Krystal and Saagar discuss the Biden and Trump speeches, GOP internal disputes, UK prime minister, sectoral bargaining, Trump investigations, Eurozone energy crisis, Jackson water situation, & more!
Jordan Chariton: https://www.youtube.com/c/StatusCoup
Timestamps: 2024: 0:00 – 27:15 Special Master: 27:16 – 37:09 Midterms: 37:10 – 56:55 Foreign Affairs: 56:56 – 1:12:43 Labor Day: 1:12:44 – 1:18:35 Krystal: 1:18:36 – 1:27:27 Saagar: 1:27:28 – 1:38:49 Jordan Chariton: 1:38:50 – 1:52:26
9/6 NEWSLETTER: Biden Speech, Special Master, GOP Fundraising, UK Prime Minister, Labor Day, & More!
Welcome to the September 6th, 2022 Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar
premium newsletter. There was no show yesterday because of Labor Day but we are back to the normal programming schedule. We hope you had a relaxing extended weekend with your loved ones. Only a couple of tickets remain for the live show coming up in ten days so get yours now: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E005CD6DBFF6D47
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President Biden delivered a prime time address Thursday night on his vision for restoring the soul of the nation. The theme resembled the 2020 campaign and the speech primarily focused on the Trump wing of the Republican party as an existential threat to American life. In front of a dark red background, Biden slammed
MAGA Republicans for being extremists who do not respect the rule of law. He came out against political violence and those who deny the election results; a clear criticism of the January 6th Capitol riot driven by unproven ‘stop the steal’ claims. The president tried to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and honoring the will of the voting public. After the speech, an image
of Biden banging his fists in anger with the dark red background behind him went viral as the internet reacted. Observers noted the questionable optics of the picture that quickly became the defining moment from Biden’s Philadelphia speech. When asked about Trump supporters the next day, Biden clarified
that he does not see Trump supporters as a threat to the country. With these comments, Biden distinguished between the former president and his supporters possibly due to concerns of alienating independents. According to a new Wall Street Journal poll, Biden leads Trump 50%-44% despite 68% of respondents saying the country is headed in the wrong direction. A notable portion of the electorate dissatisfied with both parties and the country at large has shown they are more supportive of Biden than Trump. The support of disillusioned independents was decisive for Trump in 2016 and again for Biden in the 2020 election. Whether the president’s Thursday night speech has any influence on his standing among the electorate remains uncertain.
Donald Trump held a rally
in Pennsylvania over the weekend for GOP candidates Dr. Oz and Doug Mastriano trailing in competitive statewide campaigns. It was his first rally since the FBI raided his compound and it came soon after Biden’s speech. Trump teased a 2024 run and accused Biden of weaponizing the FBI against him while denying wrongdoing. He continued
to assert unfounded claims about the 2020 election being stolen and attacked Democratic candidates running in Pennsylvania. His supporters took the president’s side in the DOJ investigation of classified documents as he tried to whip up enthusiasm for his chosen Republican candidates. A lack of enthusiasm from the GOP base has been a problem for Dr. Oz in particular as he struggles to fight perceptions of inauthenticity. The former president appears to have consolidated GOP support after the FBI raided his compound even though it has worsened
his perception among the general electorate. Going after the DOJ and FBI at his rally will probably push the trend even further.
When it comes to the DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents, a judge granted
Trump’s request for a special master to be appointed to review attorney and client privilege. She says her order for a special master will not prevent the intelligence community from reviewing the documents taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The order prevents the DOJ from reviewing the documents for criminal purposes and the candidates for special master will be due by Sept. 9th. Donald Trump will not have his documents back yet, especially because the DOJ will be able to appeal the judge’s order. Any dispute over the Presidential Records Act or executive privilege is required to begin in the DC Federal Court. A special master will complicate the investigation of Trump and the candidates will have to hold very specific national security qualifications. Battling over who becomes the special master in the investigation will be the next stage and could be a turning point of the Trump investigation. Many questions are left unanswered but for now it serves as a victory for Trump’s legal team. Documents seized
from Mar-a-Lago include his medical documents and accounting information that relates to Trump’s taxes. The judge in her order noted the stigma associated with seizing the documents of a former president is unparalleled.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (FL) squandered
a record cash haul for senate Republicans who are now in dire need of money. The GOP campaign arm had raised $181.5 million by July and at the end of August the money had disappeared. All of the money was spent with virtually nothing to show for it in return, with the vast majority used for unsuccessful digital fundraising operations. Ads on Facebook and Google urging Republicans to donate had little effect and generated negative returns on investment. In fact, aggressive text messaging schemes have led to a record amount of refund requests from donors who might have been defrauded out of their money. Now Democratic campaigns have significantly more money in the bank and GOP campaigns are scrambling to compete on television airwaves as campaigns kick into high gear. Tension between Rick Scott and GOP officials exploded into a public feud
with Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky senator bashed the quality of his party’s candidates. Multiple Republican candidates in swing states went after McConnell as part of their primary campaigns that were bolstered by Donald Trump. Senator Scott has been unapologetic
about how he handled the NRSC’s funds and his campaign tactics up to this point. He previously released his own GOP agenda with unpopular provisions the party quickly ran away from. A vital factor to the shifting midterm landscape has been the GOP support for abortion restrictions firing up female voter
s for Democrats in numbers never before seen. This combined with weak GOP candidates, Biden’s string of legislative victories, and Trump’s renewed presence in the news has made the key midterm races hotly contested across America.
President Biden is asking Congress
for $13.7 billion more in funding for Ukraine as part of a $47 billion emergency funding package. Funds would be used on equipment, intelligence and budget support for the Ukrainians who have received most of the $40 billion approved by Congress earlier this year. The emergency funding request will be part of budget negotiations this month as federal agencies will run out of financing if an agreement cannot be reached by Sept. 30. A government shutdown would commence if an agreement is not finalized, something both parties will seek to avoid before midterms.
American financial support
for Ukraine has dwarfed European allies including the United Kingdom, who’s next Prime Minister
will be Tory MP Liz Truss. She has been a member of parliament and secretary of state for the conservative party among other political positions. Truss succeeds Boris Johnson after he resigned following a revolt in his party caused by a litany of scandals. Her hawkish posture during her time handling British foreign affairs has been noted by foreign policy observers. She previously refused to rule out using nuclear weapons
against Russia if necessary to support the Ukrainians. Her promises of unlimited support for Ukrainians are inspired by her idol worship of neoconservative British PM Margaret Thatcher who loomed large over the nation’s politics late in the 20th century. Besides hawkish posture on the Ukraine war, Truss has pledged tax cuts for Britons dealing with the problems caused by Europe’s ongoing energy crisis.
On labor day, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation
potentially raising the wages of fast food workers to $22/hour and creating a sectoral labor bargaining system for the industry. The bill will create a 10 person business council made up of business, government, and labor officials tasked with negotiating a minimum wage. An estimated 550,000 fast food workers in California will be covered by the legislation and a coalition of business groups fiercely opposed the law. Labor groups see the law as transformational for the fast food industry and business groups claim it unfairly targets small businesses in a particular industry.
In her monologue today, Krystal explores the question of whether a Trump indictment would lead to riots in the streets across America. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) floated
the possibility of riots in what was seen as an attempt to pressure the Justice Department. It is worth considering Graham’s claim and if it would come to fruition. Even legal analysts sympathetic to Trump see an indictment coming on the Mar-a-Lago documents. Biden’s speech could be seen as helping build the public case against Trump as the leader of a movement beyond political disagreements. He’s being investigated over January 6th and his business dealings as well, so the walls could potentially be closing in on Trump. When it comes to public reaction, the majority of the country supports
an indictment and the DOJ investigation as a whole. By a 33 point margin, Americans think Trump handled the classified documents inappropriately and 64% of Americans see the allegations as serious. Half the country is convinced Trump should be charged with 41% opposing. Separately, nearly six in ten Americans think Trump should be indicted for his role in the January 6th Capitol riots. As more details emerge the numbers could become even worse for Trump and the Republicans.
Plenty of Americans will view it as a political attack instead of an application of the law. Just as thousands believed every lie about ‘stop the steal’ and the 2020 election leading to the January 6th riot. If Trump encourages his supporters in that direction, there could be riots in the streets as Lindsey Graham predicted. Already an extremist tried to murder an FBI agent before being stopped by law enforcement outside of a bureau office. One cannot rule out the possibility of political violence but it should not deter the prosecution of Trump. There has been civil war talk yet only one protest outside of Mar-a-Lago that remained peaceful. If Trump does get indicted and liberal fantasies about Trump going to prison begin to manifest, it’s hard to see the justice system going against the desires of someone from the top 1%. Such an extraordinary outcome could kill Trump’s political career once and for all by pushing independents away even as he gets stronger with the base. Riots in the streets or not, there is no avoiding an ugly future.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar think about possible scenarios of Trump getting indicted and what his reaction to it will be. Theoretically if Trump supporters rioted and necessitated a crackdown, it would benefit the regime in the way January 6th has. After his presidency, Trump has fully embraced conspiracies and extremist groups in more overt ways than when he was in office. His behavior is always unpredictable like the public at large but psychoanalyzing the public is not the best way for authorities to make decisions of enormous importance.
In his monologue, Saagar takes another look at Europe in the context of the energy crisis facing western European powers. Americans sometimes forget just how far North
the European continent is and other factors leading to different weather across the Atlantic. Every day brings more energy demand in Europe as it gets colder, both for industrial capacity and household usage. Now the idiocy of European energy policy centered around green alternatives and reliance on natural gas from Russia is coming into full bloom. Over the weekend, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced
it would further reduce shipments to the continent. They claim the stoppage is being caused by a maintenance issue but it comes right after the west announced a formal price cap on Russian oil. The news sent a shock across Europe and gas prices soared by 26% overnight. Major questions will be asked about the major European economies this winter, where energy bills are already spiking. UK residents will be seeing an 80% increase
in annual household energy bills leading to a full 10% of pre tax household income going towards energy. This is not even the market price because the government has a price cap on power companies. It could be the beginning of things to come as the price cap raises and rolling blackouts ensue. Small businesses across the country in danger of closing will need even more relief as living standards drop to the lowest levels in decades.
France is dealing with a similar situation
with businesses required to cut energy use or face government rationing of electricity and gas. Their government is preparing to appoint an energy minister to encourage municipalities to reduce demand. Another cautionary tale, the country has nuclear plants they could use but decades of neglecting maintenance has made them inoperable. They rely heavily on natural gas meaning this winter will either require rolling blackouts or firing up coal plants which are filthy for the environment. Of all these nations, Germany is the most idiotic and vulnerable nation because it relies on Russian natural gas for 60% of its power. They announced a 65 billion euro package
to curb soaring energy costs through consumer subsidies and industry support. Europe’s three largest societies are in chaos over energy meanwhile Russian oil profits surge and the Ukraine war remains static. On the same day of the price cap, China and India rejected
the price cap to buy even more Russian oil. Ultimately, the lesson is that financialized and ideological economies are highly profitable while being terrible for resiliency. All that counts in the long run is being able to control the resources required to survive in the long run. Undoubtedly the energy clown show will continue in Europe with full support from the Biden administration no matter what happens with the war in Ukraine.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar talk about Germany’s decision to decommission nuclear plants because of an irrational taboo. The Eurozone is dependent on a strong Germany and strong France and when they face strong recessions later this winter it will lead to major problems for the continent. It’s unknown how long these countries will continue tolerating the sanctions policy towards Russian oil generating energy crises in Europe and a windfall for Russian profits. The war in Ukraine is fine for the Russians compared to Europe, America, and around the globe because of the surge in food prices. Protests across European countries are limited for now but the stagnant politics of the Ukraine war might change soon. We shall see whether the European people are willing to protest and strike about this when energy prices continue to increase.
Krystal and Saagar are joined by Status Coup
journalist and Breaking Points
contributor Jordan Chariton to speak about the water situation in Jackson, Mississippi. He sent a freelancer to interview residents
about how the water crisis is affecting their daily lives. Jordan reported extensively on the Flint water crisis that is similar in some ways to the Jackson situation. Mississippi’s government has neglected the infrastructure in Jackson, MS for many years contributing to issues with water that have plagued the city for generations. GOP Gov. Tate Reeves has tried to send covid aid back to the federal government and has proposed privatizing the city’s water system as a solution to the crisis. Water bills are spiking for families and concerns about the water quality will not be going away anytime soon. Media outlets will probably ignore the Jackson water situation as it continues to affect residents of the city, particularly the most vulnerable among us.
Thank you for reading the latest edition of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar premium newsletter. The next full show will be on Thursday and content will be posted in the meantime!