The Brew: Clueless Pete, Spacy Sheila Jackson Lee, and the Fight Over FISA

By Al Perrotta Published on April 11, 2024

Happy Thursday!

Today’s Brew truck is parked in the Nation’s Capital. Let’s see if we can get through it without getting truck-jacked.

“Get a Warrant”: Fight Over FISA

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block Speaker Mike Johnson’s efforts to bring the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization bill to the floor. The bill would have extended the controversial Section 702 for five more years; that authorization is set to expire April 19.

Although Johnson’s compromise measure does have some reforms, the bill will allow the FBI — which has proven itself to be both wayward and partisan — to surveil Americans without a warrant.

But not all Americans. Congress has managed to carve out an exemption for it members, much to the horror of Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). He stated the obvious in a House hearing: “all citizens deserve protection from spying, not just members of Congress.”

The rule vote failed after Donald Trump posted: “Kill FISA.”


Section 702 allows the federal government to surveil non-Americans on foreign soil with suspected terror links without a warrant, even if the person on the other side of the communication is an American. As Trump noted, this was the illicit tool the FBI and Obama administration used to spy on his campaign.

Also, keep in mind who this current administration considers “terrorists,” when considering how the weaponized FBI would use this power.  

The debate over the surveillance powers of the FBI comes the same week two whistleblowers called for the the Bureau to be abolished.

“I think it needs to be shattered and scattered,” Steve Friend told a Heritage Foundation symposium. “Disarm the FBI … make them unarmed investigators, like they originally were, and force them to partner with local agencies.”

In related news, is the FBI conducting surveillance on the people in Dearborn shouting “Death to America”? Or is the Bureau only interested in injecting itself into the groups saying “God Bless America”? 

Several Michigan Congressmen Refuse to Condemn Muslim Chants

Do Congress members from Michigan even care what’s happening in their districts? Some don’t. The Daily Caller asked members of the Michigan delegation and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer if they would condemn the “Death to America” chants coming from Muslim protesters. Several said yes — but others “refused to share their stance on the matter,” including Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Haley Stevens, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Gary Peters, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Whitmer also did not respond to a request for comment.

Lost in Space: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Lost in Space, Clarifies Her “Moon” Remarks

Those are serious things. Nonetheless, the astonishing lack of scientific awareness on the part of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is still worth a mention.

Speaking at an eclipse event Monday, Lee observed that the moon is made of gas. (As we all know, the moon is made of cheese.)

Lee tried to “clarify” her remarks, and, course, blamed Republicans for being misunderstood.

The temperature on the sun’s surface is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Humans couldn’t get within millions of miles of it without being incinerated (which is probably why God had the good sense to situate our planet 93.151 million miles away. Funny how that works.)

Then again, maybe Lee will make sure Congress has an exemption from the laws of thermodynamics.

A science question before moving on: Would Congress be considered a large body consisting mostly of gas?

Update: Woman Accused of Stealing Ashley Biden’s Diary Sentenced

A federal judge has sentenced Aimee Harris of Florida to one month in prison, three months of home confinement, and three years probation for crossing state lines to sell Ashley Biden’s diary. Whether she “stole” the diary is debatable; Harris says she found items Biden left behind at a home she stayed in.

As The Stream has mentioned before, the questions are, “How did this become a federal matter?” “Why doesn’t the media care what the diary has to say about Joe Biden, especially given his public peccadillos?” And “Why isn’t more attention given to how Hunter’s laptop and Ashley’s diaries are flip-sides of the same Biden Family coin?” And “Isn’t it strange how both of Biden’s children ‘accidentally’ left behind materials that could harm their father’s 2020 presidential campaign?”

When rereading The Stream article linked above, I caught a line that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as Ashley’s “probably inappropriate” showers with her father when she was a child.

She wrote, “my father was — message — I could get love from men.” (Underline hers.)

For those defending Biden showering with a little girl, please explain that line his grown daughter wrote while in rehab for sex addiction. (These are dark things, yes. But we need to go there.) As I wrote when the story first broke:

One can only look at the revelations on Hunter’s laptop and his sister’s diary, the acting out, the addictions, to know the Bidens are broken, traumatized. And have been for at least two generations, dropping now into a third. 

The haunted looks in photographs. The cries for help. Heartbreaking.

We — the American family — must pray, must intercede for the Biden family. 

Biden Repeats Lie That Helped Sink His 1988 Campaign

This is the real life of Biden’s family. Not the made-up life that apparently exists only in Joe’s mind. Just the other day, Biden repeated another long-disproven whopper. When rolling out his student loan forgiveness plan, Biden claimed he was the first member of his family to go to college. Not so. Catch him on another day, and he’ll tell you what a great college football player his grandfather was.

As Newsmax reports, after his plagiarism scandal broke in 1987, Biden admitted that his tale of being the first in his family to go to college was a fib (members of his mother’s family preceded him). His father also attended Johns Hopkins for a year.  (To be fair, Biden is the first member of his family to use a college to help launder millions of dollars from the Chinese Communist Party. But that’s another story.)

As our last item: further proof that Biden isn’t the only Washington elite living in his own reality.

Pete Buttigieg Insists DC Is Now So Safe He Can Walk His Dog

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is trying to sell the idea that Washington, D.C., is safer now than when Biden took office.

How does he know? Because he’s able to “safely walk [his] dog to the Capitol” without any problems now. That’s what he told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki. (Mayor Pete is right: Nobody in Washington has been car-jacked while walking their dog.)

However, Buttigieg has something 99.9% of those who visit or live and work in D.C. don’t have: a security detail. And those people don’t think the District is any safer now than it was four years ago.

Take, for example, the Navy Yard area. The city did a marvelous job turning the Navy Yard along the Anacostia River into a wonderful, scenic hot spot full of great restaurants and bars and a Riverwalk, to say nothing of the glistening Nationals Park. But thanks to surging crime and federal workers who are reluctant to return downtown, restaurants are now closing. A 2023 survey showed that dozens of restaurants quit D.C. thanks to crime and the economy. And if you’re walking somewhere around there, you’re looking over your shoulder as you go.

As Breitbart noted, crime in D.C. had its “deadliest year in 2023 and saw the largest spike in violent crime of any U.S. city.” In fact, hours after Buttigieg’s interview, two people walking their dogs were attacked by six juveniles. That incident marked the city’s sixth stabbing in three days.

But don’t worry. As long as Mayor Pete’s pooch is unharmed, all is well.  

Along The Stream

John Zmirak takes a balanced look at former President Donald Trump’s take on abortion. It’s called “Half a Loaf or a Poison Pill?” Also, keep your eye out for expert analysis of Tuesday’s decision by the Arizona State Supreme Court that pushed into effect a nineteenth-century abortion ban that’s tougher than anything even most pro-lifers would support today.

Tom Gilson offers a deep, thoughtful piece called “The Loneliness of ‘Live Your Truth.’”

Al’s Afternoon Tea presented “A Bad Week for ‘Mostly Garbage’ DEI.”


Al Perrotta is managing editor of The Stream, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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