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The Fist Bump Heard 'Round The World

Joe Biden's tour of the Middle East has been... bumpy, at best. But today is the day that the media has been lamenting all week: Biden's meeting with Saudi Arabia.

Biden greeted Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman with an outstretched closed fist when he arrived on Friday at Al-Salam Royal Palace for meetings with bin Salman and his father, Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

The greeting had been a question of intense speculation leading up to the controversial meeting in Saudi Arabia. When running for president, Biden had vowed to treat the country as a "pariah," due to a long string of human rights abuses, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi – a killing in a Saudi operation that U.S. intelligence assessed had been approved by the crown prince.

The media has been staunchly opposed to "normalizing" relations with Saudi Arabia due to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) and his assassination of a Washington Post journalist. But while the media is outraged over this meeting, they continue to cheer on the Biden administration's efforts to strike a new deal with Iran, a nation guilty of far, far worse.

Related: Biden Get Nailed With Khashoggi Questions as Handlers Get Aggressive With Press (RedState)

Joe Manchin Crushes Democrats' Hopes

There are some slightly conflicting reports about whether or not Joe Manchin has destroyed the Democrats' hopes of a deal on climate change and taxes. As of this morning, it seemed he had walked away. Currently, though, he seems to be walking that back a bit. The Democrats appear to be in a bit of disarray.

However, it's clear that, behind the scenes, Democrats are becoming increasingly frustrated with Manchin and his antics. They want to push ahead on climate change before they lose their majority in the House and/or Senate, and Manchin is clearly standing in the way of that.

Republican Consultants Are Once Again Scared Of The Abortion Issue

It is a tale as old as time: Republican consultants are terrified that too much focus on the abortion issue is actually bad for their party and they are worried it will hurt their chances in November. Cue POLITICO:

Despite what GOP leaders and strategists would prefer, the story is unlikely to fade quickly. Later this month, Indiana’s state legislature plans to convene a special session explicitly to pass new curbs on abortion, likely becoming the first state to do so in the wake of the Dobbs decision that reversed the national right to abortion enshrined by Roe in 1973.

“These are the kind of things that are going to breathe life into the Democrats’ hopes of maintaining some sort of coalition,” said John Thomas, a Republican strategist who works on House campaigns across the country. “I don’t think this is the dominant issue as we’re going into November, but these kinds of unforced errors are lifelines for the Democrats.”

Thomas said the Indiana case has already come up in at least one race he is working on and that he has advised candidates that, “You try to avoid the topic. You try to pivot to another issue.”

“Every day that we’re talking about anything but Biden’s cost of living is a wasted day politically,” said Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist. “You know, we’ve got a historic opportunity here this November, and let’s not blow it.”

The issue here is the framing. Absent from the story is any actual data showing the issue of abortion - and the case of the 10-year-old Ohio girl - has done any noticeable harm to Republicans in the polling. The consultants are scared of the question, not the answer. So while those consultants are worried, the media is playing it up in their framing of the issue.

Keep in mind that Democrats are going just as extreme on the issue as some Republicans. They have, on multiple occasions, pushed for abortion up to the point a child fully exits the birth canal, which is a position most Americans don't support. The data is pretty clear: Americans favor abortion access in the first trimester, but support afterward trails off significantly.

Headlines Of The Day

  • Secret Service erased texts from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, official says (Washington Post)
  • Biden’s Disgraceful Smear of Israel Is No Laughing Matter (National Review)
  • NYC Rent Averaged A Record $5000 Per Month (Barstool)
  • Twitter Is Suppressing Hunter Information to Protect 'The Big Guy' (RedState)
  • Lafayette school board expands clear bag policy to include visitors, purses and sports events (The Advertiser)

Tweet Of The Day

Seven Forgotten Facts About Lafayette

The area now known as downtown Lafayette was first settled 200 years ago. While the street grid of that original settlement is the same as it was then, the rest of the city has grown and changed exponentially. Let's take a look at some of those changes by taking a look at some of the forgotten facts in Lafayette history.