As Usual, the Entire Joke is in the Headline

But here's an excerpt anyway:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Biden threatened to end U.S. aid to Israel unless the IDF complies with a new demand to fight the rest of the war against Gaza armed with only Nerf guns.

"It's Nerf or nothin'!" Biden exclaimed during a brief call to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "You can attack Hamas with the old school revolver, the bow and arrow, heck you can use a gatling gun -- so long as all the bullets are Nerf! You hear me, Bibi?!"

Netanyahu reportedly laughed in response.

The reality, as described by Noah Rothman at NR, is somewhat grimmer: Democratic Politics Shift Toward the View That Hamas Should Win

Not even six full months have passed since the October 7 massacre, and already that act of unspeakable barbarity has been reduced to a passing aside in Democratic rhetorical assaults on Israeli perfidy — that is, when it is mentioned at all.

“Of course,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken began in remarks before reporters on Thursday, “what happened after October 7 could have ended immediately if Hamas had stopped hiding behind civilians, released the hostages, and put down its weapons.” Indeed. At any point in the war Hamas inaugurated, including the present moment, the conflict would end and a brighter day for the Palestinian people would dawn. Nothing else needed to be said. But Blinken continued.

Following a throat-clearing digression about the importance of drawing distinctions between Israeli democracy and a “terrorist organization,” he proceeded to mute those distinctions. “As has been said, whoever saves a life, saves the entire world. That’s our strength,” America’s chief diplomat mused wistfully. “It’s what distinguishes us from terrorists like Hamas. If we lose that reverence for human life, we risk becoming indistinguishable from those we confront.”

The implication in this poetic digression is that it will be Israel’s fault when those who lack elementary powers of discretion discern no difference between the Jewish state and a nihilistic death cult that murdered, raped, and burned alive as many Jews as it could — including Americans. As a matter of fact, the observational deficiencies that would lead someone to endorse this hopeless moral equivalency are the observer’s problem. But the myopia Blinken described is increasingly endemic among his fellow Democrats.

That's my first "gifted" NR link for April, so take advantage.

Disgust mixed with incredulity is reflected in the query posed by the NYPost editorialists: Since when did Jill Biden dictate America's Israel policy?.

Our president lies like a rug to please his audience, so it’s tricky to parse the news that he told guests at this week’s White House Ramadan dinner that the first lady has told him that Israel’s war on Hamas “has got to stop.”

We don’t doubt he announced that, though exact accounts vary slightly: “Stop it. Stop it now,” were the Joe-said-Jill-said words, recalled a different attendee.

And the White House is backing that up, insisting (as it must) that the first couple see eye-to-eye while also stating: “Just like the president, the First Lady is heartbroken over the attacks on aid workers and the on-going loss of innocent lives in Gaza.”

I'm old enough to remember people outraged by Nancy Reagan's alleged influence on Ron. We won't see equivalent treatment in this case.

Also with scathing commentary is Matthew Continetti, who gets it right: Biden Loses the Plot on Israel.

Six months. That's how long it took for President Biden to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorists who killed some 1,200 people, raped women, tortured and murdered children, and took more than 200 captives, including American citizens, into the maze of tunnels, spider holes, and underground bunkers known as the Gaza Metro on October 7.

According to the White House, Biden on Thursday called for an "immediate ceasefire" and told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "strikes on humanitarian workers" and "the overall humanitarian situation" are "unacceptable." Biden went on to say that "U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel's immediate action" and on steps to "address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers."

This is a demand that Israel appease Hamas at the negotiating table. This is a threat to condition military assistance to Israel based on absolutely no evidence and grounded in a ridiculous and unachievable standard of conduct. The move is cynical, opportunistic, and counterproductive. Biden has lost the plot.

Continetti praises Senator John Fetterman, who hasn't lost the plot, or his mind.

Also of note:

  • "We lied. So?" The lead story on Liz Wolfe's news roundup at Reason concerns the: Promise-Breaking IRS.

    Liar, liar: Back in August 2022, when some of us were fresh-faced and naive, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assured us that their $80 billion infusion of cash (over the course of a decade, so they could hire some 87,000 new workers, including but not limited to men with guns) would actually be a means of targeting millionaire and billionaire scofflaws, not ordinary middle-class earners.

    At the time, I voiced skepticism: Correspondence audits and other audits on low- and middle-income earners are simply the easiest to conduct. The IRS has historically spent an awful lot of time targeting these groups, not monied tax dodgers who can hire teams of accountants, so why would this time be different?

    Vindicated: "The Internal Revenue Service got an audit of its own in time for Tax Day, and two irregularities jump out," reports The Wall Street Journal, having labored through the latest Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports. "President Biden's plan to hire a new army of tax collectors is falling flat, and the agents already at work are targeting the middle class."

    I also feel vindicated, since I blogged a lot about this giveaway. Including this August 2022 post that noted the WSJ deeming it "doubling down on incompetence".

    Liz better make sure her tax return is squeaky clean this year. Also the WSJ editorialists. Oh, and I guess me too.

  • [Amazon Link]
    (paid link)

    Like so many other things… George F. Will looks at Jonathan Haidt's new book, and says, hold on: Fighting the phone-warping of Gen Z doesn’t require government intrusion.

    Haidt’s data demonstrating a correlation (the arrivals of smartphones and of increased mental disorders) suggest causation, but remember: Moral panics about new cultural phenomena — from automobiles (sex in the back seats) to comic books (really) to television to video games to the internet — are features of this excitable age.

    Although Haidt is always humane and mostly convincing, his argument does not constitute a case for government trying to do what parents and schools can do. They can emulate Shane Voss.

    In Durango, a city in southwest Colorado, Voss, head of Mountain Middle School, acted early, and decisively. In 2012, he banned access to smartphones during the school day. The results, Haidt writes, were “transformative”:

    “Students no longer sat next to each other, scrolling while waiting for homeroom or class to start. They talked to each other or the teacher. Voss says that when he walks into a school without a phone ban, ‘It’s kind of like the zombie apocalypse and you have all these kids on the hallways not talking to each other.’”

    Soon Voss’s school reached Colorado’s highest academic rating. This local experience constitutes a recommendation to the nation. Recognize the potentially constructive power of negation: Just say no.

    If you still feel the need to read the Haidt book (and, like GFW, I'm sure there's a lot of good stuff in it), Amazon paid link at your right.

Last Modified 2024-04-07 7:04 AM EDT