Concern Versus Panic
The Biden Way
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A big Wide World of News thanks to the President of the United States for his Monday news paradigm shift.
By invoking the notion of “concern versus panic,” Joseph R. Biden created a fresh format for this newsletter, one that will carry us through boldly and/but soundly into the future.
No more fake Ron Klain memos, no more “what that loudmouth will say on your morning Zoom,” no more Weird Al-ish song lyrics, no more shopworn devices.
Now, all day every day, Wide World of News will answer the musical question:
Where does a given development rank on the scale from “concern” (0) to “panic” (11)?
Let me overshare, here: Up at 2:57am to work out before a 7am flight; plan foiled by unfixable WIFI; WWoN written clunkily on an iPhone.
Here goes. (Again, zero is low concern and eleven is abject panic.)
1. Team Biden over omicron in terms of the known science: 3
2. Team Biden over omicron in terms of the politics: 8
3. Fed Chair Powell over omicron and inflation: 5
4. DC Democrats over this sentence from a Politico story about the party’s stalled “December to not remember” agenda in the Senate -- “At the same time, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell senses leverage”: not enough
5. Team Biden over Putin and Ukraine, as detailed in the Washington Post: 8
The White House is reviewing options to deter a feared Russian invasion of Ukraine, including providing more military aid to Kyiv and threatening sanctions, to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from escalating the simmering conflict into a full-blown transatlantic crisis.
The deliberations come as President Biden and his aides prepare for a virtual call with Putin next month, a moment that analysts see as an opportunity to signal the costs of an invasion to the Kremlin but also present a path for reducing tension.
Amid spiking U.S. concern over unusual movements by Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked Monday on a trip to Europe, where Washington is looking to consolidate a position among allies at a summit with NATO foreign ministers in Latvia. Blinken will then go to Sweden for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, also scheduled to be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
6. Savvy Democrats after perusing the essential reading Washington Post story with the tip-of-the-iceberg headline “Democratic midterm fears mount as policies fail to resonate with voters”: 9.3
8. Those who care about The Presumption of Grace after the latest in the Reps. Boebert and Omar contretemps: 11
9. Unions, wondering if the Biden administration will ever let them down, after reading the Washington Post exclusive: 0
Federal employees who have not complied with the coronavirus vaccine mandate will not face aggressive discipline, including unpaid suspensions or firing, until at least early next year, according to guidance the White House sent to unions.
The American Federation of Government Employees said Monday that administration officials have told the union that agencies for now will continue offering counseling and education to the roughly 3.5 percent of workers who have yet to receive a vaccination or request an exemption.
10. Chris Cuomo: At times 3, at times 10
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