News and Analysis

The Rundown: Zelensky Demands NATO Entry, Oregon County’s Drug Kit Plan Halted, And More
KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 20: In this handout photo issued by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Ukrainian presidential palace on February 20, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The US President made his first visit to Kyiv since Russia's large-scale invasion last February 24. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via Getty Images)
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via Getty Images

Come for Morning Wire’s Afternoon Update’s straight news, but stay for the rapid reaction analysis. The following five stories, and more, can be heard on today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update podcast. Click here to listen

1. Zelensky Demands NATO Entry

World leaders are meeting in Lithuania for NATO’s annual summit to discuss a range of issues, including whether or not Ukraine should be allowed into the group. Monday evening, the NATO secretary general said, “I am absolutely certain that we will have unity and a strong message on Ukraine.” However, Tuesday morning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky slammed NATO for not moving faster to welcome his country into the alliance and for setting no clear timetable as to when it will be allowed in. 

Rapid Reaction: Zelensky has been banging the World War III war drum for months now. Ukraine entering NATO would undoubtedly result in direct conflict between the West and Russia. At the same time, the Biden administration has made it clear that it has no interest in peace. The longer this war goes on, the more people will die. Meanwhile, the U.S. is running low on ammunition, according to our own commander-in-chief.

Instead of crafting an off-ramp, NATO, the U.S., and Ukraine are looking to prolong the war. As Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro said Monday, this course of action is “dangerous.”

2. Trump’s Legal Team Calls For Delay In Classified Docs Trial Until After 2024

Former President Trump’s legal team is calling for a delay in the classified documents trial until after the 2024 election. Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing Monday night that, “Proceeding to trial during the pendency of a Presidential election cycle wherein opposing candidates are effectively (if not literally) directly adverse to one another in this action will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the Defendants’ ability to secure a fair and impartial adjudication.”

Rapid Reaction: Perhaps the best explanation of why this is a good move came from Fox News’ Mark Levin. On Tuesday, Levin explained, “This is a thoroughly rational and appropriate motion by President Trump’s lawyers.

Levin continued, “This trial should be delayed until after the election, if not dismissed altogether by the way (I assume there will be subsequent motion filings in this regard, as suggested by Trump’s lawyers).”

The attorney by trade also noted, that “if the DOJ/Garland/Smith object, it will definitively prove that among the primary purposes of this persecution is to interfere with the presidential election.”

3.  U.S. Destroys Chemical Weapons

The last of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile was destroyed last week at a Kentucky munitions plant, the Pentagon announced this week. In 1986, Congress ordered the destruction of America’s chemical weapons, and over a decade later, the U.S. joined 192 countries in the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, requiring the weapons’ complete elimination by September 30 of this year. Chemical weapons were first used on a large scale in the trenches of Europe during World War I, causing horrifying deaths through suffocation and devastating the nervous system.

Rapid Reaction: After so many lies from the federal government for decades — Iraq’s WMDs, COVID, NSA spying, Pentagon officials openly bragging about giving Trump incorrect information, and so many more — can you really trust that the U.S. destroyed all of its chemical weapons?

4. Watchdog Group Files Complaint Against Biden Joint Chiefs Nominee Over ‘Race-Based Hiring’

A watchdog group on Monday filed a complaint against President Biden’s nominee for Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman over his previous comments on “diversity.”

The American Accountability Foundation filed a complaint against Air Force General C.Q. Brown over his promotion of quote “race-based hiring” ahead of a Senate hearing on Tuesday to consider his nomination. The complaint cites comments  Brown has made about hiring “for diversity” and referring to the military as a “white boys club.” 

Rapid Reaction: As previously discussed, contrary to what his critics may claim, President Joe Biden is moving at blazing speed in transforming the federal government into a tool for advancing the principles of Critical Race Theory — diversity, equity, and inclusion — across America.

His picks for high positions in the federal government reflect his ideological agenda. It’s good that groups are fighting back against those who would place diversity over merit.

Readers should keep in mind that in March 2023, he signed an executive order that will create an army of equity bureaucrats who will be difficult to fire while the anti-white ideology seeps into the U.S. government.

Russell Vought, former Office of Management and Budget director under President Donald J. Trump and president of the Center for Renewing America, told The Daily Wire that the Biden administration has become a bit of an expert in racial discrimination.

“‘Equity’ policies are routinely used to justify making decisions based on race, gender, and other identity characteristics,” Vought told The Daily Wire.“This Administration has turned government-funded racism into an art. This is dangerous and exactly the type of woke and weaponized government we are trying to defund.”

5.  Oregon County’s Drug Kit Plan Halted

An Oregon county’s controversial plan to distribute tin foil and straws for fentanyl users and glass pipes for methamphetamine and crack users has been halted. The pause comes after Portland’s mayor and other officials sounded the alarm over the new program. In a statement to KGW-TV, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said, “Our health department went forward with this proposal without proper implementation protocols. And in that light, I am suspending the program pending further analysis.”

Rapid Reaction: If these Oregonians really wanted to solve the fentanyl problem, they would demand that Biden do two things: 1) get tough on China and 2) close the border.

Fentanyl was the main contributor to America’s 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021.

Much of that fentanyl comes through the southern border after being synthetically made in China. The drug cartels then pay or coerce smugglers known as “mules” to sneak it into America, where it is transported deep into the interior. The U.S. has had some success in slowing down such fatalities — but that’s in spite of Biden’s border policies — not because of them.

Congressman David Trone (D-MD) said in late December, “Our success right now on slowing or stopping the movement of fentanyl across the border is close to zero. We are failing because we have two partners, China and Mexico, who have chosen not to participate in any meaningful way to help us.”

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