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The Red Balloon
No idea how this story ends....
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I don’t know what to say about the reports of a Chinese spy balloon or the very cold weather in the northeast, but I am pretty sure they are not connected.
The balloon story is likely to dominate Friday’s news cycle, but as of this writing, things are murky. Here is the latest:
BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday it is looking into reports that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying in U.S. airspace and urged calm, adding that it has “no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning also said she had no information about whether a trip to China by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken planned for next week will proceed as scheduled.
At a daily briefing, Mao said that politicians and the public should withhold judgment “before we have a clear understanding of the facts” about the spy balloon reports.
The US and China spy on each other through various means all day, every day. So put this latest eye-catcher in that context.
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THE PRESIDENT’S DAY
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Joe Biden hasn’t announced a reelection campaign, but some of the themes likely to be the centerpiece of that expected run should be on display Friday night when he addresses a national Democratic Party meeting.
The president will focus on his administration’s accomplishments creating jobs and stimulating domestic manufacturing when he and Vice President Kamala Harris appear at a Democratic National Committee gathering in Philadelphia.
Before the speech, Biden will visit a water treatment plant and announce $160 million to upgrade Philadelphia water facilities and replace 20 miles of lead service lines — part of a larger effort to remove lead pipes around the country. An additional $340 million will go to upgrade the city’s water system.
Why is the Dominant Media much more interested in the Biden documents matter than the history of the president’s family leveraging their connection to him to make millions?
I ask because in the former case, based ON THE PUBLIC EVIDENCE SO FAR, it is possible Joe Biden did nothing wrong beyond not knowing that his staff packed up some potentially not-dangerous documents – while in the latter case, just based on what is in the public record, his son and brothers made a lot of money from foreign sources, including China.
Again, we don’t know what we don’t know in the documents matter, so we shouldn’t prejudge it. But the White House press corps continues to act like this is Watergate II, while showing comparably little interest in what the president knew and when he knew it about Hunter’s buckraking. As far as I know, Joe Biden has never been asked to square giving his son a ride to China on Air Force Two with his claim he didn’t know nothing about Hunter’s business dealings (a claim for which there is already on the public record a lot of information that suggests otherwise).
I’m pretty sure I know 85% of the reasons for the disparity in coverage and interest, but I’m not going to unfurl all that today. Let me just point out that for the press (and the Capitol Hill Democrats) who are up in arms over the documents – on the substance and on the politics, you might be meowing up the wrong tree.
Two essential reads on Joe Biden (as it relates to Hunter Inc):
1. Kim Strassel on what Hunter’s legal team going on offense actually means.
2. Andrew McCarthy:
What matters here is why corrupt and anti-American regimes thought it was in the interest of those regimes to pay the Bidens millions of dollars. Put another way, when CEFC, an elaborate Chinese intelligence operation posing as an international business conglomerate, paid the Bidens $6 million in a year’s time, and when it was planned that 10% of an even more lucrative CEFC deal would be held by Hunter for “the big guy,” what was Beijing expecting to get out of its investment?
Note: Yes, this is the same China with the alleged balloon.
Take 30 minutes of your day to listen to Hugh Hewitt’s audio romp with Donald Trump.
Because it is the fastest and most efficient way to catch up on pretty much exactly where the former president’s head is at right now on a range of matters.
Also take two minutes to read the singular David Byler on why Establishment Republicans who think beating Trump in 2023/4 requires just mastering what happened in 2015/16 are quite wrong.
* The Associated Press story about the state of the Florida topper’s metaphysical presidential campaign really makes just one point: that other potential candidates are working to sign up key operatives for the early voting states, and if Team Ron isn’t doing that now, it could be the main price he pays for waiting many months to take the plunge. The story is nuanced, but the suggestion is, no, maybe DeSantis isn’t moving fast enough on this front, that assuming the talent will be there because of his co-frontrunner status could be a fatal error.
Spoiler alert: This storyline is 31% true.
* Veteran newsman Rob Finnerty makes the case that critics who say DeSantis does not have What It Takes are missing the new reality:
Detached authenticity and decisiveness are the coin of the realm in this presidential cycle.
* Peggy Noonan writes short and brilliant, on the sorry state of the Ds and Rs:
Both parties are missing something big. For the Democrats it’s an inability to accept a gift from history and become a normal party again. For the Republicans, it’s an inability to agree on what they stand for in this century, and an inability to talk about the meaning of things.