The Morning Briefing: There’s Useless, Then There’s Lloyd Austin Useless

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Happy Monday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Chartumung was known to dally at the fez maker whenever he felt the slightest bit of torpidity nibbling at his mood. 


As we were all trying to mentally and emotionally prepare ourselves for 2024, I wrote many times that this year is going to be a weird one. It appears that the nondescript entity in charge of annual weirdness levels thought that I was making a request. 

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We’re only a week in, and 2024 could already use some heavy sedation. 

There are a lot of strange things that I could have come up with in my rather fertile imagination that might set the tone for this year, but having the Secretary of Defense win a game of hide-and-seek with the President of the United States is out there even for me. 

Lately, whenever I emerge from my weekend news hiatus, it feels like the world is in prank mode. There’s a lot of triple-checking to make sure that all of the news isn’t merely AI-generated satire. When I first read the Lloyd Austin news I thought, “Come on, the Secretary of Defense can’t just go AWOL.” 

I’d temporarily forgotten that we live in Dumb Biden Times. 

This is from Matt

The truth that has been coming out over the course of the day suggests something far, far worse. According to the latest reports, not even the White House knew about Austin’s hospitalization. 

“Senior Biden administration leaders, top Pentagon officials and members of Congress were unaware for days that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized since Monday, U.S. officials said Saturday, as questions swirled about his condition and the secrecy surrounding it,” the Associated Press reported. “The Pentagon did not inform the White House National Security Council or top adviser Jake Sullivan of Austin’s hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, until Thursday, according to two administration officials.”

That’s bad. Really bad. And it gets worse.

A source familiar with the situation told CNN that not even Joe Biden knew.


To be fair, there are no doubt a lot of things that Joe Biden doesn’t know. His mental clearance sale has been on display ever since the 2020 campaign. Still, the people around him like to make it seem as if he is firing on all cylinders and in charge. It’s bad theater that has had disastrous consequences for the Republic, but they keep the make-believe going. 

This already would have been uber sketchy had the relevant people in the administration known about Austin’s hospitalization and kept it from the press. Now it seems as if our HISTORIC FIRST SecDef is really hiding something. 

Austin doesn’t have many admirers here on the right, of course. We’ve been lamenting the woke rot that he champions for quite some time now. One would think that a guy with that many detractors wouldn’t want to prove that nobody would miss him, which is exactly what he did last week. 

My colleague Karen Townsend over at HotAir raises a couple of important questions

Lloyd Austin is a big deal in the Biden administration. Biden nominated him as the first black defense secretary in 2021. We know how important it is that boxes are ticked when someone is nominated to serve in this administration. Why are they hiding his medical challenge now? We don’t need to know all the details of his personal medical records but shouldn’t someone clarify what the elective surgery was and what the complications are that he is experiencing now?


Maybe he was having a procedure to have his pronouns changed. 

The “elective surgery” angle would have piqued far less interest had it simply been mentioned in the DoD press release. In fact, it may not have piqued any interest at all if the story had been handled properly. 

Donald Trump was taken to task a lot for the turmoil in his administration. Team Trump never misplaced an entire Cabinet member for four days though. That’s a first for presidential administrations in the information era. 

I remember back in Olden Times — 2020 — when we were assured that a Biden presidency would bring back dignity, calm, and transparency. Instead, we’ve gotten Peruvian marching powder strewn all about the White House, pirate attacks, and the man who is sixth in the presidential line of succession ditching his bosses for a mystery procedure. 

Someone please hurry and invent a 51-week snooze button. 

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