- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Even Meghan McCain is mad at President Biden. In her inaugural column for The Daily Mail, the former commentator for ABC’s “The View” has a thing or two to say about the 46th president.

“Eight months since President Biden was sworn into office, the anticipation of a tone change and ‘return to normalcy’ has utterly disappeared. The man I once considered a friend and confidante has morphed into a feckless and unreliable leader I no longer recognize. He gives all the signs of stubborn cantankerous naiveté, surrounded by idiotic sycophants anyone who has spent more than fifteen minutes around politics should easily recognize as the worst type of corrupt bureaucrats,” Ms. McCain advised.

In the meantime, some traditional allies are slowly turning their backs on the White House, headline by headline.

Positive press coverage of Mr. Biden is getting scarce, even as journalists seek to showcase the old Democratic mantra of “hope and change.” It is now more of an era of “change and alarm” as serious national challenges pile up. Headlines from the last 48 hours reflect the changing coverage.

“Joe Biden’s agenda is hanging by a thread,” noted BuzzFeed News. “Biden agenda and U.S. financial health hang in the balance,” warned MSNBC.



“Internal Democratic discord has wounded President Joe Biden’s massive social spending plan, raising the prospect that the package could stall out, shrink dramatically — or even fail altogether,” wrote Politico congressional reporters Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle.

“It’s impossible to overstate the stakes of this week’s legislative horse-trading for the remainder of Joe Biden’s presidency. In fact, what happens this week on Capitol Hill will almost certainly make or break Biden’s entire first-term legislative agenda — and determine the case he and his party can take to voters in the 2022 midterms and beyond,” noted Chris Cillizza, CNN’s editor at large.

“Unless Democrats can all get on the same page over the next week, Biden’s expansive agenda will be doomed. And Democrats’ chances of transformational change in how the government impacts everyday Americans’ lives will disappear — maybe forever,” Mr. Cillizza said.

GALLUP’S TAKE

“Eight months after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, his job approval rating has fallen 6 percentage points to 43%, the lowest of his presidency. For the first time, a majority, 53%, now disapproves of Biden’s performance,” wrote Megan Brenan, a Gallup analyst.

“Democrats’ approval of the job Biden is doing has remained high and not varied by more than 8 percentage points since he took office. Their highest rating of Biden was 98% in late January/early February, and their lowest is the current 90%. Republicans’ ratings of Biden are similarly stable at the other extreme, ranging from 12% in February and July to 6% this month,” Ms. Brenan said.

“Independents have shown the greatest variation in their opinions of how Biden is doing. Biden’s current 37% approval rating among independents is his lowest to date and 24 percentage points below his personal high of 61%. Two-thirds of Biden’s slide among independents since he took office has occurred in the past three months,” the analyst said.

“Biden’s latest approval rating further cements the fact that the honeymoon phase of his presidency is behind him. Political independents, who were part of the coalition that helped him defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, now largely disapprove of the job he is doing as president.”

The poll of 1,005 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 1-17.

THINGS ARE GOING SWIMMINGLY

Let’s have a round of applause for WCMH — an NBC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio — which became concerned that the great state of Ohio did not have an “official fish,” and took a proactive stance on solving that problem. The station explained to viewers in recent weeks that Ohio was one of only three states in the nation without an official fish.

“WCMH is looking to change that by taking our audience through the legislative process and having some fun putting a spotlight on the natural world. But before any lawmaker can carry state fish legislation through the Ohio Capitol, a fish needs to be chosen,” wrote Ben Orner, a WCMH reporter who asked viewers to suggest a candidate for the honor.

Over 100 suggestions have arrived. Based on popularity, the station narrowed the list down to the walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie muskellunge and goldfish.

One canny politically minded candidacy also emerged — where the walleye and bass would share the title.

“Consider it a unity ticket that brings together the feuding sides of Ohio’s past state fish debates,” Mr. Orner explained.

Voting is underway and results of the contest are imminent. The final fish candidate, however, could very well face an upstream battle when the issue is brought before the Ohio legislature.

NOT IN TEXAS

One Hollywood producer has given a clear thumbs down on the new Texas abortion law, and has now abandoned a major film project in the Lone Star State.

David Simon — creator of the popular series “The Wire” — has canceled filming a new HBO project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area “due to the new restrictions,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He means the state’s abortion law, of course.

“As an employer, this is beyond politics. I’m turning in scripts next month on an HBO non-fiction miniseries based on events in Texas, but I can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there. What else looks like Dallas/Ft. Worth?” Mr. Simon asked in a tweet on Tuesday.

However the Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office advised Mr. Simon against his withdrawal.

“Laws of a state are not reflective of its entire population. Not bringing a production to Dallas (a big ‘D’) only serves to further disenfranchise those that live here. We need talent/crew/creatives to stay and vote, not get driven out by inability to make a living,” the Office wrote in a response tweet.

POLL DU JOUR

• 76% of chief investment officers, equity strategists, and portfolio managers say that “now is a time to be very conservative in the stock market.”

• 24% say however that “now is a good time to be very aggressive.”

• 51% say that the S&P 500 index will go up more than 5% in the next 12 months.

• 44% say that the S&P 500 will be “fairly flat” with a rise of under 5%.

• 5% say that the “S&P 500 will fall.”

SOURCE: A CNBC Delivering Alpha poll of 400 chief investment officers, equity strategists and portfolio managers conducted Monday and Tuesday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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