The U.S. and Iran are on a collision course—and that could mean war. Iranian-backed militants launched a drone strike on a military outpost in Jordan, resulting in the deaths of three U.S. service members stationed there. The attack was a response to continued U.S. support for Israel and its war effort against Hamas, an effort that has destroyed much of Gaza and resulted in 20,000 Palestinian casualties.
President Joe Biden vowed to respond to the attack. “Have no doubt: We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Hawkish Republicans are already calling for open war with Iran, with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) and John Cornyn (R–Tex.) urging Biden to hit Iran hard. Their remarks drew swift rebukes from others on the right, including Tucker Carlson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Candace Owens.
Former Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) criticized the decision to keep U.S. troops “in harm’s way” all over the world without a clear mission or congressional authorization. He has a point: Doing so has endangered these soldiers’ safety and U.S. national security interests. Even if it is reasonable for the government to retaliate after an attack, the best policy would be to forestall this possibility by keeping the troops out of danger in the first place.
And while the Biden administration has stood firmly behind Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu—offering only mild, occasional criticism of Netanyahu’s war aims—perhaps Biden should consider whether total and unqualified support, and financial assistance, to Israel is undermining our own security.
The bottom line: The Middle East is in crisis, and the U.S. is being dragged into a broader military conflict of dubious necessity.
Biden wants the border deal, and he wants it now. The president is practically begging Democrats and Republicans to agree to legislation that would give him the authority “to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed.”
The Senate’s version of the current deal requires a shutdown of the border the number of illegal crossings reaches a certain threshold. At that point, migrants would be sent back to their home countries, whether or not they plan to claim asylum.
Mexico would need to agree to take back these migrants. But an even steeper challenge could be getting House Republicans on board. Former President Trump has ordered Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to nix anything short of a “perfect” border deal. Trump probably believes that he benefits politically from unrest at the border—and he’s right—so the GOP has very little incentive to actually agree to anything.
In any case, the Senate border plan is a mess, and springs from profoundly un-libertarian impulses: 4,999 migrant crossings is fine, but 5,000 is too many and should trigger a shutdown of the border and automatic deportations? Congress needs to make it easier for people to come to the U.S. legally and work here. Arbitrary caps make no sense.
Is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination after all? In a recent interview on CNN, the independent candidate again addressed the possibility that he might join up with the Libertarian Party.
“That is something that we’re looking at,” Kennedy told CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “We have a really good, relationship with the Libertarian Party. I’m going to be speaking at the California Libertarian Party convention.”
Last summer, at a time when RFK Jr. was ostensibly still running against President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s nomination, he met with Libertarian leadership about changing parties. Angela McArdle, chair of the Libertarian Party, was clearly excited about the possibility, telling me in an interview that she was thrilled to see his political thinking evolving in a more libertarian direction. “The lockdowns and mandates seem to have stirred an awakening within him, causing him to reconsider many of his other political stances,” she said.
Nevertheless, RFK Jr. opted to run as an independent candidate. The October 7 attacks on Israel further strained matters, as RFK Jr.’s unqualified support for U.S. financial assistance to Israel irked many libertarians; the Libertarian Party’s X account invited his “disenfranchised” anti-war supporters to jump ship.
One possible reason for Kennedy to consider seeking the party’s endorsement is ballot access. Qualifying for the ballot in all 50 states is a difficult task for an independent; as the U.S.’s largest third party, the Libertarian Party already possesses access in most states.
In other RFK Jr. news, the candidate has claimed that former President Donald Trump’s campaign floated the idea last year of offering him the vice presidency.
“I would not take that job,” said Kennedy, according to NewsNation. “And I’m flattered that President Trump would offer it to me, but it’s not something that I’m interested in.”
Scenes from Washington, D.C.: The federal government has vowed to intervene in D.C.’s crime wave, saying it will assist with carjacking cases and other violent offenses.
“This surge in law enforcement resources will build on the Department’s efforts to target the individuals and organizations that are driving violent crime in the nation’s capital,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “The Justice Department will not rest until every community in our country is safe from the scourge of violent crime.”
- Sen. John Fetterman (D–Penn.) said he opposes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s prposed crackdown on Zyn, saying that he’s “on the side of more freedom.”
- A jury has ordered Trump to pay $83 million to E. Jean Carroll.
- Workers at a U.N. aid agency have been accused of having ties to Hamas.
- Climate activists are at it again:
The San Francisco 49er and the Kansas City Chiefs will advance to the Super Bowl.
Biden clearly had a good time at this beer brewery: