It seems like a long time ago when White House officials flooded the airwaves to knock down LARRY SUMMERS’ warning about inflation.
Inflation has soared since then and been picked up as a principal Republican attack against any government spending.
But recall that Summers’ argument was not a critique from the right against Biden policies. It was about the balance between short-term stimulus (bad and unnecessary, in his view) and long-term investments (good, in his view). He worried not just that inflation was a serious risk, but also that spending too much on the American Rescue Plan would rob from President JOE BIDEN’S Jobs and Families plans.
But if Republicans ignore the progressive argument Summers made, Biden ignores the increasingly dire warnings about inflation from Summers.
“There’s nobody expecting unchecked inflation on the way, no serious economist,” Biden told reporters today.
Biden is wrong about that. There is a robust debate about whether inflation is temporary or whether it could be unchecked.
The Biden White House has a sophisticated antennae when it comes to emerging political threats (see: crime and immigration) — so the fact that the president is addressing inflation head-on means his team is concerned.
More highlights from Biden’s remarks …
— Biden attempted to walk back his comment that Facebook is “killing people”: “I had just read that … of all the misinformation, 60% of that misinformation came from 12 individuals. … Facebook isn’t killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation. Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information. My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally that somehow I’m saying ‘Facebook is killing people,’ that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine. That’s what I meant.” More from Nick Niedzwiadek
— Biden also took a swipe at former President DONALD TRUMP while touting his own economic recovery: “I don’t look at the stock market as a means by which to judge the economy like my predecessor did, but he would be talking every day for the last five months about how the stock market is so high, higher than any time in history, still higher than any time in history.”
CNN SPLASHES INTO STREAMING — “Inside CNN Plus: A First Look at the New Streaming Service,” by Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein: “CNN disclosed the first details of its long-awaited new subscription streaming service Monday, which will launch in the first quarter of 2022 with 8-12 hours of original live content each day. …
“[CNN Worldwide chief digital officer ANDREW] MORSE revealed that CNN is looking to hire 450 people in the next 6-9 months to support CNN Plus, which he also said would be looking to experiment in programming formats that blur the line between news and entertainment. In addition, he made clear there would be no political slant to CNN Plus content. … Morse said CNN is still determining how much CNN Plus will cost consumers and made clear the streaming service will not have any kind of ad-supported component at launch.”
Good Monday afternoon.
HEADS UP — “Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan tests positive for Covid despite being fully vaccinated,” POLITICO
NEW — CBS’ Christina Ruffini (@EenaRuffini): “BREAKING: According to a senior hill staffer and an NSC notification views by CBS, the first round of #Afghan SIV applicants will be temporarily housed at Fort Lee, Virginia while they complete the visa process.”
2024 REMATCH WATCH — “Trump Is Telling His Dinner Pals He’s Planning to Run for President in 2024,” by Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll: “Trump has told at least three people he’s dined with in recent months that he plans to run in 2024, a former senior official at the Republican National Committee tells Rolling Stone. ‘I have three friends who’ve had dinner with him in the last couple of months. All three reported that his current plans are to run for president in 2024,’ the former R.N.C. official says. ‘Now, whether he does or not is a different issue. We’ve still got three years to go. But he’s telling people that.’
“The ex-R.N.C. official says the first two dinners took place in late spring. But the third dinner happened in the last two weeks, the official said. The first two dinner companions came away from their conversations convinced Trump was serious and he’s running, the official adds. The third said he left the dinner ‘not 100% sure Trump wants to run but he likes being in the conversation, he wants to freeze the field, and he wants his name out there,’ according to the ex-R.N.C. official.”
THE NUCLEAR OPTIONS — “U.S. Weighs New Sanctions on Iran’s Oil Sales to China if Nuclear Talks Fail,” by WSJ’s Benoit Faucon in London and Ian Talley in Washington
BIDEN’S CHINA PROBLEM — “Chinese government recruiting criminal hackers to attack Western targets, U.S. and allies say,” by Eric Geller: “The Biden administration and U.S. allies on Monday blamed the Chinese government for a sprawling web of cyberattacks, including a blizzard of hacks into Microsoft email servers in March and intrusions for which Beijing partnered with cyber criminals.
“The announcement by the U.S., the European Union, NATO and five close allies comes as the Biden administration attempts to establish a global consensus on limitations around cyberattacks, including discouraging hacks of critical infrastructure and breaches of businesses designed to extort money or steal trade secrets. In a separate action, the Justice Department charged four Chinese nationals … with engaging in a long-running hacking campaign aimed at stealing Ebola vaccine research, autonomous vehicle technology and other intellectual property from dozens of companies in the U.S. and other countries.”
HAITI LATEST — “Haiti’s acting prime minister Claude Joseph says he will step down amid leadership dispute,” by WaPo’s Anthony Faiola in Port-au-Prince: “CLAUDE JOSEPH, who has nominally led Haiti as acting prime minister since the assassination of President JOVENEL MOÏSE, said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Post on Monday that he had agreed to step down, handing over power to his challenger who has been backed by the international community.
“The agreement ends a power struggle between two men who had been courting support internationally and domestically for their rival claims as Haiti’s interim leader, and is aimed at defusing a roiling political crisis that has left the troubled Caribbean nation rudderless since the July 7 assassination. … On Monday, he said he and [ARIEL] HENRY had been privately meeting over the past week in a bid to resolve the leadership dispute, and that he had finally agreed on Sunday to step down ‘for the good of the nation.’”
JAN. 6 FALLOUT — “Capitol rioter who breached Senate gets 8 months for felony,” by AP’s Michael Tarm: “A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag was sentenced Monday to eight months behind bars, the first resolution for a felony case in the Capitol insurrection.
“PAUL ALLARD HODGKINS apologized and said he was ashamed of his actions on Jan 6. Speaking calmly from a prepared text, he described being caught up in the euphoria as he walked down Washington’s most famous avenue, then followed a crowd of hundreds up Capitol Hill and into the Capitol building. … The sentencing could set the bar for punishments of hundreds of other defendants as they decide whether to accept plea deals or go to trial.”
CASH DASH — “Christie nabs role courting big donors for Republican governors group,” by Alex Isenstadt: “Former New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE has been tapped to co-chair a new fundraising program aimed at helping Republicans in 2022 governor’s races, a role that will allow him to maintain his national profile as he weighs a 2024 presidential bid.
“Christie will help to spearhead the Republican Governors Association’s Victory 2022 Board, an enterprise devoted to expanding the committee’s donor network. He will be joined by MICHELLE MALEK OLSON, the finance chair for Virginia gubernatorial hopeful GLENN YOUNGKIN and the daughter of FRED MALEK, a major GOP financier who passed away in 2019.”
LETTER FROM GUATEMALA — “It’s Not a Border Crisis. It’s a Climate Crisis,” by Sabrina Rodríguez in Aldea Xucup, Panzós, Guatemala: “[A]s the Biden administration navigates the puzzle that is the U.S. immigration system, there’s another far-reaching challenge it faces: climate change. It’s impossible to know the motives of migrants — and it’s rarely just one reason — but U.S. and Guatemalan officials, regional experts and civil society leaders say climate-fueled displacement is a likely factor for thousands who’ve decided to strike out from home and head to the U.S. …
“Climate change, in the coming years, will only continue to exacerbate an already dire situation for millions of Guatemalans, analysts say. In the long term, the number of people in the region displaced by climate change is only expected to grow dramatically — leading many to migrate to more urban areas in Guatemala or head north to Mexico or the U.S. in search of jobs, money and security.”
ARMS WIDE OPEN — “‘A big blow’: Washington’s arms controllers brace for loss of their biggest backer,” by Bryan Bender: “For the Washington think tanks and foundations that work to control the spread of nuclear weapons, the Doomsday Clock is inching closer to midnight. That’s because a leading financial backer of their efforts to reduce nuclear proliferation is ending its support, sending shockwaves through arms control institutions that are already struggling to remain influential.
“For more than 40 years, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, has been a primary benefactor of a host of non-profit research centers, academic programs and grassroots organizations dedicated to reversing the spread of nuclear weapons and training a generation of arms control experts. … But its recent conclusion that it wasn’t achieving its goals and decision to pull out of the arena could be detrimental without alternative sources of funding, according to multiple veterans of the nuclear policy community.”
BRAVE NEW WORLD — “How Washington power brokers gained from NSO’s spyware ambitions,” by WaPo’s Drew Harwell: “The Israeli surveillance giant NSO Group and companies linked to it or its founders have spent millions of dollars in hopes of wooing their way into the U.S. market, hosting demonstrations for government intelligence officials and hiring Washington’s most prominent names despite pledges that its phone-hacking tool can’t be used inside the United States.
“The company’s attempts to secure U.S. contracts appear to have been unsuccessful, with federal and local law enforcement agency representatives saying in emails and interviews that they balked at its Pegasus spyware tool’s million-dollar price tag. But an influential network of Washington consultants, lawyers, lobbyists and other prominent personalities have earned money from the company, its parent company or its founders, a Washington Post review of government and company filings shows. Those beneficiaries include some of the most powerful members of the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations.”
FOR YOUR RADAR — “2 Americans Get Prison Over Nissan Executive’s Escape From Japan in a Box,” by NYT’s Ben Dooley in Tokyo
BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “Oregon wildfire burns area nearly the size of Los Angeles,” AP
OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL — “Department of Justice adopts new restrictions on obtaining journalists’ records,” by CNN’s Oliver Darcy
MEDIAWATCH — “Inside Facebook’s $1.6 Billion Bid to Save Journalism: Secret Deals, Favored Partners and Few Details,” by The Wrap’s Antoinette Siu: “There aren’t many companies that can say they’ve poured hundreds of millions into journalism in the last few years. Facebook has — $600 million over since 2018 — and it is promising another $1 billion in the next three years.
“Yet when surveying those around the journalism and media world, the jury is still out on whether and how much Facebook’s funding is helping its stakeholders — or merely buying good PR. A Wrap inquiry into the details of the $600 million found that many of those dollars are hard to track, except in the most general terms. When broken down into the main categories mostly based in the U.S., TheWrap could only specifically verify the expenditure of roughly $122 million — barely one-quarter of the pledged sum — begging the question: Where is the money going?”
— “Outrage As A Business Model: How Ben Shapiro Is Using Facebook To Build An Empire,” by NPR’s Miles Parks
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Buenos Aires-based newsroom La Política Online has hired a team of three journalists to cover Washington. Bernd Debusmann, a former deputy editor of Arabian Business in Dubai, was hired in March to be LPO’s new Washington bureau chief. Roll Call alum Pablo Manriquez began last month as LPO’s deputy bureau chief alongside Herald of Mexico alum Lila Abed, who recently began as LPO’s White House correspondent.
STAFFING UP — Quentin Buckholz is now a policy advisor in the Treasury Department’s Office of Investment Security. He previously was a VP at Vcheck Global.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Mark Jablonowski, managing partner and CTO at DSPolitical, and Rachel Gaddes Jablonowski, senior study director at Insight Policy Research, welcomed Vaughn Elon Jablonowski last Monday. He came in at 7 lbs, 4.4 oz and was 21.25 inches long. Pic … Another pic
— Tyler Herrmann, special counsel to the chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Rachel Herrmann, assistant director of the Ohio liquor control commission, welcomed James Herrmann on Sunday. Pic