🇺🇸 McConnell's Pause

Plus, a shopping addiction or clerical error?

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Tuesday. These baby turtles got a helping hand from a local business in Middleton, Connecticut, as they crossed a busy two-way road during their migration season.

Plus, a Virginia woman received more than 100 Amazon packages she didn't order. Check out what was inside.

Also, with mortgage rates sky-high, prospective homebuyers might need today’s sponsor for a proper blast off.


Right: I Wouldn't Bet the Farm on 'Bidenomics' Blake Hurst, Wall Street Journal

Right: Trump Still Has the Best Words Emile Doak, The American Conservative

Left: The Boss and His Botched Coverup Susan Glasser, The New Yorker


Biden Goes West, ‘X’ Violation, Zelensky’s Warning

US: The first US nuclear reactor built from scratch in decades enters commercial operation in Georgia (AP)

US: Lori Vallow receives multiple life sentences in murders of her 2 children and romantic rival, speaks of 'spirit world' in court (NBC News)

US: Biden goes west to talk about his administration’s efforts to combat climate change (AP)

US: DeSantis unveils economic plan, aim to ease process for discharging student loans through bankruptcy (POLITICO)

US: Trump team creating legal defense fund amid mounting legal fees (ABC News)

Business: 99-year-old trucking company Yellow shuts down, putting 30,000 out of work (CNN)

Business: ‘X’ logo installed atop Twitter building, spurring San Francisco to investigate permit violation (AP)

World: IS claims responsibility for the bombing that killed 54 at a pro-Taliban election rally in Pakistan (AP)

World: Zelensky says war is "returning" to Russia after Moscow drone attack (Axios)


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McConnell's Pause

Last Wednesday, during a press conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared suddenly unable to speak for over 20 seconds. He was briefly led away by concerned GOP colleagues after he was unable to complete his opening remarks.

Reporting from the Right: McConnell says he won't step down as minority leader this Congress (Washington Examiner)

From The Flag: The Kentucky Republican spent weeks recovering from a concussion after falling at an event in March. This recent occurrence has caused a resurgence in the debate around aging political leaders and their ability to carry out their roles. Here’s how both sides are reacting.


McConnell is “Fine” but Dems and Left Are Exploiting the Situation

  • McConnell is still more capable than Biden, and the media is focusing on McConnell to distract Americans from the Biden family’s drama.

  • Republican colleagues and McConnell have maintained he is “fine,” reflecting his minimalist approach that has made him a powerful figure.

  • The leftist media is suddenly interested in covering the ailing mental ability of a government figure, because that person is a Republican.

There's More to Senator McConnell's Little Health Episode Yesterday Matt Vespa, Town Hall: “...the point is that McConnell appears to be okay, and even on his worst day—he’s more lucid than Joe Biden. Some anonymous Republican[s have noted] the physical and mental decline of the Republican Senate leader, which is understandable since he’s 81. But McConnell isn’t the president of the United States, and I’m sure he knows better than to consider that job in the future. … Yes, I could see the media hyper-focused on McConnell’s podium scare; it distracts them from the unraveling Biden bribery circus. It also serves the Left no purpose of highlighting this health scare to score points for Biden as payback for all the times the president has devolved into an incoherent mess, which is becoming a daily occurrence: both men are too old to be president, so what’s your point, guys? The only difference is that Mitch has more sense. You’ll be chucking a boomerang bound to smack you in the lip.”

McConnell projects normalcy after freeze-up incident prompts health questions Emily Jacobs, Washington Examiner: “The GOP leader would only respond to questions about the freeze-up by noting, ‘I'm fine,’ a statement a McConnell aide pointed to when reached by the Washington Examiner for comment on the incident on Wednesday. … The top Senate Republican and his team maintained that line in the 36 hours since the freeze-up, with a McConnell spokesman saying in a statement, ‘Leader McConnell appreciates the continued support of his colleagues, and plans to serve his full term in the job they overwhelmingly elected him to do.’ The lack of candor is not entirely surprising. McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader in U.S. history, is revered as one of the greatest political operators in the last century. The GOP leader has always been careful about how he presents himself to the press and the larger public, especially given that showing any signs of vulnerability could lead to questions about his power.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: CNN: McConnell “Clearly Had Some Kind of Neurological Event” Steve Watson, InfoWars


This Is One Instance of a Bigger Problem

  • Both parties are prioritizing short-term political power over providing the best possible representation to the American people.

  • Politicians need to be more transparent and disclose major medical issues that could impede their ability to perform the responsibilities of public office.

  • “Potomac Fever” is the unwillingness of aging or ailing politicians to leave Washington. It’s time for them to accept their job is done instead of making Americans witness traumatic health events.

The Mitch McConnell incident is indicative of a bigger problem Max Burns, MSNBC: “The GOP’s constant stream of Biden health conspiracy theories has polarized what should be a nonpolitical discussion about America’s aging leaders — and their ability to effectively serve the people who elected them. …Washington is full of real examples of aging officials struggling to meet the demands of the job. At 90 years old, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was, until McConnell’s very public incident Wednesday, perhaps the most visible (or invisible) example of decline. … it’s clear both parties are prioritizing the short-term calculus of political power over providing the best possible representation to the American people. … Instead of having a real discussion about the issue of our legislative gerontocracy, Republicans have chosen to weaponize the issue in an effort to deny Biden a second term. That short-sighted approach weakens public trust in government — as it should. At minimum, political parties should serve the interests of the people.”

Health questions around McConnell and Feinstein raise a critical concern Julian Zelizer, CNN: “Politicians should disclose to voters any major medical issues that could impede their ability to perform their tasks in office, so that voters can account for those issues when casting their ballots. Just think about it: We evaluate candidates and incumbents based on a whole host of qualifications – intelligence, charisma, ethics, political prowess, experience – and more. … Moreover, if politicians were more transparent about their health, the public might be less concerned about the question of their age and agility. … Health issues do not recognize political divides. They impact the bodies and mind of every family — red, blue and purple — in communities that are rich, middle class and poor. It’s time to finally break free from the old taboos that surround this issue. Politicians, including Biden, have the opportunity to help us see how we can be more mature and honest when contending with this universal experience.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Mitch McConnell has the ‘Potomac Fever.’ It’s time to let go. Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post


Age Caps Have Overwhelming Support

Amid last week’s health scare for both Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Dianne Feinstein, polling from last year shows Americans are largely in favor of setting age limits for political and government leaders.

75% of respondents were in favor of a measure in a September Insider/Morning Consult poll. 73% said they supported age caps for all elected officials in an August YouGov/CBS poll. 67% polled by Reuters/Ipsos in November said they believed in upper-age restrictions for Congress members and the president (Forbes).

Do you support setting an age cap for all elected officials?

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Operation Tidal Wave, Space vs. Oceans, Tasteless Dolphins

A B-24 flying over a burning oil refinery in Ploesti, Romania.

On This Day in 1942: 177 B-24 bombers take off from an Allied base in Libya, bound for the oil-producing city Ploiești, Romania, nicknamed “Hitler’s gas station.” The daring raid, known as Operation Tidal Wave, resulted in five men being awarded the Medal of Honor — three of them posthumously — but failed to strike the fatal blow its planners had intended.

Today I learned most adult dolphins don't have any taste buds and can't taste their food.

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