WE ALL SCREAM … NY POST: Biden insists US economy is ‘strong as hell’ as he munches an ice cream cone (VIDEO)
President Joe Biden apparently got brain freeze during a pit stop at an Oregon ice-cream parlor over the weekend and forgot about the millions of Americans suffering financially when asked about the economy.
“I’m not concerned about the strength of the dollar, I’m concerned about the rest of the world. Does that make sense?” the commander in chief asked reporters Saturday when questioned about worries that the US dollar’s surging strength is accelerating the rise of international inflation.
Asked to explain, Biden, 79, replied, “Our economy is strong as hell” — as he munched on a waffle cone of Baskin Robbins chocolate-chip ice cream.
MARKETS HAVE OFFICIALLY LOST ALL OF THEIR GAINS — AND MORE — SINCE BIDEN’S INAUGURATION… AXIOS: How Biden’s stock market compares to Trump and Obama
The S&P 500 has lost value during President Biden’s term, whereas it was in positive territory at this point in the terms of former Presidents Trump and Obama.
By the numbers: The S&P 500 is down 5.6% between the last market close before Biden’s inauguration and this past Friday’s market close.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS IN FREEFALL… NY POST: Average American is losing $34K and everything else on Biden’s watch
The average 401(k) plan had over $135,000 at the start of this year. Today, those assets have shrunk on average to about $101,000.
In other words, the average 401(k) plan is down about $34,000 — more than 25% in less than one year!
(In terms of purchasing power, inflation also has brought the “real value,” in 2021 dollars, of the average 401(k) down another $5,000, from $101,000 to $96,000).
REPUBLICAN SUPPORT GROWS AHEAD OF MIDTERMS… NYT: Republicans Gain Edge as Voters Worry About Economy, Times/Siena Poll Finds
Republicans enter the final weeks of the contest for control of Congress with a narrow but distinctive advantage as the economy and inflation have surged as the dominant concerns, giving the party momentum to take back power from Democrats in next month’s midterm elections, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found.
The poll shows that 49 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for a Republican to represent them in Congress on Nov. 8, compared with 45 percent who planned to vote for a Democrat. The result represents an improvement for Republicans since September, when Democrats held a one-point edge among likely voters in the last Times/Siena poll. (The October poll’s unrounded margin is closer to three points, not the four points that the rounded figures imply.)
With inflation unrelenting and the stock market steadily on the decline, the share of likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America has leaped since July, to 44 percent from 36 percent — far higher than any other issue. And voters most concerned with the economy favored Republicans overwhelmingly, by more than a two-to-one margin.
CNN ELECTIONS ANALYST: WE’RE ‘UNDERSELLING’ THE POTENTIAL FOR A BIG RED WAVE… HARRY ENTEN, CNN: A Republican wave in the House is still quite possible
I’d make the argument, though, that we’re underselling the potential of a big Republican night. And the potential for a GOP blowout is where we begin our look at the week that was in politics. […]
While it could be argued that Republicans getting to 230 House seats wouldn’t be a “wave” given their relatively high baseline heading into the election, 230 seats would be the same number Republicans ended up with after the historic 1994 midterm election, when they ended 50 years of uninterrupted Democratic control of the House.
Speaking of that 1994 election, President Joe Biden’s average approval rating (43%) going into this midterm is lower than Bill Clinton’s (45%) heading into the 1994 midterm.
GOP PUMPING CASH INTO SOLIDLY BLUE DISTRICTS… AXIOS: Democrats’ blue-state headaches
House Republicans are increasingly confident they can make unexpected inroads into some solidly Democratic congressional districts, including in some of the bluest states in the country: California, Connecticut, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. […]
The Congressional Leadership Fund, aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has spent or reserved over $23 million on ads in eight Democratic-held districts that President Biden carried by double-digit margins. (Ariz.-4, Calif.-13, Calif.-47, Calif.-49, Conn.-5, N.Y.-17, Ore.-4, R.I.-2.)
The NRCC is also spending $2.2 million on coordinated or hybrid ad buys with their nominees in five more Democratic-held districts that Biden carried by double-digits. (Calif.-26, Ga.-2, N.M.-3, N.Y.-4, Ore.-6).
REPUBLICAN COULD WIN UPSET IN OREGON GOVERNOR’S RACE… NATE HOCHMAN: Christine Drazan Is in The Hunt
Oregon Democrats could be staring at their worst election in decades. […]
Most significant of all, in the governor’s contest, “Republican Christine Drazan has a genuine chance to defeat Democrat Tina Kotek by attacking the status quo on homelessness and crime, in a race scrambled by an independent bid by wealthy ex-Democrat Betsy Johnson.”
It’s hard to overstate how revolutionary a Drazan victory would be. A Republican hasn’t occupied the Oregon governor’s mansion since 1987, when Victor Atiyeh, a Syrian-American carpet-salesman-turned-Reagan-
MORE FROM NATE… Poll: 64 Percent of Americans Blame ‘Woke Politicians’ for Crime Spike
A new Harvard-Harris poll, published earlier this week, has a number of interesting findings about the mood of the American electorate, but one stands out as particularly striking:
[Do you think that the increase in crime is the fault of woke politicians or other factors?
WOKE POLITICIANS … DEM 52% … GOP 75% … IND/OTH 60% …
OTHER FACTORS … DEM 48% … GOP 25% … IND/OTH 40% …]
The fact that a majority of Democrats aren’t just ceding that “wokeness” is a problem in the abstract, but that it’s directly responsible for one of the defining issues of the 2022 election — crime and public safety — is bad news for the Left. It’s also yet another indication that the contemporary culture war can and should be a winner for Republicans, if they’re willing to run aggressively on them; these aren’t boutique right-wing base issues. They have implications that are felt across the political spectrum.
EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING BEGINS TODAY IN GEORGIA… WARNOCK, WALKER SQUARED OFF FRIDAY IN FIRST-AND-ONLY DEBATE…
‘INSTEAD OF ABORTING THOSE BABIES, WHY ARE YOU NOT BAPTIZING THOSE BABIES?’ … RNC: Herschel Walker to Raphael Warnock: “He told me Black lives matters.” … “In Atlanta, Georgia there are more Black babies that are aborted than anything. So, if Black lives matter why are you not protecting those babies?” #GASenDebate (VIDEO)
MEDIA MOCK WALKER FOR DISPLAYING POLICE BADGE GIVEN TO HIM LOCAL SHERIFF… NYT: What Was That Badge Herschel Walker Flashed in His Debate?
“One thing I have not done — I’ve never pretended to be a police officer, and I’ve never threatened a shootout with police,” Mr. Warnock said, referencing controversies in Mr. Walker’s past. At which point, Mr. Walker flashed the badge in response, saying he had “worked with many police officers.”
The badge was given to him in recognition of community service work he had done with the Cobb County sheriff’s department, according to his campaign spokesman, Will Kiley. Mr. Walker also has an honorary badge from the sheriff department in Johnson County in East Georgia, which includes his hometown, Wrightsville. Representatives for the sheriff’s departments in both counties were unavailable for comment.
One of the debate moderators, the WSAV anchor Tina Tyus-Shaw, admonished Mr. Walker after he brandished the badge and asked him to put it away. She said that he was “well aware” of the debate’s rules against using props onstage.
“It’s not a prop,” Mr. Walker countered. “This is real.”
SHERIFF CONFIRMS WALKER IS ENTITLED TO ASSIST POLICE ‘IN A CRISIS’… NBC: Senate Candidate Herschel Walker Say[s] Why He Flashed A Police Badge During Friday’s Debate (VIDEO)
“The Johnson County sheriff confirms to NBC news he gave Walker the honorary badge, and could enlist Walker’s help in a crisis.”
GEORGIA MEDIA STUNNED BY WALKER’S GOOD PERFORMANCE… ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Herschel Walker’s debate performance scores points for his campaign
If the Friday showdown was a make-or-break moment for Walker, as some analysts predicted it would be, the Republican didn’t snap. And to some of his supporters, the hourlong debate forged him into a stronger contender. […]
He was desperate to stem the tide of split-ticket Republican voters who back Kemp’s reelection campaign but were wavering over whether to cast a ballot for Walker. His answer, time and again, was to tie Warnock to President Joe Biden and his 38% approval rating. […]
When Warnock gave his standard answer to a question about restricting abortion, saying the decision should be between a woman and her doctor, Walker shot back a prepared response tailor-made to invigorate conservatives: “Did he not mention that there’s a baby in that room as well?”
Meanwhile, Warnock’s policy-driven approach hit snags as he struggled to answer key questions, including whether the Supreme Court should be expanded and if he wanted Biden go seek a second term in 2024.
ADAM VAN BRIMMER, SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS: Herschel Walker beat expectations in Georgia U.S. Senate debate. Will it matter in election?
Given the opportunity – and the appropriate prop – Herschel Walker could have justifiably punctuated his walk off the U.S. Senate debate stage Friday night by spiking a football. […]
He was charming. He was quick-witted. He came across as the more genuine of the candidates – he out-Warnocked Sen. Raphael Warnock.
MORE DEBATES TONIGHT… POLITICO…
Today: Three big debates: Georgia Gov. BRIAN KEMP and STACEY ABRAMS debate at 7 p.m.
In Ohio, Senate hopefuls Rep. TIM RYAN and J.D. VANCE meet in Youngstown at 7 p.m. for their second debate.
In Utah, Sen. MIKE LEE and independent EVAN McMULLIN square off at 8 p.m. Eastern. …
‘SI SE PWADWAY!’ … DESPERATE DEMS TURN TO DR. JILL FOR HELP… JOE IS TOO UNPOPULAR… REPORT ALSO DETAILS HOW JILL HAS MORE CONTROL OVER WHITE HOUSE STAFF THAN JOE… NYT: Democrats in Tight Races Turn to Jill Biden on the Campaign Trail
With President Biden’s job approval hovering at about 40 percent at a moment when Democrats are struggling to hold on to the House and Senate, Dr. Biden has become a lifeline for candidates trying to draw attention and money but not the baggage that an appearance with her husband would bring. According to a senior White House official, she is the most requested surrogate in the administration. […]
Compared with her husband, Dr. Biden is the more disciplined communicator. Her missteps, which are rare, have occurred not off the cuff but during the speeches she works to commit to memory. Over the summer, she was criticized when she compared the diversity of the Hispanic community to the breadth of breakfast taco options available in Texas.
She is incredibly protective of Mr. Biden, and has been involved in the hiring of his press staff and other senior aides. (She vetted Jen Psaki, Mr. Biden’s first press secretary, alongside her husband.) She has been direct when she believes they have not protected him: After Mr. Biden delivered a nearly two-hour news conference in January, members of his senior staff were rehashing the appearance in the Treaty Room when the first lady appeared.
She pointedly asked the group, which included the president, why nobody stepped in to stop it, according to a person who was in the room. Where was the person, she demanded, who was supposed to end the news conference?
BIDEN OFFICIALS OPEN FIRE AGAINST THEIR OWN BORDER PROTECTION CHIEF — WHO CRITICIZED LAX DEPORTATION POLICIES… POLITICO: Biden’s top border chief comes under internal fire
Five current administration officials who work with CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus portrayed him as unengaged in his job, saying he often doesn’t attend White House meetings on the situation on the border, badmouths other agencies to colleagues and superiors, and has not built relationships within CBP and across other agencies to address the influx of migrants at the border. […]
Magnus also made the case that his critics were either unfair or uninformed. Six of those internal critics, for example, remarked to POLITICO that they had seen Magnus fall asleep during multiple meetings, including one earlier this year on how to handle the current swell of Venezuelans crossing the border. Magnus explained to POLITICO that he experienced brief periods of tiredness as a side effect of his multiple sclerosis, the neurological condition he was diagnosed with 15 years ago; and that he adjusted medication levels to deal with those side effects. […]
CBP has also complained that ICE has failed to keep up with issuing “notice to appear” documents, which instruct migrants when to appear before immigration judges and can begin the deportation process, according to one former Biden administration official. CBP has raised concerns that decreased enforcement action by ICE may encourage even more migrants to make the trek north — and strain already overwhelmed Border Patrol officers.
SCHUMER: I DIDN’T KNOW PELOSI’S DAUGHTER WAS FILMING… PROBABLY NOT APPROPRIATE… POLITICO…
On a new episode of Molly Jong-Fast’s podcast, “Fast Politics,” out today, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER recounts his experiences on Jan. 6, like coming “within 20 feet” of rioters. He also weighs in on the newly public footage that ALEXANDRA PELOSI captured inside Fort McNair: “I didn’t even know she was doing a tape, a filming of this. Probably if she had asked, I would have said, ‘I don’t know if it’s appropriate,’ but there she was, and it ended up doing good.”
QUESTION… HOW MUCH HAS ALEXANDRA PELOSI BEEN PAID FOR HER J6 FOOTAGE? BY CNN? HBO?
FAUCI FIBS AGAIN… ‘I Had Nothing To Do With It’: Fauci Says He Had No Say In School Closings (VIDEO)
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a Sunday interview that he was not responsible for school closings ahead of retiring from his position as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci admitted that the “deleterious collateral consequences” of school closures should have been realized, according to an ABC News interview. He continued to say that while he is criticized for being responsible for school closings during the COVID-19 pandemic, he “had nothing to do with it.”
“If you go back, and I ask anybody to go back over the number of times that I’ve said we’ve got to do everything we can to keep the schools open, no one plays that clip. They always say ‘Fauci was responsible for closing schools.’ I had nothing to do [with it]. I mean, let’s get down to the facts,” Fauci said to Jonathan Karl of ABC News.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Fauci said that in areas where there is “community spread” schools should be shut down, according to an interview with PBS News.
“So, clearly, in certain circumstances, particularly in areas where there’s community spread, the schools should be closed,” Fauci told PBS News.
In April 2020, Fauci criticized Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to keep schools open throughout the pandemic warning about the spread of the virus, in a White House Briefing.
“If you have a situation where you don’t have a real good control over an outbreak and you allow children together, they will likely get infected,” Fauci said.