🇺🇸 Volodymyr Gets His Vipers

Plus, a mystery buyer purchased a California ghost town for $22.5M.

The Flag

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Good morning, and happy Tuesday! We want to give a special shoutout to the firefighters in Amarillo, Texas who rescued an American Flag recently. Here's the full story.

Plus, A mystery buyer just purchased an entire California ghost town for $22.5M

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🐘 Friday, May 19: 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination: Trump 58, DeSantis 16, Pence 4, Haley 4, Ramaswamy 4, T. Scott 1, Hutchinson 1 (Harvard-Harris)

🐘 Friday, May 19: General Election: Trump vs. Biden: Trump 47, Biden 40 (Harvard-Harris)

🟰 Friday, May 19: General Election: DeSantis vs. Biden: Biden 42, DeSantis 42 (Harvard-Harris)

🐎 Friday, May 19: General Election: Haley vs. Biden: Biden 40, Haley 38 (Harvard-Harris)


TRENDING

Right: The FBI Needs To Be Started Over From Scratch Kevin Roberts, Fox News Sunday

Right: Congressional Dems to Biden: Nullify Our Existence Jonathan Turley, The Hill

Right: Jordan Neely and the Never-Ending ‘1619 Riots’ Mary Grabar, American Greatness

Left: Why 2022 Broke for Dems & What It Means for 2024 Dan Balz, Washington Post

Left: What US Needs: Not About Trump vs. DeSantis Rep. Byron Donalds, Meet the Press

Left: Rise of the Black Republican Josh Kraushaar, Axios


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QUICK CLICKS

No Debt Ceiling Deal Yet, Border Region Battle, Bad Summer For BL?

US: Biden, McCarthy meeting ends with no deal on debt ceiling (Reuters) + McCarthy: No debt ceiling deal yet, but ‘productive’ talks with Biden (Fox Business)

US: Three states reach Colorado River deal to reduce water usage (NBC News)

World: Ukraine war: Russia battles armed group in border region (BBC) + Russia accuses Ukraine of mounting ‘sabotage’ attack across border (CNN)

Business: ‘A Long, Hot, Dry Summer’: Former Anheuser-Busch President Makes Dire Prediction About The Future Of Bud Light (Daily Wire)

World: Search for Madeleine McCann will resume in coming days, say Portuguese police (CBS News)

US: Fake viral images of an explosion at the Pentagon were probably created by AI (NPR)


WAR

Volodymyr Gets His Vipers 

This past weekend, President Joe Biden announced the US would join a coalition of Western allies, in order to begin supplying advanced, American-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, this aims to boost Ukraine's ability to defend itself from aerial attacks.

Reporting from The Right: Biden administration reveals plan to train Ukraine pilots on F-16s, 'will decide' when, who will provide jets Peter Aitken, Fox News

Reporting from The Left: Russia warns West of ‘enormous risks’ if Ukraine is supplied with F-16 jets Darya Tarasova, CNN

From The Flag: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has begged for fighters of this kind, with the war now into its second year. The US will reportedly help train pilots on how to use the aircraft. It's not clear how many jets will be supplied, or when. Here's more from both sides.


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

The White House Dragged Its Feet on F-16s

  • Providing F-16s will be a huge boost to the Ukrainian war effort, and it should have happened sooner: now the US should accelerate the process.

  • Ukrainian officials say it's vital they receive US-made F-16s because European allies have them ready: older fighters are currently in use by those country's militaries.

  • This move was delayed as a result of dissenting opinions within the Biden administration's national security apparatus.

At Last, F-16 Jets for Ukraine Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: "In February Mr. Biden insisted that Ukraine didn’t need Western jets. Apparently three months later the jets would be helpful. That’s been the White House pattern throughout the Ukraine conflict: Resist more advanced weapons, then finally provide them much later after more carnage. ... The delivery of advanced weapons to Ukraine is also helping NATO. Earlier this week a US Patriot anti-missile battery intercepted Russian multiple hypersonic missiles. The resulting data and lessons will be of tremendous use to the US military, as has the battle for control of the skies over Ukraine that hasn’t gone how the Russians or the world expected. Putting F-16s in the fight is an opportunity to learn more about Russian air defenses. ... US officials say it’ll take 'months' to train pilots, and we’ll never know what the war might look like today if Mr. Biden had offered such powerful assets a year ago."

Why Ukraine Needs Those F-16s David French, New York Times Opinion: "I spent the past week in Kyiv, and I can attest to the relentlessness of Ukrainian arguments for advanced fighters. I met with Ukrainian leaders across the full spectrum of government... I had never seen as consistent, disciplined messaging as I experienced here, all of it centered on a single, specific idea: Ukraine needs advanced Western fighters. Specifically, they were asking for American-made F-16s. ... So why the need for American-made F-16s and not European-designed generation 4.5 fighters? The defense minister said that overall there may simply be too few of the latter to offer without dangerously depleting the fighter stocks of European allies. By contrast, not only are thousands of F-16s in service across American and allied militaries; many of those aircraft are being replaced by more advanced planes. Thus they are both numerous and available to Ukraine without degrading NATO capabilities."

One more opinion piece from the Right: US Announces Ukraine Will Get F-16 Fighters as Antony Blinken Takes Control of Policy Streiff, RedState


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Securing New Jets in Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

  • The White House, as well as officials in Europe and Ukraine, say consistent pressure from allies convinced President Biden to support the F-16 plan.

  • Despite Russia's air superiority, Ukraine's air force retains some capability - but they need replenishment as soon as possible.

  • The F-16s are an upgrade to the largely Soviet-era aircraft currently in Ukraine’s fleet, but analysts caution the jets aren’t a cure-all and have vulnerabilities.

Bowing to pressure, Biden relents on F-16s to Ukraine Karen DeYoung, David L. Stern and John Hudson, Washington Post: "For more than a year, getting F-16s into the skies above Ukraine for use against Russia has been Kyiv’s holy grail. But the Biden administration, with more than 1,000 of the planes in the US arsenal and at least that many having been sold to allies and partners around the world, repeatedly said no. ... Suddenly, President Biden has said yes. European allies with F-16s in their arsenals, several of which have indicated they may be willing to supply them, have been given the administration’s go-ahead to send the planes as soon as supplies and logistics are coordinated and Ukrainian pilots and mechanics can be trained to use them. The turnaround, according to US, European and Ukrainian officials, is the result of steady pressure from allies, Congress and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky."

How could F-16s make the difference for Ukraine in the war against Russia? Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian: "The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a lightweight fighter aircraft that was initially designed in the 1970s. ... Today, it has been superseded by the F-35, but it is still being manufactured for sale by Lockheed in South Carolina. That’s because it is cheaper – costing in the tens of millions – and because the US does not always give export permission for the more modern jet. ... Ukraine had a small air force of Soviet-standard jets at the start of the war, amounting to about 120 combat-capable aircraft... But as time goes on, its air force will need to be replenished. ... Ukraine is said to have identified 50 pilots who it would hope to train immediately. Estimates vary, but it could take four to six months to train pilots to a combat proficiency."

One more opinion piece from the Left: F-16s for Ukraine: Why Kyiv would still face big hurdles in using the US-made fighter jets Brad Lendon, CNN


FLAG THIS

Polling Suggests Patience Is Lagging

Polling from late last month shows 46% of respondents feel the US should continue to support Ukraine in the war against Russia for "one to two" more years, compared with 38% who say the US should in fact "stay the course for as long as it takes."

The partisan divide on this point is notable, with 51% of Democrats saying "as long as it takes," and 62% of Republicans preferring "one to two" years.

Asked about the current level of US military expenditure and support, 50% of Republicans say "it's too much," while 40% of Democrats say "it's about the right level" (Brookings).


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Bonnie and Clyde Killed, One of The Best Comedies of All Time, A Weird Safe Haven Law

On May 23, 1934, notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police while driving a stolen car near Sailes, Louisiana.

Esquire: Airplane! Is Considered One of the Best Comedies of All Time. But 40 Years Ago No One Saw it Coming.

Atlas Obscura: The Evolution of American Military Food

HBR: Working Parents, It’s Time to Let Go of These Pandemic-Era Habits

Today I Learned Nebraska's "safe haven" law didn't have an age limit to drop off unwanted babies. Many children, oftentimes teenagers with behavioral issues, were dropped off. It has since been amended.