- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2021

The press has been brimming with negative news about President Biden — dwindling approval ratings, tepid poll numbers, rickety policy and unfortunate public gaffes. This trend could easily compromise Mr. Biden’s prime directive, some say.

“Simply put, Biden’s mandate was to ensure that [Donald] Trump would never, ever, occupy the White House again — and ideally leave the political stage for good,” wrote Arick Wierson, a former adviser to Michael R. Bloomberg, and Bradley Honan, a Democratic strategist who advised the campaigns of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Biden initially promised to “restore the soul of the nation” and unify the country, the pair said in an essay for CNN.

“But somehow since that moment, the Biden administration seems to have forgotten its mandate. Through a series of self-inflicted wounds, miscalculations and gaffes, the Biden administration is ‘priming the pump’ for a Trump presidency, part deux,” the two advisers said.

“Recently, Trump has increased his media appearances and is planning rallies in states like Georgia and Iowa — the latter of which is the first caucus state. Veteran Trump adviser Jason Miller estimates the chance of the former president running again in 2024 is ‘between 99 and 100 percent.’ And don’t forget that Trump is building a war chest that already tops $100 million,” they wrote.



“President Biden, meanwhile, has blown a steady gust of wind into Trump’s sails,” the pair noted, citing such issues as the “chaotic” withdrawal from Afghanistan, ongoing pandemic challenges and a humongous amount of federal spending.

Joe Biden is not building back better, he’s building back broke,” observes Nathan Brand, spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

It is not a very promising start to a presidency.

“All of this has created a cloud of pessimism around Biden. Many expect Democrats to lose seats in the 2022 midterm elections, which will further fuel Trump’s sense that America is eager to have him back on the scene,” Mr. Wierson and Mr. Honan wrote.

THE GOP’S REALITY CHECK

Yes, things are bad on the southern border. The Republican National Committee has compiled a handy summary of the activities in the troubled region in recent weeks.

“In August, 208,887 illegal immigrants were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, making this the highest number for August in 21 years and the second month in a row where encounters have surpassed 200,000. It’s a 317% increase over last August, and a 340% increase from the average number of August apprehensions during the Trump administration,” the GOP said in a meticulous new analysis.

It also noted that 18,847 unaccompanied children were apprehended during that time, and that in recent weeks “more than 18% of migrant families and 20% of unaccompanied minors” tested positive for COVID-19.

“Over 1.2 million illegal immigrants have been caught attempting to cross the border since President Biden took office – that’s a higher total than any year since 2001. More illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border in the last three months than in all of Fiscal Year 2020,” the report said.

In addition, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 1,104 pounds of fentanyl and 19,671 pounds of methamphetamine at the southern border in August alone, the highest numbers yet for the Biden administration.

“President Biden’s open border policies created this historic crisis,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a statement, also citing the role of Vice President Kamala Harris.

“It’s beyond comprehension that Biden and his border czar Kamala continue to ignore this raging crisis and enact policies making it worse,” she said.

APPLAUSE FOR BARBARA BUSH

The late Barbara Bush continues to be recognized for her significant work in literacy, a cause very dear to the former first lady’s heart for many decades. She founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy over 30 years ago. The nonprofit charity has so far provided $110 million in support for literacy programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The organization has been recognized as a 2021 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program “Best Practices” Honoree, which recognizes those with innovative methods in the field.

The group’s Teen Trendsetters reading mentoring program has drawn particular praise; it pairs first, second, and third graders who are struggling readers with a teen mentor from middle and high school who meets with them weekly, and they work together to improve reading.

SCREEN GEMS

So have you heard that Samsung has unveiled “The Wall,” a TV which has a 219-inch screen? Here comes the competition. LG is now offering something called the “Extreme Home Cinema.” It has a screen which is 325 inches wide. Yes, it is 27 feet across.

“For a viewing experience like no other, LG’s 8K DVLED home cinema display truly puts ‘the theater’ in home theater,” the company says in its consumer pitch.

“LG is taking orders for these DVLED home sets now, but it won’t shock you to hear that LG isn’t listing prices when each system is a custom order. It’s safe to say the costs won’t be trivial. LG estimates the installation, warranty and support (including twice-a-year ‘health checks’) are worth $30,000 — the actual set is bound to be much more,” advises Endgadget.com, a consumer review site.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Author John Steinbeck’s “Sag Harbor sanctuary,” a waterfront cottage built in 1929 on two acres in Sag Harbor, New York. Two bedrooms, three baths, living room with beamed ceiling, plus fieldstone fireplace, bookshelves and built-ins, combination library and sleeping loft. Guest cottage, the author’s “Writing House,” pool, 60-foot dock, beach. Steinbeck wrote “Travels with Charlie” here. Hint: access photos through the image icon on the right side of the page. Priced at $16.7 million through SothebysRealty.com; enter 117505 in the search function.

POLL DU JOUR

• 52% of U.S. adults think President Biden is liberal or “very liberal”; 78% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 39% of Democrats agree.

• 24% overall say the president is a moderate; 8% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 40% of Democrats agree.

• 7% overall say he is conservative or “very conservative”; 7% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.

• 17% overall are not sure about Mr. Biden’s ideology; 9% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 12-14.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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