hello

Jen Psaki

September 10, 2021

White House staff too anxious to watch blunder-prone Biden speak

President Joe Biden’s proclivity for going off-message reportedly filled his staff with anxiety, according to Politico. When the commander-in-chief gives public remarks, White House officials say staffers either mute the feed or turn it off entirely.

“I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” one current official said.

Biden caused a few raised eyebrows by referencing that he’s acting on orders. “I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” he said a few weeks ago.

Apparently, his orders come from advisers, who have urged the president to answer fewer questions.

“A lot of times, we say, ‘Don’t take questions,'” press secretary Jen Psaki said on David Axelrod’s podcast earlier this year. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”

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Biden anxiety levels

Photo credit: “Joe Biden with Clean Coal Technology” by americaspower is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By Taylor
September 9, 2021

Biden imposes stricter COVID measures for federal workers

The White House announced on Thursday that federal workers and contractors are facing stricter COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

President Joe Biden will sign a new executive order to require vaccination for executive branch employees and federal contractors with no option to test out.

The announcement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki comes ahead of Biden’s speech Thursday afternoon outlining a plan to address the ongoing rise in COVID cases just two months after he declared America’s “independence” from the virus.

Biden’s order does include exceptions for religious or medical exemptions from vaccination. Applicable workers will have 75 days to get fully vaccinated. Those who don’t comply will face discipline, up to and including termination.

Psaki said the administration “would like to be a model” to other businesses around the country regarding the vaccination requirements.

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Biden requiring federal workers to get COVID shot

By Taylor
September 9, 2021

Conflicting info on $3.5T infrastructure bill from Pelosi, White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki both provided comments on the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package on Wednesday, but their information seems to conflict.

When asked about negotiations over the measure’s budget size, Psaki said it “is going to be paid for.”

“This is going to be paid for. That is something the president is committed to, something Senator Manchin has called for as well. The real choice right now is whether you’re going to lower costs for people in this country on elder care, child care, cost of college or whether you’re going to allow the wealthiest Americans and corporations to continue to pay the tax rates that are hardly fair moving forward,” Psaki said during a press briefing.

Earlier in the day, Pelosi said that amount was “maybe” half.

“We will pay for more than half maybe all of the legislation,” Pelosi said. “We will be taking some responsibility to pay for what is in there. So the cost for the future will be much lower than any 3.5.”

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Psaki vs Pelosi: White House says $3.5B package ‘will be paid for,’ speaker suggests otherwise

By Taylor
July 10, 2021

Fact-Checker Identifies False Claims From The White House

Happy Saturday Americans,

Recent comments from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and senior adviser Cedric Richmond earned a rating of “Three Pinocchios” from The Washington Post’s fact-checker. The White House insinuated that GOP opposition to Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill was tantamount to defunding the police — as $350 billion was allocated for state and government aid. “[G]oing strictly by the bill text, lawmakers had no guarantee that police would get a slice of the pie,” the Post’s Salvador Rizzo wrote. “What’s more, voting against a one-time infusion of cash is not the same as voting to cut funding, so there is little basis to claim that Republicans are trying to ‘defund the police.”

New York City experienced flooding in the streets and subways this week, as commuters were forced to wade through filthy water. The beating that the metropolis has taken from tropical storm Elsa has raised questions about how well the city is prepared for the fallout of the ongoing climate crisis. Flooding in New York City “has already become more frequent than in the past, and as long as we continue to warm the planet, we can expect more of this, not less,” climate scientist Andra Garner said. Garner’s research estimates that the city could be hit by severe floods that exceed 7ft every five years if planet-heating gases are not dramatically reduced.

Vaccinated students and teachers need not wear masks inside of school buildings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We’re at a new point in the pandemic that we’re all really excited about,” CDC task force leader Erin-Sauberr-Schatz said. The updated CDC guidelines still emphasize the importance of ventilation, hand washing, and students/faculty staying home when they’re sick. “Our ultimate goal remains: to get students, teachers, and staff back in school buildings full time, and to make sure they’re safe while doing it,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said.

State legislatures have passed 90 laws restricting abortion in 2021, which is more than any previous year according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute. The previous record was set in 2011 when 89 restrictions were enacted. Some celebrate the milestone as a success, whereas others find it troubling. “We’re really trying to bring attention to the fact that state legislatures are moving very quickly on abortion bans and restrictions,” Elizabeth Nash, co-author of the report, said. “And we know that people are the best arbiters of their own lives and what they need. Ensuring that abortion is available and affordable is critical.”

The Pentagon’s press secretary, John Kirby, acknowledged that there was a “deteriorating security situation” in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops. “What we have seen is a deteriorating security situation on the ground, no question about that, that the Taliban continues to take district centers,” Kirby said. President Biden’s decision to remove troops has been met with both bipartisan support and opposition. Kirby highlighted the other types of support that the US is providing to Afghanistan, including 30-plus Black Hawk helicopters, training, and weaponry. “They’ve got the capacity. They’ve got the capability. Now it’s time to have that will.”

An additional 14 victims were recovered from the Champlain Towers collapse site in Florida, bringing the total number of confirmed casualties to 78. “This is a staggering and heartbreaking number that affects all of us very, very deeply,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday. At least 47 victims have been identified and next of kin notified. 200 residents have been accounted for, which leaves 62 individuals potentially missing. “The magnitude of this tragedy is growing each and every day,” Levine Cava said.

Be well,

Fraser Dixon

Sources

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