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OCTOBER 6-7,  2023

IT'S 3 A.M. ET:  The Hamas attacks against Israel still overwhelmingly dominate the reporting of the news networks.  There is a recognition that something fundamental has changed in the Middle East.  Hamas, basically a ragtag gang of terrorists backed by Iran, has been transformed in an effective fighting force, conducting a precise, coordinated attack against Israel.

Exact numbers are impossible, but late figures have about 300 Israelis killed and more than 1,800 injured.  The 300 killed is the equivalent of almost 10,000 Americans killed in a single day.  It is catastrophic.  The Health Ministry in Gaza is reporting about 250 Palestinian deaths, but that number is very hard to verify.

What happens next?

No one knows.  There was a brief rocket assault from Lebanon aimed at Israeli defensive positions on the Israel/Lebanon border, but it ended quickly with no reported casualties.  Israel is deeply concerned about the possibly of Hezbollah forces in Lebanon joining the Hamas attack on Israel. 

I call it the "48-hour rule."  It says that, during a major news event, it takes between 24 and 48 hours for the political left to reorganize its efforts and try to take advantage of new opportunities.  We're observing that already.  While most of the news coverage I've seen has been reasonably sympathetic to Israel, based largely on the sheer brutality of the Hamas onslaught, we're starting to see and hear the usual leftist suspects going on TV to tip us that the Hamas operatives are really the victims of Israel and America.  Yeah, right.   But this will continue.  As Israel prepares a ground offensive, it understands that it will be condemned by the usual leftist crowd of Western journalists and university students.  They're wiggling out of the woodwork as I write.

And it is highly unlikely that the Biden administration will actually support an Israeli operation designed to wipe out Hamas.   The Biden White House is filled with youngsters who have bought into the Arab line. 

There are very tense days ahead, for Israel and for us.  And please remember that Israel has nuclear weapons.  Don't think they won't be used if the country is in serious danger of being wiped out. 

October 7, 2023       Permalink

 

MIDEAST UPDATE AT 10:39 A.M. ET:  Israel reports more than 100 dead in Hamas attacks.  That's the equivalent of more than 3,000 Americans.  The attacks are being called the Israeli version of 9-11.

We know that Hamas has also infiltrated southern Israel with ground attacks.  Hamas militants have taken Israeli hostages, but we don't yet know how many.

There has been some Israeli retaliation by air, but it's clear the main Israeli response is yet to come, and will probably include ground troops.

Obviously, this is a developing story.  We're getting excellent reporting by CNN, and Fox is now catching up with some fine reports and interviews of its own.  The fear of a major escalation by Iranian-backed forces on Israel's northern border with Lebanon is very real. 

Stand by.  

 

HEAVY ACTION IN THE MIDEAST: AT 3:30 A.M. ET:  We were going to put another story in this space, but were interrupted by news of sudden, substantial, rocket attacks launched by the terror group Hamas against Israel.  Hamas, based in Gaza, and widely considered to be controlled by Iran, claims at least 5,000 rockets were fired into Israeli towns.  

Israel is mobilizing and calling up reserves.  The IDF (Israel Defense Force) has officially declared a war alert.  Statements from Ham as appear to suggest that Hamas considers itself in a war with Israel, but we'd like to see further clarification of that.

In addition to rockets, Israel is asserting that Hamas militants have infiltrated, on the ground, into Israel proper.  There are early reports of kidnappings of Israelis, but we don't have details.  We know that Israelis on the border with Gaza have been making phone calls frantically asking for help.

There are also reports that some Hamas invaders have paraglided into Israel.

Statement by Israel:

“In the last hour, the Hamas terrorist organization has begun a massive shooting of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and terrorists infiltrated into Israeli territory in a number of different locations. 

"Civilians in the southern and central areas are required to stay next to shelters, and in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip, inside shelters.

"The Chief of the General staff is currently conducting a situational assessment and approves plans for the continuation of the IDF activity.

"The Hamas terrorist organization is the sovereign in the Gaza Strip and is responsible for these attacks.  It will face the consequences and responsibility for these events.”

The timing of the attacks is not entirely surprising.  First, this is the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Egyptian forces attacked Israeli troops in the Sinai.

Second, there has been substantial diplomatic activity in recent weeks, aimed at normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.  One reason for the hoped-for normalization is to present a united front against Iran.  Iran has been infuriated by the diplomatic talks, and Hamas is its arm in the Mideast.

Third, the Abraham Accords, arranged by then President Trump, are working, bringing peaceful relations between Israel and a number of Arab countries.  Every new peace agreement is a setback to Iran, which has pledged to destroy Israel.

We are awaiting more.  Stand by.

October 7, 2023       Permalink

 

 

OCTOBER 4-5,  2023

THE NEXT BIG GUY?  The governor of Virginia is making waves again.  Will he catch the big one? He has proven deadly in the past, turning Virginia from purple to red.  Some feel he is the man to watch if Trump starts to falter in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.  From Fox: 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is hauling in big bucks ahead of November's closely watched legislative elections in Virginia as the Republican governor aims for total GOP control of the state government.

Youngkin's shattering of fundraising records in the commonwealth is sure to create even more buzz among some in the GOP donor class who want the popular governor to consider a late entry into the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race.

Youngkin hauled in $4.4 million in 48 hours this week for his Spirit of Virginia PAC, officials with the group told Fox News. That brings to $7.45 million the amount of money Youngkin has raked in through the group in the final quarter of fundraising ahead of the Nov. 7 elections.

Officials with the PAC highlight that Youngkin's haul is nearly five times greater than the previous fundraising record, which was the $1.6 million then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe raised in 2015.

Youngkin energized Republicans nationwide with his 2021 election victory. That is when he edged out McAuliffe — who was seeking to win back his old job — to become the first GOP nominee in a dozen years to win a gubernatorial election in Virginia, a one-time swing state that has trended Democratic over the past decade.

Republicans also swept the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, and narrowly captured the majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Youngkin aims to hold the GOP majority in the House and recapture control of the state Senate, where Democrats currently hold a fragile majority. Total Republican control of the state government in Richmond would allow Youngkin to push through his conservative agenda.

COMMENT:  A terrific guy, and a fine governor, and someone who would make a very good president.  However, Trump stands in the way, and Youngkin could very well have his eyes on 2028, when the way will be more clear.

I wouldn't rule him in or out.  I would rule him a man to be watched, very carefully.

October 5, 2023       Permalink 

 

WHADDAYA KIDDIN' ME?  Am I reading this right, do my glasses deceive me?  Are you tellin' me that the Biden administration wants to build a wall in Texas to keep migrants out?

Y'know, I think it's true.  From Fox: 

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is citing an "acute and immediate need" to waive dozens of federal laws to build a border wall in south Texas where illegal migration has surged. 

It's a sharp contrast to dismissals of the use of such barriers in the early days of the administration.

The agency posted an announcement on the U.S. Federal Register that outlines construction in Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, where the administration says there is "high illegal entry." The agency says there have been over 245,000 migrant encounters in the sector this fiscal year.

Mayorkas says he is using his authority provided by Congress to waive 26 federal laws, including the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

They should also waive the dumb Cabinet member act.

"There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas pursuant to sections 102(a) and 102(b) of [the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996]," Mayorkas said.

The administration had put a halt to new border wall construction in early 2021, after Biden had promised as a presidential candidate that there would "not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration." The administration said wall construction under the Trump administration was "just one example of the prior administration’s misplaced priorities and failure to manage migration in a safe, orderly and humane way."

However, the construction is funded by the fiscal year 2019 DHS appropriations bill, which specifically funded wall projects in the RGV Sector and which DHS is required to use for its appropriated purpose.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced plans for up to 20 miles of wall in the RGV Sector in June. The administration previously made moves to close gaps and replace gates and says such projects prioritize the completion of activities and projects to address life, safety and operational risks – including the safety of individuals, Border Patrol agents and migrants. 

COMMENT:  Nothing like a presidential election to get even Democratic brains to move.   I'm a bit cynical here though, and wonder if anything will actually be built.  The good guys do have a plan. 
The Dems have every reason to try to stop said plan.

October 5,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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      of The New York Times.


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