DISPATCHES FROM THE POLITBURO: Biden ‘absolutely’ sharp enough for second term, no ‘coverup’ of mental decline, White House insists.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted Wednesday that President Biden remains sharp as a tack and “absolutely” could serve another four-year term — stunning journalists at her first briefing since Biden dropped his re-election campaign over concerns about his mental acuity.

“Look, he didn’t step down from campaigning or from running because he didn’t believe he can serve in a second term. That is not why,” Jean-Pierre claimed to the incredulity of the press corps.

The press secretary said the 81-year-old president’s decision to drop out Sunday and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris, 59, was in the “best interest” of the country and the Democratic Party and that viewers should “stay tuned” for a fuller explanation from Biden in an 8 p.m. Oval Office address on Wednesday.

“So today, the president believes that he is capable, fully capable of serving in the office that he currently has now and for the next 4.5 years if he wanted to?” an Associated Press journalist asked Jean-Pierre.

“Absolutely,” she said.

Honestly, I’m quite certain that Armando Iannucci didn’t intend for the Death of Stalin to be a how-to guide for the transparent and orderly transition of power in one of the world’s most powerful nations.

MICHAEL OREN: Netanyahu’s Visit Is a Test for the Democrats*.

Sitting before the cameras with Netanyahu, Biden will have the opportunity to prove that he is still competent enough to complete his term. He can rebuff those calling on him to resign and allow Kamala Harris to run as an incumbent.

Should he receive Netanyahu, as planned, at Mar-a-Lago, Trump can smooth over his differences with him and reinforce the Republicans’ claim to be the true pro-Israel party.

Netanyahu’s most impactful meeting, though, will be with Harris. It will showcase her as a statesperson capable of interacting with a formidable foreign leader. It will facilitate her necessary movement from the progressive left to the moderate center. Ironically, one of Netanyahu’s most outspoken critics in Washington stands to benefit substantially from his visit.

The New York Times was wrong and so, too, was the State Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol, which apparently failed to give Netanyahu a respectable welcome. No matter. His time in Washington will be nevertheless noteworthy and perhaps even fateful.

* One they’re already failing very badly. Harris was addressing the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in Indianapolis instead of at Netanyahu’s speech, and as America’s Newspaper of Record notes, even more radical Dems are using it as a way to once again champion their preferred pronouns:

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ base demonstrate their tolerance of diversity, America’s traditions, peace on earth, and goodwill to their fellow man: Terrorist Protesters Storm Union Station in DC and Burn American Flags.

Naturally Harris will receive no questions about this from the DNC-MSM, once again moving in lockstep to advance her coronation.

ENTHUSIASM RUNS WILD:

FLORIDA DEM. LIKENS CALLING VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS A ‘DEI HIRE’ TO USING THE N-WORD:

A Florida Congressman has slammed his Tennessee Republican counterpart for calling Kamala Harris a ‘DEI hire’ – saying he might as well have used the N-word.

Maxwell Frost, 27, erupted in fury after Representative Tim Burchett insisting on CNN that the vice president was not the Democratic candidate based on merit.

‘They want to call her a DEI president, or a DEI candidate. She has more experience than Trump and J.D. Vance combined, times a million, right?’ he told CNN’s Jim Acosta Tuesday.

‘She worked at the state level, she was the attorney general, she was vice president, she was a senator representing one of the largest states in the entire country.

‘And so these are just racist dog whistles. Whenever you hear DEI, I want you to think about the N-word. I want you to think about racial slurs. That’s what they actually mean,’ he concluded.

I too am shocked by Joe Biden’s long history of trafficking in racist dog whistles:

LIFE IN 2024:

IT’S GREAT THAT SPACEX IS GREAT. IT’S NOT GREAT THAT NOBODY ELSE IS AS GREAT. SpaceX just stomped the competition for a new contract—that’s not great. “Although it’s wonderful that NASA has an excellent contractor in SpaceX, it’s not healthy in the long term that there are so few credible competitors. Moreover, a careful reading of the source selection statement reveals that NASA had to really work to get a competition at all.”

XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT: China’s domestic turmoil risks escalating space tensions.

Faced with an array of internal problems, state censorship has been ratcheted into overdrive. Wary of espionage, Beijing is taking ever more extreme measures to restrict the flow of information. But a more opaque China could impair decision-making about its actions within the global economy and international order. This impairment also includes decision-making ability around the development and preservation of space for the common good.

Indeed, in a lecture broadcasted during the 20th National Congress of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October 2022, Xi Jinping warned that “external attempts to suppress and contain China may escalate at any time.” The gathering also served to showcase the Chinese leader’s consolidation of absolute control over his party. Loyal ultranationalists were rewarded with cabinet positions, sidelining any viable opposition to Xi’s policies.

By silencing moderate perspectives, hawkish voices that align with Xi Jinping’s zero-sum mindset are now shaping China’s space agenda — as well as related propaganda for domestic consumption.

Leaders living in a bubble dictating the news sounds an awful lot like America under Biden-Harris.

‘STRUGGLE AGAINST ZIONIST REGIME:’ Masked man vows ‘rivers of blood’ at Paris Olympics.

A masked individual threatened the 2024 Paris Olympics “with rivers of blood” in a video published on social media earlier this week.

The man, clad in a shirt adorned with a Palestinian flag, stated, “In the name of God, our struggle against the Zionist regime continues.”

Addressing “the people of France” and “French president Macron,” the masked individual said, “You supported the Zionist regime in its criminal war against the people of Palestine. You provided Zionists with weapons; you helped murder our brothers and sisters, our children.”

“You invited the Zionists to the Olympic games. You will pay for what you have done!” he continued.

“Rivers of blood will flow through the streets of Paris. This day is approaching, God willing. Allah is the greatest.”

Enoch Powell, call your office.

SO A WHILE BACK I mentioned Andrew Wareham’s novel Damned Un-English, the first of a new series on WWI submarine warfare, and I should have also recommended John Biggins’ Otto Prohaska novels, which are WWI submarine warfare from the viewpoint of the Austro-Hungarian navy. Really excellent books, and the ending, in which the protagonist returns to base to discover that the empire he served no longer exists, and the confusion and dislocation attendant on that, felt . . . disturbingly modern.