* Now less than two weeks away: President Biden’s first international trip–and the ultimate world stage–is no ceremonial sojourn. He’ll be in Britain for a Group of Seven gathering and in Brussels for a NATO summit. His post-Trump presence will be highly touted and scrutinized. Then it’s on to Geneva for a sobering sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is no longer the handler of the American president.
* “I’m not ready to destroy our government. I think we’ll come together. You have to have faith there’s 10 good people.”–That was Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va, the key 50th vote for Dems, on his opposition to doing away with the filibuster. Alas, we don’t have faith he’ll change his mind.
* Good luck, Secretary of State Antony Blinken. There are deep-seated, seemingly intractable reasons why the Israeli-Palestinian impasse remains. For openers, absent a two-state solution, the status of ongoing Israeli-Palestinian hostilities won’t change. And as long as there is Hamas, and a rationale, however disputable, for its Gaza authority, there are viable, predictable terror scenarios.
* “You’re the most progressive, best-educated, least prejudiced, most open generation in American history. We need you badly. You’re ready. It’s time to get underway.”–President Joe Biden, in a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.