As we head off…

Preparing for a vacation break

Let’s just close the loop on a few things as we close shop for the next ten days.

The January 6th committee finished with a flourish last week and promised to be back in September with more hearings. Why September?
Well, they have August off. and why let a resurrection, as some call it, interfere with that?
And, if you are surprised this will bleed into the mid terms, well, I guess you haven’t read this blog closely.

Now, the committee has done a terrific job of portraying the former President as worried about himself, his reelection and over turning votes more important than anything else. They have gone after him to the point they are praising so many other Republicans. Before this could you conceive that Democrats would praise Liz Cheney and Mike Pence?
Have they hurt the former President enough to deny him the nomination in 2024?
I think they have hurt him, and if a primary opponent talks of electability Trump can be beat, but as he proved Saturday in Arizona, he can draw the faithful.
The problem is the faithful might be a majority of his party, but they are not the nation overall.

And therein lies a most interesting aspect of the whole thing.
The hearing hardens Trump’s faithful supporters and they are a minority of voters.
The Democrats are knocking out the one candidate they can most easily compete against in 2024.

In fact, in her closing statement, Vice Chair Cheney said that the key question “every American must consider” after the hearings was this:
“Can a president who was willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of Jan. 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?”
If Republicans answer by denying the former President in 2024, the Democrats will have shot themselves in the ballot box.
And the questions from the Sunday Show about Liz Cheney running in the 2024 Presidential Primary is a joke.

Look at this from Rupert Murdoch, owner of the WSJ and NY Post, both more conservative editorial newspapers: The story headline was this: “The President Who Stood Still on Jan. 6.”
Here’s a quote from the column:
“Mr. Trump took an oath to defend the Constitution, and he had a duty as Commander in Chief to protect the Capitol from a mob attacking it in his name. He refused. He didn’t call the military to send help. He didn’t call Pence to check on the safety of his loyal VP. Instead he fed the mob’s anger and let the riot play out.
In the 18 months since, Mr. Trump has shown not an iota of regret … Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr. Pence passed his Jan. 6 trial. Mr. Trump utterly failed his.”
Tough words from a supportive source.

Speaking of 2024, isn’t it interesting that former first lady Michelle Obama has written a new book that will come out on Nov. 15, right after the mid terms? If the Democrats lose as predicted, there Michelle will be on the airwaves pushing her new book and adoring interviewers asking her if she is running in 2024 to save the party.
Wouldn’t Michelle be one candidate who can save the party in 2024?

As the President recovers from covid he did have some thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
He doesn’t think she should go. A major break with the Speakers planned visit.
Why?
It’s clear he fears provoking China who pledged severe countermeasures if she visits.
In a reversal of norm, the Republicans are supporting Pelosi’s visit. Interesting.
The last major US Government official to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich. He went as speaker with President Clinton’s support. When China reacted, Gingrich said, okay I’ll go to Taiwan and skip China. At that point China relented.
What will happen now?
I am guessing there will be an “excuse” to delay the visit and it doesn’t occur.
If that does occur, it will be just another bow to China.

Take note of what CIA Director Bill Burns said of China and its plans to attack Taiwan:
He believes China was “unsettled” by Russia’s mistakes in Ukraine and learned lessons from it.
“I suspect the lesson the Chinese leadership and military are drawing is that you’ve got to amass overwhelming force for any attack on Taiwan.”
He also said that he “wouldn’t underestimate President XI’s determination to assert Chinese control” over Taiwan and that “the risks of that become higher … the further into this decade that you get.”
What will Nancy do?

The Hunter Biden investigation you are hearing about in some circles that “has intensified and reached a crucial decision point” is much ado about nothing. Do you really think that the Biden Justice Department led by AG Garland is going to indict the President’s son?
Here’s my bet.
They say it was an IRS matter and Hunter’s back taxes were now paid. End of story. Let’s see.

So let me see, the media and people tell me “the price of gas has gone down again.” They seem delighted and happy. What a joke. On Election Day 2020, the price per gallon was $2.12. On the day the President took office it was $2.39. This weekend it was $4.41 and we are celebrating what? That it’s no longer $5.05? That’s it’s “only” $2.39 per gallon higher than Election Day and $2.02 than the day he took office?
If you are celebrating the “new lower cost” you might now be considered a member of the fool me all the time club.

We’ll be off, but on Thursday we will get the official GNP number for the second quarter. Since the first quarter was down, the official definition of a recession is two down quarters in a row. We think it will be down.
Watch the administration spin on this.
From “it’s temporary” to it’s “transitory” they will now tell you not to believe the definition. The age old definition is wrong, they will say, and they have this under control.
And you know what? Some people will believe them that this is not a recession.

Secretary Yellen began that drumbeat on Meet The Press, as she said the U.S. economy shows no signs of being in recession. 
A recession is a broad-based contraction that affects many sectors of the economy. We just don’t have that,” she added, while acknowledging painfully high prices for many goods and services.

Congress heads out this week for the month. We’ll be back in a week.

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