Media

Breaking Points: 7/7/22 FULL UNCUT SHOW

Krystal and Saagar talk about Boris Johnson resigning, Biden administration’s incompetence, Highland Park shooting revelations, airlines lying, Dem rigging against Green party, Steve Bannon vs Rogan, natural gas crisis, GOP crazies, & oil market volatility!

Merch: https://breaking-points.myshopify.com/

Rory Johnston: https://www.commoditycontext.com/

Highland Park Fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/irina-and-…

Timestamps: Boris: 0:0010:28 Biden: 10:2934:46 Highland Park: 34:4741:23 Airlines: 41:2450:54 Dem Rigging: 50:5558:15 Rogan: 58:161:07:58 Saagar: 1:07:591:17:26 Krystal: 1:17:271:26:36 Rory Johnston: 1:26:371:39:04

7/7 NEWSLETTER: Biden 2024, Highland Park, Airlines, Dem Rigging, Gas Chaos, & More!
Welcome to the 7/7/22 edition of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar premium newsletter. The ticket sales for the live show went live for non-premium members last week, but you still have time to get your tickets.
Click here: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E005CD6DBFF6D47 with password Breaking Points to get yours! Lifetime members, please send james@breakingpoints.com a receipt when you purchase your tickets so we can get you a refund. Programming Update: Krystal will be back in the studio today, and the normal Breaking Points schedule will return next week.
BORIS
Early Thursday morning, embattled British prime minister Boris Johnson resigned after a parliamentary revolt by his fellow Tories. It’s a far fall from grace for the man who was elected resoundingly in 2019 with the promise to follow through with Brexit. An endless stream of scandals for the Prime Minister and his government eventually led to his ouster. When Johnson appeared for testimony for an annual oversight hearing, he was grilled by hostile senior MPs triggering mass resignations. Johnson delivered a resignation speech this morning, and a new conservative cabinet will be appointed in the meantime. Whoever gets appointed prime minister will be up against Keir Starmer and the Labour party in upcoming elections. For Americans, the most important aspect of Johnson resigning is his aggressive posture towards the war in Ukraine no longer being a factor. But as America continues driving the west’s policy there won’t be a dramatic change.
BIDEN 2024
Criticism of Joe Biden from within his ranks is growing by the day. Democrats are wondering if the White House is capable of meeting the moment after repeated delays in responding to titanic SCOTUS decisions. Members of Congress, activists, top operatives, and staff within the White House have become disgruntled by the mismanagement throughout the executive branch. More than a week after the Roe decision, top Biden aides are still wrangling over releasing actions in response, despite the six week head start given by the draft opinion leak. The release of the official ruling caught top Biden officials off guard, and the President’s meek response read from a teleprompter was privately mocked by Democratic leaders. Aides are continuously on red alert for a crisis situation, appointees have waited for months, Democrats in Congress have been ghosted, and Biden has repeatedly berated advisors. Democrats worry this mismanagement could hurt the party in the midterms and beyond. Criticism of the Biden administration within the party is growing bolder because of the lack of action and negative political landscape. For example, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office publicly expressed their displeasure with Biden’s nomination of a pro-life judge to a federal lifetime appointment. Beshear is a moderate Democrat known as a team player within the party which reflects how deep the frustration with Biden is for Democrats. The mismanagement and crises have led to staff turnover with Biden’s communications director quietly leaving her post. She had been a trusted aide of Biden’s since his time as Vice President, and other longtime confidantes could follow her lead.
Democrats have been looking for alternatives to Biden because of their anger with his administration. Gavin Newsom’s national profile is growing, and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is being explored as another option. Both are showcasing more boldness than the President combined with an agenda unlikely to rattle the feathers of leadership. Pritzker is receiving national attention for his response to the Highland Park shooting in a wealthy suburb of Illinois. He called for continued action on gun control after the bipartisan legislation passed imposing new restrictions. In polling data, Americans have shown strong support for candidates besides Biden and Trump. They also believe the country is headed in the wrong direction at an astonishing 88% clip. Joe Biden’s approval rating is down at 36%, and it is only 74% among Democrats, signaling a window for Newsom or Pritzker to take advantage of.
HIGHLAND PARK
More information has been released about the highland park shooter and the events leading up to the slaughter. Law enforcement officials reportedly had two prior encounters with the gunman in 2019. The first came in April of that year after he attempted suicide, and other was in September when he issued serious threats after acquiring deadly weapons. Given the strong gun restrictions in Illinois, including Highland Park, the shooter passed four background checks to obtain a firearm. His father covered for his son after the second incident to enable his son to purchase the weapon. When the shooter applied for a gun license, his father sponsored the application to enable a then 19 year old to receive the license. The victim total of the shooting is up to seven, and the shooter confessed to the crime to law enforcement. He was considering another attack afterwards according to prosecutors, and the suspect is being held without bail for seven charges of first degree murder.
AIRLINES
The turmoil facing Americans in every aspect of the economy has been particularly pronounced in airlines this Summer. The Federal Aviation Administration within the Department of Transportation issued a sharp response to United and other airlines for holiday cancellations. They said on July 3rd & 4th, over 1100 flights were canceled despite no FAA staffing related delays. A quarter of the canceled flights were United Airlines flights. Overlapping factors have affected the system including airline staffing levels, weather, high volume, and ATC capacity. The FAA says the majority of delays and cancellations are not because of staffing at the FAA. The agency promised to keep holding airlines accountable and collaborate with them to ensure Americans a smooth travel experience. United Airlines was less optimistic about the situation and believes cancellations will continue throughout the Summer. The airline blamed the lack of air traffic controllers in contrast to the FAA diagnosis. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s strategy for mitigating the airline dysfunction is still unclear, and he says he disagrees with the United Airlines claim.
DEM RIGGING
Democrats have boldly and repeatedly expressed their commitment to democracy making it a familiar talking point. In a North Carolina Senate race, the tune is less clear after they successfully schemed to remove Green party candidate Matthew Hoh from the ballot. Recordings and eyewitness accounts show Democratic officials falsely portraying themselves as Green party members to the Board of Elections while bombarding petition signers with false claims. The Board of Elections voted against the Green party’s petition for their candidates to appear on the ballot, in a 3-2 decision in a party line vote. Three Democrats voted against and two Republicans voted for them to be on the ballot. It means the Greens will miss their Friday deadline for nominating candidates and will not be on the November ballot. Concerns have been raised about the progressive third party dividing voters and handing elections to Republicans in a swing state. Concerns about irregularities and possible fraud were cited as reasons to vote against the Green petition. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and party aligned lawyers participated in the investigations of Green party signatures. The Green party’s officials believe political opponents used anti-democratic tactics to suppress them from the ballot.
BANNON VS ROGAN
Podcaster Joe Rogan generated buzz after stating that he declined a Trump interview on his podcast multiple times. He said that he did not want to help Trump’s political prospects because he is not a Trump in an interview with podcaster Lex Fridman. Rogan is a dear friend of Breaking Points and has amplified the show’s reach. He made similar comments to Krystal and Saagar when they interviewed him in June of last year. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon ripped Rogan for his actions and questioned the intelligence of Rogan’s audience. He criticized Rogan’s lucrative, exclusive deal with Spotify and claimed Trump does not need Rogan’s audience. Bannon continues to be influential on the right despite his falling out with Donald Trump and was recently indicted once again. Rogan has yet to respond to Bannon’s words, and they are unlikely to provoke anything more than a passing remark. The world’s most popular podcaster has become a frequent target of journalists and has become accustomed to the controversy that comes with his amount of reach.
SAAGAR
In his monologue, Saagar talks again about gas, this time with an eye on the chaos of natural gas markets. Over the last two decades the natural gas revolution has changed American life, because it became a cheap and reliable source of power around the country. It has become a major global commodity and served to underwrite economic growth around the world. Now we are paying the price for globalization in the market. US natural gas makes up 40% of all American power and in Europe the figure is 25%. America makes plenty of natural gas at home, contrasting with Europe who is the largest importer of it in the world. They receive 40% of their natural gas from Russia before the invasion of Ukraine. The Russians are geographically close by and mass produce cheap natural gas, but the European commitment to cut themselves off with Russia has extended to natural gas. Either way, Europe still needs natural gas for power, and they are being hammered by global disruption. Market prices are soaring and it could make energy bills for Americans incredibly expensive. The world will have to brace itself for a cataclysmic event coming when Russia completely shuts down its Nord Stream 1 pipeline that carries natural gas to Europe. The shutdown is scheduled to only last 11 days but Europeans are worried it could go on indefinitely as an act of economic warfare. A crisis for Italy, Germany, and other European nations could lead to rationing and turning back to coal for power. Prices are only cheaper in America because exports are being disrupted by a fire at a major freeport.
When prices equalize at home, Americans will be facing massive energy bills. But Europe is even more screwed because of how little infrastructure on their content for producing natural gas. In third world countries, blackouts are already coming because of expensive natural gas. They are quickly reverting back to coal, which is doing major environmental damage. It is a major sign that the global order is unraveling, particularly for Germany who posted its first trade deficit since 1991. Their trade surplus was underwritten by cheap Russian natural gas used to manufacture good and export them to the world. A decline of Europe’s biggest continental power will have dire ramifications for the world in natural gas markets and beyond. For the hubris of the globalized economy, the world will have to pay the price.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar talk about the pricing of natural gas on the global market leading to higher prices in America. The EU designated nuclear energy as a green power source, potentially leading to more nuclear power on the continent. It is another sign that economic warfare against Russia has completely backfired for the domestic populations of western countries who will take the pain. Nobody will admit it but German leaders might be forced to confront it by rolling blackouts and recessions.
KRYSTAL
In her monologue today, Krystal focuses on the only factor that could salvage midterms for the Democrats: Republican absurdity. Offered no hope from inflation, the economy, guns, or abortion, Democrats only have a glimmer of hope from the GOP fringe. A clip from an Arizona GOP debate exemplifies the kinds of behavior Democrats are hoping for. Election conspiracies, white ethnic views, bizarre abortion rhetoric, and an unseriousness of the candidates in that debate are not isolated incidents. The Roe decision, January 6th hearings, and other events are bringing out the freak in Republican candidates running in the midterms. It might not be enough to totally rescue Democrats from themselves, but it appears the GOP is trying to make a resounding midterm victory more difficult. Outlandish statements on abortion, such as one likening it to child sacrifice and connecting it to demonic possession have been making waves. Similarly, elected officials in Republican states are emboldened by SCOTUS to pursue deeply unpopular policies enforcing sodomy laws, fining women who travel to other states, and total abortion bans. A national abortion ban has been touted by GOP officials up to former VP Mike Pence and including top Congressional representatives. Republican Lawmakers are being asked about their views on the subject by journalists, who are successfully provoking outlandish responses that GOP candidates will have to answer to.
Horror stories are coming in after abortion bans took place in states across America. A ten year old who was raped missed a deadline by three days in Ohio due to the state’s six week abortion ban. She traveled to neighboring Indiana for an abortion, because that state has not enacted a similar abortion ban for the time being. The pattern of horror stories and bizarre statements from Republicans generating a frenzy will keep going through the midterm elections. Legislators will try to implement deeply unpopular ideas and make it impossible for GOP candidates to distance themselves from the issue. This might be the reason Democrats are able to hold onto the Senate, because voter frustration at them does not mean they are ready to vote for the Republican fringe. Some suburban swing voters, disillusioned leftists, or independents could suck it up and vote Democrat. The Democrats are probably doomed anyways, but the GOP will be their only hope.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar deliberate about the worst impulses of Republicans being unleashed, potentially shifting suburban moderate women back to Democrats. A handful of voters who shifted because of lockdowns and school closures could go back to Democrats in response to GOP extremism. Most people vote negatively against the opposition instead of positively for their party, and it demonstrates the shifts in culture war being caused by abortion.
RORY JOHNSTON
Krystal and Saagar bring oil markets expert Rory Johnston back to better understand what is currently happening in global oil markets. Futures of oil crude have fallen below $100 for the first time since May, plunging by more than $10/barrel. Investors are less certain about the commodity continuing to surge for the foreseeable future with a recession looming. The market remains vulnerable and is facing a major liquidity crunch. It’s possible that the selloff signals a speculative washout within a volatile market and it provides little indication of long term projections. The last month has been terrible for crude oil, and the market is facing an extreme amount of volatility. Fundamentals are volatile because of the oversupplied environment during the pandemic and a chronic undersupply since then. It is a precarious environment, and the recessionary risk will be felt by those who perceive oil as a financial asset in addition to a real commodity. Supply and demand is not changing on a minute to minute basis like markets do, but over the past three months there has been unprecedented day to day shifts in expectations. Some of the volatility has been justified by the fundamentals and constant stream of headlines indicating changes to supply and demand balances. There is less speculation than there has been in the market, but the amount of instability will lead to high activity for those looking to make profitable trades. The dual crises in crude oil and refineries could be affected by previously shutdown refineries coming back online after the pandemic, and the return of barrels to OPEC after they saved the oil market during the pandemic. Strategic Petroleum Reserve influx in the market will fall out of the supply balance and the demand will accelerate, particularly in China. More information on oil markets can be found in Rory’s newsletter giving daily updates in a time of mass upheaval.

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