ONE YEAR TO GO:
"President Biden is trailing Donald J. Trump in five of the six most important battleground states one year before the 2024 election, suffering from enormous doubts about his age and deep dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy and a host of other issues, new polls by the New York Times and Siena College have found.
The results show Mr. Biden losing to Mr. Trump, his likeliest Republican rival, by margins of three to 10 percentage points among registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden is ahead only in Wisconsin, by two percentage points, the poll found.
Discontent pulsates throughout the Times/Siena poll, with a majority of voters saying Mr. Biden’s policies have personally hurt them. The survey also reveals the extent to which the multiracial and multigenerational coalition that elected Mr. Biden is fraying. Demographic groups that backed Mr. Biden by landslide margins in 2020 are now far more closely contested, as two-thirds of the electorate sees the country moving in the wrong direction.
The Times’ rival newspaper, the Washington Post, tells us what Trump will do as his first order of business in a second term: impose an authoritarian government, especially converting the the Department of Justice into a Department of Revenge, going after his rivals, including Biden and former members of his administration who turned on him.
And in case you are planning to take to the streets in protest, the plotters are studying the Insurrection Act, which hope will enable the military to quash protests, something Trump and his folks have dreamed of since the Black Lives Matter protests.
"Donald Trump and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.
In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of staff, John Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said.
One of the most effective attacks on Biden by his Republican acolytes has been to define Joe Biden as a criminal, linking him to his son Hunter Biden, who has contended with drug addiction and traded on his father’s name. The message: all politicians are corrupt.
This is preposterous. Trump is facing scores of charges in four different courts, the most serious of which is his multi-pronged attempt to overthrow the 2020 election, including spawning the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Politico, the online news organization, throws another log onto the Hunter fire by finding that Biden’s statements distancing himself from his son's activities have not been as truthful as they seem. No finding that President Joe is corrupt, just that he's not been as forthright as he should be. But it continues the "Biden's dirty as Trump" falsehood.
"A POLITICO review of recent congressional testimony and exhibits, along with court filings and media reports, casts doubt on several statements made by Biden and his representatives.
They include the president’s claim that he has never discussed his relatives’ business dealings with anyone and his suggestion that the appearance of emails apparently belonging to his son was the result of a Russian plot, as well as Biden’s denials that his son made money from China and that his relatives have profited off of the Biden name.
The latest international disaster – the Israel-Hamas war – has created huge divides throughout the world, no more so than in the United States. Some Democrats and members the Left are highly critical of Biden’s full-voiced support of Israel; the criticism has grown deeper since Israel’s air attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing thousands, many of them children.
Of course, Hamas’ Oct. 7 strike against Israel was unconscionably savage. But as Hamas may have hoped, Israel's response has unleashed a surge of antisemitism, the fury of which has not been seen for decades.
Biden and his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, have tried – without success – to get Israel to protect civilians in Gaza. Nonetheless, Biden is losing support among Leftists, which the Times poll shows he can hardly afford to forfeit.
Here’s what the news site, Axios, had to say about all of that today:
"No issue threatens to break President Biden's fragile Democratic coalition like Israel's response to the Hamas terrorist attack.
Why it matters: Infighting is spreading, slowly but meaningfully, at every layer of the Democratic Party over Biden's full throated support of Israel. It runs much deeper than college campus protests or caustic comments from elected officials.
Step back and survey the split:
Many liberal Jews are furious that so many progressive Democrats aren't more outraged by the slaughter of family and friends back in Israel. Some are threatening to leave the party.
Pro-Palestinian Democrats are outraged at the rising death tolls in Gaza made possible by Biden's posture.
But look as hard as you might, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any stories, 365 days before the election, that provide optimism for a Biden victory.
If you are fan of Joe Biden, as I am, this collection of stories indicates that the electorate is turning against the president.
He is an able president. The economy is doing relatively well – it’s never, in the best of times, been kind to the middle class or those in poverty.
Biden has made good on pledges to fight global warming – not as much or as successfully as is necessary to reverse the potential doom to the planet.
Mostly, he has restored a sense of order and competence to government, and moved the nation towards its historic, though elusive, aspirations of fairness and inclusiveness.
We owe Joe Biden our respect and thanks. Instead, our neighbors, our fellow voters, seem bent on an irrational and ultimately self-defeating betrayal of the man, and exchange him for a man you would not want near your children.
I don’t blame the media for the stories I’ve cited - they are doing what they are supposed to. Except on one point.
If an asteroid were heading toward earth and threatening to destroy the planet, the news stories would not only discuss the technical details, but describe the catastrophe that will result.
What’s missing in most of the negative stories today is a sense of alarm as to what a Trump second term will mean, the exception being the Washington Post piece.
Even weather stories do better on this front. Any story about about an impending hurricane, tornado, or flood, also raises an alarm of the storm's consequences.
Today's roundup of Biden-is-toast stories, and those going forward, should not just report the facts outlined in the polls and other reporting, they should also warn us of the destruction that will result from an approaching political calamity.
Tomorrow, there will be just 364 days until the election.
I'VE BEEN a reporter and writer for 58 years, long enough to have learned that journalists don't know very much, although I've met some smart ones.
Mainly, what reporters know comes from asking other people questions and fretting about the answers.
This blog is a successor to one inspired by our dog, Phoebe, who was smart, sweet and the antithesis of Donald Trump. She died Feb. 3, and I don't see getting over that very soon.
Occasionally, I may try to reach her via cell phone.