Good Friday Morning! Except for the University of Michigan, which is under investigation for stealing signs from future opponents. Jim Harbaugh is in trouble again. I find it funny because I don’t think he’ll be there next year, and Michigan will end up holding the bag. The best take on this was by Mak Popa on X/Twitter: “If Michigan paid an employee to watch Iowa’s offense in person, they should be punished by OSHA, not the NCAA.”
This week, I will dive into Biden’s primetime speech and why it was arguably one of the weakest primetime Oval Office speeches of all time – links to follow.
- In July, I wrote a column about how Canada is rapidly descending toward assisted suicide for anything. I was alarmed then that Canada planned to allow assisted suicide to people with mental illness. The story centered around a woman with an eating disorder. It’s gotten far worse in just a few months. Mental illness is now getting expanded to anyone with an addiction to drugs. Justin Trudeau’s party blocked an attempt to roll these rules back. Then, CAF veteran and Paralympian Christine Gauthier petitioned the government to put in a wheelchair ramp at her house, and they offered her assisted suicide as an alternative (story on Canadian TV here). For reference, Canada only legalized euthanasia starting in 2016. Seven years later, Canada is approaching suicide on demand. When you combine that with state-run healthcare, the government is incentivized to use euthanasia to reduce expenses. There are slippery slopes, and then there’s Canada’s zoom-floom to death.
- The Republican House remains an utter disaster. Last week, I wrote, “Do not underestimate how many people in the House hate Jim Jordan. There’s a reason he was second in caucus votes.” Jordan lost two rounds of votes, with the number of votes increasing from 20 to 22 on the second. That group claims it’s firmly against Jordan. Additionally, the Scalise and McCarthy side of the House likely helped scuttle some of Jordan’s support. They, correctly, see the Jordan faction of the House as the same as Matt Gaetz and don’t see a need to reward the bomb-throwers. Jordan’s stupid online pressure campaign only pushed people further away. And it’s clear he’s out of his depth, as the way to do this would be to talk to each of them individually. Jordan is trying to use whatever he thinks he has of a bully pulpit. A third road is getting a temporary Speaker through Patrick McHenry, but that plan has gotten scuttled. I’m partially glad of that, for McHenry’s sake. He’s a nice guy in a very tough position. Politico outlined some possible options from here, but I have low confidence in them. The Idiot Caucus led by Matt Gaetz has done nothing but hamstring the American Republic when war is brewing in the Middle East and Congress has another government shutdown looming. Speaking of Gaetz, he tried speaking during the GOP Caucus meeting today; one Rep nearly fought him, and McCarthy yelled for him to shut up and sit down. If the GOP coalesced tomorrow and had unity tomorrow, they’d do two things: strip Gaetz of his committee assignments and expel Squad members for their anti-Semitism. But neither will happen with this chaos.
- On the economic front, 10-year Treasuries continue to surge, currently at 5%, a 16-year high. Tracking behind them, the 30-year mortgage rate hit 8% this week and will trend higher. The larger banks are reacting to some of this news. Layoffs are occurring across the banking industry. And during the latest earnings season, banks said they were worried about bad consumer loans. None of them is as concerned about a recession. Still, everyone plans to stay in a higher interest rate environment for a more extended period.
Where you can find me this week
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Pro-Hamas Press Gets Revealed To The World – Conservative Institute
Western Press Blood Libels Jews And Spreads Hamas Propaganda – Conservative Institute
Joe Biden’s Decline Leaves America Unsafe – Conservative Institute
Biden’s Weak Speech.
Thursday night, Biden gave a primetime address from the Oval Office. I link to it there because it’s less than 15 minutes long. I replayed several sections, looking at the YouTube transcript to ensure I understood it correctly. Biden was slurring his words, losing his voice, and misreading the prompter. I’ve written about Biden’s weaknesses in the past, but that may be the weakest speech ever given by a President in the Oval Office.
I’ve never been more convinced than at this exact moment, sitting in the aftermath of Biden’s speech, that he couldn’t do the job. And I’m not writing this from a place of partisan reaction. That speech’s optics, tone, and delivery are beyond weak. No strength is conveyed. And I left it with more fear than I did assurances.
This is not a man up to the job of his office. We’re sitting at a critical moment in US history where Israel faces an existential threat, and the United States is balancing multiple threats from China, Russia, Iran, and Islamic terrorism aided by all the above. Critical moments require Presidents who rise to the occasion and deliver speeches to say what is necessary. That speech not only failed, but it was a net negative.
Here’s where we are. Current satellite imagery shows Israel amassing troops and tanks north of Gaza, clearly readying for war. Israeli news says the offensive is coming soon, and they expect a “long” and “intensive” campaign. The US Navy shot down missiles out of Yemen headed for Israel. And US troops in Syria, Iraq, and the Red Sea region have come under fire, taking injuries from incoming fire, likely from Iranian militias. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas are trading missile shots at each other.
War has not started, but we are on the precipice.
It’s helpful to make that the marker of where we are because, in Biden’s speech, he spent nearly as much time in his 15 minutes talking about issues of American bigotry and the Russia-Ukraine war as he did Israel. Presidents have to use the Oval Office sparingly. Biden wasted one, failing to meet the moment or even correctly address it.
I get the point of tying Israel and Ukraine to each other. There’s a valid argument that we’re now facing down an axis of China, Russia, and Iran, with Ukraine and Israel being the fronts involved and the thread of Taiwan on the horizon. But that’s different from what Biden is doing. The White House is treating these as individual fronts, unconnected. Noah Rothman said, “I had hoped Biden would devote this speech to the scale of the threat posed by an increasingly overt alliance between Iran, China, Russia, and their stateless proxies to end American dominance. He didn’t.”
My criticism of the White House throughout the Ukraine war is that they lacked cohesive operational goals. My ideal scenario is that the United States repels Russian aggression, reaches a negotiated settlement, and re-establishes Ukraine as a functioning country. The White House does not appear to have any goals – except maybe degrading the Russian military. But in following that path, there’s not much left of Ukraine at this point, and the war marches on.
The United States cannot afford the same listlessness in this situation in Israel. I know what Israel’s goal is: eliminate the threat of Hamas in Gaza and occupy it until that job is done. Israel cannot afford a scenario where Gaza is a security threat ever again. I’ve had people push back on that, claiming that doing this is akin to the United States going to Afghanistan. That’s a weak excuse for what is happening. If the United States experienced 9/11 and the hijackers came from Cuba, we’d still be occupying that island. In fact, we’d probably turn it into the 51st state.
Gaza is on Israel’s border. It’s not half a world away. Occupying and subduing it will be difficult, but the goal is straightforward: eliminate all threats. If the Palestinians decide to become a long-term problem, they will likely be removed. There’s simply no other way to put this. People have not adjusted their calculations for what is about to happen. What Hamas did has radically altered the equation.
Additionally, Biden’s speech was most notable for what it was missing—no mentions of China, Taiwan, or Saudi Arabia.
I do not believe China is ready for an invasion of Taiwan. They need to have troops set or forces massed for an operation. However, the United States is now split between dealing with Ukraine/Russia and a tinderbox in the Middle East. In terms of golden opportunities, you couldn’t ask for a much better one right now. It would be challenging for the United States to monitor three fronts of a global conflict.
So, while China isn’t ready, now would be the time if they wanted to move. Currently, China appears to be several years away, building the necessary Navy vehicles they’d need to accomplish a raid on Taiwan. Also, China is building a nuclear arsenal to rival and target the United States. A report this week says that China has more than 500 operational nuclear warheads.
Biden’s failure to mention China was on purpose. It’s mildly reminiscent of the Trent Affair in the Civil War, where Lincoln released two Confederate envoys trying to convince the British to choose sides. Lincoln wanted to avoid fighting both a Civil War and against the British. He ended up releasing the men and smoothing things with the Briths to keep them neutral.
Biden is trying to avoid a third front opening with China. Thus, he leaves them out. Iran only received a few mentions, too, for the same reasons. The goal is to keep this a limited war in Gaza and keep other groups from joining.
Leaving out Saudi Arabia was critical, too. Last week, I wrote that the Saudis will be a crucial player in all of this. Earlier in the week, the Saudis paused their normalization efforts with Israel. I wouldn’t take that as a negative at all. Given how the region works, the Saudis were making a new opening offer and attempting to barter a new deal with Israel and the United States. The Saudis need deals with Israel and the United States – they want to get to a “yes.” The question is whether or not this White House can broker that. Trump could, but Biden has burned bridges.
Again, the critical reason for this is that if the Saudis normalize relations with Israel, they’ll flip all the countries that rely on them. Getting them to a “yes” on a deal is critical. Everything in the press this week is nothing more than them trying to barter and negotiate.
But I come back to my first impression. I cannot believe how weak Biden looks. Every month that passes, he looks worse, and that speech was terrible. It’s not the kind of speech that puts the fear of America in our enemies. And my concern is that it will have profound consequences when this war kicks off.
Links of the week
Hundreds mourn as Israeli family of 5 that was slain together is laid to rest: An Israeli family of five whose bodies were discovered in each other’s arms after being killed by Hamas militants were buried side by side in a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners – ABC News
Israel split-screen: Feds fly citizens home for a price. DeSantis’ charters are free: The State Department has begun chartering flights to help U.S. citizens leave Israel, which passengers will have to repay. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says it should be free — and has chartered his own. – Politico
In Every Generation – John Podhoretz, Commentary
My Phone Says 2023. It Feels Like 1948: When the Hamas men stormed the border, they removed any pretense about the issue at stake. Not a state alongside Israel. Not even the existence of Israel. But the existence of Israelis… – Matti Friedman, The FP
We Went to a Pro-Palestine Protest. This Is What We Heard: At a rally in Ottawa, everyone believed Israel had to be wiped off the map. They were unclear about what should happen to the Jews living there. – Rupa Subramanya, The FP
What we know about the Gaza hospital blast: The deadly explosion at al-Ahli Baptist Hospital appears to have been caused by an errant Islamic Jihad rocket, U.S. officials said. Four military and munitions experts agreed it wasn’t from Israel. – NBC News
Palestinian group accused of harboring terrorists received $1B from Biden admin: report: Report reveals 100 pages of evidence that UNRWA schools taught hate toward Jewish people, glorified terrorism – Fox Business
Biden Admin Official Suspended After Report She Celebrated Hamas Attacks, Worked for PLO – Washington Free Beacon
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel was an FBI informant – Business Insider
Video: Israel Must Occupy Gaza. Here’s Why – Noah Rothman, National Review
X/Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Satire of the week
CNN Blames Fog Of War For Errant Reporting On Gaza Bombing, Russian Collusion, Jussie Smollett, Covington Catholic, Hunter’s Laptop, The Steele Dossier, Kyle Rittenhouse, Origins Of Covid (Continued In Article Please Click For More) – Babylon Bee
Microsoft To Acquire IRS To Avoid Paying Back Taxes – The Hard Drive
Touching! Dad Replies To Daughter’s Lengthy Heartfelt Message With Thumbs Up Emoji – Waterford Whispers News
Thanks for reading!