Headline #1: Biden Plays the Fool at the G7 in Great Britain
In the U.K. for the G7 Summit last Sunday, President Joe Biden once again demonstrated the continual decline in his mental acuity, with multiple embarrassing and perplexing moments.
Thoughts and Observations:
• Before detailing Biden’s dismal performance, it’s worth noting that the G7 Summit itself is ridiculous. The G7 is nothing more than an extended photo op for western leaders, and an opportunity for them to show potential voters in their respective countries how serious and important they are. Such is the case regardless of who is in power. Any real diplomacy is happening behind the scenes constantly, and no one is waiting for the G7 to have important discussions about any topic.
• Biden is losing it, there is no doubt. It’s official… the guy is a hot mess. Among other examples of his obvious, growing senility was the moment in which he repeatedly confused the nations of Libya and Syria. To be clear, it’s not like the president was jumbling Slovakia with Slovenia. Libya and Syria are on different continents, for crying out loud, with entirely different diplomatic dynamics. And they are both critical nations for very different reasons. It’s like confusing Oregon with Pennsylvania.
• For those of us who were fans of the terrific early-80s sitcom Taxi, if you ever wondered how the character Jim Ignatowski would have turned out if we could have seen him at 80-years old, wonder no more. An 80-year-old Reverend Jim and Joe Biden would have been indistinguishable.
• Other stellar moments from our president included: 1) Biden continuing to wear his sunglasses upon meeting Queen Elizabeth, a significant protocol faux pas. 2) His interrupting of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce the president of South Africa to a gathered crowd, even though Johnson had already introduced the South African. And 3) his getting disoriented and wandering into the wrong room, at which point he had to be retrieved by his handlers. It’s like we elected some nursing home resident with dementia to be the leader of the free world.
• The mainstream media predictably gushed over Biden’s amazing performance. “Look, we’re finally getting back to normal, no more Trump. We have an adult running the country again. Biden is so presidential; so distinguished.” As Biden himself might say, it’s all malarkey.
• Most notable of Biden’s supposed accomplishments was the claim that the members of the summit are now on the same page regarding both Russia and China. If this were true, which is in fact still unclear, it really shouldn’t be major news. The members of the G7 are supposed to be mostly aligned. They’re supposed to be on the same page regarding adversarial countries.
• International relations and foreign policy are critical, and for those of us who didn’t vote for Joe Biden, we still need him to be effective. We need him to be good at this stuff, regardless of our politics. If Biden drops the ball with foreign policy, it could cause irreversible, long-term damage to our country. The behind-the-scenes actions and accomplishments of Secretary of State Antony Blinken are significantly more important than what Biden did at the G7, but we still need Biden to at least give the perception of competence, but he can’t. Biden is a joke.
Headline #2: Biden Bends Over for Putin in Geneva
Fresh on the heels of his G7 disaster, Biden took a detour to Switzerland on Wednesday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and things did not go well.
Thoughts and Observations:
• For the past four years we’ve heard Democrats accuse former President Donald Trump of being under the thumb of Russia, but Biden’s dealings with Putin are an illustration of what true capitulation looks like. Trump, contrarily, held Russia to account with strong sanctions and tough rhetoric. Once again, the left and their media have things backward.
• There were two exceedingly egregious missteps by Biden with Putin, and the first happened before the meeting even took place. Last month, after this week’s meeting with Putin, had already been arranged, Biden lifted one of the key sanctions we’d had in place against Russia relating to their Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. It was a key bargaining chip that Biden flushed down the toilet without getting anything in return. Biden destroyed his negotiating position before even taking off for Geneva.
• During the meeting this week, Biden’s next misstep was unforgivable, and related to the recent cyber-attacks from Russian operatives and their hacking American corporations with ransomware. We saw it with the Colonial Pipeline last month, and again this month with the JBS Meat production hack. Biden reportedly told Putin that only certain targets were “off-limits” to cyber-attacks. This, my friends, is the very definition of appeasement.
• By even broaching the subject, Biden is admitting that Putin’s government is either enabling the attacks or actively promoting them. Such an approach by Biden is fine. Everyone knows this is the case, even if Putin won’t admit it. But the message then must be one of strength. “If you mess with us again Vlad, we’re going to retaliate and wipe out one of your industries.” Instead, Biden’s idea of toughness is, “Pretty please comrade, don’t do anything to our power grid.” Pitiful.
• Biden’s list of “off-limits” targets consisted of sixteen infrastructure-related entities or industries. The question, of course, becomes this: So, Joe, if those sixteen are off-limits, is everything else fair game? The very idea of establishing what is within limits and off-limits is absurd. Where does this mindset come from? It’s unacceptable for Russia, or any other foreign actors for that matter, to hack American companies; any American companies. Period.
• Had Biden kept the aforementioned pipeline sanctions in place, he could have had that item as leverage. Knock off the cyber-attacks Russia, and we’ll ease or lift the sanctions. Keep it up, and we’ll add more sanctions. But such an approach would take conviction, courage, and commitment to your country, and Biden has none of those things.
• Tellingly, Putin was highly complimentary of Biden after the meeting, and why wouldn’t he be? He walked all over Biden. Just imagine the media’s reaction if Putin had gushed over Trump after a similar meeting. They would have lost their collective minds, saying “See! He’s beholden to Putin. He’s in cahoots with Russia.”
Headline #3: Netanyahu Out as Israeli Prime Minister, Replaced by Bennett
The longest serving Prime Minister in the history of Israel, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, has been ousted from power by the nation’s Knesset in a vote of 60-59 on Sunday after spending the last twelve years in office, and has been replaced by conservative Neftali Bennet.
Thoughts and Observations:
• Let’s not forget, this last twelve-year term was Netanyahu’s second stint as Prime Minister, having previously served from 1996-1999, and he was voted out by only the slimmest of margins: a single vote. At 71-years old, would you rule out a third term for Netanyahu? I wouldn’t.
• Regardless of what Bibi decides to do next, he will be remembered as one of Israel’s greatest leaders, and peculiarly worthy of comparisons to American presidents Grover Cleveland and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Netanyahu served non-consecutive terms as did Cleveland, and he is the longest-serving Prime Minister ala Roosevelt.
• Netanyahu was despised by the American left because of his tenacity and commitment to Israel’s security. He was not going to be pushed around by anyone, including Barack Obama and the ayatollahs in Iran. He stood up for his country, fought fire with fire, and was a refreshingly straight-shooting politician. Bravo, Mr. Netanyahu.
• The Prime Minister will probably be best remembered for his address to the United States Congress in 2012 in the middle of the Obama Administration after having been invited by Republican lawmakers to speak. It was one of the most memorable speeches ever made by a non-American in the Capitol. It was defiant. It was passionate. It was brilliant.
• Netanyahu has indeed been accused of corruption and scandal, and if he is ultimately found guilty of those accusations, his legacy will undoubtedly be tarnished; significantly. But those claims have been out there for years now, and nothing has stuck. This example is just one of many which make comparisons between Bibi and Donald Trump appropriate.
• America’s left was doing their best to spin Netanyahu’s exit as some sort of victory for their own, weak and socialistic ideology. But this development isn’t exactly akin to replacing Ronald Reagan with Bernie Sanders. Neftali Bennett was Chief-of-Staff to Netanyahu at one point – though their relationship is now highly adversarial – and is himself staunchly conservative. Bennett will serve two years of the next four-year term, at which point he will be replaced by a centrist named Yair Lapid. Israel isn’t moving to the left, Israel is just moving on… for now.
Headline #4: Peru Elects a Leftist: Castillo to Take Power
A 51-year old self-proclaimed socialist named Pedro Castillo appears to have won the June 6th election in the South American country in an extremely close election.
Thoughts and Observations:
• Tell me if this sounds familiar. A leftist candidate looks to have won the election in an extremely tight vote. His right-wing opponent (Keiko Fujimori) has refused to concede and is pointing to election fraud as the reason. And the electoral entity that makes the vote official has not yet confirmed the election. Hoping you have better luck than we did, Peru.
• As if America needed any more contributors to economic inflation, this situation in Peru could have an unfavorable impact as well. Peru is the second-leading producer of copper in the world, and copper is a key component in many retail items and in the building of new homes. Prices of the metal actually dropped this week due to speculation on China releasing copper reserves, but if Peru indeed goes socialistic with their mining industry, it could have a big impact; something to keep an eye on.
• The political dynamics in South America are fascinating. Similar to Europe, countries on the continent can be influenced by goings-on in neighboring countries and trends tend to fluctuate accordingly. After the devastation from the leftism which the world witnessed in Venezuela, Castillo’s election came as a major surprise from observers and prognosticators. We must hope this won’t be a spreading trend in the region.
• Perhaps alert to Peruvians’ hesitancy with leftism, Castillo proclaimed, “We are not communists.” Actions are stronger than words, but his attempt to distance himself from outright communism should be taken as a good sign.
• Going back two centuries to the Monroe Doctrine, what happens in our hemisphere matters and America needs to be engaged. For those who preach isolationism and prefer that we stay out of the affairs of other nations, this can be a perilous strategy. That’s not to say we are on the verge of security-related challenges with Peru, we’re not even close to that point yet. But considering the weakness of President Biden, and the aggression of leftist countries like Russia and China, we’ll need to be alert to what happens in Peru. Create a vacuum, and that vacuum gets filled.
Headline #5: Biden Signs Law Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday
President Biden on Thursday signed into law a bill making June 19th, a day that has come to be known as “Juneteenth,” a federal holiday.
Thoughts and Observations:
• The day itself signifies the perceived end to slavery in the U.S., marking the day in 1865 when a Union General in Texas officially announced that slavery had been abolished. This was the last place in the county to have had the announcement made official, and the new holiday is now known as Juneteenth National Independence Day. It seems that selecting the date of the Emancipation Proclamation would have made more sense, but Juneteenth it is.
• Many have argued that this whole initiative is just theater, which is a fair point. It has given the left an opportunity to pile more shame and blame on our country and it allows them to push their narrative that our country is founded on evil. But I actually think this move will eventually backfire on that storyline. Juneteenth happened 156 years ago today, and that was a long time ago. And it reminds everyone that we did indeed eradicate slavery in this country, thanks largely to the efforts and lost lives of white folks. America is the greatest country on earth, and Juneteenth is just one more example of that greatness.
• It’s worth noting that Vice-President Kamala Harris not only attended the ceremony, she also signed the bill as well. That fact just amplifies the point that this whole thing was just a show for the Democrats. Harris is the VP, and her signature isn’t needed on new laws. But it is needed if they want to make the most of their photo op. Silly.
• We really don’t need any more federal holidays, but we’ve got one anyway. Very few of us in the private sector will be getting Juneteenth off from work. We’ll be stuck with the eight or nine holidays we’ve always had, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July. Juneteenth will just be one more day where some public sector employees get to goof off while the rest of us toil.
• This law is also an example of why we should be extremely selective with declaring such holidays. In the days following September 11, 2001, there were many officials, both left and right, who advocated for making 9/11 a national holiday. Fortunately, it never happened. As a result, 9/11 continues to be a day of somberness and reflection, not celebration. Its true meaning still has significance, much like Pearl Harbor Day and D-Day. Within a few years, Juneteenth will be just another excuse for barbeques and horseshoes, and its meaning will be lost.
PF Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including the Western Journal, Human Events, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen