Can Civilians Be Protected in Rafah?

The IDF’s actions in Rafah, where over a million internally displaced Palestinians are taking refuge, is drawing condemnation and concern from around the world.

Israel has reportedly told Egypt that it will allow people to leave Rafah before it moves in. But not everyone is capable of fleeing again, and there is nowhere safe to go.

Depending on who is talking, taking on the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza will end the war or create the ultimate humanitarian disaster. Perhaps both simultaneously.

“We’re going to do it. We’re going to get the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah, which is the last bastion, but we’re going to do it,” the Israeli prime minister described one of the war objectives.

Is Biden Too Old for a Second Term?

A DOJ report on Biden’s possession of classified documents referred to the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”

The ritual Democratic response to date has been that there is no alternative: Mr. Biden wants to run again, his wife, Jill, also wants him to run, and no one can stop him. But that’s only true if no one tries.

Republicans, despite Trump’s age and frequent gaffes, are all in on the claim that Biden isn’t fit for office. Of course, they are eager to deflect attention from their own candidate’s weaknesses…

…even a cursory history of Biden’s bungling shows that he is the same person he has always been, just older and slower—a gaffe-prone, middling public speaker with above-average emotional intelligence and an instinct for legislative horse-trading.

Who Will Trump Pick for VP?

Here are three takes on who Trump is eyeing for Vice President this time around:

Kristi Noem… is the governor of South Dakota and a longtime Trump supporter… What’s the case for her? Noem could plausibly be seen by the Trump campaign as appealing to women and bringing a younger voice to the ticket.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has responded to Donald Trump’s consideration of him as his vice presidential running mate for the general election in November, telling Fox News Digital his top priority was ensuring the former president beats Joe Biden.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the energetic businessman filled with policy prescriptions who suspended his campaign to endorse Mr. Trump, is a favorite among some in Mr. Trump’s ear and on social media.

But this is Donald Trump. He will keep us all guessing.

Was It Wrong to Give Putin a Platform?

Former Fox personality Tucker Carlson interviewed Vladimir Putin in Moscow about his war against Ukraine. Did he hold the authoritarian leader’s feet to the fire? Or did he just give him a platform to spew propaganda?

Ultimately, this was a good interview. Watched carefully, it offered a window into Putin’s skillful weaving of reality and fiction to serve his own ends… And contrary to the media criticism he has received, Carlson asked a range of elucidating questions and pushed back when necessary.

Even Carlson’s question… about the imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich wasn’t really a gesture of journalistic solidarity or a nod to democratic ideals about a free press.

Instead, it was decency theater, poorly performed.

Putin got a platform, thanks to a softball interview by Carlson, who was banished from Fox News last year and has turned to Twitter, the platform Musk bought and renamed X, to spew right-wing conspiracy theories.

What Went Down at the Super Bowl?

Here are three takes covering the game, the halftime show, and the Taylor Swift of it all:

It’s hard for Patrick Mahomes to top what he has already done in the NFL. But he found a way in Super Bowl LVIII.

Mahomes’ overtime drive for a game-winning touchdown beat the San Francisco 49ers and moved to the top of the list of Mahomes’ greatest moments. It’s his second game-winning Super Bowl drive in two seasons, and his Super Bowl victory count is up to three.

…during tonight’s Super Bowl LVIII halftime show, the veteran R&B singer Usher breathed life into the annual musical diversion.

A glamorous romance. A global race against time. A glorious result.

Taylor Swift’s attendance at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday was always going to hog the headlines.

What’s New & Fascinating in Jewish Literature?

Here are three page-turning takes on news from the world of Jewish literature:

Rabbi Moshe Gersht believes that “joy is our nature,” and in his new book, “The Three Conditions: How Intention, Joy, and Certainty Will Supercharge Your Life,” he charts his personal transformative spiritual journey to this elevated state. His recipe relies on three conditions for living: embracing intention, certainty, and joy. Along the way he addresses life’s challenges and misconceptions about spirituality.

[Marilynne] Robinson has written her own exegesis of the first book of the Bible, called Reading Genesis. It follows Calvin’s in treating scripture as art. She knows that such literary analysis may offend modern-day literalists: “To suggest craft in the making of sacred text disturbs some people, as if the Holy Spirit would never descend to the strategies of nuance and emphasis that heighten the intelligibility of a story.”

The French writer, mystic and philosopher Simone Weil was rumored to be a saint — and regarded by almost everyone who knew her as an alien form of life. A high school teacher impressed by her intellect but bemused by her detachment affectionately named her “the Martian,” while a friend from college characterized her as “a person who lived on another planet.”

Today’s Hot Issues

Can Civilians Be Protected in Rafah? Is Biden Too Old for a Second Term? Who Will Trump Pick for VP? Was It Wrong to Give Putin a Platform? What Went Down at the Super Bowl? What’s New & Fascinating in Jewish Literature?