Krystal and Saagar talk about the Dem and GOP primary results, GOP Gov nominee in PA, Madison Cawthorn losing, DHS board shutting down, Baby formula action from Biden, NATO countries free riding, Democrats civil war, and an interview on geopolitics with Peter Zeihan.
Merch: https://breaking-points.myshopify.com/ Peter Zeihan: https://bookshop.org/books/the-end-of…
Timestamps: Primary results: 0:00 – 30:00 Mastriano: 30:01 – 39:05 Cawthorn: 39:06 – 44:22 DHS Board: 44:23 – 52:51 Baby Formula: 52:52 – 1:00:32 Saagar: 1:00:33 – 1:11:53 Krystal: 1:11:54 – 1:21:01 Peter Zeihan: 1:21:02 – 1:38:58 Bush: 1:38:59 – 1:48:06
5/19 NEWSLETTER: Dem & GOP Primary Results, NATO Disparity, Dem Civil War, DHS Board, & More!
Welcome to the May 19th, 2022 premium newsletter for Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar that has all the information used in today’s program. No major announcements today, except to remind you again that the one year anniversary of the show is coming up! Please renew your subscription if you are on the one year plan to help us continue expanding the reach of the show in preparation for the 2022 general elections.
Now to the content of the show…
Tuesday night saw major primary elections take place for Democrats and Republicans in multiple states, with Pennsylvania capturing the most attention because of its electoral significance. Beginning with the GOP where a highly competitive primary for the Senate nomination has come down to razor thin
margins between Trump backed
Dr. Oz and hedge fund manager Dave McCormick. The votes are still being counted as of late Wednesday and early Thursday at the writing of this newsletter, with a recount likely to be triggered by PA state law to determine the results. McCormick is counting on a late boost from mail-in ballots to clinch a victory for him, and Dr. Oz has put his faith in the last remaining votes to be counted in a select few counties. The other competitive candidate Kathy Barnette finished in third place after surging late and being seen as a dark horse to win. Analysts believe the Barnette campaign likely took votes away from Dr. Oz, who built his base of support in the eastern part of the state like she did. McCormick’s strategy of gathering support in the western part of the state and spending big on attack ads appears to have paid off, with his narrow lead against Dr. Oz coming as a slight surprise. The Oz campaign has put a spotlight on how Trump endorsed
GOP candidates fared across the country on Tuesday after a few
of his other candidates lost in primaries. In primaries not on the former President’s radar, it appears that intra-party opponents of his were comfortably victorious
in their elections. The Trump endorsement has proved vital for other Senate primary winners such as JD Vance in Ohio and Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina. But his backing has not guaranteed victory in other races like the Idaho Gov. primary and for freshman firebrand Rep. Madison Cawthorn. For more on Cawthorn and another Trump backed primary winner, see the next blocks of the show.
On the Democratic side, heavy favorites in PA won as Lt Gov. John Fetterman
triumphed in the Senate primary over Conor Lamb and AG Josh Shapiro
ran virtually unopposed. Fetterman has been in the hospital recovering from a stroke, which did not cut into the large lead in polls he had over moderate Dem Rep. Lamb who had significant financial backing of his campaign. Shapiro’s lack of opposition highlights his tenure as state AG that has seen him take on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, political corruption in state, firearm distribution, and Trump’s ‘stop the steal’ fight. Both of these men have been elected to statewide office and will serve as formidable candidates for Dems in the general election cycle, with Fetterman making known his plan to bring his populist message
all over Pennsylvania, even in deep red Trump country against either McCormick or Oz. Josh Shapiro will be running against Doug Mastriano, who will be the subject of the next block.
The success of Fetterman kicked off a triumphant night for progressives, as state Rep. Summer Lee
narrowly won her primary for a deep blue, open seat against a well funded opponent backed by party leaders. Likewise, eight term incumbent moderate Kurt Schrader in Oregon was defeated by
progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner despite large corporate PAC funding and President Biden’s endorsement. The Schrader campaign spent his opponent 10-1 in the primary, yet fell vulnerable to attacks comparing him to Joe Manchin for fighting against a drug price reduction bill. Another Oregon primary saw a progressive state Rep. Andrea Salinas defeated outsider lawyer Carrick Flynn for a seat in a new district that will feature a competitive general election fight come November. Flynn’s campaign was boosted by $12 million in Super PAC money, mostly from crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, who has become a major Democratic donor this cycle. Salinas will run against Republican businessman Mike Ericksen who has previously run unsuccessfully for congress twice in 2006 and 2008. There were other progressives in North Carolina who were defeated by well funded moderate opponents, nonetheless the left has taken these results as a reminder to establishment Democrats that they still have fight in them.
Building off the A block, Krystal and Saagar focus on the GOP nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who previously served as an Army Colonel. He won
with over 40% of the vote in a crowded field that included former Rep. Lou Barletta who was an early backer of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The aforementioned former President endorsed Mastriano, who rose to prominence for supporting unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in Pennsylvania that resulted in unsuccessful legal battles. He was shown marching into the US Capitol as part of the January 6th riots that he confirmed in a later statement. Other conspiracy theories Mastriano has expressed support for have been 9/11 trutherism and QAnon. Aside from his fervent
‘stop the steal’ advocacy, Mastriano supports a six week abortion ban, lowering taxes, and funding charter school programs.
The GOP establishment is panicking that Mastriano was victorious in the primary who supported Barletta and other opponents because they do not believe Mastriano will win a general election, which Mastriano responded to by calling them “stupid” in a closed door rally. His opponent will be PA AG Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who ran uncontested in the primary and has an extensive track record as the state’s lead attorney. Former President Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016 and narrowly lost the perennial swing state to President Biden, which is why observers believe Mastriano will need to moderate his stances without alienating his base. Democratic backers will be thrilled that Mastriano is facing Shapiro, considering that they sent out mailers
in support of him in the primary with the view that he would be the easiest opponent for Shapiro.
Mastriano has dismissed Shapiro’s desire to face him in the general election and plans on tying him to the controversial covid guidelines ordered by Gov. Tom Wolfe back in 2020. Shapiro has an $18 million war chest to work with in the campaign that could help him counter Mastriano’s attacks and push him over the line in a very unfavorable midterm environment.
First term conservative firebrand Madison Cawthorn has lost
in the North Carolina GOP primary for re-election after a slew of scandals turned the GOP establishment against him
and sank his primary campaign. He first made waves with an unexpected primary victory over a Trump backed candidate in 2020 for an open NC seat that put him on his way to becoming one of the youngest US congress members in history at age 26. He quickly built a large social media following and became subject to intense criticism from opponents for fabricating his backstory, sexual assault allegations, and controversial online images from his past. The stardom of Cawthorn led to a speaking slot at the 2020 GOP national convention only months after his primary victory that looked to promote him as a future party leader. He generated further controversy for egging on the January 6th Capitol riot after being a leader in the ‘stop the steal’ movement to contest the 2020 election defeat of Donald Trump. Later in 2021 Cawthorn walked back some of his comments at the time that some viewed as trying to have it both ways. After continuing to become a lightning rod online, he came back into the spotlight for a claim about invites to ‘orgies’ from lawmakers in Washington as part of a culture of ‘sexual perversion’ and drug use. Cawthorn walked back his comments after a meeting with GOP leaders who told Cawthorn he lost their trust.
The scandals around Cawthorn came quickly afterwards involving his participation in an insider trading crypto scheme, illegal firemarms possession, crossdressing at a party, and what appears to be a homosexual relationship with his second cousin. Timing could not have been worse for Cawthorn, as the slew of scandals combined with substantial backing from Sen. Thom Tillis and the GOP establishment propelled state Sen. Chuck Edwards to victory in the Republican primary. Given Cawthorn’s notoriety and large online following, he will likely find work elsewhere in conservative politics after the humiliating defeat.
After much controversy and criticism from this show and others, the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Disinformation’ Governance Board has been disbanded and its head Nina Jankowicz has resigned. The scoop was first obtained by the Washington Post, whose editorialized
piece of reporting reflects liberal disappointment that what has been labeled an Orwellian ministry of truth
has been disbanded. The White House attempted to distance itself from the DHS initiative that received strong criticism from conservatives, libertarians, progressives, and even some center-left commentators. Jankowicz herself was shown to be susceptible to false stories involving Russiagate and the Hunter Biden laptop. Her most clear proposal for combatting ‘disinformation’ would be to permit blue checked Twitter users to edit the Tweets of others that the person viewed as being false. In her statement of resignation she blamed mischaracterizations and ‘disinformation’ for ruining the initiative, as did WH Press Sec Karine Jean-Pierre. Republicans characterized it as a major win for free speech and other critics noted that robust journalism is what did it in, not false attacks.
An issue on the mind of many Americans has been the baby formula shortage, and now President Biden is using his executive authority to combat the issue. Biden announced
that he will use the Defense Production Act to increase domestic production of formula and he will launch operation fly formula to use federal planes for flying in European formula. The restrictions on foreign formula have been a subject of much controversy, and it will be addressed in the short term by Biden’s proposal. His plan to invoke the DPA will boost domestic production at a time where closures of a large Abbott labs facility due to contamination has reduced the supply of domestic formula that is usually enough to cover the entire market. It is a demonstration that the executive branch has an extraordinary amount of power to address domestic economic problems if they decide to use it. To better understand the consequences of the baby formula shortage, check out our previous coverage:
In his monologue today, Saagar examines the way America has carried the NATO alliance in terms of funding and support for defense buildup. This comes as Finland and Sweden have submitted applications to join NATO that is being taken as inevitable in US debates and beyond. When NATO was first established, the countries that joined were real strategic allies for the US who were expected to fulfill their defense spending obligations to what was a defensive alliance against the Soviets. Now it serves as a vehicle for the US to underwrite European welfare states by taking on all of the expenses for defense spending, a grievance that became prominent in the Trump years that has now been thrown under the rug because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. America has sent over $50 billion dollars
to Ukraine in the past ten weeks as European countries beat their chests and promise reform in their defense spending practices. Compared to the rest of the alliance, the US is spending tens of billions more to support
Ukraine despite the real threat Russia poses to the European members of the alliance. The United Kingdom has spent $5 billion on Ukraine military aid but in absolute dollar terms no other country has sent a considerable amount of money, and these countries are not spending abnormally high amounts of GDP to mobilize wartime economies to back up their rhetoric.
The NATO members do not feel the need to spend on defense even in times of war because they know America will foot the bill with no questions asked, even after the Cold War where European countries became less important for US grand strategy. Finland insists that their shared border with Russia and military spending at NATO thresholds will make them a strong member of the alliance, but they still spend barely over 2% of national GDP on defense despite their fears of being invaded. Sweden spends even less
than Finland and does not share an 800 mile long border with the Russians. The purpose of this monologue is to spotlight how the American taxpayer is fundamentally underwriting the largest welfare states in the world due to US funding European defense with no credible threats to do otherwise. Opponents of the claim about the problem with the US subsidizing European defense portray the argument as one about NATO more broadly. But Saagar makes the point that he supports NATO, and that if Europe believes war looms on the horizon, they should begin to act like it instead of ripping off American taxpayers.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar talk about how it is unfair that the US is outspending NATO countries at a 10-1 rate with no threat to our border. It has not been explained how the vital US strategic interests align with bankrolling Ukraine at a level nations right on Russia’s border are not willing to commit to. There is no public debate or accountability on the policy decisions being made during the Ukraine war that could lead to public blowback and long term consequences for America and the world.
In her monologue today Krystal goes deeper into the Democratic Party civil war taking place between liberals and leftists right now. The Democrats fear an extinction level
event in New York State as Democrats turn against each other due to newly drawn districts by an independent commissioner after lawsuits struck down a previous map. Open civil war has begun because five incumbents will be pitted against each other in new districts including top House Democrats in leadership Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler. Top Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has been pitted against Brooklyn power broker Yvette Clark and progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman could be pitted against Rep. Mondaire Jones. The latter story has generated headlines because DCCC chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has decided to run in a primary against progressive Rep. Mondaire Jones if the tentative districting map holds up. A large portion of Jones’ district was drawn out of Bowman’s district, even though Jones now lives in Bowman’s portion. But Maloney announced that he is running in the new district that holds a large portion of Jones’ current district because a small portion of his current congressional district is covered in it as well. The logic from Maloney is that the Jones district will be easily winnable for a Democrat, unlike the swing district that he would run in otherwise.
Democrats are fuming
because the DCCC chair is poised to undermine a freshman incumbent which is inappropriate
for the man running the Democrats congressional campaigns. Jones voiced his frustration with Maloney in a new interview and has not announced whether he will run against Maloney or run against fellow black progressive freshman Jamaal Bowman. Krystal points out how even the party line, leadership Democrats are in it for themselves when it really matters. She also points out how identity politics falls apart
and the veil comes off when there are ideological differences between those fighting for power. She emphasizes how policy matters more than identity, except that for establishment Democrats they use identity politics to undermine the left whenever it is convenient. They have even backed a pro-life Democrat in Texas to undermine a progressive challenger, because at the end of the day they believe in nothing but obtaining power.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar discuss the Maloney announcement that came without telling anyone and happened on Twitter right after the new map was released. A primary between Maloney and Jones would be an establishment vs progressive battle taken to a new degree due to Maloney’s power and Jones’s incumbency. Nancy Pelosi has sided with Maloney in what sets out to be a brutal campaign.
Krystal and Saagar are joined by geopolitical analyst and author Peter Zeihan to discuss his upcoming book
and the geopolitical shifts that are taking place due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He offers his analysis on the expansion of NATO being proposed to welcome Finland and Sweden into the alliance that could provoke Russia and generate major geopolitical shifts for other non-member European nations. He also discusses the change in the Russia-China relationship and the end of US orchestrated globalization that will cause economies around the world to retool. Supply chains are already shifting with the wheat from Russia and Ukraine, and the shifts in US trade policy that began with the Trump administration and has been continued by the Biden administration. Population shifts are another factor that is changing global economies because instead of the overpopulation concerns of old, well off adults are having less children than ever and committing more time to work. Zeihan gives his read on the geopolitics of energ
y that is produced by many former Soviet countries and the Persian Gulf conflict zone. The west could possibly expand its energy production domestically and large multinational corporations based in the west could further their foreign direct investment in energy production.
Krystal and Saagar respond to the viral George W. Bush freudian slip
where he admitted that the Iraq war was a brutal and unjust invasion by one man, in a speech where he was discussing Ukraine. They talk about the problems with liberals who have rehabbed war criminals and profiteers of the Bush administration whose foreign policy ruined people’s lives and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Bush and others are still part of polite society despite their lies, even on foreign policy because ultimately there is no remorse from American elites for the heinous act of the Iraq War.
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