🇵🇸 The sentiments of Gaza’s population,
🏛 The GOP’s new populist speaker,
🗳️ The impact of Biden’s crises for 2024 🔒,
And everything else you need to know.
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GOP gets a populist Speaker of the House
What’s happening: Mike Johnson, a Republican representing Louisiana’s 4th congressional district, was elected as the new House speaker on Wednesday, ending a dramatic, weeks-long standoff within the House GOP.
Catch up: After a prolonged period of uncertainty following the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) earlier this month, Johnson emerged as the consensus pick in a closed-door Republican conference vote Tuesday night.
A house divided: The anti-McCarthy mutiny represented one of the most stunning victories in recent memory for the populist right, shifting the power dynamics in its cold civil war with the GOP establishment earlier this month.
How he stands on the issues:
Ukraine: While Johnson voted for the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which kickstarted U.S. military aid to Ukraine in April 2022, he has soured on further funding. Johnson holds an “F” rating from Republicans for his support for Kyiv’s war efforts.
Immigration: Speaker Johnson gets a thumbs-up from border and immigration hawks. Known for tough stances and bills aimed at cutting down asylum fraud, the Center for Immigration Studies, a restrictionist advocacy group, calls him a top expert in the field.
Big Tech: Earlier this year, Johnson, along with Rep. Jordan and Sen. Rand Paul, introduced a bill that would bar executive branch employees and contractors from censoring First Amendment speech. Johnson has been outspoken on the topic.
Social Issues: Speaker Johnson has long been a strong voice for social conservatives. He's backed laws against abortion and gender-focused school curriculums. Earlier this year, he led a hearing on the risks of child sex-change procedures.
What’s next? Johnson has made it clear that "our nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East is under attack” and will focus on passing a bill to support Israel.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
🚨 DHS tried to bury Hunter Biden story. Recently disclosed files show that the Department of Homeland Security likened the laptop to a “QAnon conspiracy theory” as the story broke in 2020. This happened as the agency worked closely with the FBI and private entities to help Big Tech platforms censor posts ahead of the presidential election. (America First Legal on X)
🪖 Hamas, Hezbollah agents suspected to be in U.S. In a recent House hearing, experts testified that fighters linked to Hamas and Hezbollah are likely on U.S. soil. They suggested that the extremists have crossed the southern border and are awaiting commands from Iran. This heightens concerns surrounding the hundreds of thousands of “gotaways” that have illegally entered the U.S. and evaded law enforcement under President Biden. (Epoch Times)
🔨 DeSantis cracks down on antisemitism. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced plans to shut down two chapters of Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) due to the group's “material support” for terrorism. The administration is acting in response to SJP labeling Hamas’s attack this month as a “resistance” and saying, “Palestinian students … are part of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement.” (Jewish Insider, Fox News)
🇨🇳 Newsom has surprise meeting with Xi. California Gov. Gavin Newsom unexpectedly met with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit to China, hoping to promote collaboration with the U.S. on climate action. A reporter described the encounter as "warm" and full of “friendliness,” contrasting sharply with the tense U.S.-China relations in recent months. (Associated Press)
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
The White House congratulated Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) on his election as Speaker of the House and pledged to work with him — while Biden’s campaign labeled him as "extreme MAGA.” (Biden Campaign)
Senate Democrats are promoting legislation that would fund Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza, while Republicans push border security and measures against U.S. adversaries. (Chamber Talk)
Israel has reportedly agreed to delay its ground invasion of Gaza to allow the U.S. to protect American troops with air defenses in the Middle East. (Wall Street Journal)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly asked Qatar to temper Al-Jazeera, accusing the state-funded media outlet of “anti-Israel incitement.” (Axios)
Do Palestinians approve of Hamas?
What’s happening: “Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people,” said President Joe Biden in response to the group’s terror attack on Israel this month. “Innocent Palestinians are suffering greatly because of them,” he added.
Why it matters: Though this sentiment is common, Hamas’s violent, antisemitic views are a deeper part of Palestinian culture and more reflective of Gaza’s population than Westerners will admit.
From the beginning: In 2006, Palestinians elected Hamas — a group that has called for genocide in its founding documents since 1988 — instead of the less radical Fatah party. Hamas won in a landslide with a 77 percent voter turnout. Since taking power, Hamas terrorists have paused elections in Gaza.
Indoctrination: Palestinian schools and entertainment programs teach children as young as preschoolers to commit violence against Jews, join terrorist organizations to overthrow Israel, become suicide bombers, and admire the actions of terrorist leaders throughout history.
Public opinion: A poll taken after this month’s attack in Israel showed that 57 percent of Gazans hold a positive view of Hamas. Seventy-one percent approve of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group considered more extreme than Hamas.
Meanwhile, support for a “two-state solution” has declined from 59 percent to 24 percent since 2012, according to Gallup polling from this year.
An extremist generation: The younger they are, the less Palestinians believe Israel has a right to exist, Gallup’s survey shows.
Bottom line: Hamas has seen dips in popularity in times of extreme poverty when Gazans felt their needs went ignored. However, the group’s violent, hateful ideals have largely been normalized in Palestinian society.
Biden can’t sell his crises, domestic and abroad
Biden is trying to salvage his re-election chances amidst economic uncertainty at home and chaos abroad.
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Do Palestine supporters in the West understand what they support?
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POLL RESULTS FROM YESTERDAY
When will the Trump investigations end?
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🗳️ Following the 2024 elections (123)
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🗓️ A few more years (25)
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🪦 Upon Trump's death (101)
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🤔 Other (14)
🗳️ Following the 2024 elections: “Once Trump wins in 2024, the lid will blow off the Democrat party, it’s leadership, and the corrupt prosecutors.” — Chari
🗓️ A few more years: “As soon as he is unelectable, the witch hunt has then been completed and served its purpose.” — Marc
🪦 Upon Trump's death: “Trump headlines make money for the media!” — Anonymous
❌ Never: “They will go after his kids and grandkids and anyone with association to him or his beliefs.” — Anonymous
🤔 Other: “I don’t really know, regardless, it’s a colassal waste of taxpayer money while they go on.” — Anonymous
IN THE LOOP
Dr. Anthony Fauci will be awarded the “Ethics Prize,” a Case Western Reserve University award given to people who “have improved the condition of humankind.” (WKYC)
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will plead guilty to falsely pulling a fire alarm during a congressional proceeding. He has agreed to pay a fine for the misdemeanor, which normally brings up to six months in prison. (ABC News, New York Post)
Police arrested a man who broke into a Jewish family’s home in California yesterday. He allegedly told the family, “I’m going to kill you because you are Jewish … Israel kills people.” (KTLA5)
Just 3 percent of Americans have taken the latest COVID-19 booster shot. (Politico)