TGIF: Buy Your Juuls While You Can
When you fall off your bike, get back on.
TGIF is back with the week in headlines. Or at least, the ones we at Common Sense are talking about. And this week, it’s some bad news for sure, but it’s also a lot of wins. Let’s get to it.
→ Biden falls off the bike that is our economy: Ok the joke didn’t work. But a couple updates: President Biden is calling on Congress to cut the federal gas tax (his own advisors are warning him this would save Americans very little money). The president continues to spin rising costs here in America as “the Putin Price Hike” and this week he trotted out a new culprit for our woes: The owners of gas stations! For real.
The administration is still claiming the economy is great, with Press Secretary Jean-Pierre saying: “We don't see a recession right now . . . we're in a transition where we are going to go into a place of stable and steady growth.” Asked whether the massive stimulus might have led to inflation, Jean-Pierre said: “It has put us in a place where the American people can actually take on inflation.”
Meanwhile, the mainstream media is preparing for a very likely (and apparently very good!) recession. From the Los Angeles Times: “Yes, a recession looks inevitable. But it may not be that bad. Here’s why.” Or Bloomberg: “Inflation Ate Your Free Lunch, But You’re Still Better Off.” Hmm. Tell that to the Americans spending $5 a gallon to fill up their tanks.
→ The January 6th hearings are a doozy this week: Among the lowlights: half a dozen Republican members of the House sought pardons from Trump following the election; and Trump’s legal team may have plotted with members of the Justice Department. But the most harrowing testimonies came from Rusty Bowers, the speaker of the House of Representatives in Arizona, and two election workers in Georgia—Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss. Freeman said: “I’ve lost my name and I've lost my reputation.”
→ White House embraces a race-focused overhaul of the Federal Reserve: Biden last week endorsed a House bill “that would add racial equity to the Fed’s dual mandate of price stability and full employment,” explains the WSJ in this great piece. “The bill directs the Fed to include race in monetary policy, the operation of payment systems, and the supervision of banks and non-banks deemed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council to be systemically important.” It’s a radical move to politicize the Federal Reserve and has received very little attention.
→ Vapes are banned now, soon almost all nicotine too: Smoking fentanyl on the streets is fine, and you’ll even get a nice clean pipe by gentle city workers, but if you try to inhale a puff of that Juul e-cigarette you can soon expect the mighty hand of the federal government to swat it out of your mouth. Biden’s FDA this week has blocked the popular electronic cigarette company Juul from selling products in the U.S. The FDA also this week is rolling out a planned new rule: nicotine must be almost entirely removed from cigarettes.
→ DeSantis overtakes Trump in New Hampshire straw poll: There will come a day when Democrats realize that Trump, despite being an agent of chaos, was somewhat of a moderate Republican (think: Trump being booed by a conservative crowd for promoting the Covid booster). Rising now is the polished, focused, more old-school family values style of Republican candidate, one who also has huge credibility with the new right: Ron DeSantis. In a new straw poll of likely New Hampshire voters, DeSantis fared better against Biden than Trump did. If Dems had any visions of swapping out Biden for Harris, that same poll found that New Hampshire voters expressed extremely unfavorable feelings toward Kamala Harris (with only 23% having a favorable opinion). Meanwhile the DNC has slashed prices for a photo with the Veep—from $15,000 to $5,000. Our money is on DeSantis v. Biden.
→ Maybe this is why crime is rising? A New York City shoplifter with 121 arrests and two felony convictions was caught shoplifting again and, then what do you know, released again. My pet theory is actually the shoplifters and car window smashers riling up city-dwellers about crime (like how I’m riled!) are actually a very small group who are just allowed to re-offend in perpetuity.
→ Republican senate candidate jokes about shooting moderates: Eric Greitens, a Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri and former governor of the state, released a video holding a gun and talking about “going RINO hunting.” RINO is the term for “Republicans in name only,” or those who didn’t go quite MAGA enough. It’s not just Greitens. The Texas GOP convention this week featured activists berating Texas congressman and veteran Dan Crenshaw for being apparently too soft. (This is a man who won a purple heart and lost an eye in Afghanistan.) One guy chased Crenshaw while screaming “eye-patch McCain.”
→ A lot of wild stuff happened at that Texas GOP convention: Echoing Stacey Abrams and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who think 2016 and 2018 elections were illegitimate, the Texas GOP officially, formally wrote election denial into the party platform, stating that Biden “was not legitimately elected.”
→ And the anti-gay agenda is back: In 2018 and 2020, the Texas GOP had dropped from their platform the lines denouncing homosexuality generally and gay marriage specifically. This year, the Christian Right has roared back. Homosexuality was declared “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and the platform called for the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage to be “nullified.” A full 71% of Americans support gay marriage, so this rhetoric is to the right of where most Americans are these days.
→ Speaking of people who really want to lose their cause: Here’s NARAL, an ostensibly pro-choice group that you might think is gearing up for the battle of a lifetime, shoving anyone but the ur-progressives out the door.
→ This map of Jewish people in Boston is just anti-Zionism, we promise! Last week we told you about a map of Jewish places and people that a left-wing Boston group put together and that was promoted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Amid outrage, the official BDS movement is now distancing itself from the map. But don’t worry, a lot of people are coming out in support of it. Like Professor David Miller, who was ousted from the University of Bristol for staggering amounts of antisemitism: “The Zionist regime depends for its lifeblood on the transnational Zionist movement. To dismantle the regime, every single Zionist organisation, the world over, needs to be ended. Every. Single. One.” Boston city councilmember, Kendra Lara, later weighed in on an appeals court decision upholding an anti-BDS law: “Y’all are letting the Zionists SHAKE YOU DOWN.”