BREAKING THIS AM… WELCOME TO THE BIDEN RECESSION… CNBC: GDP fell 0.9% in the second quarter, the second straight decline and a strong recession signal
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the administration was not trying to redefine recession.
“If things are going so great though then why is it the White House officials are trying to redefine recession?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre.
“No, we’re not redefining recession,” Jean-Pierre responded.
“If we all understand a recession to be two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in a row, and then you have White House officials come up here to say, ‘No, no, no that’s not what a recession is, it’s something else,’” Doocy continued. “How is that not redefining recession?”
Jean-Pierre doubled down, saying, “Because that’s not the definition.”
1600 PENN WORKS THE REFS… POLITICO: White House braces for grim news on economy
The White House is scrambling behind the scenes and in public to get ahead of a potentially brutal economic punch to the face that could give Republicans the chance to declare that the “Biden recession” is under way.
Wall Street analysts, economists and even some in the Biden administration itself expect a report on Thursday to show the economy shrank for a second straight quarter, meeting a classic — though by no means the only — definition of a recession.
Senior administration officials are hitting the airwaves and arm-twisting reporters in private, imploring anyone who will listen that the economy — despised by majorities of both Republicans and Democrats fed up with inflation — is still healthy.
MEDIA SPRING INTO ACTION… FOX: Biden White House talking points redefining recession quickly embraced by media outlets
Some liberal media outlets are beginning to fall in line with the Biden administration’s spin on redefining what a recession is ahead of the release of potentially devastating economic stats.
Economic data to be revealed on Thursday may show two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which has long been the measure that determines whether the U.S. is in a recession.
However, there’s been a major push by the White House to preemptively declare that even if the U.S. economy has shrunk in two consecutive quarters, that doesn’t necessarily mean the economy is in a recession. […]
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told readers “there’s a pretty good chance” that GDP shrank in the second quarter, which will trigger “breathless commentary” about there being a recession. But he insisted “we won’t be.”
“That’s not how recessions are defined; more important, it’s not how they should be defined,” Krugman wrote Tuesday. “It’s possible that the people who actually decide whether we’re in a recession… will eventually declare that a recession began in the United States in the first half of this year, although that’s unlikely given other economic data.”
His assurances about a recession not taking place came just days after he offered a mea culpa for wrongly predicting in 2021 that the country wouldn’t face severe inflation. He also predicted in 2016 a global recession would erupt following Donald Trump’s election victory.
POLITIFACT: No, the White House didn’t change the definition of “recession”
CNN Reporter’s Tweet Come Back To Haunt Him As He Tries To Dismiss Recession Fears
CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood’s 2019 tweet is coming back to haunt him as he tries to dismiss fears about an impending recession.
Harwood retweeted several tweets downplaying concerns about a recession as President Joe Biden’s administration tries to redefine what constitutes a recession ahead of Thursday’s GDP report.
Harwood retweeted a post from Ben White, who said “the White House is pretty obviously right that even two quarters of shrinking GDP would not show the economy is currently in recession. Getting people to understand that and the nuances of our strange, vexing, economic moment is just really hard. By me.”
Harwood also retweeted a claim from Paul Krugman who said “ignore the two-quarter rule.”
“We might have a recession, but we aren’t in one now.”
Harwood then retweeted a claim from Marc Goldwein who said “no, 2 quarters of negative economic growth does not mean we’re in a recession.”
Despite Harwood’s several retweets that the U.S. is not heading toward a recession due to the apparent redefinition, Harwood himself tweeted the exact opposite nearly three years ago.
“btw it’s not possible for a recession to last only two months,” Harwood tweeted. “Recession=economy shrinks for two quarters.”
ZELENSKYY BITES THE HAND… ‘Inflation Is Nothing’: Ukraine President Dismisses Americans’ Economic Woes
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed Americans’ concerns over inflation in an interview with Piers Morgan published Tuesday in the New York Post.
“When I said there were a growing number of Americans who don’t think the country should be spending so much money on a war in Europe when there are so many problems domestically, he responded passionately,” Morgan wrote of Zelenskyy in the interview.
Zelenskyy stressed the “communal values” between Ukraine and America before saying that in light of the threat these values are facing from Russia, economic concerns pale in comparison.
“As long as we are resisting it, the integrity of the United States will continue, therefore we are giving our lives for your values and the joint security of the world,” Zelenskyy said. “Therefore, inflation is nothing, COVID is nothing.”
MANCHIN SURRENDERS… Joe Manchin Says He Will Support Reconciliation Package, Claims It Is ‘Responsible Path Forward’
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday that he will support a reconciliation package targeting prescription drug prices and the energy sector.
The legislation, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, has not yet been written. However, Manchin said in a statement that the package will fight inflation by promoting an all-of-the-above energy policy and lower prescription drug prices. Inflation increased 9.1% over the twelve-month period ending June 30, the highest year-over-year increase since December 1981.
“I support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 because it provides a responsible path forward that is laser focused on solving our nation’s major economic, energy and climate problems. The question for my colleagues is whether they are willing to put their election politics aside and embrace the commonsense approach that the overwhelming majority of the American people support and will best serve the future of this nation,” Manchin said in a statement.
INFLATION REDUCTION? … PACKAGE SPRINTS $369 BILLION IN NEW SPENDING AND RAISES TAXES… NYT: Manchin, in Reversal, Agrees to Quick Action on Climate and Tax Plan
The package would set aside $369 billion for climate and energy proposals, the most ambitious climate action ever taken by Congress, and raise an estimated $451 billion in new tax revenue over a decade, while cutting federal spending on prescription drugs by $288 billion, according to a summary circulated Wednesday evening. […]
The plan would raise most of its new tax revenue, an estimated $313 billion, by imposing a minimum tax on the so-called book income of large corporations, like Amazon and FedEx, that currently use tax credits and other maneuvers to reduce their tax rates below the 21 percent corporate income tax rate in the United States.
It would raise another $14 billion by reducing a preferential tax treatment for income earned by venture capitalists and private equity firms, which has long been a goal of Democrats.
It invests $30 billion in production tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical minerals processing; $10 billion in tax credits to build clean technology manufacturing facilities; and $500 million to be used through the Defense Production Act for heat pumps and critical minerals processing.
The deal also includes a means-tested $7,500 tax credit to make new electric vehicles more affordable, and a $4,000 tax credit for used electric vehicles, according to a summary of the package. Both credits will be offered only to lower and middle-income consumers.
The measure also includes a methane fee that will start in 2025.
Also included will be $60 billion to address the disproportionate burden of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color, $27 billion for a “green bank” aimed at delivering financial support to clean energy projects and $20 billion for programs that can cut emissions in the agriculture sector.
ONE GOOD THING? … BILL GOES AFTER ‘CARRIED INTEREST LOOPHOLE… FLASHBACK… SEP 2021… PATEL: How Wall Street Still Owns Washington, Even With The Socialists In Charge
There is zero policy justification for the carried interest loophole.
Money managers, like private equity and hedge fund partners, earn a living by charging fees against the funds investors give them to manage. A huge part of their compensation is the 15% to 20% they keep of all their investor’s profits. They call this the “carried interest.”
This payment is essentially a performance bonus, which is a form of compensation. Somehow, though, Wall Street has convinced Washington that this compensation should not be taxed as income but instead at a lower capital gains tax rate. There is no requirement that the partners in these firms invest any of their own capital themselves. It is just payment for their work, but the government has somehow been hoodwinked into taxing it at a lower level than most other Americans’ income. None of the usual justifications for lower capital investment tax rates applies. It’s purely an exercise of political power.
CALIFORNIANS ARE FLEEING FOR MEXICO CITY… AND THE LOCALS HATE IT… LA TIMES: Californians and other Americans are flooding Mexico City. Some locals want them to go home
Fernando Bustos Gorozpe was sitting with friends in a cafe here when he realized that — once again — they were outnumbered.
“We’re the only brown people,” said Bustos, a 38-year-old writer and university professor. “We’re the only people speaking Spanish except the waiters.”
Mexico has long been the top foreign travel destination for Americans, its bountiful beaches and picturesque pueblos luring tens of millions of U.S. visitors annually. But in recent years, a growing number of tourists and remote workers — hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., Silicon Valley and points in between — have flooded the nation’s capital and left a scent of new-wave imperialism.
The influx, which has accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue as inflation rises, is transforming some of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods into expat enclaves.
WITH NOTHING TO OFFER VOTERS, DEMS RESORT TO DEMONIZATION… CNN: Fearing a wipeout, Democrats try to unify around a simple midterm message: Republicans are ‘extremists’
The Democratic National Committee is coordinating with state parties on ads and local press tours built around words like “dangerous” and “threatening,” and highlighting what they call “MAGA Hot Mic” moments around Republican officials making hardline comments about abortion, democracy and guns. Democratic groups have also primed a barrage of opposition research to release on GOP candidates on everything from once-obscure bills introduced in state legislatures to long-ago Facebook comments, while allied groups highlight features like a Center for American Progress study that found “at least 104 MAGA Republicans have used guns and other deadly weapons in campaign ads.”
On Wednesday, House Democrats will roll out a series of recommended talking points to members that include focusing on a message that “extreme MAGA Republicans care about only one thing: their own power,” according to a presentation viewed by CNN. Republicans, the presentation argues, will criminalize abortion and roll back marriage rights, end Social Security and Medicare, and “continue to attack our democracy, undermine free elections and make it harder for Americans to vote.”
Days of action have also been coordinated with the White House for events back in House Democrats’ districts during the August recess, and include emphasizing proposed Republican cuts to Social Security on August 15, the anniversary of the social safety net, and Republican restrictions on abortion and other reproductive rights on August 26 on Women’s Equality Day. House Democrats are also being encouraged to discuss the threat of gun violence on Sept. 7 in conjunction with the start of the new school year.
“What about the video, the fact that they did release that video and showed you running. I mean what was your reaction to that?”
“This is just an attempt to troll,” Hawley responded. “And listen, I don’t regret anything I did on that day. And the reason I’m being attacked by the January 6 committee is because I’m in their way, and the stand that I took is one that I don’t regret and one that I won’t back down from.”
Raju also asked Hawley if he regretted raising his fist to the crowd of Trump supporters, an action that critics say expressed solidarity with the rioting that day. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the raised fist made Hawley Donald Trump’s “symbol of this sedition.” New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio claimed Hawley “sparked a violent incident that endangered lives and threatened the sanctity of our democracy.”
“The January 6 committee said that they talked to a Capitol Police officer who said when you made that fist pump you riled up the crowd. Do you regret that fist pump because of that?” Raju asked.
“No I don’t. I don’t regret anything I did on that day,” Hawley responded. “And you know it’s a privilege to be attacked by the January 6 Committee. And I wanna say thank you for all the help with my fundraising. It’s been tremendous.”
WORST WNBA TRADE DEAL EVER? … REPORT: White House Offered To Trade ‘Merchant Of Death’ For WNBA Player
The Biden administration offered to trade a convicted arms dealer to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange for WNBA star Brittney Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan, CNN reported Wednesday.
Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” was convicted of conspiring to sell weapons to communist guerrillas in Colombia in 2011 and is serving 25 years in federal prison. The Russian government has reportedly expressed interest in trading Griner, who pleaded guilty to cannabis possession July 7, and Whelan, sentenced on espionage charges in 2020, for Bout.
President Joe Biden approved the proposal to trade Bout for Griner and Whelan, both of whom the U.S. consider to be wrongly detained, CNN reported. His support reportedly contradicts the Department of Justice, which generally opposes prisoner transactions.
A co-host of “The View” issued an apology Wednesday to Turning Point USA (TPUSA) over “anything we said that may have been unclear” about a neo-Nazi group that protested outside the group’s Student Action Summit.
“On Monday we talked about the fact there were openly neo-Nazi demonstrators outside the Florida Student Action Summit of the Turning Point USA group,” said Sara Haines, a journalist and host of “The Chase.” “We want to make clear these demonstrators were gathered outside the event and that they were not invited or endorsed by Turning Point USA. A Turning Point USA spokesman said the group 100% condemns those ideologies and said Turning Point USA security tried to remove the neo-Nazis from the area, but could not because they were on public property.”
“Also Turning Point USA wanted to clarify – wanted us to clarify this was a Turning Point USA summit and not a Republican Party event,” Haines continued. “So we apologize for anything we said that may have been unclear on these points.”
TPUSA sent ABC a “cease and desist” letter Tuesday, according to Fox News, citing comments made by co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg during the segment on Monday. Haines reportedly read multiple notes clarifying comments during the segment.
“Neo-Nazis were out there in the front of the conference with antisemitic slurs and, you know, the Nazi swastika and a picture of a so-called Jewish person with exaggerated features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich,” Behar said Monday.
After Haines read a legal disclaimer, Goldberg said TPUSA “let them in,” claiming she was making a “metaphorical” point.
NY POST: ‘Grand Theft Auto VI’ to have female hero, scale back racist, sexist jokes: report
The next installment of the “Grand Theft Auto” video-game series will have series’ first ever female protagonist and aims to scale back its use of offensive humor — particularly jokes aimed at minority groups, according to a report.
The female, Latina protagonist of Grand Theft Auto VI will be part of a duo of main characters inspired by “Bonnie and Clyde,” Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
The game will take place in a fictionalized version of Miami and South Florida, according to the report. The last Grand Theft Auto game to take place in a fictionalized Miami was 2002’s “Vice City.”
Grand Theft Auto VI’s developers, Rockstar Games, are also reportedly abandoning the series’ record of making crude, potentially offensive jokes about minority groups. The developers are being “cautious” to not “punch down” at the expense of such groups, according to the report.
VINCE COGLIANESE: The game where you can car jack old ladies, run over hookers, and kick their bodies until cash comes out now wants us to think of Latinas as criminals, too. You know, to be inclusive.
CALLING ALL PATRIOTS: Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday that would effectively impose term limits on Supreme Court justices. The bill would allow the president to nominate a justice twice during his term, in the first and third years in office, and limit the acting authority of judges to 18 years, after which their status would be changed to “senior” and they would be unable to vote. Patriots, do you think Supreme Court justices should be subject to term limits? Let us know in the form.