NEWS AND OPINION:
The very busy first lady? No, let’s make that the very, very busy first lady. Jill Biden is definitely on the move in the next few days, and the busiest person in the White House, perhaps.
“Jill Biden’s pace of travel is on par with the president’s,” said The Associated Press in an analysis of Mrs. Biden’s journeys published July 3. As of that date, Mrs. Biden already had taken 20 significant, official solo trips this year.
The tally will grow in the next 72 hours. Mrs. Biden departed the U.S. on Wednesday, bound for Alaska, Japan and Hawaii on a four-day mission that includes meetings with military families and a visit to a medical facility in Anchorage. That is followed by dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Mrs. Mariko Suga at Akasaka Palace and a formal greeting with Emperor Naruhito of Japan at the Imperial Palace — both in Tokyo.
Yes, Mrs. Biden will attend the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony and host a U.S. vs. Mexico softball watch party with foreign service officers and their families at the U.S. Embassy. Mrs. Biden then heads to Hawaii where she will visit a vaccination clinic at a local high school before returning to the District and home as the weekend ends.
MR. BANKS HAS A SAY
Rep. Jim Banks remains a warrior amid the intricate political skirmishes within the U.S. Capitol. The Indiana Republican — one of five GOP lawmakers nominated to serve on the Select Committee to investigate Jan. 6 — was rejected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
“I’m a sitting member of Congress and served my country in Afghanistan and the Speaker knows how hard I will fight for my country. We said all along that this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of me and Jim Jordan shows once again she is the most partisan figure in America today. The American people deserve the truth. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi is afraid of the facts,” Mr. Banks said in a statement.
He was previously a state senator in Indiana. Here is a little insight, meanwhile, about his military service.
“Congressman Banks currently serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Supply Corps officer. In 2014 and 2015, he took a leave of absence from the Indiana State Senate to deploy to Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. Due to a unique state law regarding leaves of absence, his wife, Amanda, was elected to serve in his place during the deployment. Banks is often told she made a better State Senator than he did,” notes Mr. Banks’ official biography.
INFLATION; YES, THEY NOTICED
The nation is definitely on inflation alert. A new CBS News poll confirms that 80% of U.S. adults say the price of gasoline has increased, 78% say the same about groceries and food, 54% cited electricity and power.
“Democrats’ socialist stimulus is already making everything more expensive, but now they are trying to ram through trillions more in wasteful spending. It’s downright reckless,” warns National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg.
“Prices today are notably higher than this time last year, and the solution given by this administration is to spend trillions more. And who will foot the bill? The exact same small businesses and employees we are allegedly trying to help,” Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas Republican, told the House Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations on Wednesday.
“Small businesses can lead this recovery, but they must be given the opportunity to do so on their own. The American entrepreneur, not this administration’s checkbook, is our country’s greatest asset, and I look forward to promoting an environment in which small businesses can once again drive our country forward,” she advised.
Ms. Van Duyne, incidentally, recently organized and hosted a job fair at a local convention center which included a bipartisan group of 40 mayors and state legislators, along with 130 businesses that included Toyota, Amazon and American Airlines.
MR. SNERDLEY’S REMINDER
James Golden — who went by the name of “Bo Snerdley” during his 30 years as executive producer for the late talk radio host Rush Limbaugh — is not done yet. Mr. Golden has created and produced a meticulous podcast about those decades titled “Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone.” There’s input from colleagues, friends, family, industry sources and the voice of Limbaugh himself; Mr. Golden is the primary narrator.
“The 12-episode series details legendary radio host Rush Limbaugh’s award-winning, 30-plus year career in radio that revitalized the spoken-word format and provided a platform for him to develop and lead modern conservatism in America,” noted I Heart Media subsidiary Premiere Networks, which syndicated Limbaugh’s show.
Eleven of the 12 episodes of this podcast series are available online and for free — bearing such titles as “Political Odd Couple” and “EIB Southern Command Family.” Find them at IHeart.com; enter the word Limbaugh in the search function and you are all set.
FOR THE LEXICON
“Chief Purpose Officer.”
A new business title has arrived.
“To appease employees, customers and shareholders alike, companies are spending time and money grappling with huge social problems like systemic racism, income inequality and climate change,” writes Erica Pandey, a business reporter at Axios.
“More and more firms are dedicating entire departments to tackle societal issues and even hiring a purpose-focused executive — chief purpose officer — to lead the efforts,” she says.
“Why it matters: In the past, firms generally just had to focus on their bottom lines. Now every political, social and environmental challenge is becoming a corporate concern as well.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 35% of U.S. adults say that democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. is “somewhat threatened”; 33% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 32% of Democrats agree.
• 31% overall say democracy and rule of law is “very threatened”; 47% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
• 27% say they are “somewhat secure”; 16% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.
• 7% overall say they are “very secure”; 4% of Republicans, 5% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.
Source: A CBS News poll of 2,238 U.S. adults conducted July 14-17.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.