This Will Shock You

But not surprise you...

SHOCKING BUT NOT SURPRISING

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SHOCKING AND SURPRISING

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NOT SHOCKING BUT SURPRISING

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NEITHER SHOCKING NOR SURPRISING

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SHOCKING BUT NOT SURPRISING

If Senate Republicans hold the line next week [making good on their filibuster threat] and in the run-up to October’s potential default date, it would leave just two options: A strategic reversal by Democrats or a default. What’s more, Republicans’ debt ceiling tactics add to Democrats' pileup of complications as they struggle to pass Biden’s jobs and families plan…

Neither side is showing any sign of backing down, and they’re both predicting someone will cave as the possibility of default becomes a reality. Democrats are betting that as the deadline gets closer, Republicans will begin to feel pressure from the business community and the necessary 10 will sign on to a debt suspension. Meanwhile, Republicans are assuming Democrats will eventually go it on their own, not wanting to be blamed for a debt default while they control Washington. (Politico)

HALPERIN SAYS: No one knows how this is going to end, but if markets tank, there will be a lot of second-guessing about the president’s failure to intercede sooner.

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said little short of passage of the bill in the Senate would be sufficient to persuade progressives to trust that moderates would ultimately support the climate and antipoverty bill. Ms. Jayapal met with Mrs. Pelosi for roughly two hours on Tuesday afternoon. (Wall Street Journal)

HALPERIN SAYS: The Big Four (debt ceiling, government shutdown, reconciliation, and infrastructure) is creating a lot of uncertainty now, but in the infrastructure ring of the Beltway circus, the central question is this: Does Speaker Pelosi or Representative Jayapal have more of a hold on House progressives? Make no assumptions in a post-Brexit, post-Trump world.

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Biden has not taken questions about a number of issues that have come up in recent days, including the ongoing diplomatic row with France over the strategic alliance between the US, the UK and Australia; and the admission by the Pentagon last week that a drone strike in the final days of the Afghanistan withdrawal killed 10 innocent people — including an aid worker and seven children. (New York Post)

HALPERIN SAYS: You can hide a presidential candidate almost indefinitely; you cannot do the same with a president.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, signed off last month on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify.

The effort, which was hatched at an internal meeting in January, had a specific purpose: to use Facebook’s News Feed, the site’s most important digital real estate, to show people positive stories about the social network.

The idea was that pushing pro-Facebook news items — some of them written by the company — would improve its image in the eyes of its users, three people with knowledge of the effort said. But the move was sensitive because Facebook had not previously positioned the News Feed as a place where it burnished its own reputation. Several executives at the meeting were shocked by the proposal, one attendee said. (New York Times)

HALPERIN SAYS: The great irony here is that Facebook officials claim to wonder why they get such relentlessly negative media coverage.

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HALPERIN SAYS: He is still not answering the questions.

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SHOCKING AND SURPRISING

White House officials on Tuesday struggled to explain searing images of border agents treating Haitian migrants harshly, facing a growing backlash from angry Democrats who sought to pressure President Biden to ease his immigration policies.

Even as Biden confronts attacks from Republicans portraying his policies as weak and ineffective, many immigrant-rights activists have increasingly concluded that Biden has failed to live up to his campaign vows to defend vulnerable foreigners seeking a better life in the United States. Their fury marks a new inflection point in Biden’s ongoing struggles with immigration.

“[President] Donald Trump’s policy approach is becoming the default approach under the Biden administration,” said former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro, referring to Biden continuing Trump’s use of a public health order to turn away migrants during the pandemic. “There are many, many people across the country losing patience with this administration's approach to asylum seekers and immigrants….”

“The humanitarian crisis happening under this administration on the southern border disgustingly mirrors some of the darkest moments in America’s history,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “If we were to close our eyes and this was occurring under the Trump administration, what would we do? The inhumane treatment of the Haitian refugees is utterly sickening.” (Washington Post)

HALPERIN SAYS: Immigration policy is unquestionably very hard; Joe Biden is not the first president to make both the left and the right unhappy with how he is handling the matter; insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Marc Thiessen writes:

Democrats are fighting over what should go into a $3.5 trillion bill that has zero chance of passage — creating the very real possibility that nothing will pass. Given the unprecedented string of self-inflicted disasters we have seen from the Biden administration, another would come as little surprise.

HALPERIN SAYS: For once, Elvis is (probably) right – it’s now or never.

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NOT SHOCKING BUT SURPRISING

HALPERIN SAYS: You want to achieve legislative success on the scale of LBJ? Now is the time to sit and deliver, using the power of the office (the Oval Office, that is); going to be interesting to hear what kind of tone the persuader-in-chief uses.

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Many Haitian migrants camped in a small Texas border town are being released in the United States, two U.S. officials said, undercutting the Biden administration’s public statements that the thousands in the camp faced immediate expulsion.

Haitians have been freed on a “very, very large scale” in recent days, according to one U.S. official who put the figure in the thousands. The official, with direct knowledge of operations who was not authorized to discuss the matter Tuesday and thus spoke on condition of anonymity (Associated Press)

HALPERIN SAYS: Now that this particularly thread has been pulled, the entire spool is in danger of spilling out all over the floor. Never forget the real lives of real people, including children, that are endangered here.

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HALPERIN SAYS: Iowa might no longer be a purely Purple state, but these numbers suggest a decay in the president’s support that represents arguably the single most ominous poll of the year for Team Biden.

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NEITHER SHOCKING NOR SURPRISING

As the party struggles to find a path forward, Mr. Biden plans to meet Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) at the White House to discuss the two proposals, according to a person familiar with his schedule.  (Wall Street Journal)

HALPERIN SAYS: The story of the successful side of the Biden administration to date is the unprecedently close cooperation and communication between the members of Team Biden-Harris-Klain-Pelosi-Schumer. They must all hang together, or, most assuredly, they shall all hang separately.

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HALPERIN SAYS: Mr. Litigious never met a law suit he didn’t relish, including/especially against a family member and the press.

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HALPERIN SAYS: The New York Post ed board victory lap is justified, and the failure of the Dominant Media to do sufficient soul searching on what happened with Big Tech, the election, and the press’ own role is an ourageous dereliction of duty.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot about higher education. But some things remain constant: The top tier of the 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings is packed with familiar names, with Harvard University claiming the top spot for the fifth straight year.

Stanford University takes the No. 2 spot, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in third, Yale University fourth and Duke University fifth. All those schools also placed in the top five last year. Nine of last year’s top 10 are back, as are 19 of last year’s top 20. (Wall Street Journal)

HALPERIN SAYS: