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Washington Post Revises Ralph Northam’s History: The ‘Rebirth’ of a ‘Wounded Healer’

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RICHMOND, Virginia — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is set to end his term on January 15 after a tumultuous four years as the protagonist of several scandals, most notably wearing blackface, only to make a political comeback based almost entirely on advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives.

While at the time of the blackface scandal, Democrats, establishment media organizations, and other left-wing groups called on the governor to resign, Northam’s last weeks in office have been viewed by the media as an opportunity to rewrite his legacy.

The Washington Post appeared eager to be of service, revising the narrative of Northam as one of personal growth — the “rebirth” of a “wounded healer.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch similarly advanced the narrative of someone who became “a better person” and ushered in a more “inclusive state.”

Such a narrative comes after Northam’s most prominent scandal, one in which he likely either wore blackface or a Ku Klux Klan outfit, then apologized for it, and then claimed it was not him and that he had never even seen the picture placed prominently on his personal page of his medical school yearbook.

The media, however, decided to agree with the governor that he was neither the Klansman, nor the person in blackface, prompting the Post to ask, “As incredible as Northam’s political comeback has been, it still turns on a mystery: Who is in that photo?”

And yet while much of the media reported on the blackface scandal, many never mention the scandal from just weeks earlier in January of 2019, when Northam seemed to advocate infanticide — in some medical detail — on radio.

In defense of an abortion bill up for consideration in the Virginia General Assembly — one that would legalize abortion up to the point of birth — the pediatric neurologist-turned-governor walked the listeners of WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” through what seemed to be a post-birth abortion — in other words, killing a baby who has already been born.

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” [Emphasis added].

The comments drew the ire of pro-life people across the country, with many noting that not even New York or California had abortion advocacy that radical.

At the time, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) told National Review, “In just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’ I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”

“Northam shocked the consciences of Americans everywhere when he endorsed a bill allowing abortions right up through birth, and even seemed to sanction depriving a newborn slated for abortion of basic medical attention,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told Breitbart News. “Those who lack a basic compassion for society’s most vulnerable have no business governing.”

Attempting to retroactively save face for Northam, however, the Post dutifully reported that “conservatives seized on [the comments] to accuse the doctor-governor of supporting infanticide. It was a false allegation, but Northam did little to clarify his remarks.”

The blackface scandal, however, immediately eclipsed the infanticide scandal, and set the foundation for a diversity, inclusion, and equity-driven administration that ultimately culminated in the Commonwealth’s being used as a national battleground over critical race theory in schools and elsewhere.

SPRINGFIELD, VA - OCTOBER 23: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam speaks to residents during a visit at Greenspring Retirement Community October 23, 2017 in Springfield, Virginia. Northam is running against Republican Ed Gillespie to be the next governor of Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Northam and the medical school yearbook page depicting a person in blackface and a person in a Ku Klux Klan robe. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images).

Detailing the governor’s “rebirth,” the Post drives the narrative that perhaps the blackface scandal was actually the best thing that happened to Northam, considering the rest of his term was so focused on penance that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) — who initially called on Northam to resign — now believes Northam is the “most consequential Virginia governor in the modern era,” per the Post. Contributing to Kaine’s assessment was Northam’s push to abolish the death penalty, becoming the first Southern state to do so; legalize marijuana; and, as the Post puts it, “expand access to the vote.”

Former Gov. Douglas Wilder (D), who became the Commonwealth’s first black governor since Reconstruction and the country’s first popularly elected black governor, said, “It is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice … but to resign.”

I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam’s continuing in office was his choice to make. It is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice … but to resign.

— L. Douglas Wilder (@GovernorWilder) February 3, 2019

And while many, including Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, backtracked on their calls for Northam to resign, Wilder — who now serves on Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s (R) transition team — maintained his position, slamming those who reversed themselves. “The people of Virginia have not forgotten, they’re not stupid,” he said. “They’re not fooled, they’re not being hoodwinked.”

Indeed, after some apparent soul-searching and speaking with members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, “Northam made a pledge: He would stay and devote the rest of his term to fighting racial inequity,” as opposed to resigning.

“Northam’s rebirth is as unlikely a story as any you might find in today’s polarized world of instant cancellation,” the Post continued. “It was driven partly by an extraordinary effort to connect with Black constituents across Virginia, a process that Northam says broke him down and built him back a better person — more aware of the ugly reality of race in America.”

“I have had to confront some painful truths,” Northam said. “Among those truths was my own incomplete understanding regarding race and equity.”

That “ugly reality of race in America” the governor needed to “confront” led him to create the first state cabinet-level diversity officer position in the country. With his new “understanding,” Northam began describing racism as “part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not.”

“I think if the … scandal had not occurred he would not have been as effective,” Virginia Commonwealth University political scientist Jatia Wrighten, who focuses on race in state legislatures, said.

As the Times-Dispatch pointed out, “Whatever goals Northam came into office with, he now owed his political future to Black Virginians who supported him or gave him a chance to make his power work for them.”

While some on the left are disappointed with Northam for not going far enough — for example, not challenging the Commonwealth’s right-to-work law or shutting down natural gas pipelines — he did get other leftist proposals through that surprised many Virginians.

Before Northam, and before the full Democrat control of the General Assembly starting in 2020, Virginia’s gun laws were relatively liberty-minded. The Democrats in Richmond, however, were able to push through handgun purchase limitations to one gun per month, red flag laws, and locally enforced gun-free zones including at protests and rallies, among other provisions.

RICHMOND, VA - JANUARY 20: Gun rights advocates attend a rally organized by The Virginia Citizens Defense League on Capitol Square near the state capitol building on January 20, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. During elections last year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam promised to enact sweeping gun control laws in 2020, including limiting handgun purchase to one per month, banning military-style weapons and silencers, allowing localities to ban guns in public spaces and enacting a 'red flag' law so authorities can temporarily seize weapons from someone deemed a threat. While event organizers have asked supporters to show up un-armed, militias and other far-right groups from across the country plan to attend the rally and show their support for gun rights. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Gun rights advocates attend a rally organized by The Virginia Citizens Defense League on Capitol Square near the state capitol building on January 20, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images).

Northam also sought a ban on “assault-style weapons,” but was unsuccessful.

While the governor hinted that his political career will be over after he leaves office Saturday, as he plans to return to the medical field, he did appear to hint at the extremely lucrative diversity, inclusion, and equity speaking and consulting business that has taken businesses, governments, and other organizations by storm, telling the Times-Dispatch that “talking one-on-one with patients and their families, talking to students at a college or university, or ‘going into a boardroom’ to talk about the importance of embracing diversity,” may be in his future.

“I think I can help in that regard because discussions on race have often fallen on people of color,” he said, “and I think it probably is a good idea that maybe people that look like me be part of the discussion as well.”

Northam’s successor, Youngkin, will be sworn into office at 12:05 p.m. Eastern on January 15 outside the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.

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Ukraine’s Zelensky Tries to Clean Up Biden Mess: Russian Invasion Risks ‘Haven’t Increased’

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an emergency evening speech to his citizens on Wednesday night in response to a series of bizarre comments by his American counterpart Joe Biden that appeared to indicate the latter’s certainty that Russia would invade Ukraine and assert America would not act in the event of a “minor incursion.”

Zelensky urged citizens to “take a deep breath” and “calm down,” reminding them that Russia already invaded Ukraine in 2014 – Russia has been illegally present in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula since then – and, contradicting Biden, asserting that the risk of further invasion had not significantly changed in recent weeks.

Zelensky posted the speech to his social media accounts:

Без паніки. З вірою в Україну та мир!

Posted by Володимир Зеленський on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

“Didn’t the invasion start in 2014? Has the threat of war emerged just now? These risks have existed for more than a year, and they haven’t increased,” Zelensky asserted, according to a translation by the news site Ukrinform. “What has increased is the hype around them.”

“All our citizens, especially the elderly, need to understand this. Take a deep breath. Calm down,” Zelensky reportedly urged. “Don’t run for buckwheat and matches. To all the media – remain mass media, not sources of mass hysteria. In the pursuit of hype don’t help the enemy, reporting daily that war may start tomorrow! This will definitely not stop it.”

“What are you supposed to do? Only one thing. Keep your head calm and cool, remain confident in your strength, in your Army, in our Ukraine,” the president advised. “Do not get anxious, react smartly to everything, not emotionally! With your head, not your heart.”

Zelensky also used the opportunity to apparently condemn the Biden administration for refusing to sanction or in any way punish Russia’s belligerent behavior. Zelensky has spent much of the past year urging the United States and other allied nations to sanction the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, which would connect Russia to Germany and essentially grant Russia a monopoly over the western European fuel supply. Biden has ignored Zelensky, stating he would only consider sanctions after Russia invades.

Zelensky has in the past lamented that sanctions after an invasion “won’t matter.”

On Wednesday, the president condemned Biden’s “abstract ‘they’ll face consequences’ rhetoric,” without naming Biden personally.

Zelensky’s nationally televised remarks were a direct response to Biden appearing to abandon Ukraine to Russian colonization during a press conference that day.

“My guess is he will move in. He has to do something,” Biden said when asked if he believed Russian leader Vladimir Putin would greenlight a military invasion of Ukraine (presumably a separate invasion from the two currently underway in Crimea and Donbas, an Eastern Ukrainian region).

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Downing Street , London, to sign a strategic partnership deal with the president in the face of Russia’s “destabilising behaviour” towards the country. (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

Biden told reporters that “Russia will be held accountable if it invades,” without elaborating, but suggested America would not respond “if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.”

“He’s never seen sanctions like the ones I promised will be imposed if he moves, number one,” Biden said of Putin before dismissing the prospect of a “minor incursion.” Biden did not define a “minor incursion.”

Biden’s remarks immediately triggered a firestorm, both at home and in Kyiv.

According to an unverified CNN report, the Zelensky administration’s reaction to his comments was, simply, “horror.” In Congress, senators graded Biden’s remarks as “weak,” “impotent,” “catastrophic,” and “troubling.”

“He would be better off not speaking,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) lamented.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement following the press conference attempting to clean up Biden’s mess.

“President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies,” the statement read in part. “President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Ukraine Wednesday as Biden predicted that Russia would invade the country.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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Indonesia Relocating Capital from Jakarta to Borneo Jungle

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Indonesia’s parliament approved a bill on Tuesday that initiates a plan to move Indonesia’s national capital from Jakarta to a location on the southeast Asian island of Borneo — which is politically divided between Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia — by 2024, Channel News Asia (CNA) reported.

The Indonesian law passed on January 18 paves the way for construction to begin at the planned site of the new capital city in East Kalimantan, which is an eastern province of Borneo administered by Indonesia.

“The initial relocation will start from between 2022 and 2024, with roads and ports prioritised to enable access, with some projects operating as public private partnerships,” Indonesia’s finance ministry said on January 18.

The ambitious endeavor will cost $32 billion and see Indonesia’s capital transform radically from its current form in Jakarta – which is traffic-congested, heavily polluted, and overcrowded — into a metropolis set in a lush tropical setting deep within Borneo’s rainforest jungle. Jakarta is located on the Indonesian island of Java, which is the world’s most populated island. The capital city itself is home to 10.5 million inhabitants.

Indonesia’s government specifically plans to break ground on its new capital within East Kalimantan’s “remote” regencies of Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara, according to CNA, which is owned by the Singaporean public broadcaster Mediacorp.

Indonesian presidents have long proposed moving the nation’s capital and seat of government from Jakarta due to the city’s regular flooding, which is caused in large part by the fact that Jakarta is sinking below sea level.

“A recent study by the [Indonesian] National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) stated that, without aggressive effort, around 25 percent of the capital area will be submerged in 2050,” the Jakarta Post reported in November 2021.

This aerial picture taken on August 28, 2019 shows a view of the area around Sepaku, where Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced that the nation’s political heart would be moved nearly 2,000 kilometres east to a yet-to-be-built model city as a way of easing pressure on densely populated Java. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The newspaper also cited a then-recent study by IPB University in West Java, Indonesia, which found that the main cause of Jakarta’s subsidence “is overuse of groundwater by home drilling as a result of massive developments.”

“Residents of Jakarta use their own wells to get freshwater from underground,” the Jakarta Post relayed.

“The continuous water intake from the ground wells has produced a massive empty space underground, which becomes the major subsidence area. The development of large buildings, hotels and shopping have also encouraged excessive use of groundwater,” according to the study.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo first announced his administration’s plan to relocate the national capital to Borneo in 2019. While the project has been delayed due to various constraints imposed by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the new capital should be completed by 2024, or in time to coincide with celebrations planned for Indonesia’s 79th anniversary of independence from the Netherlands, according to CNA.

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Finland: Convicted Islamist Terrorist Assaulted Prison Guards in Biting Attack

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Convicted radical Islamic terrorist Abderrahman Bouanane, who committed the first Islamist attack in Finland, has been brought before a court after being accused of attacking prison guards, allegedly biting one.

Bouanane, a migrant from Morocco, was brought before the District Court of Southwest Finland love incidents at Turku prison that are said to have taken place on October 13th, 15th and October 31st in 2020.

According to the allegations, Bouanane is said to have resisted an official in the first incident and to have violently attacked two other officials. In one of the attacks, Bouanane is said to have kicked a guard and in another, bitten the finger of another guard, broadcaster YLE reports.

So far no date has been set for a trial in the case, according got the broadcaster and Bouanane has been transferred to another prison since the attacks took place.

The Moroccan national has been serving a life sentence since he was found guilty of two counts of murder with terrorist intent and eight counts of attempted murder by a Finnish court in 2018.

Moroccan Asylum Seeker Gets Life Sentence in Finland’s First Terror Trial https://t.co/HgMSE1QvWk

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 15, 2018

During his trial in April of 2018, Bouanane explained the motivation for his mass stabbing attack in the city of Turku in 2017, stating he was inspired by a Turkish man he had met in a mosque who told him that Finland had sent soldiers to fight in Syria.

“It gave me the position that I have the right to kill Finns,” Bouanane said and claimed that his motivation was “to strengthen the Islamic kingdom… I wanted the Islamic kingdom is strong,” and that he deliberately targetted women during the attack.

Eight of the ten victims of his stabbing rampage were women, one of which was a Jehovah’s Witness preaching in the centre of the city.

Bouanane is not the only convicted terrorist said to have abused prison guards in recent years. Salah Abdeslam, the lone surviving terrorist of the 2015 Bataclan massacre in Paris, was accused of harassing prison officials in 2018.

“Why are you looking at me loser? You’re a loser, come to my cell and I’ll explain. I am a Muslim and you are infidels, dogs; one day, it will change, you will kiss my feet,” Abdeslam is alleged to have told one of the guards.

Bataclan Terrorist Abdeslam Insults Prison Workers as ‘Dogs’, ‘Infidels’ https://t.co/otKzzK0pO2

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 15, 2018

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