February 11th, 2022: Republican Infighting, President Biden on NBC, and COVID-19
Today, Paul Brandus shares news regarding the RNC split over the January 6th insurrection, revelations from President Biden during his interview with NBC, and the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republicans squabble among themselves over last year’s attack on the Capitol.
A warning from President Biden for Americans in Ukraine
And covid deaths at horrible levels - but most Americans just want to move on.
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports— it’s Friday, February 11th.
You may have heard that the head of the Republican National Committee said the attack on the Capitol last year was nothing more than quote — legitimate political discourse. Supporters of then-president Donald Trump attacked cops, injured some 140 of them, defecated on the floors, put a gallows and went hunting for then-Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Legitimate political discourse. That RNC has also chosen to censure two leading GOP lawmakers — Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger from Illinois. Their offense? Serving on a House Commissiom that’s investigating the Capitol attack.
Some influential Republicans say their Republican National Committee has gone too far. One of them is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Of course, many Republicans think McConnell’s a tool. Trump himself says the longtime Kentucky Senator — who has been elected to the Senate seven times in a row — is a loser.
Meantime the investigation into the attack on the Capitol rolls on. Among the things we learned this week:
Trump's onetime lawyer Rudy Giuliani asked a Republican prosecutor in Michigan to hand over county voting machines, based on a false cheating conspiracy theory.
Trump removed classified documents — some 15 boxes worth — from the White House complex and took them to Mar-A-Lago — his Florida home. Presidents can declassify any material at any time - but there’s no evidence he did so in this case. The suggestion s that Trump is — at a minimum — guilty of gross hypocrisy given his criticism of Hillary Clinton over classified material on her email server that may have cost her the 2016 election.
And — in shades of Watergate — the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon four decades ago — certain records of phone calls made to and from Trump on January 6th — the day his supporters attacked the Capitol — are missing.
You don’t need me to tell you that prices are up — the seven-and-a-half percent rate of inflation is now the highest since the Reagan era. Supply chain shortages brought about by the pandemic are the principal reason — that’s what most economists say. It’s a nightmare for President Biden and Democrats though — as the November midterms loom.
The president was asked about inflation by NBC’s Lester Holt:
Meantime, a gusher of red ink— Americans piled up more than a trillion—with a T—in new debt in 2021 — the most in 14 years — the Federal Reserve now says total consumer debt is now 15-point-six trillion dollars. But don’t worry — says the Wall Street Journal, which reports that delinquency levels on consumer loans are quite low — at least for now.
President Biden continues to up the pressure on Russia — which Biden says could invade Ukraine at anytime. More from his interview on NBC:
He’s been saying for weeks now that the Russians — will pay a stiff price IF they invade — and now says, explicitly, said that any invasion means the Kremlin can kiss a key energy pipeline to Germany goodbye — the so-called Nordstream 2 pipeline.
That comment was from this week’s news conference with the new German Chancellor.
Covid deaths continue to pile up. Let’s just look at one day — Tuesday — three-thousand and 16 Americans dead. That’s more than the number of Americans who did on 9-11, more than died at Pearl Harbor or on D-Day. For the week ended February 8th — nearly 18-thousand dead — in one week. And in January: 61-thousand, 591 — according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and NBC.
Obviously horrible numbers, deep pain for tens of thousands of families — giant medical bills too. As everyone knows — or should know — the vast majority of deaths are among the UN-vaccinated. The vast majority.
But there’s growing political pressure for states to back away from mask mandates — and from New York to California and in between — even blue states are loosening guidelines.
The current death toll is now well past 900-thousand — one in 366 Americans have died. The death toll may pass the million mark in just a few weeks.
I’ll open up the history vault in a moment — first let’s hear about ANOTHER Evergreen podcast — that I know you'll enjoy”
Time now to open up the West Wing Reports archives — and see what made history this week in the past:
1809: Abraham Lincoln was born. He was the 16th president, serving between 1861-65. Lincoln—widely regarded as America’s greatest president—preserved the Union during the Civil War, and helped end slavery in the United States. For this effort, he was known as the “Great Emancipator,” though he waffled on the issue of slavery in the early stages of his presidency.
1933: President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt. It happened in Miami, when a gunman fired five shots into Roosevelt's car. The bullets missed FDR, but killed the Mayor of Chicago. The killer got swift justice — convicted and executed five weeks later.
Little things change history. In 1935 — Gerald Ford was offered a contract by the NFL's Green Bay Packers (also the Chicago Bears). He opted to go to Yale Law School instead. Decades later President Ford joked that if he had played in the NFL, he might have become famous
And 1953: Dwight Eisenhower denied clemency for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, for passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. They were executed four months later.
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I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: it's from John F. Kennedy —