Evil Foursome

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Bomb Iran? “My foreign policy is simple,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R–S.C.) at one point during last night’s GOP debate in Miami, at which only four other candidates were present on a slimmed-down debate stage. “You cannot negotiate with evil, you have to destroy it,” he said, calling for bombing Iran in order to “cut off the head of the snake…not simply their proxies” and bring an end to conflict in the Middle East.

You punch them once and you punch them hard, and they will back off,” said former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has more experience on this matter than Scott but remains consistently hawkish.

Meanwhile, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made marginally more sense on this by not endorsing outright bombing but offering instead that we should “continue to isolate Iran so their only friends in the world are the…evil foursome of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.”

“I will tell Bibi to finish the job once and for all and destroy the butchers from Hamas,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as if that’s the only push Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs.

Foreign policy is, of course, not simple, and literally bombing Iran should not be taken lightly, nor does such foreign policy hawkery play well with the majority of voters, to whom these candidates were ostensibly trying to appeal.

Small reality checks: Despite the foreign policy insanity on stage, there were some glimmers of sanity, particularly from Haley. “No Republican president is going to ban abortions,” said Haley at one juncture, pointing to the logistical impracticality of getting such an act through Congress, in much the same way she had during an earlier debate.

Christie, too, returned to reality during a few promising moments, noting in a section on Israel that the October 7 attacks by Hamas were at least in part possible because of a massive failure of Israeli intelligence.

“Any candidate that tells you that they’re not going to take on entitlements is not being serious,” said Haley, talking some sense on the fiscal imprudence of providing old-age entitlements the country can’t afford.

Bitter barbs traded: Vivek Ramaswamy at one point attacked Haley, saying her calls to ban TikTok make no sense given that her 25-year-old daughter uses the app, to which Haley responded, “You’re just scum.” Ramaswamy, of course, segued into talk of banning more apps than just TikTok—a favorite talking point of his.

Ramaswamy did have a few good zingers, including calling President Joe Biden “a puppet for the managerial class.” Though he called Haley “Dick Cheney in three-inch heels” (a jab that he seemingly directed at DeSantis too, given his status as a short king who wears lifts), Haley clapped back saying that they’re “five inches” and she can run in them (?) and also that they’re actually “for ammunition,” which was just strange and incomprehensible.

Meanwhile in Trumpland: Former President Donald Trump eschewed the debate stage once again, holding his own rally in Hialeah, Florida, instead. He showed up almost two hours late, naturally, and promised to conduct the “largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” In other words: exactly what you’d expect from Trump, who also deemed his opponents “not watchable.” (No lies detected in that last statement, at least.)

Scenes from New York:

The New York City marathon is cool to provide support this year for breastfeeding moms. Though there have been plenty of workplace efforts to mandate this type of thing, it seems to make more sense to weigh what demand looks like and then choose how to support women based on that. In the marathon’s case, there are actually a lot of elite runners who are nursing babies, so providing support for them makes a ton of sense.


  • “Is a land value tax the solution to Detroit’s messed up property tax system?” asks Reason‘s Christian Britschgi.
  • The New York Times finally learns what an Elf Bar is, bless their hearts. (How long until they’re regulated away?)
  • Ivanka Trump took the stand yesterday, testifying in Donald Trump’s financial fraud trial.
  • An incredible description of Pete Buttigieg:

Sending the random gay guy we pay to stare at our trains as they blow up on the tracks to meet with Zelensky seems more insulting than sending no one at all. https://t.co/TTNYCbX1nX

— River Page (@river_is_nice) November 9, 2023

  • Students at the University of California, Berkeley, are…trying to go on hunger strike to exert pressure on the university to reinstate a minority professor (“the top expert in colonial studies,” according to one student)…even though she keyed another professor’s car and visited his mom’s home, leaving messages for her saying that she raised a psychopath. (This is seriously the strangest story.)
  • A roundup of some big wins for school choice from Tuesday’s election.
  • True:

“Send it back to the states” is another thing that some people said they wanted that they did not actually want (or actually did want but didn’t really seem to get what that could mean) https://t.co/BormyMjmsL https://t.co/gPBt8hwwZ3

— Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) November 8, 2023

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