They really think the American people are stupid. Kate Bennett (CNN) reports:
President Joe Biden is turning 80 this weekend, but the big bash at the White House is for an entirely different and more youthful occasion. Naomi Biden, Biden’s oldest granddaughter, married Peter Neal on the White House South Lawn on Saturday.
One day following the nuptials, Biden will mark his spot in American history as the only octogenarian president, a numerical milestone that shines a spotlight on a primary issue plaguing Biden with his opponents: his age. Despite a spate of recent wins – better-than-projected midterm elections for Democrats, a relatively gaffe-less trip to Egypt and Asia, and a lackluster presidential announcement from his old rival, Donald Trump – Biden cannot shake being the oldest commander-in-chief America has ever had.
But a glossy wedding of two twenty-somethings, kicking off a fresh life chapter with music and dancing and revelry, could put a youthful spin on the 80th birthday weekend. Two people familiar with the planning of the wedding say it was not a coincidence Naomi Biden’s wedding weekend coincides with the president’s day – noting the “age issue” is never something Biden wants to highlight.
“The wedding gives some cover,” says one of the people.
Yeah, a wedding's going to make us forget he's 80-years-old. Right.
We're not that stupid. Darragh Roche (NEWSWEEK) notes:
Only just over half of Democratic voters want President Joe Biden to run for a second term in 2024 despite better than expected results for the Democrats in last week's midterm elections, a new poll has found.
A Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll conducted for Newsweek found that 51 percent of Democratic voters supported Biden running again in two years, while 37 percent said he should not and a further 12 percent said they didn't know.
He's too damn old. Sheryl Gay Stolberg (NEW YORK TIMES) notes, "Also left unsaid is that Mr. Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term, should he run in 2024 and win — a fact that his critics have seized upon and that gives even some Democrats pause."
He's too damn old.
And we are not that stupid.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
“Today, we took a step forward in our fight to give millions of loving couples the certainty, dignity, and respect that they need and deserve. A bipartisan coalition of Senators stood with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support marriage equality. We came together to move the Respect for Marriage Act forward and give the millions of Americans in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to have worked across the aisle to earn broad, bipartisan support for this legislation, and look forward to making marriage equality the law of the land.”
Last month, two developments ended the paralysis that has gripped Iraqi politics since the general elections in October 2021. One, the divide between the Kurds ended with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) reluctantly withdrawing its insistence on nominating the country’s President and accepting the claim of its rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), to put forward its own candidate, Abdul Latif Rashid.
Once Mr. Rashid was approved as President with majority support in Parliament on October 13, he nominated Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as Prime Minister. On October 27, Mr. al-Sudani obtained parliamentary approval for himself and his cabinet. Thus, after three years of care-taker administrations, there is finally an elected government in Baghdad, though few believe there will be peace in the country.
Sunnis traded their support for a promise that, once in power, the new prime minister would withdraw pro-Iran Shia militias, known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), from Sunni-dominated provinces in the northwest.
Al Sudani agreed, and also vowed to issue a general pardon that would open the door for the rehabilitation of the mostly-Sunni ISIS fighters.
Tensions between the two main Kurdish ruling parties in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are worsening in the aftermath of the assassination of a counter-terrorism officer.
Hawkar Abdullah Rasoul, known as Hawkar Jaff, a former colonel in the ranks of PUK's Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG), was killed in the capital city of Erbil on 7 October after a sticky bomb attached to his vehicle detonated. The KDP accuses its rival party, the PUK, of being behind the killing.
Bafl Talabani, PUK's president, during an interview with Rudaw Kurdish satellite channel aired on Tuesday night, said that as a consequence of the killing arrest warrants have been issued by an Erbil court against himself and his brother, Qubad Talabani, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Biden administration has made it clear to Iraq's new prime minister that it will not work with ministers and senior officials who are affiliated with Shiite militias the U.S. has designated as terrorist organizations, two sources briefed on the issue told me.
Why it matters: Mohammed Shia al-Sudani became the prime minister after he was endorsed by the pro-Iranian factions in the Iraqi parliament, known as the Coordination Framework. These factions include some Shiite militias on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.
- Still, the U.S. plans to largely work with and give the new Iraqi government and al-Sudani a chance, as Axios recently reported.
- Iraq is a key partner for the Biden administration in the region, with many U.S. security and economic interests that need to be preserved.
State of play: The Biden administration has already decided it will not work with the minister of higher education, Naim al-Aboudi, who is a member of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), a Shiite militia that is funded by Iran and was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the two sources said.
- The U.S. is also concerned about Rabee Nader, who was appointed to head the Iraqi prime minister's press office. Nader worked in the past for media outlets affiliated AAH and with the Kata’ib Hezbollah — a Shiite militia designated by the U.S. as a terror group.
Behind the scenes: U.S. ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski has met with al-Sudani five times since he took office less than three weeks ago, according to the two sources.
- The sources said Romanowski told al-Sudani the U.S. policy regarding engagement with government ministers and officials who are connected to militias. The same message was conveyed to the Iraqi government by other Biden administration officials.
- The White House declined to comment on diplomatic engagements with the Iraqi government.
Let's close with BROS -- and I told you they were going to move the DVD and BLURAY release up.