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World & Nation
FBI raid galvanized Trump’s base, but federal probe threatens to hobble his third White House run
The FBI’s surprise search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home stirred up a hornet’s nest of anger among his loyal base, who are more determined than ever to help Mr. Trump win a second term in the White House.
But the raid, and any charges the Department of Justice may lodge against the former president, may trip up another presidential campaign if Mr. Trump runs in 2024.
“The big political question is whether this galvanizes his base now, but ultimately turns off swing voters later,” said Clarus Research Group President Ron Faucheux.
Indeed, among Mr. Trump’s base, enthusiasm for another White House bid only grew stronger following the FBI raid on Monday.
83 Percent of GOP Voters Say FBI Raid on Trump Increases Desire to Vote
FBI politicization began under Mueller, former agent says
Biden, White House Press Secretary Say Inflation Was Zero In July: Here's The Actual Number
President Joe Biden spoke on Wednesday after signing legislation boosting health care benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving in the military.
What Happened: Before speaking about the bill, the president said “I want to say a word about news that came out relative to the economy, actually, I just want to say a number. Zero. Today, we received news that our economy has zero percent inflation in the month of July.”
What Biden (and the White House) meant: topline inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, was flat. It did not grow or decrease month over month, translating to an 8.5% gain year over year, according to Labor Department data issued on Wednesday.
We just received news that our economy had 0% inflation in July. While the price of some things went up, the price of others, like gas, clothing, and more, dropped.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) August 10, 2022
Why It Matters: The all-items index for July 2022 was unchanged from the previous month, but it remains 8.5% on an annualized basis. While 8.5% inflation remains high, there are hints of a cooling — inflation declined from a 41-year high of 9.1% last month.
‘Significantly high’ percentage of Democrats worried about Biden’s mental health
A new survey out this morning said that a “significantly high” percentage of Democrats are now concerned about Biden’s situation, not just critics.
“Among Democrats, for instance, just 39% of Democrats say they are worried about Biden’s mental condition, versus 82% of Republicans and 56% of independents. But that 39% of Democrats, while not a majority, is still significantly high,” said the I&I/TIPP analysis.
Overall, 59% in the poll of 1,335 adults said that they are concerned about Biden. Of that, 36% said they are “very concerned,” said the analysis.
Judicial group launches ads claiming Democrats endanger Supreme Court justices
A conservative judicial group launched a $10 million ad campaign this week claiming that Democrats are endangering Supreme Court justices, and is targeting Attorney General Merrick Garland in its first ad.
Judicial Crisis Network‘s first cable and digital ad will launch Thursday in the Washington, D.C., market.
It claims that Mr. Garland cowered to a ”woke mob” by refusing to enforce federal laws against protesting in front of a justice’s home as an attempt to obstruct justice.
“Merrick Garland has consistently bowed to the radical left’s agenda, whether it’s calling concerned parents ‘domestic terrorists’ or suing states for protecting the unborn. What the Attorney General is clearly *not* doing is enforcing a federal law designed to protect judges at their homes, as mobs of protestors continue to harass six of the Court’s justices at their homes, even after the attempted assassination of Brett Kavanaugh,” Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, said in a statement.
Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine
The prisoners at the penal colony in St. Petersburg were expecting a visit by officials, thinking it would be some sort of inspection. Instead, men in uniform arrived and offered them amnesty — if they agreed to fight alongside the Russian army in Ukraine.
Over the following days, about a dozen or so left the prison, according to a woman whose boyfriend is serving a sentence there. Speaking on condition of anonymity because she feared reprisals, she said her boyfriend wasn’t among the volunteers, although with years left on his sentence, he “couldn’t not think about it.”
As Russia continues to suffer losses in its invasion of Ukraine, now nearing its sixth month, the Kremlin has refused to announce a full-blown mobilization — a move that could be very unpopular for President Vladimir Putin. That has led instead to a covert recruitment effort that includes using prisoners to make up the manpower shortage.
This also is happening amid reports that hundreds of Russian soldiers are refusing to fight and trying to quit the military.
Taliban’s Afghanistan goes back to the future one year after U.S. leaves
Al Qaeda’s top leader was hiding out inside the country with no apparent fear of arrest. Women and religious minorities face systematic oppression, international aid groups say, as the government rolls back basic human rights and steadily imposes a media blackout to cover it up.
That description seems to fit Afghanistan today just as well as it did in the late 1990s when the Taliban’s first reign created one of the world’s most repressive societies and a sanctuary from which Islamic terrorists, led by Osama bin Laden, launched the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A year after the final U.S. and foreign combat troops left Afghanistan after two decades of war, critics say it is jarring but not at all surprising that the country has fallen so far backward so quickly. Indeed, the Taliban’s second round of power looks eerily similar to the first in its brutality, discrimination and inability or unwillingness to keep the world’s most wanted terrorists out of the country. Now, as then, the leaders of one of the world’s most desperately poor countries are shut off from the West and struggling to jump-start the economy.
Iran dismisses U.S. charges of plot to murder John Bolton as ‘baseless’
Iran’s Foreign Ministry is dismissing U.S. charges that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer plotted to kill former National Security Adviser John Bolton, in Tehran’s first official response to the sensational charges laid out Wednesday by the Justice Department.
Prosecutors alleged Wednesday that Shahram Poursafi, a member of the Iranian paramilitary group, had offered to pay up to $300,000 to target Mr. Bolton, a longtime critic of the theocratic regime in Tehran.
U.S. officials said the strike was planned to avenge the death of top Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Suleimani, killed in early 2020 in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.
More Top News
Inaptly named Inflation Reduction Act may come back to hurt Democrats in midterms
The Biden administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill have again defied basic logic in arguing that by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, inflation will decline from its current rate of 8.5 percent.
For the low, low price of $740 billion, the U.S. is projected to see its inflation rate stay more or less the same over the next two years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Meanwhile, White House senior adviser Jared Bernstein, citing a Moody’s estimate, says the massive new spending bill will take inflation down by just a third of a point.
And that’s the optimistic estimate from a White House that has gotten it wrong or outright misled the public about inflation time after time. Last summer, we were promised it was “transitory”, a blip that would come and go. Then we were told it was all Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault for invading Ukraine in February, despite that inflation had been rising for a year prior to Russian boots entering the country.
‘Inflation reduction’ bill? Don’t buy Democrats’ fantastical twisting of reality.
Senate Democrats on Sunday pushed through with a party-line vote the “Inflation Reduction Act,” which seeks to address climate change and prescription drug prices by … spending lots of money and growing government.
“It’s the greatest example of deceptive marketing there is today,” says EJ Antoni, an economics research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, who defines inflation as “too much money chasing too few goods.”
Wouldn't it be nice if simply slapping a hopeful name on a bill would translate into lower prices at the pump and grocery store? That seems to be what Democrats in Congress hope the American people will believe.
Congress is broken. It can be fixed
The routine avoidance of regular order and process is a cancer on the legislative branch
A few days ago, in an unintentionally hilarious self-parody, a senior executive at the electric truck maker Rivian complained that the tax credits in Sen. Joe Manchin III’s reconciliation legislation weren’t going to work for the company because none of the pickup trucks the company makes sell for less than $80,000 — which means they don’t qualify for the tax credit in the bill.
While the income and price limits in the Manchin-led spending legislation are pretty generous, they apparently are not generous enough for some. It’s bad enough that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, suggested that the entire section may need to be rewritten.
The Rivian official and Mr. Whitehouse have a point. Because reconciliation was negotiated by two people — Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York — and did not go through regular order, its defects are being discovered essentially on the fly.