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October 15th, 2021: COVID-19 Developments, the Jan.6th Commission, and the National Hiring Shortage

This week, White House Correspondent Paul Brandus has the latest - and positive - developments on the insights on the pandemic, and the fight over January 6th investigation. Also: former President Trump's unusual message to Republicans, and a look at the jobs market with BankRate’s Mark Hamrick. Email me at [email protected], and follow me on Twitter @WestWingReport.

New data says we could — COULD be turning the corner on the pandemic.

Full steam ahead for the January 6th commission — and some unusual advice from Donald Trump to his fellow Republicans.

And jobs, jobs, jobs — millions of openings nationwide — but where are the applicants?

I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports— it’s Friday, October 15th.
Encouraging news on the pandemic front — children ages five to eleven — are closer to getting vaccinated. That’s according to President Biden — who says his administration is ready to — as soon as the FDA gives the green light:

A vaccine for children can’t come fast enough — the number of new cases in children remains — quote “exceptionally high" — quote with nearly 150-thousand cases last week alone — that’s according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Meanwhile — the Moderna Covid-19 booster for SENIORS has cleared an FDA panel — the vote 19-to-nothing. Final approval is expected shortly.

Here’s some other hopeful news — the Centers for Disease Control - the CDC — says caseloads, hospitalizations and deaths of ADULTS are likely to trend lower over the next few weeks. So far, more than HALF of adults are fully vaccinated in 35 states — five more states say more than two-THIRDS of adults are fully vaccinated. The total number of deaths in the U-S is now about 725-thousand.

Turning to other news — Here’s something odd — Donald Trump — says REPUBLICANS should NOT vote in next year’s midterm elections OR the 2024 presidential election. You heard that right — the former president — who is hinting about running again — says Republicans should NOT run unless what he calls the — quote — election fraud of 2020 — unquote is solved.

It’s worth noting — again — that state officials around the country — and dozens of state and federal judges — have dismissed scores of lawsuits presented by Trump and his allies — challenging the election. There has been NO evidence of the fraud.In any case — Trump is now telling REPUBLICANS — REPUBLICANS — NOT to run in 2022 or 2024.

Trump’s comments come as the investigation into the January 6th attack — BY his supporters on the Capitol — gathers steam. Four key Trump allies have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee that’s investigating the attack on our Democracy — those ordered to appear: former chief of Staff Mark Meadows and aides Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel. They will have to produce relevant documents by Oct. 7 and appear for depositions the following week. All four were close to Trump on Jan. 6 and may have information on how involved the Trump administration was in the rally and subsequent attack on the Capitol.

Bannon — says he won’t cooperate — The chairman of the committee says Bannon will be held in criminal contempt — theoretically he could be arrested and prosecuted. The more we learn ABOUT January 6th — the more alarming it is. Author and professor Kimberley Way-lee of the University of Baltimore Law School is out with a new book — “What You Need to Know ABout Voting and Why” says people need to recognize that we had — and may still be in — a full-blown Constitutional crisis:

Did you hear that? No - longer - a democracy. No way to sugar coat it — this is sobering — and scary stuff.

A few other items from another crowded week:

The sound of aluminum on asphalt — that’s lawmakers kicking the can down the road on the debt ceiling — both the House and Senate agreeing to lift the ceiling another 480-billion dollars. That avoids what everyone — both Republicans and Democrats say would be an economic catastrophe. But 480-billion — that’s only enough for six or seven weeks — there’ll be another debt standoff in December. By the way, one thing you need to know about the debt ceiling — it doesn’t allow NEW spending — it only allows the government to pay its EXISTING debts. New spending can ONLY be authorized by Congress.

And good news for the nearly 70 million Americans on Social Security — they’re getting a cost-of-living raise of nearly six percent — it’s effective in January. Why six percent? Because that matches the inflation rate —the Social Security folks say. The government spends more on Social Security than anything else by far — this year alone — more than one-point-one trillion dollars.

Now let’s open up the West Wing Reports archives — and take a look at what made history this week in the past:

Construction on the White House began in 1792 — largely with slave labor. Took eight years to finish — and cost the 2021 equivalent of about 80-million dollars. You might not know that back then it was known as the “Presidential Palace,” and later the “Executive Mansion.” It wasn’t until this week in 1901 — when Theodore Roosevelt changed it to “White House.”

What else happened this week?

Two more things involving EX-president Theodore Roosevelt. He became the first president to fly in an airplane — that was 1910. And in 1912m when running for president again — he was shot while giving a speech — a thick folded copy OF his speech and an eyeglass case slowed the bullet down — he was bleeding — but INSISTED on finishing his 90-minute speech before going to the hospital. “It takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” he bragged.

And ever heard of Spiro Agnew? I’ll bet you haven’t. He was Richard Nixon’s Vice President — that is until he resigned in 1973 — after getting snared in a tax-evasion scandal. Only two VPs have ever resigned. Imagine this: If Agnew had REMAINED Vice-President — he would have become president when Richard Nixon resigned HIMSELF ten months later!

Instead Nixon had to pick a new VP:

It was Ford, of course, who would go on to succeed Nixon the next year.

One final item: Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Want more history? Check out my books on Amazon — I’ll sign ‘em for you too — just shoot me an email. I’ll give the address in a minute.

I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: it’s from our third president — Thomas Jefferson:

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

Think about it.

That’s all for this week. Here’s my email — [email protected].

That’s p-b-r-a-n-d-u-s. [email protected]podcasts.com

I try my best to answer all emails — all I ask is keep it civil — disagree all you want — but keep it civil. Please include your full name and town — and thank you.

West Wing Reports is a production of Evergreen Podcasts.

Special thanks to CSPAN for the audio clips.

Our producer and sound designer and engineer: Noah Foutz

Executive producers: Michael D’Aleoia and Gerardo Orlando.

I’m Paul Brandus — thanks for listening — see you next time.

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