Media

Breaking Points: 7/12/22 FULL UNCUT SHOW

Krystal and Saagar take a deep look at polling data on Biden, various midterm elections across the country in the Senate. GOP House takeover coming, Hunter Biden leak, & global political unrest!

Timestamps: Polling: 0:0032:33 Herschel Walker: 32:3442:19 Dr Oz: 42:2054:58 Missouri: 54:591:02:59 2022 Map: 1:03:001:09:12 Hunter Biden: 1:09:131:16:53 Saagar: 1:16:541:26:18 Krystal: 1:26:191:37:56

7/12 NEWSLETTER: Midterm Special Show, Hunter Biden, Energy Crisis, Sri Lanka, & More!
Welcome to the July 12th, 2022 edition of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar premium newsletter. A few important announcements today, first being that tickets are quickly being sold, so get yours here: . Lifetime members, we are working hard to get yhttps://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E005CD6DBFF6D47ou the ticket refunds. Please email me james@breakingpoints.com of your purchase with a receipt attached.
An important programming update: Breaking Points will be OFF next week. Instead of three full shows, pre-recorded content and collaborator content will be posted to fill the gap. The audio and video mini shows will be lighter than the usual full show, but the content will nonetheless be high quality.
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POLLING
Polling numbers have looked bleak for President Biden for a while now, and a wide ranging New York Times poll showed as much. Biden’s approval rating sat at a dismal 33% and only 26% of Democrats want him to run again in 2024. The number one reason cited by voters for not wanting Biden to run again is his age. Only 13% of voters believe the country is on the right track which is the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis. Black voters are a key constituency for Biden, and now many of those voters believe Democrats need a different candidate. With 18-29 year olds, Biden has only 19% approval to 69% disapproval and within those figures, only 1% strongly approve compared to 32% strongly disapprove. 94% of young Democrats would prefer a different nominee for President in 2024, indicating a primary opening if a progressive decides to challenge Biden. On the economy, 0% of the young Democrats believe it is excellent and only 1% believe it is good. A notable 58% of them believe the economy is poor, a number that could grow if student loan payments resume in the near future. All of these numbers are a dismal showing for an incumbent President, particularly with the young voters who turned out at much higher rates in the 2020 election to propel Biden to victory. Biden is not only extremely weak within his own party, but the core constituencies with the Democratic party have completely given up on him. He has no solid base of support to stand by him in the way Donald Trump did in his tenure, or other politicians with more enthusiastic support usually build up. With young Democrats, the inability to pass the progressive budget reconciliation package labeled Build Back Better was a huge blow for the President’s support.
Despite the poor polling data, Biden is ahead of Donald Trump in the New York Times survey. It represents the conundrum that Biden is the only Democrat with the ability to beat Trump, and Trump is the only Republican with the unpopularity required to lose to Biden. The electability argument used in 2020 by Biden could be bolstered by this poll, even though the other figures about America’s mood would say otherwise. A poor national showing by Donald Trump could serve to inspire GOP primary challenges in 2024, partially hinged on general election concerns about the former President. Another Biden-Trump landscape would closely resemble 2016, where undecided, independent voters were deeply unsatisfied with both candidates running for President.
HERSCHEL WALKER
Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s general election campaign is off to a bumpy start. Secret children he had with mistresses have been exposed, a subject he lied about repeatedly even to campaign staff. Incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock has shown to be a difficult opponent with ads centered around his record on kitchen table issues. Walker’s understanding of issues has been elementary, as shown by the linked clip about the Green New Deal. Instead of a conservative argument, Walker counters the GND with bizarre theories about the air flow between nations thousands of miles from each other. The former college football and NFL star went virtually unchallenged in the GOP primary and has not been battle tested. He could end up being a liability for Republicans in the swing state, demonstrated by polls showing him down 2 points on average against Warnock. Other controversies he’s had include lying about serving in law enforcement, problems with his business records, a strange statement on Uvalde, and questions about his cognitive abilities. Walker has been labeled as a pathological liar who tells so many lies that his campaign cannot keep up. He routinely lambasted fatherlessness in the black community before it was revealed that he was hiding children. It is a problem for his campaign to constantly do damage control, even after softball interviews. The Georgia Senate seat is essential for which party controls the Senate, and the GOP’s risky gambit with Walker could be a major blow to their midterm hopes.
DR OZ
Another struggling GOP Senate candidate is the celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican running against John Fetterman in Pennsylvania. The Fetterman campaign has been hammering Oz on social media and airwaves about his wealth, ties to Hollywood, and New Jersey residency. The Democratic Lt. Gov of Pennsylvania suffered a stroke two months ago and has been unable to campaign after he almost died due to his health problems. Dr. Oz has been able to campaign on the ground, but has been trailing in polls and is nowhere to be seen on airwaves. After enduring a hard fought GOP primary, Oz’s general election campaign has befuddled Republican observers. Pennsylvania GOP operatives believe he should do more to attack Fetterman, unite the party, and reach deeper into his own pockets to fund it. Oz loaned himself more than $12 million in the primary and his team assures Republicans that they will spend big. The skepticism towards Oz from the GOP base despite Donald Trump’s endorsement and rallies for the surgeon has continued to linger. He is viewed as too soft on the issues of abortion, guns, and transgenderism. His unfavorable rating is at 50% in a state where the majority of voters disapprove of President Biden’s job performance. National Republican Senatorial Committee ads have attempted to paint Fetterman as a far left ally to Bernie Sanders and hit him on the high gas prices in the state. After a smooth Democratic primary victory, Republicans believe Fetterman has not been hit with negative advertising in the way Dr. Oz has. Their strategy going forward will most likely revolve around attacking Fetterman for a range of issues. It is unclear what the Oz campaign’s TV plans are, and it is unknown when Fetterman will be able to resume campaigning.
MISSOURI
A third state of interest in Krystal and Saagar’s midterm election show is Missouri, where a competitive GOP primary has continued to be hard fought. All eyes have been on which Republican will receive the highly coveted Trump endorsement that could separate them from the rest of the field. The value of a Trump endorsement in a highly competitive Senate primary was shown in Ohio when it propelled JD Vance to victory. Speculation about Trump endorsing the scandal plagued former Governor Eric Greitens is growing. Initially, the former President was weighing a Greitens endorsement because of his opposition to Sen. Mitch McConnell. Trump revealed that he will not endorse Vicky Hartzler, the Congresswoman backed by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, because she ‘does not have what it takes’ to win. A major blow for her campaign against Greitens and Missouri AG Eric Schmidt. The Missouri Republicans have all tried to win Trump’s support through trips to Mar-a-Lago, hiring former Trump staffers, and peddling his claims about the 2020 election. Polling data on the Missouri GOP primary has Greitens leading by an average of 2 points, within the margin of error for state level polls. The race remains hotly contested, and the winner will be favored against the Democrat who triumphs in the hard fought primary on the other side.
2022 MAP
The House of Representatives map is looking more bleak for Democrats than the Senate. Biden’s low approval rating has Democrats on the defensive in districts across the country. At least 30 districts and now 12 more highly competitive districts will be in the Republican crosshairs and once safe districts will be made into competitive seats by President Biden’s poor polling numbers. The GOP optimism extends to 12 seats Biden won by 9 points or more in the 2020 general election, as Democrats brace for defeat in the midterm elections. Voters are expressing their disapproval with Biden by placing blame on Democrats they perceive as being allies of the President. The Democratic candidates insist that they can build their own identities separate from Biden and that the polling will bottom out for the President. If gas prices tick downwards, Democrats pass Summer legislation, or abortion plays an outsized role in the midterms there could be hope for Democrats. However, issue polling data, Congressional gridlock, and a bleak economic outlook make these scenarios unlikely. The GOP’s lead built on Biden’s unpopularity looks insurmountable with their large fundraising and strong candidates in each district. Even in strong Biden seats in the deep blue states of Rhode Island and Oregon, Republicans see opportunities to pick up districts and solidify a House majority. Democratic candidates have begun to strategically distance themselves from Biden and tout their bipartisanship to attempt fending off Republican attacks. Veteran GOP strategists believe this cycle resembles the 2010 GOP midterm elections that saw historic gains after the first two years of Obama’s term. The midterm outlook looks dreadful for Democrats in the House, and it will not change unless something drastic takes place.
HUNTER
A less discussed political liability for the President has been his son Hunter, who is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice for tax fraud. Personal and financial scandals are piling up for Hunter Biden particularly within the online right. Users on 4Chan claim to have the contents of Hunter Biden’s iPhone, contents matched by Washington Examiner reports on Hunter’s laptop. A former Secret Service agent previousl verified the Washington Examiner’s findings on Hunter Biden’s laptop, that have ranged from suspicious dealings to rendezvous with Russian prostitutes. The Secret Service refused to comment on the Hunter Biden revelations because they could become subject of an investigation. The President’s troubled son was caught on audio files obtained by the Examiner bragging about his influence over his father. Concerns about Hunter’s business dealings were present in the 2020 election when the New York Post obtained his laptop from a Delaware hardware shop, before the report was censored by Twitter and Facebook.
SAAGAR
In his monologue today, Saagar spotlights the energy crisis coming to Germany that he mentioned last week. The events of the past 96 hours have demonstrated how vital energy is to the entire economy and functioning of the west. They also show the culmination of green idiocy that has shunned nuclear power in Germany and elsewhere. To recap, Germany is heavily reliant on Russian gas, and the Russian pipeline has been tapering off as retaliation for western sanctions. It culminated in a total pipeline shutdown yesterday, scheduled for only 10 days with the potential to become permanent. France’s Ministry of Energy is preparing for a total shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the primary source of energy for Germany. They rely on the pipeline for their consumer power, and it will skyrocket the prices of natural gas around the world. Now the Germans and the rest of Europe are extremely vulnerable to energy shocks and European strategic objectives against Russia. On the one hand, NATO and Biden believe the west needs to endure higher gas prices for the entirety of the Ukraine war. On the other, Germany pressured Canada to loosen sanctions on a key piece of pipeline equipment for Russia. The Russians have blamed the inability for them to replace gas turbines on the decision to shut down the pipeline. But it turns out the Germans value Russian gas much more than the war in Ukraine.
This means the west is funding the war between Russia and Ukraine on both sides by lifting sanctions on Russia for natural gas imports. It is guaranteeing the conflict will go on forever, and it will continuously be used to justify higher gas prices. The strategy of funding both sides and harming yourself makes little sense. In the meantime, the pipeline shutdown exposes the idiocy of the green movement across the west. Germany won a vote in parliament to shut down nuclear power only three days before the pipeline shut down, with coal plants being brought back in replacement. Even the German Green party backed a vote to revive coal plants, the most destructive source of power for the environment. In addition, the promises of the Green movement are falling apart. Wind power in Germany built to back up the grid is failing, and on the day it was needed most, the wind was not blowing. German energy prices doubled in a single day upon the news and it is hammering German consumers. They are rationing hot water and turning down heating, while encouraging voluntary cuts to power in households. Fully rationing power will be next if the Russians decide against resuming gas flow through the Nord Stream 1. The problems in Germany will spillover into the American economy and spike inflation. Southwestern America is in a heatwave and Texas is warning of rolling blackouts because of major demand spikes. The reason Texas’ grid is so screwed is the wind power backing it up is being hamstrung by low wind generation during a heatwave. Natural gas and coal are being stretched to the max and prices remain much higher than other energy crunches. As soon as natural gas exports out from Texas resume, the prices will double in August leading to astronomical costs. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation is warning the US is at a high risk of failure on its power grid because of energy disruption caused by disruptions in Europe and increased temperatures. There needs to be a wakeup call for America, because the modern Green movement has pushed a program of idiocy while fossil fuel extremists have captured the dissenters.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar go back and forth on the failures of the green energy movement in Germany, causing the fourth largest economy in the world to ration power. It is important to note that here in America, Texas is deeply tied to fossil fuels and the power situation is not any better than Germany. The reality of technological development and decommissioning nuclear plants is doing major damage in Germany and at home. Air conditioning is a necessity for survival that requires a reliable grid, and the west’s policy towards Russia has been a catastrophic failure.
KRYSTAL
In her monologue, Krystal takes a look at the mass protests taking place in the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka. Protestors have stormed the Presidential palace and forced their leader to flee. The country has suffered with fuel and food prices, leading to a breaking point for their people. Tens of thousands gathered outside the capital city and ultimately stormed the gate of the Presidential palace. They helped themselves to food and drink in the kitchen and made themselves at home in the palace. Allegedly the current President is fleeing the country on a military ship to save his life. Protestors are demanding the resignation of top officials and they have so far been successful. The Prime Minister has resigned, and the President is expected to as well. While the factors leading to this revolt will not go away anytime soon, it’s worth revisiting the causes of the mass protests in Sri Lanka.
The downward spiral began in 2019 with a deadly ISIS attack that killed 269 people including foreign nationals. Hotels and churches were targeted and it proved to be a major disruption to the tourism industry. Next came the covid pandemic that further wrecked the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. In crisis, the government made a fatal decision to ban all import and use of fertilizer. This devastated the Sri Lankan tea industry and production plummeted, so the nation became unable to feed itself and began importing food. With the goal of stimulating growth, the government passed a tax cut that ended up robbing government coffers of much needed funds for debt payment. Next came the war between Russia and Ukraine that caused spikes in prices of food and energy. Furthermore, it was another devastating blow to the tourism industry because Russiand and Ukrainians were major contributors to the industry. International institutions downgraded Sri Lankan debt, making it impossible for them to borrow for the funds required to pay for food and gas. As a result, Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt and daily life has become miserable. Lines for gas can last two days, hospitals are out of medicine, food inflation is skyrocketing, blackouts have become normal, and rationing is now necessary.
The problems in Sri Lanka are becoming commonplace in the developing world, as shown by farmers leading a strike in Ecuador. Many other countries with high debt loads, inflation, and a desperate population could be vulnerable to similar revolts. A historic number of poor nations are on the verge of debt defaults and Federal Reserve interest rates hikes are exacerbating the problem by strengthening the dollar. Investor contagion where defaults build on each other is happening and protests are growing. The effects of the covid disruptions, lockdowns, inflation, and the war in Ukraine will continue generating havoc in nations around the world where people are pushed over the edge.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar deliberate about the conditions in Sri Lanka specific to that country with hits to the tourism industry and poor government decisions. But other nations are on the brink in the same way, and it could become a domino effect that could influence people living in the rich world as well. Countries highly reliant on Russian gas, food, fertilizer, and other resources are going to see insane effects of the war. Global instability and the rise of dictators could lead to more frustration with the west’s political goals in Ukraine. Smaller nations had been nearly pushed to the brink by the covid crisis, with inflation and the lack of basic resources creating precarious situations around the world.

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