Join Jim and Greg discuss how the 3 Martini Lunch factored into a major debate Tuesday night! Then the turn to the martinis as they welcome polling evidence that even more House races are tilting towards the Republicans and nearly all generic polls show a GOP edge…but you still need to vote! They also groan as Saudi intelligence suggests Iran is planning an “imminent” attack but also note the likely return of Benjamin Netanyahu to in Israel. And President Biden plans to discuss why voting for his party is needed to save democracy after his party spent millions trying to get Republicans nominated who they considered the most extreme.
Join Jim and Greg as the they welcome a new GOP bill to require child support from the month of conception. They also cringe at President Biden’s pathetic numbers of prosecutions for illegal border crossings even as illegal crossings hit record highs. And they unpack Biden’s disastrous trip to the Saudi Arabia.
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Join Jim and Greg as they call out President Biden for his tired act of blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for our inflation crisis. The war has contributed to the problem, but it was never the main driver of inflation. They also chronicle how Biden is about to completely flip from vowing to make Saudi Arabia a pariah state to begging it to produce more oil. And they shake their heads as two of Michigan’s most prominent GOP candidates for governor fail to make the primary ballot over fraudulent petitions.
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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome public comments from Dem Senators Joe Manchin and Jon Tester urging President Biden to boost production of American energy. They also react to leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates refusing to speak with Biden about boosting oil output. And they examine the Ohio GOP Senate primary and curious media practice of spending the most time talking about the candidate who is clearly in third place.
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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome disputed reports that the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel met in recent days in hopes that the thaw in Middle East tensions is spreading even farther. As the CEO of Qantas Airlines announces all passengers on international flights will eventually need to be vaccinated against COVID to be allowed on board, Jim and Greg discuss why that’s a difficult policy to enforce and whether people will shut out from society if they refuse. And they discuss the Trump legal team parting ways with Sidney Powell just days after their much-discussed press conference.
Join Jim and Greg for three good martinis! First, they credit NBC for actually reporting that a big reason for huge forest fires is poor government management and a refusal to diligently thin out forests to contain future fires. They’re also thrilled to see polling showing 80 percent of Saudis expecting normalization of relations with Israel and 71 percent expecting it whether the Palestinians pursue a peace deal or not. And they’re glad to see a majority of Americans approving the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett and a huge majority opposing court packing.
Join Jim and Greg as they applaud the normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain and indications that Saudi Arabia may soon follow suit. They also discuss the premeditated shootings of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday and why Joe Biden condemns the shooting but not the people blocking the ambulances from reaching the hospitals and chanting that they hoped the deputies died. And Jim explains why the wildfires in the western U.S. are exposing the extreme policies of some Democrats and environmental activists.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching some Democrats fret that Beto O’Rourke’s vow to take everyone’s AR-15 and AK-47 might convince voters that Democrats are after our guns. They also shudder as Iranian-funded and armed rebels in Yemen attack Saudi oil production facilities, leading to much higher tensions in the region. And they hammer the New York Times for publishing a new, salacious allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while omitting the fact the alleged victim has no memory of the incident.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud says that Israel has a right to its own land, and although there’s no immediate change in official Saudi policy, a former Clinton administration official says that position could lead to a tidal shift in the region and the quest for Middle East peace.
In an interview with “The Atlantic,” reporter Jeffrey Goldberg asked the crown prince, who is effectively running Saudi Arabia, whether he believes the “Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland?”
“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations,” said bin Salman.
When pressed about whether he has any religious objection to the existence of a Jewish state, the prince gave a more detailed answer.
“We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people,” said bin Salman.
Bin Salman also made it clear that the threat posed by a nuclear Iran is a critical factor in warmer relations with Israel, stating that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini “makes Hitler look good.”
The crown prince also gave some reasons for cooling the optimism. In the same interview, bin Salman also said there is not an anti-Semitism problem in Saudi Arabia and that “there is no Wahhabism. We don’t believe we have Wahhabism.” He also does not recognize Israeli territory gained since 1967
Nonetheless, American Foreign Policy Council Senior Fellow Lawrence J. Haas says the prince’s comments on Israel could be earthshaking.
“This statement is, potentially, monumentally important. It is, in essence, a recognition of the right of the Israeli state to exist,” said Haas, who served as communications director for Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton administration and staunchly opposed the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration.
After 70 years or Arab refusal to recognize the modern state of Israel, Haas says this kind of gesture by bin Salman provides at least a flicker of hope for that hostility to change.
“If this leads to a more formal recognition and peace deal between those two countries, this could really have tremendous effects that stretch across the entire region. So I think it’s terribly important,” said Haas.
Bin Salman has been cracking down on corruption, relaxing restrictions on women in Saudi society, and he permitted an Israeli flight to use Saudi airspace. Haas says the slow thaw has been happening for a while.
“This is part of a gradual warming of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia that has really taken place over the course of the last five to ten years. Lots of back channel communications, appearances by Saudi officials and Israeli officials at the same events. I believe there was even a handshake at one point,” said Haas.
While bin Salman is working to modernize Saudi Arabia, Haas says the obvious point of agreement between the two nations is the need to confront a massive, mutual threat from Iran.
“There’s no question that that’s the overwhelming driver for Saudi Arabia,” said Haas. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend and Israel and Saudi Arabia probably have the most to lose when it comes to the rise of Iran,” said Haas.
Iran has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel of the face of the earth, while Saudi Arabia is the is leading Sunni Muslim power while Iran is the clear leader among Shia Muslims.
According to Haas, teaming up against Iran gives Israel and Saudi Arabia the opportunity to coordinate strategies, share intelligence, and rally more of the region to their side.
Haas believes Saudi Arabia warming towards Israel could have a major impact on other nations in the Middle East.
“It would be a pretty important signal to other countries that don’t have relations with Israel that at the end of the day, this is a long-running dispute we’ve had with Israel. Israel isn’t going anywhere. We’ve got bigger problems and maybe the rest of you need to get on board,” said Haas.
There is a major concern for Haas and others who hope there can be meaningful progress toward stability in the region. They fear bin Salman may not live to achieve his goals.
“Anytime you’re in a conversation about what the crown prince is doing in Saudi Arabia and how significant it may or may not be, you don’t have to be speaking very long before someone says, ‘If he survives,'” said Haas. “The threat being that he will suffer the same fate perhaps as (former Egyptian President) Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by radical forces within his own country after making peace with Israel.”
“He’s moving pretty aggressively and you do have to wonder how successful he will continue to be as he pushes the envelope more and more. We’ll have to see but people do worry about his fate,” said Haas.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly stunned to hear Saudi Arabia’s crown prince publicly state that Israel has a right to live in peace on its own land and wonder if things are truly changing in the Middle East or whether this is a temporary thaw in order to confront Iran. In the wake of the very public feud between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and gun control activist David Hogg, they also discuss how the rise of populism leads to political debates becoming a referendum on the people in the debate rather than the ideas involved in the debate. And they wonder why President Trump is spending so much time blasting Amazon and the rate it pays to mail packages, suspecting it might have something to do with another business venture headed by Jeff Bezos.