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Editor Daily Rundown: Mayor Pete Demands Canada Crush The Truckrising, Give Them The Boot-Edge-Edge

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TIME TO GIVE TRUCKERS THE BOOT-EDGE-EDGE…MAYOR PETE DEMANDS CANADA CRUSH THE TRUCKRISING… Biden Admin Reportedly Tells Canada To Use Federal Power To Crush Trucker Convoy

The Biden administration reportedly urged Canadian officials Thursday to use “federal powers” to crush the trucker convoy that is blocking the U.S.-Canada border, according to reports.

U.S. Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Canadian leaders “to use Federal powers to resolve this situation at our joint border,” Reuters reported, citing a White House official.

“U.S. and Canadian border and customs authorities are working with great urgency to ensure the continued flow of goods and services across our international border, leveraging alternative land routes, as well as air and sea options,” the White House official said, according to Reuters.

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement Thursday calling on Canadian officials to “reopen traffic on the [Ambassador] Bridge,” which has been shut down by truckers.

“It is imperative that Canadian local, provincial, and national governments de-escalate this economic blockade,” Whitmer continued. “They must take all necessary and appropriate steps to immediately and safely reopen traffic so we can continue growing our economy, supporting good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for families.”

 

AMERICAN GOV OFFERS TO FORCIBLY DISLODGE CANADIAN PROTESTERS… Canadian Mayor Says Gov. Whitmer Offered Heavy Equipment To Move Trucks Off Bridge Blocked By ‘Freedom Convoy’

Mayor of Windsor, Ontario, Drew Dilkens, said in a press conference Thursday that Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered to help remove protestors blocking the Ambassador Bridge for the past several days.

The bridge is a key border between the U.S. and Canada currently occupied by convoy truckers in protest of Canada’s COVID-19 mandates. The protest, called the Freedom Convoy, began in Ottawa and has since gone international.

“The State of Michigan and the governors’ office directly have offered to send over heavy equipment to help remove vehicles, to provide security, they’ve offered to do whatever is required to help end this blockade as well,” Dilkens said in the press conference.

 

AMERICAN RULING CLASS SHUDDERS WITH PROFITS ON THE LINE… NY TIMES: Canadian Trucker Protests Snarl an Already Hobbled Auto Industry

After two years of the pandemic, semiconductor shortages and supply chain chaos, it seemed as if nothing else could go wrong for the auto industry and the millions of people it employs. But then came thousands of truckers who, angry about vaccine mandates, have been blocking major border crossings between Canada and the United States.

With Canadian officials baffled about what to do, the main routes that handle the steel, aluminum and other parts that keep car factories running on both sides of the border were essentially shut down Wednesday and Thursday.

Ford Motor, General Motors, Honda and Toyota have curtailed production at several factories in Michigan and Ontario, threatening paychecks and offering a fresh reminder of the fragility of global supply chains and of the deep interdependence of the U.S. and Canadian economies, which exchange $140 million in vehicles and parts every day.

 

NY CITY SET TO DESTROY THE LIVES OF CITY WORKERS… NY TIMES: New York could fire as many as 3,000 unvaccinated city workers on Friday.

New York City on Friday is expected to fire as many as 3,000 municipal workers who have refused to get coronavirus vaccines.

They make up a small fraction of the city’s employees — less than 1 percent. But they would probably represent the most drastic example of a work force reduction tied to a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Mayor Eric Adams has said that he would prefer not to fire the unvaccinated, but by remaining so, they were “quitting.”

They are not going quietly. Hundreds marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, chanting that the city should end the mandate and carrying signs that said “Unvaccinated Lives Matter” and “Fire Fauci.” Mr. Adams has reaffirmed the city’s ultimatum: They will be the ones fired unless they get at least one shot.

 

FOR SOME DEMS, THE POLITICAL SCIENCE HAS CHANGED… Nevada Gov. Sisolak Drops Mask Mandate Ahead Of ‘Toss-Up’ Gubernatorial Race

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ended the state’s mask mandate Thursday ahead of a tight gubernatorial race.

The Democrat justified his policy change in a lengthy Twitter thread, noting that daily COVID-19 cases have dropped to 1,280, hospitalizations have declined and vaccines have been widely distributed among residents. Sisolak will run for reelection in a highly-competitive November race The Cook Political Report called a “toss-up.”

Sisolak had come under fire in recent months over relaxing restrictions, including mask mandates, according to ABC News.

He currently faces a field of strong Republican challengers, including Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, according to The Nevada Independent. In a Jan. 19-26 poll Sisolak held a 4.4 point lead over Lombardo, just within the survey’s 3.9% margin of error.

 

NOT A COINCIDENCE… DEMS PRESSURE WHITE HOUSE TO USE STATE OF THE UNION TO BACK OFF OF COVID TYRANNY… POLITICO: Masks off? Democrats try for a pandemic pivot

Their pandemic pivot comes as they brace for a brutal November election in which the virus — and the culture war that’s accompanied it — is shaping up to be Democrats’ biggest blind spot.

“By the time we’re at the midterms, we’ll hopefully not be wearing these,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), gesturing to his own mask as he walked through the Capitol. “People are, of course, frustrated. We all want to get back to life.”

Many in the party are now coming around to what swing-district lawmakers have privately warned for weeks: that the Biden administration needs to drastically rethink its handling of Covid, particularly in the suburbs. Those vulnerable Democrats worry that ugly clashes over masks, school closings and vaccine mandates will crush them in purple districts this fall. But the current shift may be too little, too late to avoid blowback from voters wearied by pandemic whiplash.

Some Democrats are nudging President Joe Biden to do more to ease Covid exhaustion, using his upcoming State of the Union address to announce a “new phase” of living with the virus.

 

BIDEN HASN’T RECEIVED THE NEW TALKING POINTS YET… ‘Probably Premature’: Biden Voices Disagreement With Blue States Loosening Mask Mandates (VIDEO)

President Joe Biden voiced disagreement with blue states recently loosening mask requirements, saying that he is committed to following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance Thursday.

Blue states including New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Nevada either dropped or loosened their mask guidelines citing the changing science and improving COVID-19 conditions. During an exclusive interview, NBC’s Lester Holt asked Biden whether he believes the governors are wrong to move ahead of the CDC.

“It’s hard to say whether they’re wrong, here’s the science saying now that masks work, masks make a difference,” Biden said. “And there’s a relationship, I think there’s only one governor drawing back immediately and most of them are somewhere in the end of February, March, April. They’re set[ting] a time limit and I assume it has something to do with whether the Omicron variant continues to dive in fewer and fewer cases.”

“I committed that I would follow the science,” Biden said. “And the science as put forward by the CDC and the federal people and I think it’s probably premature but it’s a tough call.”

The CDC still recommends that all Americans wear a mask in indoor settings regardless of their vaccination status.

Holt also asked if he acknowledges that political leaders are “bowing to the political whims” in making these policy decisions. Biden responded that Omicron has had “a profound impact on the psyche of the American people.”

 

AMERICANS SAY BIDEN’S DONE NOTHING FOR THEM… CNN Poll: 56% Of Americans Who Disapprove Of Biden Say They Don’t Approve Of Anything Biden Has Done

A poll released by CNN shows that a majority of Americans who disapprove of the Biden administration overall don’t approve of a single thing the president has done so far.

 

DEMS DUST OFF HILLARY… CNBC: Hillary Clinton expected to speak at New York Democratic convention

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to speak at next week’s New York State Democratic Party Convention, according to people familiar with the matter.

Clinton, who previously represented New York in the U.S. Senate, is likely to take the stage in front of party leaders at the Sheraton in Times Square, these people said.

The development comes as Clinton, who also worked as secretary of State during the first half of President Barack Obama’s administration, works to maintain relevance in a party that could be headed for defeat in this year’s midterm elections.

It may also stoke speculation about a potential new Clinton bid for elected office. Two of her allies last month published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal suggesting Clinton could run for president in 2024 as President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have fallen dramatically. Clinton has said she would not run for president again after her loss to Donald Trump in 2016.

 

IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN… NY TIMES: C.I.A. Is Collecting in Bulk Certain Data Affecting Americans, Senators Warn

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has for years been collecting in bulk, without a warrant, some kind of data that can affect Americans’ privacy, according to a newly declassified letter by two senators.

The C.I.A. kept censored the nature of the data when it declassified the letter. At the same time, it declared that a report about the same topic, which had prompted the letter, must remain fully classified, except for some heavily redacted recommendations.

That report, called “Deep Dive II,” was part of a set of studies by a watchdog board scrutinizing intelligence community operations under Executive Order 12333, rules for intelligence activities that Congress has left unregulated by statute. The watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and its staff members have access to classified information.

 

INFLATION COVER UP… ANTONI: Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes — Inflation Is Even Worse Than It Appears

The latest inflation report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed an acceleration in price increases, with the consumer-price index (CPI) rising 0.6% from December 2021 to January 2022. The annual increase, measured without seasonal adjustments, was 7.5% — a four-decade high. As troubling as these numbers are, the truly scary figure is hiding behind them.

A recent change in the computation of the CPI by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is downplaying inflation. In reality, the general level of prices rose 0.7% from December to January, not 0.6%. That may not sound like much, but it is the difference between an annual rate of 7.4% and 8.7% — a 1.3 percentage point deviation.

The divergence between these two numbers is due to a process called reweighting. The CPI functions like a weighted average of all the goods and services which typical urban consumers purchase, but it needs to be periodically updated to reflect consumers’ changing preferences. That is done every two years through changing the weights assigned to the components of goods and services within the index and is part of the normal procedure at BLS.

The December 2021 inflation report was the last month to use data from 2017 to 2018 to weigh the components of the CPI. Beginning with this latest inflation report, the weights are now derived using data from 2019 to 2020. Therein lies the problem.

 

SOME DEMOCRATS START TO PANIC… NYT

One Democrat who is not dismissive is William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who served as a domestic policy adviser to Bill Clinton. Now 76, he lived through a time of high inflation in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“It was vividly etched in my memory,” Galston said, sounding over the phone as if he was wincing while recalling it all. “It seized the center of domestic politics and wouldn’t let go for years.”

 

BIDEN ANNOYED THAT LESTER HOLT REMEMBERS WHEN HE SAID INFLATION WOULD BE ‘TEMPORARY’ … RECOUNT: NBC’s Lester Holt asks about Biden’s definition of “temporary” inflation. Biden says, “I think you’re being a wise guy with me a little bit. I understand that’s your job.” Biden then explains inflationary pressures and why he thinks it’ll “taper” off this year. (VIDEO)

 

STUMBLING BIDEN RIPS AFGHANISTAN REPORT, WHICH BLAMED HIM FOR DISASTROUS WITHDRAWAL… Biden Rejects Army Investigative Report Detailing Chaotic Afghanistan Withdrawal (VIDEO)

President Joe Biden rejects an Army investigative report detailing the many issues that occurred during the Afghanistan withdrawal, he told NBC News Thursday.

The 2,000-page report was obtained by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this week. It’s the latest insight into just how unprepared the Biden administration appeared to be with regard to the Afghanistan withdrawal, and its findings were based on the sworn testimony of multiple commanders.

NBC News’ Lester Holt highlighted the report during his interview with Biden, noting that multiple military officers said “the administration ignored  the handwriting on the wall” regarding the fall of Kabul and the evacuation process. Biden denied that any fraction of the report rang true to him.

“No, no,” the president insisted. “That’s not what I was told.”

Biden continued, reiterating his administration’s stance that while “there is no good time to get out,” there was no option to remain in Afghanistan. When Holt pressed the president for clarification on whether he rejects the Army investigation’s findings, Biden answered affirmatively.

“Yes, I am. I’m rejecting them,” the president declared emphatically.

 

BIDEN LIES THAT HE WARNED PUTIN NOT TO HARM AMERICANS, THEN IMMEDIATELY BACKTRACKS… ‘Things Could Go Crazy, Quickly’: Biden Says He ‘Didn’t Have To Tell’ Putin Not To Harm Americans In Ukraine (VIDEO)

The president has committed to not deploying American troops to Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion of the country, but Holt pressed him on whether he would break that commitment if it were necessary to rescue American citizens caught in the fray.

“How do you do that, how do you even find them?” Biden said when Holt followed up to clarify that Biden would not send in troops to rescue Americans.

“That’s a world war, when Americans and Russians start shooting at one another,” the president said. “I’m hoping, that if in fact he’s foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to in fact do anything that would negatively impact on American citizens.”

Holt followed up, asking if Biden had told Putin that endangering Americans was a line he could not cross. Biden said he had, then immediately contradicted himself and implied he hadn’t because he didn’t need to.

“Yes,” he said when asked if he told Putin Americans were a red line. When Holt pressed, Biden changed his answer: “I didn’t have to tell him that. I’ve spoken about that and he knows that.”

 

US DRONE SPOTTED ONE-LEGGED ISIS LEADER BATHING ON HIS ROOF… NY TIMES: A One-Legged Man Bathing on a Rooftop in Syria? Must Be ISIS’ Leader.

WASHINGTON — A vital clue in the two-year manhunt for the Islamic State’s elusive leader fell into place last fall when a U.S. spy drone spotted a bearded man bathing atop a three-story building in northwest Syria. The man was missing his right leg.

That physical disability matched the description of the man American and allied spies had been searching for: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of ISIS.

Intelligence analysts soon trained other aerial surveillance cameras and eavesdropping sensors on the rooftop and surrounding areas. Within weeks, American officials said, what started as a tip from informants on the ground had been confirmed by the sensors in the sky. That information, reported earlier by The Washington Post, set in motion a daring U.S. commando raid that led to Mr. al-Qurayshi’s death last week.