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It isn’t that everything he said was inaccurate.

It’s that everything he said was irrelevant, impertinent, inadequate, repetitive, obvious and deflective.

In short, he didn’t make it better.  He made it worse.

President Biden spent 20 minutes Monday telling Americans why the U.S. is getting out of Afghanistan. Cue the choir. We all know why we’re getting out of Afghanistan. Virtually no one disagrees with the decision. Think about it. Withdrawing from Afghanistan has become a unifying issue. It is one of the few things upon which Democrats and Republicans agree. Polls show the overwhelming majority of American citizens want us out of Afghanistan. For Pete’s sake, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are on the same side of this question! 

Yes, Joe. Water is in fact wet, and the Sun does in fact come up in the East. Thank you for the confirmation.

Now kindly explain how and why you botched our immediate exit so ignorantly and incompetently, putting Americans and Afghans in unnecessary and terrifying peril, giving comfort to our adversaries, betraying our allies, shaming our image and dealing yet another blow to our global standing.

Biden broke out the obligatory “The buck stops here,” but then spent the rest of the time explaining why the buck did not in fact stop at his desk this time and why everything else and everybody else was to blame.  He did concede that the collapse of the Afghan government and the resulting Taliban takeover “did unfold more quickly than we anticipated.”

Huh.  Imagine that. Who could possibly have anticipated that?

He spent all of seven words referencing the core question of how his administration fucked this up so badly. I said “referencing,” not explaining.

“More quickly than we anticipated”?  “We” who? Mr. Magoo saw this coming.

Biden didn’t just not get it right. He could not have been more wrong about everything. On July 8, just six weeks ago, he looked into a camera and told America that an immediate Taliban takeover was not “inevitable,” and in fact was “very unlikely.”  He assured us there would be no optics reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975. He told us that the 300,000 strong Afghan military, trained by the U.S. at cost of over a trillion dollars, could easily hold the Taliban at bay.

In short, he got everything wrong. Everything.

“More quickly than we anticipated”? Then that’s on him, his administration and his intelligence resources. The truth is that our military advisers have known for years that the Afghan Army would lay down their arms faster than a prom dress hits the floor.

Oh, and Biden said he adamantly defended his decision to get us out of Afghanistan. Uhh, it wasn’t even your decision, Bud. That decision had already been made and was almost universally popular. But then Biden reversed himself and blamed decisions made by his predecessor.  In short, the president tried to have it both ways. He failed.

But Biden did burnish his credentials as Captain Obvious.

“There is never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.” You don’t say.

“Americans should not fight a war Afghan forces would not fight.” Yep.

“We gave them every chance.” Sure did.

We “could not provide them with will.”  Evidently.

“It is wrong to ask Americans to fight if Afghans will not.”  Wrong, indeed.

Now, kindly explain how you botched this exit so very badly.

John Kennedy owned the Bay of Pigs fiasco.  Biden should simply have owned this one.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.