican criminal organizations formulated to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.
The forthcoming Declaring War on the Cartels Act of 2023 from Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) would drastically expand the U.S. government’s ability to go after cross-border organized crime rings, known as cartels, but it would stop short of declaring them terrorist organizations, which further-right conservatives have pushed for.
Fentanyl is “often laced into other drugs [users] think they’re taking. This is not a typical drug problem. This is a poisoning problem. So they need to be treated as an enemy,” Crenshaw said in an interview with the Washington Examiner on Thursday. “In the last few years, the cartels have drastically increased their fentanyl trafficking, which is poison, effectively, murdering tens of thousands of Americans a year.”
“This is coming from two specific cartels: Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels,” said Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL officer who represents a Houston-area district. “We have a target here, so let’s do it.”
Any foreign government determined to be in cahoots with cartels or that has failed to adequately quell cartel activity may be sanctioned and lose U.S. financial aid provided through the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The military would also be permitted to take action under his legislation.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean just dropping bombs right away. Diplomatically, it means that we have a whole new leverage over the government. The Mexican government does not like to deal with this problem. They like to ignore it,” said Crenshaw, who added Mexico was limited in its ability to overthrow cartels that recently killed nearly 30 people in a battle against federal forces. “This is obviously a real war. And they obviously need our help. And we should have an authorization to allow that. I think this gives the president leverage. And I would think it’d be a win.”
MY TAKE: Honestly not sure anything will help at this point.
This administration has given cartels free control of our border for too long.
That’s why I’m introducing the Declaring War on the Cartels Act—a bill that would significantly increase federal penalties for Mexican cartels & their enormous financial power.https://t.co/q3rDbkepFR
— Representative Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) November 16, 2022
2 – Video shows 9-year-old Florida girl savagely beaten by two boys in school bus attack
NY Post reports: The parents of a 9-year-old Florida girl who was videoed being mercilessly beaten by two boys aboard a school bus plan to pursue criminal charges against her attackers, according to reports.
Footage of the stomach-churning assault shows two boys ferociously and repeatedly pummeling the third grader at Coconut Palm K-8 Academy in Homestead as she desperately tries to fend them off.
No adults intervene during the almost 30 seconds of the attack which was video recorded by a classmate.
MY TAKE: Disgusting! Any adult who saw this and did nothing should also be charged.
3 – Ninth-grader brutally attacks veteran High School teacher leaving her hospitalized with multiple injuries including a broken leg
Daily Mail reports: A ninth-grade student in Rockdale County, Georgia, has been charged with aggravated battery after attacking their high school teacher.
Video footage shows a student arguing with English Language Arts teacher Tiwana Turner in a classroom at Heritage High School on 26 January.
Ms Turner suffered knee and leg injuries as well as a broken leg.
MY TAKE: Good Lord! Schools are insane.
4 – Biden administration takes aim at market influence of Google and Apple App Stores
Washington Examiner reports: The Biden Administration criticized Google and Apple as having undue influence over mobile app stores and called for Congress to pass legislation that would under cut their “gatekeeper” status, the latest sign of anti-Big Tech positioning by the White House.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a report on Wednesday making the case for antitrust tech legislation. The report, titled “Competition in the Mobile Application Ecosystem,” examined the prominence of the Apple and Google app stores and noted their approaches to transparency, security, and data collection. The report then called on Congress to pass legislation to rein in their powers over the online market.
NTIA recommended that Congress increase resources to antitrust regulators like the Federal Trade Commission, that it take action to allow the use of third-party app stores, and that it limits or removes restrictions on sideloading, which is the downloading of apps from alternative app markets.
MY TAKE: Sounds good.
This is more evidence of what we all knew: Google and Apple have a chokehold on the app store marketplace, and that needs to change.
My Open App Markets Act would fix this problem for consumers.https://t.co/bCPVzKrY2K
— Senator Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) February 2, 2023
5 – Federal appeals court strikes down domestic violence gun law
NBC News reports: A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the government can’t stop people who have domestic violence restraining orders against them from owning guns — the latest domino to fall after the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority set new standards for reviewing the nation’s gun laws.
Police in Texas found a rifle and a pistol at the home of a man who was the subject of a civil protective order that banned him from harassing, stalking or threatening his ex-girlfriend and their child. The order also banned him from having guns.
A federal grand jury indicted the man, who pled guilty. He later challenged his indictment, arguing the law that prevented him from owning a gun was unconstitutional. At first, a federal appeals court ruled against him, saying that it was more important for society to keep guns out of the hands of people accused of domestic violence than it was to protect a person’s individual right to own a gun.
But then last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a new ruling in a case known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. That case set new standards for interpreting the Second Amendment by saying the government had to justify gun control laws by showing they are “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
MY TAKE: This one’s tricky. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
The appeals court withdrew its original decision and on Thursday decided to vacate the man’s conviction and ruled the federal law banning people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns was unconstitutional. https://t.co/pBC0ZEPln4
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 3, 2023
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