June 3rd, 2022: The Debate On Gun Control, Mark Meadows' Text Revelations, and The War in Ukraine
This week, Paul Brandus shares the news from Washington about President Biden's recent remarks about mass shootings in the U.S, the recently uncovered text messages from former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the January 6th attack on the Capitol, the war in Ukraine, the economy, and more.
President Biden unveils a list of gun safety measures — but will Republicans go along?
The economy — four-fifths of Americans say they’re doing fine — thank yet Biden’s approval flirts with new lows.
Text messages lay bare the horror of last year’s attack on the Capitol.
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports from Washington — it’s Friday, June 3d.
The Buffalo and Ulvade mass shootings — those were the big ones you’ve heard about. But there have been others. Tennessee, Oklahoma, Michigan and California in recent days, for example.
As it always does, the carnage — and all the media attention that mass killings get — has galvanized both supporters of tougher gun safety laws — AND gun rights advocates — who are again digging in to resist anything that THEY see as encroachment upon their second amendment rights.
President Biden this week said what he calls common sense gun safety measures — can save lives. You’ve heard the ideas before:
And yet — gun violence as a issue seems to wax and wane in the perception of Americans. A January survey by Pew Research, for example, asked Americans to name what THEY thought was the most pressing concern for 2022. Guns did NOT make the top 18. The economy, health care, the pandemic, education Social Security were the top five, by the way.
The recent massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde may have changed this — but in general, the data suggests that Americans have bigger worries.
Speaking of he economy, four-fifths of Americans say their PERSONAL situation is good — but the general economy has them worried.
One thing that’s no worry is the job market — it remains hot — _________ the unemployment rated ________ in May to _________. ___________ new jobs.
Job growth over the past year and a half has been historic: nearly nine million jobs — some context — that’s more than were created — get this — between 2012 and 2019 COMBINED.
And yet employers STILL can’t find people — there are still 11-point-four million openings nationwide — as of the end of April. That’s according o the Labor Department.
Off setting the good jobs news is inflation — eight-point-three percent. President Biden saying it’s probably not going to come down anytime soon. The president blames the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine — both of which have hurt supply chains and caused shortages. Republicans, however, blame heavy government spending — saying it has put too much money into the economy.
Other economic news — mortgage rates continue to rise — but SO far — not much impact on housing prices. They’re up more than 20% over the year ended in March — that’s according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The cost a 30-year fixed mortgage now about five-point-three percent, Last fall, you could have gotten two-point eight.
Hillary Clinton has beaten Donald Trump — sort of. Her lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a guy named Michael Sussmann — has been acquitted of lying to the FBI. A Justice Department special counsel — John Durham — had spent three long, and taxpayer costly years looking for wrongdoing in the original probe into whether Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians. Sussmann was accused of lying about passing a tip to the FBI. After his acquittal the Clinton lawyer said “holy cow, that was nerve racking."
Speaking of Donald Trump — the investigation into the January 6th attack on the Capitol rolls on. We know that within minutes of the 2021 attack — White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows began getting tons of text messages. :lawmakers former administration official, Fox News people, even Trump’s oldest son, Dn, Jr.
Their texts all carried the same frantic plea: President Trump needed to IMMEDIATERLY denounce the violence and tell the mob to go home.
Former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman — who has been working with the January 6th committee — has pieced together from the messages to Meadows a disturbing story. He spoke to CNN:
The January 6th committee will hold public hearings shortly and it’s expected to be a blockbuster event.
Keep in mind - this is NOT a partisan event — or at least should NOT be — it’s about an attack on our Capitol — the worst in more than two centuries.
Turning overseas: After the U-S left a nuclear agreement with Iran, that country began to speed up its enrichment of weapons grade uranium. The U-N’s nuclear watchdog says Iran now has enough material to make its first atomic bomb.
American weapons continue to pour into Ukraine — ALSO something new — the U-S has conducted offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine too that disclosure this week — this as the war rolls on It’s now in its fourth month.
How much longer could it go on? Perhaps for years — some analysts now say.
Richard Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations — he spoke to the New York Times:
And no one sees that in the cards — a negotiated settlement — because Volodamyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader, refuses to grant ANY territory to the Russians — he’s going to hang tough — while Vladimir Putin hasn’t achieved his aims yet — and perhaps never will. That’s the bug picture as most people see it. More from Haass:
In fact, a long-drawn out conflict MAY be, at this point, Putin’s best hope. That’s because as the war keeps pushing up food and energy prices in Europe and here in America, political support COULD fade.
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Time now to open up the West Wing Reports archives — and see what made history this week in the past:
1800 - John Adams - the first president to live in the new nation's capital, Washington D.C. - the White House was still under constriction, so he took a room at a tavern — which sounds pretty cozy. And the president took his meals in the dining room with other residents.
1942 — Eighty years go — the turning point of the Pacific War — the Battle of Midway, when the U.S. got revenge for Pearl Harbor by sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers. It’s regarded as one of the greatest, and most decisive naval battles in history.
President Roosevelt announcing D-Day — the Allied invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe. The greatest amphibious operation in military history — with the Soviets advancing from the East and the Americans, British and others from the West — the war in Europe would end ten 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 President Biden — who spoke at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Our heritage AND our future — united by these common bonds.
Think about it.
That’s all for this week. Here’s my email again — [email protected].
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.