AWK Daily Updates
At Times Square in New York, parents lined up to vaccinate their children, age 6months to five years old. As
American actor, Jon Voight, calls for Biden’s impeachment saying that this is a “troubled nation.” He said, “We must protect
While many may think otherwise, the pentagon just shared that only 23% of young Americans would be able to serve
A WW2 veteran broke down into tears while sharing his thoughts on the current state of the nation. He shared,
(Saly News) – A top aide to President Joe Biden is leaving the sinking ship and will seek greener pastures. White House Communication director Kate Bedingfield will leave the Biden administration in the coming weeks. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said: “Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in […]
(Slay News) – The bad news keeps coming for embattled cable network CNN. Months after the Chris Wallace-led streaming service CNN Plus closed its doors, CNN was unable to land a show in the top 25 in June. CNN had Anderson Cooper 360 in the 25th slot in May. But CNN’s ratings are in freefall. […]
Attorneys Claim Government Manufacturing Evidence To Charge, Incarcerate Jan. 6 Prisoners
Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
As Jan. 6 prisoners continue to languish in jail without trials, without bond and in subhuman conditions, two Jan. 6 attorneys are claiming the government is manufacturing evidence to arrest and incarcerate them. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) says the government is also “hiding evidence” that could possibly exonerate some of them.
This is not the first time Democrats have manufactured evidence to support their allegations in a legal proceeding.
A History of Fabricating Evidence
In July of 2018, the infamous Steele dossier was revealed to be little more than a collection of unverified opposition research funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to obtain a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page and to derail the Trump campaign.
During a Sept. 26, 2019, Intelligence Committee hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) read a fabricated transcript of a phone call between former President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. When he was caught, he claimed it was “a parody.”
During the first impeachment trials in February 2021, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) used a photoshopped version of a Twitter post Trump re-tweeted about supporters “fighting” for the country to make it seem more ominous.
After being caught and being forced to admit they doctored a text message between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the December 2021 Jan. 6 hearings, and also excluded content about how they had wanted former Vice President Mike Pence to handle electoral votes during the Joint Session of Congress, Jordan further opined that their statement saying “We regret the error,” is really government-speak for, “We got caught lying.”
At the televised House committee hearing related to the protests that took place at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021—Jordan said members of the House select committee had altered a text message exchange between him and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows “and lied to the American people about it.”
J-6 Cases: ‘Manipulating Evidence’
Joseph McBride, an attorney for multiple Jan. 6 prisoners and defendants, is certain the government is “manipulating evidence.”
“In terms of attorneys,” McBride told The Epoch Times, “I’m probably the most outspoken attorney in the United States of America who is representing Jan. 6 defendants.”
McBride said he has “five, going on six” criminal defendants related to Jan. 6 and three civil rights cases. He also represented five Jan. 6 defendants before the Jan. 6 committee. Considering the depth of his involvement, McBride believes he’s “far and away” the most eligible and outspoken attorney among those attached to the Jan. 6 legal battles.
“You are not allowed to punish a pre-trial detainee in the United States of America because you are innocent until proven guilty” McBride stated. “It is only after you have been convicted of a crime or plead through a crime that you can be punished for a crime. Punishment for a crime is deprivation of freedom. … My clients and others like them have been brutally assaulted. They’ve been locked away in cells for months at a time. They’ve been denied medical care and have had their human rights, their civil rights, and their constitutional rights violated by the staff at the D.C. gulag, by the staff at the Northern Neck jail because they have been green-lighted by the Biden machine to harm anybody who showed up at the Capitol on January 6 to speak out about the election results. It is unconstitutional. It is immoral. It is un-American. It is wrong.”
McBride also says the government’s use of lengthy and extravagantly detailed affidavits is “much different than your normal cases and they’re frontloading these complaints with facts that aren’t proven and these allegations are subsequently being weaponized in the court of public opinion.”
According to McBride, complaint affidavits are generally written as hastily as possible because the only purpose of a complaint affidavit is to initiate the legal process by establishing probable cause. Complaint affidavits are normally followed quickly by the return of an indictment by a grand jury.
But the Jan. 6 complaint affidavits can run in excess of 20, 30, 40, and even 50 pages long, which begs the question of “why?”
For McBride, the answer is simple. Because Department of Justice (DOJ) policy only allows the government to make public comments about matters that are already a matter of public record, making sure all of that detail is part of the public record enables the government to release this information to the public to destroy the reputations of the accused ahead of a trial.
Another Jan. 6 attorney, Bill Shipley, is equally convinced the government is manufacturing evidence to support a narrative.
Shipley has called into question the validity of photo and video screenshot “evidence” used in three of his cases. Two of them are outlined below.
The Case of Brian Mock
According to the 14-page Criminal Complaint (pdf), Brian Christopher Mock has been charged with: “Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers, Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder, Acts of Physical Violence in any of the Capitol Buildings or Grounds.”
However, all of the charges are based on screen grabs from videos that do not confirm the allegations.
Shipley told The Epoch Times “both the government and the court have acknowledged that video 1 does not show any actual assault by defendant Mock as alleged in the indictment.”
“If video 1 showed Mr. Mock kicking the fallen officer it would have been simple to write, ‘The video shows Mr. Mock kicking the fallen officer,’” Shipley said. “Judge Howell didn’t write that because video 1 doesn’t show that. The government knows it, Mr. Mock knows it, and Judge Howell knew it.
“The simple reality is that video 1 shows the unidentified victim officer already on the ground when Mr. Mock is first seen on camera. There are two other protesters—one wearing camouflage and the other wearing a red hat—on the ground with the victim officer at the moment defendant Mock is first seen. Defendant Mock is standing in close proximity to the three of them. He is not seen shoving the fallen officer to the ground.”
According to Shipley, the entire segment of video 1, which is relevant to the first alleged assault, lasts only four seconds. At no point during those four seconds does video 1 show Mock’s foot making contact with any part of the Officer’s body.
“Nevertheless, the government made a proffer in its emergency motion (pdf) that the video showed defendant Mock shoving the officer to the ground and then kicking the officer” and “relied heavily on a single screenshot from the video that appears to show defendant Mock’s right foot off the ground.”
“If the government had video of Mr. Mock’s right foot striking the victim officer, it is quite certain it would have included a screenshot of that particular moment instead of the one it choose,” Shipley argued. “The obvious conclusion is the government has no such video. It hasn’t produced one in discovery.”
In another incident, Mock is accused of shoving an officer to the ground, causing and injury to the officer’s right elbow.
According to the 14-page criminal complaint (pdf), filed June 10, 2021, by Special Agent Beth Alvarez, “Officer [SK] recalled being shoved onto his back by one of the rioters. During the melee, Officer [SK’s] right elbow was hit right in the area where two protective pads on his arm meet.”
When Mock was arrested, Alvarez—the affiant on the complaint affidavit—wrote the following statement under oath:
“According to Victim 2, his right elbow hit the ground right in the area where two pads come together after the shove, causing excruciating pain at the time of impact.”
The complaint affidavit is dated June 10, 2021, precisely one month after the interview of the officer. During the 30 days between those two documents, the mechanics of how the officer injured his elbow changed. She first wrote he suffered the injury to his elbow “during the melee,” without reference to Mock or his actions. However, one month later, Alvarez wrote that his right elbow hit the ground right in the area where the two pads come together as a result of Mock’s shove.
Brian Mock has created a GiveSendGo account to help offset his ongoing legal expenses.
Read more here…
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 23:25
South Korea Is Revamping A Push For Nuclear Energy To Meet Its Emission Targets
In energy, it looks like common sense is starting to win out at least somewhere…
South Korea is going to be adding 4 more nuclear reactors by 2030 and will also be extending the life of 10 other plants, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The expansion of its nuclear power capabilities comes amidst a struggle to bring the country to net zero emissions.
More than 30% of the nation’s power will soon be provided by nuclear by the end of the decade, the report says. This would be up from 27.4% last year. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has been a supporter of nuclear throughout his campaign for president.
Yoon Suk Yeol has said that nuclear could be used alongside of renewables to reach emission targets. Renewable energy’s share of the country’s emissions targets will be adjusted under the new government, however it’ll maintain the previous government’s emissions goals.
President Moon Jae-in’s administration previously had plans to phase out nuclear, a policy that some said could see electricity costs for the country rise 5x by 2050. Additional nuclear reactor builds were scrapped under the administration.
The incoming administration is also going to be expanding strategic reserves for oil and liquefied natural gas. Crude stockpiles, for example, will rise to more than 100 million barrels by 2025, up from 96.5 million barrels currently. LNG reserves will rise to 18.4 million kiloliters by 2034, up from 13.7 million, the report says.
Jang Daul, a government relations and advocacy specialist at Greenpeace East Asia based in Seoul, of course had a problem with the idea, telling Bloomberg: “The fact that the new government is saying renewable energy will be adjusted at a ‘reasonable level’ basically means it will be lowering the renewable electricity target.”
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 23:05
Is The Chinese Yuan Beginning To Chip Away At Dollar Dominance?
China appears to be chipping away at dollar dominance.
While there is no indication that the dollar is in imminent danger of toppling from its perch as the global reserve currency, more central banks are warming up to the yuan.
According to UBS Asset Management’s annual reserve manager survey, about 85% of central banks said they are invested in or are considering investing in the Chinese yuan. That’s up from 81% a year earlier.
USB surveyed 30 top central banks.
On average, central bank foreign exchange managers plan to hold about 5.8% of reserves in yuan within the next 10 years. That would represent a sharp increase from the 2.9% level of global reserve yuan holdings reported by the International Monetary Fund in late June.
Meanwhile, the average share of US dollar holdings dropped to 63% as of June 2022, according to the survey. That was down from 69% in the previous year.
According to Business Insider, the response to the invasion of Ukraine “has increased talk about a ‘multipolar’ world, in which the US is no longer the overwhelmingly dominant force.
There is some speculation that the weaponization of the dollar to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine has motivated some countries to diversify away from the dollar. Less exposure to the greenback means less exposure to diplomatic and economic pressure from Washington DC.
Declining confidence in the dollar started long before recent events in Ukraine. The Federal Reserve printed trillions of dollars out of thin air in response to COVID-19. This devalued the dollar as evidenced by the surge in prices over the last year. This was the predictable result of creating money out of thin air and handing it out to spend. More money chasing the same amount (or with governments shutting down economies fewer) goods and services will always lead to a general rise in prices.
The only reason the US can get away with this policy to the extent that it does is its role as the world reserve currency. There is a built-in global demand for dollars that helps absorb the money printing. But what happens if that demand drops? What happens if China and other countries decide they don’t want to hold a currency that is losing value every day?
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the US cut some Russian banks, including the central bank, off from the SWIFT payment system.
SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The system enables financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized environment. Since the dollar serves as the world reserve currency, SWIFT facilitates the international dollar system.
SWIFT and dollar dominance gives the US a great deal of leverage over other countries.
And the US went a step further. In an unprecedented move, the Federal Reserve froze Russia’s dollar reserves. In effect, Russia’s dollar assets are valueless to the country. It can’t use them at all.
Even if you think Russia deserves these draconian economic sanctions, it’s important to remember that they could come at a cost.
Recent dollar strength compared to other world currencies suggests that the dollar remains in a strong position. But things could shift quickly. How much more borrowing and printing will the world tolerate before they become wary of holding dollars? And will the US propensity to use the dollar as a foreign policy weapon undermine trust in the greenback?
The world is watching.
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 22:45
Heat Dome Roasting Millions Across Central US
A dangerous heat wave continues to linger over the central and southern Plains to the Southeast.
“There is a strong heat dome, and underneath that, we have had much above-normal to near-record temperatures.
“The pattern has been pretty stagnant and consistent for the last several weeks,” Zack Taylor, a senior branch forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center, told Bloomberg.
Widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories stretch across Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and all the way to the Carolinas for Thursday.
Taylor said two low-pressure systems, one in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, have trapped heat in the central US for the last several weeks.
On Thursday, metro areas in the central and southern Plains could break daily temperature records. Memphis is expected to break a 147-year record of 102 degrees Ferhinheigth set in 1875.
Dangerous heat will continue across the Mid-South this week. The entire Mid-South is in an Excessive Heat Warning through at least Thursday evening for heat index values at or above 110 degrees. #tnwx #arwx #mswx #mowx pic.twitter.com/rgxd6ian4x
— NWS Memphis (@NWSMemphis) July 6, 2022
Relief might not come until late next week as the heat dome trapped over the central US continues to bake millions of people.
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 22:25
Treasury Market Whiplash Speaks To Lack Of Conviction, Liquidity
By Benjamin Purvis, Bloomberg Markets Live commentator and reporter
The switchbacks that US rate markets have witnessed in the past few days have been quite breathtaking. It’s not just that the moves have been big — we’ve been seeing a lot of that lately as traders adjust their views on inflation and growth — but that the market has been turning so sharply within the space of a session, and seemingly out of proportion to any change in fundamental circumstances that data or central bank commentary might suggest.
The volatility underscores not only a lack of certainty about which way inflation and recession risks will play out, but also speaks to both the lack of liquidity within markets and a lack of real conviction among investors. The former has been a hot topic of discussion, particularly as the Fed embarks on its quantitative tightening program. And the latter is borne out by recent indicators that show many folks desperately clinging to neutral stances.
The big round number that is 3% provides a useful illustration for just how whiplashy things have been. Earlier on Wednesday, it was a key focus for the long end, with the 30-year breaking below that level for the first time in over a month. But by day’s end, the long bond was nowhere near there and it was the two-year rate pushing back above that level.
The 10-year yield meanwhile had a roundtrip of almost 19 basis points on the day Wednesday, having been down more than 6 and ending up by more than 12. And it had an even bigger journey the day before, albeit in a broadly opposite direction.
This doesn’t all happen in a vacuum, of course. Various economic indicators and the release of the most recent Fed minutes have provided plenty for traders to chew on. The vagaries of risk-taking in stock markets and elsewhere are also adding to the turbulence. But it’s still hard to see a catalyst for investors genuinely reassessing their views so much in such a short period of time.
And indeed, if you step back a little, you see they’re not. Despite all the sound and fury, the ranges for say, the 10-year yield, have been broadly similar for the past three days. Little wonder, I guess, that real money investors might look to stay on the sidelines a bit longer, at least until they summon a slightly more conviction themselves about which way the economy, policy and markets are headed.
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 22:05
At Times Square in New York, parents lined up to vaccinate their children, age 6months to five years old. As
Biden’s Green Agenda Is Causing US Power Grid To Be “Incredibly Vulnerable”
Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Every U.S. region could be at risk for significant power outages this summer as companies rush to convert to non-fossil fuel and non-nuclear energy sources, an analyst says.
“I think the entire country is incredibly vulnerable, because the entire country is facing a huge energy shortage and I don’t think there is any place that is truly safe,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power the Future, told Fox News on July 4.
Turner said that states that have caved to pressure to switch to “green energy” sources, including wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, could suffer this year.
“The areas of the country I’d be most concerned about are the ones that already have inherent weaknesses,” he told the outlet. “Texas, California, New Mexico, New York, all of New England. These are areas whose policies and political decisions have weakened their electric grid.”
Countries and U.S. states that have “pushed green energy mandates by government action” haven’t been successful, he said.
“And you can measure that on multiple levels of success, in terms of what they’ve actually purported to or claim that they would produce in terms of electricity, reliability, cost,” he added. “In terms of actual construction, or cost to the consumers.”
Earlier this year, some power companies, grid operators, and other groups have warned about brownouts and rolling blackouts—especially in the Midwestern states.
“A recent generation capacity auction has revealed that the Midwest could fall short of needed generation capacity to serve the summer peak load under certain conditions,” the SouthEastern Illinois Electrical Cooperative wrote in a recent letter. “In the event that this happens, your Cooperative would be directed to disconnect a portion of the load in order to prevent an electric grid failure.”
Amid possible shortfalls, some Michigan firms have called on consumers to tell officials to keep power companies online.
“We need your help to keep the lights on in Michigan this summer and beyond,” Thumb Electric Cooperative General Manager Dallas Braun wrote on Facebook in a recent post. “Electric reliability is at risk today and demand is projected to grow. As soon as this WEEK Michigan regulators are considering closing down more power plants in Michigan. Please join ME in telling them that reliability matters and that they shouldn’t prematurely close these plants.”
Meanwhile, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) seasonal assessment said that Michigan could face power shortages this year, according to JT Smith, MISO’s executive director, in media interviews last month and in May.
His group’s seasonal assessment warned that “capacity shortfalls in both the north and central regions of MISO and leaving those areas at increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk electric system,” Smith told NPR.
MISO, meanwhile, will take steps to implement controlled power outages across Michigan. That’s a step the operator has never taken before, it said.
Read more here…
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 18:45
Tesla China Sales For June Come In At About 78,000 Vehicles, Up 142% Sequentially
While Tesla’s Q2 deliveries in the U.S. fell short of expectations, it looks like the company is heading into Q3 with momentum in China.
Tesla sold about 78,000 China-made cars in June, up 142% from May, according to Street Insider, who cited preliminary data announced by the China Passenger Car Association early this week.
The company sold 32,165 cars in China in May, the report notes. In sum, EVs are seeing momentum in China for the month of June, as the country begins re-opening (again). 1.926 million passenger cars have been sold in China in June, the report says, which is a 22% rise from last year.
As we noted yesterday, after Tesla’s big Q2 deliveries miss and despite the fact that the company recorded its best production for June in history, analysts are souring on the name. The latest investment bank to lower its price target on Tesla has been JP Morgan, who said yesterday that shares could fall 40% from current levels.
“Expansion into higher volume segments with lower price points seems fraught with greater risk relative to demand, execution and competition,” a note from JP Morgan analysts said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
The note continued: “There may be reason to believe that production, and financial results, could be being impacted also by company-specific execution issues at the company’s new factories in Austin and Berlin.”
The investment bank then cut its price target on the company from $395 to $385 – about a 40% drop from the stock’s current levels close to $680 per share.
JP Morgan’s price target is considerably lower than the Refinitiv median price target, which stands at $950.
Recall, Tesla was out over the weekend said that it delivered just 254,695 vehicles for Q2 2022, as the company hit snags due to its Shanghai shutdown and supply chain issues.
Despite this, the company’s June month was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history, according to Bloomberg. The company’s deliveries represent a 26.7% gain in deliveries from last year and a drop from last quarter’s record of 310,048.
The drop marked the lowest delivery quarter since Q3 2021 for Model 3/Y vehicles.
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 18:25
US Deploys F-35 Stealth Fighters To South Korea For Joint Military Drills
The six aircraft departed from the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on Tuesday.
The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said they would join several other U.S. and South Korean aircraft, including South Korea’s F-35As, during the 10-day military drills involving “familiarization and routine training flights.”
— U.S. Forces Korea (@USForcesKorea) July 5, 2022
“The aircraft plan to operate over the Republic of Korea and surrounding waters off the coasts during the scheduled 10-day training mission,” the USFK said in a statement, referring to South Korea’s official name.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the purpose was to demonstrate the two allies’ “strong deterrence and combined defense posture,” as well as “to improve interoperability between the two air forces,” Yonhap News Agency reported.
This follows an agreement between President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart, Yoon Suk-yeol, in May to initiate talks on expanding joint military drills on the Korean Peninsula and reinforcing the combined defense posture.
During their meeting, Biden reaffirmed the U.S. extended deterrence commitment to South Korea “using the full range of U.S. defense capabilities, including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities.”
The two leaders condemned North Korea’s resumption of nuclear tests as a “grave threat” to the world while remaining open to dialogue with Pyongyang.
North Korea’s nuclear threats have prompted South Korea to boost cooperation with both the U.S. and Japan.
On June 29, the three countries’ leaders met on the sidelines of the NATO summit and discussed the need to enhance “trilateral cooperation” against Pyongyang.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry denounced the tripartite alliance as a means to materialize the U.S.’s plan to form a military alliance similar to NATO in the Asia-Pacific region, Pyongyang’s official news agency reported.
“The reality clearly shows that the real purpose of the U.S. spreading the rumor about ‘threat from North Korea’ is to provide an excuse for attaining military supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region including the Korean Peninsula, and furthermore, the rest of the world,” it stated.
“The prevailing situation more urgently calls for building up the country’s defenses to actively cope with the rapid aggravation of the security environment of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world,” the ministry added.
Pyongyang has conducted 18 missile launches involving 33 ballistic missiles since the beginning of the year, and Washington anticipated that it could conduct a seventh nuclear test at “any time.”
The United States has been urging a return to a dialogue with North Korea, which Pyongyang has ignored because of what it says are the United States and its allies’ hostile policies.
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 18:05
Top Democrats, Staffers Fume Over White House’s Chaotic Impotence
Democrats are livid over the Biden administration’s tepid response to several recent US Supreme Court decisions which struck devastating blows to the party’s core tenets; abortion and gun control.
For example, former “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing was among dozens of celebrity Democratic supporters participating in a call with White House aides last Monday to brainstorm a response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
According to Messing (via CNN), “Messing said she’d gotten Joe Biden elected and wanted to know why she was being asked to do anything at all, yelling that there didn’t even seem a point to voting. Others wondered why the call was happening.”
After the call, the White House sent a follow-up email with a list of basic talking points and suggested clips of Biden speeches to share on TikTok.
The call, three days after the decision eliminating federal abortion rights, encapsulates the overwhelming sense of frustration among Democrats with Biden. It offers a new window into what many in the President’s party describe as a mismanagement permeating the White House. –CNN
According to top Democrats – two dozen of which spoke with CNN (including White House staffers), Biden either isn’t acting with – or isn’t capable of – the urgency required in the moment, raising questions over ‘basic management’ abilities.
“Rudderless, aimless and hopeless,” said one member of Congress in describing the White House.
As an example of the sheer incompetence, top Biden aides are still wrangling over a response to Roe more than a week after the ruling, despite the draft decision leaking six weeks beforehand.
White House counsel Dana Remus had assured senior aides the Supreme Court wouldn’t rule on abortion that day. A White House press aide assigned to the issue was walking to get coffee when the alert hit. Several Democratic leaders privately mocked how the President stood in the foyer of the White House, squinting through his remarks from a teleprompter as demonstrators poured into the streets, making only vague promises of action because he and aides hadn’t decided on more. -CNN
Meanwhile, frustrated Democratic politicians say they’ve reached out to work with Biden on a variety of issues – between specific bills, brainstorming, or outreach – and often never hear back. Potential appointees are left sitting for months for word on whether they’ll get jobs, or when the Biden admin will be done vetting them. What’s more, the Biden admin rarely sends invitations to events, and ‘thank-you calls barely happen.’
Others within the administration are wondering why Biden didn’t fire anyone from the West Wing or the FDA over the baby food formula debacle.
Inside the White House, aides are reportedly exhausted from ‘feeling forever on red alert,’ and dealing with a flood of never-ending crises that seem to just get worse.
Several officials say Biden’s tendency to berate advisers when he’s displeased with how a situation is being handled or when events go off poorly has trickled down the ranks in the West Wing, leaving several mid-level aides feeling blamed for failings despite lacking any real ability to influence the building’s decision-making. That’s contributed to some of the recent staff departures, according to people familiar. -CNN
As a result of the chaos and impotence, Democrats worry that midterm elections will be a bloodbath – as the sheer level of ineptitude are “feeding a sense that the President couldn’t truly handle the extra complications of a run for reelection in 2024 — and along the way, reinforcing narratives that he’s an old man not fit for the moment.”
“There’s no fight,” another Democrat told CNN. “People understand that a lot of this is out of his hands — but what you want to see is the President out there swinging.”
CNN notes that what little the Biden admin has done (release oil from the SPR, invoking the Defense Production Act to address baby formula shortages, and suggesting a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax) hasn’t made a dent; “The baby formula shortage persists, inflation remains high and gas prices, though slightly down from their high, are still hovering close to $5 a gallon.”
“It had the appearance of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks,” one official said off the record.
Other sources say that the White House is ‘bottlenecked’ by indecision – with veteran advisers urging Biden to look at the bigger picture vs. focusing on fast responses, while few are trying – and even fewer succeeding – in getting Biden past his ‘infamous inability to settle on decisions’ on everything from Chinese imports to canceling student loan debt.
Biden has been mulling what to do on student loans for more than a year. White House staff drafted a memo on the topic weeks ago, and a final decision is now being targeted ahead of when the current repayment pause expires on August 31 — further aggravating progressives who say Biden’s indecision is hurting people with debt who are trying to make plans, and losing much of the political benefit he could get from it. -CNN
Biden’s defenders argue that he’s a scapegoat.
“The country didn’t elect Joe Biden because they wanted a Democratic Donald Trump to go out there every day and divide the country more,” said former Congressman Cedric Richmond, who served in the West Wing during Biden’s first year, adding that Democrats attacking Biden are “scapegoating the President, or distracted and not focusing on what they should be focused on. He saved democracy once by beating a tyrant. He’s doing it again, but he doesn’t do it by beating his chest.”
Wed, 07/06/2022 – 17:45
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