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Debate Dilemma: Biden’s Blunder

Plus, robotic puppy!

The Flag

Good morning! Happy Monday! Here are the Flag’s Top Five stories that should be on your radar to start the day:

  • US: Supreme Court poised to rule in Trump presidential immunity case on Monday (ABC News)

  • World: Le Pen’s far right set for big win in first round of French election (POLITICO)

  • Business: Amazon is launching a Shein and Temu competitor (Quartz)

  • Technology: Apple reportedly working to bring AI to the Vision Pro (TechCrunch)

  • Sports: Clippers' Paul George opts out, entering free agency (ESPN)

And of course, some good news: More than 4,000 additional robotic pets to be given to seniors in New York to combat loneliness.


Amazon Prime offers more than just speedy delivery; it includes unlimited photo storage, free release-date delivery, and early access to lightning deals, among other hidden benefits. Don't miss these 10 hidden perks that can enhance your membership.

Left: The Stakes of the Election Are Higher Than Ever Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian

Left: The Squad Could Lose a Second Member, Ngo et al., Politico

Left: Will November Deliver Trifecta or Divided Government?, Michael Baharaeen, Liberal Patriot

Right: Whoever Wins Wisconsin Will Win the Presidency, Scott Walker, Washington Times

Right: Stop the Ukrainian Meatgrinder?, Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness


Debate Dilemma: Biden’s Blunder

Today’s Top Story in One Sentence: Last Thursday night, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off in the first cross-party debate of the 2024 presidential election season.

Reporting from the Left: 'Babbling' and 'hoarse': Biden's debate performance sends Democrats into a panic (NBC News)

Reporting from the Right: Debate viewers criticize Biden’s coughing and hoarse voice (Washington Examiner)


Not a Good Night for Biden

The Top Argument From The Left: What Joe Biden Really Owes the Country Right Now, Greg Sargent, The New Republic: “In the wake of President Biden’s undeniably disastrous debate performance, it’s being widely suggested both that Biden should step aside as the candidate and that there is almost zero chance he will do so. Democrats privately indicate that Biden is stubborn in his belief that he remains the candidate best positioned to defeat Donald Trump. Only his wife, Jill Biden, is capable of overcoming that belief, we’re told. This has led some to argue that the Bidens, together with their long-trusted inner circle, need to have a very difficult conversation and accept that it’s time for him to bow out of the race. They owe it to the good of the country, goes this argument, and it would be the most statesmanlike and public-spirited route forward. After that debate performance, the Bidens do owe a conversation like this to the country, but there’s a way to frame their obligation in more productive terms. Despite all the doomsaying, there is still a plausible path to victory for Biden, but it’s likely a diminished one. What we are owed, then, is the following: genuine assurances that the Bidens have seriously, meaningfully grappled with whether he’s capable of the near-flawless execution and change of course that will be imperative over the next five months if he is to find that narrow path. That execution will have to be almost entirely free of stumbles. Can Biden guarantee us that?

Honorable Mention #1: Democrats can and should replace Joe Biden, Eric Levitz, Vox.


Biden’s Gambit Backfired

The Top Argument From The Right: How did Democrats let this happen?, Byron York, Washington Examiner: “How long did it take Democrats to panic after President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump walked onstage for their debate in Atlanta? One minute? Two? Three max? Whatever the exact time, it was quick. Biden’s weak, raspy voice, his stiffness, slow uptakes, and weird, vacant expression confirmed in a few awful seconds what Democrats had denied for the last three years: that there is no way the 81-year-old president is physically or mentally fit to serve for four more years. But you knew that, didn’t you? Was there anything in Biden’s demeanor on Thursday night that would have surprised anyone who watched his performance in dozens of public events? Of course he is not up to being president until he is 86 years old. He’s not up to being president right now. The question is, why didn’t everybody already know that? … Now, of course, Democrats face a problem made much more difficult by their denial of Biden’s condition. If they had faced reality a year ago, the party could have moved forward with an orderly selection of a 2024 candidate. … Now it is nearly July. The Democratic convention is in August. The primaries are long gone. There is no new candidate. And Biden appears to have chained himself to the Resolute Desk. Many Democrats feel powerless.”

Honorable Mention #1: Joe Biden's debate gamble backfires Mark Penn, FOX News

Honorable Mention #2: Biden’s Debate Night Meltdown Has Made The World A Far More Dangerous Place John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist


Post-Debate Perspectives

In a two-wave 538/Ipsos poll of likely voters, a majority (60%) of debate watchers felt that Donald Trump performed the best in the first 2024 presidential debate. However, less than 50% rated his performance as good or excellent. The poll also indicated a slight decline in belief in President Joe Biden’s mental and physical fitness, especially among Democrats. Despite Biden's low ratings, many likely voters remain open to voting for him.(538/Ipsos)

Do you believe the Democratic party would have a better shot in the 2024 elections if Biden were to step down?

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Zips, Stop Sitting, Naming a Planet

On This Day in 1963, the United States Postal Service (USPS) introduced the Zone Improvement Plan as part of a plan to improve the speed of mail delivery, inaugurating the use of machine-readable ZIP codes to facilitate the efficient sorting of mail at a national level.

The Edge: Sitting Is the New Smoking. Can a Standing Desk Help You Live Longer?

Today I learned Pluto was named by an 11-year-old.


Amazon Prime offers more than just speedy delivery; it includes unlimited photo storage, free release-date delivery, and early access to lightning deals, among other hidden benefits. Don't miss these 10 hidden perks that can enhance your membership.


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