POLITICS: Stop Russia’s Ukraine kidnappings, GOP’s impeachment goof and other commentary
Foreign desk: Stop Russia’s Ukraine Kidnappings
“Of all the war crimes being committed by Russia in its brutal war on Ukraine, the mass deportation of children so they can be re-educated and raised as Russians stands out as one of the clearest crimes against humanity,” roars Katya Pavlevych at The Hill. Moscow admits it “moved 700,000 children since invading Ukraine in 2014,” and the United Nations “has recognized the act as a war crime,” but “to date, major international bodies have managed to return no Ukrainian children.” “To prevent and resolve the abduction of children, the UN or [the Red Cross] need access” to the facilities where children are being kept, and the UN “should pressure Russia to cooperate.”
Media watch: All the President’s Lackeys
“President Biden could stand in a lake, and the media would claim there’s no proof that he’s wet,” scoffs Tim Murtaugh at The Washington Times. “Since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into allegations that the Biden family made millions selling access to the elder Mr. Biden and that the now-president actively participated and benefited,” most media are “not only demanding that the case be fully formed already, they’re also preemptively declaring that there is no case.” What “a reversal from the Trump years, when the media fell for every phony accusation, including the Steele dossier.” Indeed, the media “don’t see any evidence against the sitting president because they don’t want to.”
Eye on ’24: Does Anything Work in America?
Recent survey data show that Americans are seriously questioning whether anything works in their country, reports David Winston at Roll Call. Among voters, 64% disapprove of “how Biden has handled inflation,” while 59% have issues with “his handling of the economy.” The prez faces a 61% disapproval rating on immigration, 57% on crime and 56% on foreign policy. Given all that, “Republican candidates should be doing better.” Yes, they “have a major opening in 2024”; per a recent CNN poll, five of seven GOP candidates “had a lead over Biden, one was tied, and the other trailed by 1 percentage point.” But beware: Republicans risk being blamed if they shut down the government and the economy tanks.
Conservative: GOP’s Impeachment Goof
“Sure, everything surrounding Hunter Biden and his suspicious foreign business partners and frequent phone calls to his father is shady as hell,” grumbles National Review’s Jim Geraghty. But why would “Republicans louse all this up by turning it into a formal impeachment inquiry”? House Republicans had a “good thing going” with their Hunter probe. Contrary to Devon Archer’s testimony about Hunter selling merely “the ‘illusion’ of access” to Joe, everyone knows “if you can get the vice president and future president on the phone that is access, not the ‘illusion of access.’ ” Yet Democrats now have an easy comeback: “ ‘As bad as this looks, it doesn’t rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor. The American people will have their opportunity to decide Joe Biden’s fate in November 2024.’ ”
Liberal: Joe’s Press ‘Mutts’ Growl on Command
“Biden White House spokesperson Ian Sams sent out a letter to news organizations Tuesday, giving instructions on how they should cover (or non-cover, as it were) the Republican impeachment inquiry,” and they “then reported on administration instructions as they followed them” in “a display of craven supplication,” snarks Racket News’ Matt Taibbi. In fact, most media have long followed the White House’s “unverified claims” line in a host of stories that “all contained quotes from Ian Sams!” Other press dodges include bury-the-news headlines and as “sticking terms like ‘without evidence’ in headlines when they’re not appropriate — you may not be convinced by this evidence, but it’s certainly evidence.” In short, “most legacy companies have become de facto arms of the White House press office, growling nonsense phrases on command, like mutts guarding a tow truck.”