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Tag: biden approval

GOP Blames Biden On Gas Prices, But Fact Checkers Debunk The Slur

As gas prices across the United States continue to soar, Republican lawmakers are using the moment as an opportunity to blame President Joe Biden; not Russian President Vladamir Putin, the dictator who started the war that led to this economic domino effect.

Now, fact-checkers are weighing in to refute the lawmakers' claims. According to Yahoo! News, multiple Republicans have attempted to spin the truth about gas prices this week.During a press conference this week, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed, "These aren’t Putin prices. They’re President Biden’s prices.”

While speaking to Fox Business this week, former Vice President Mike Pence said, "In the four years of the Trump-Pence administration, we achieved energy independence for the first time in 70 years.”

He added, "We were a net exporter of energy. But from very early on, with killing the Keystone pipeline, taking federal lands off the list for exploration, sidelining leases for oil and natural gas – once again, before Ukraine ever happened, we saw rising gasoline prices.”Despite Republicans' bogus claims, Yahoo News explains:

"Fact-checkers have pointed out that the main cause of increasing gas prices over the past year is disruptions to global supply and demand following the coronavirus pandemic. Only a 10th of the Keystone XL pipeline was complete when Biden cancelled it and it was not likely to become operational until 2023 at the earliest."

Kurt Bardella, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) advisor, has also pushed back against Republicans' flawed claims criticizing their attempts to score "political points.""It just goes to show that there are no lengths to which Republicans won’t stoop to try to score political points, in this case using the unthinkable and tragic situation that the Ukrainian people find themselves in.

“To try to exploit that and use it to effectively lie and mislead the American people about conditions here at home is an unconscionable act of political cowardice.”

Bardella also pointed out that Republicans were in favor of Biden imposing sanctions on Russia prior to the surge in gas prices.“Republicans were so vocal about how the Biden administration needed to do sanctions on Russian oil and then they start attacking him. You can’t win because everything that they do is basically an illustration of how they operate in bad faith."

He added, "Joe Biden could do every single thing that the Republican party wants and they would still attack him at the end of the day. Republicans just seem to operate in a purely craven political dynamic. It’s irresponsible and downright un-American, and it’s exactly what they would have said if Democrats had done this in the wake of 9/11 or in the run up to the war on terror.”

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Biden Approval Rises Despite GOP Attacks On Ukraine Policy

Multiple polls over the last few days have shown President Joe Biden's approval rating is on the rise, bolstered by approval of his response to Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

A new poll of registered voters released Tuesday by Politico/Morning Consult found Biden with a 4-point jump since the last time the media organization polled in late February. Biden's approval stood at 45 percent with 52 percent disapproving, up from a 41 percent approval and 56 percent disapproval rating a week earlier.

On Friday, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey of adults found Biden's approval surging by eight points. The poll found 47 percent approving of Biden's job performance, up from 39 percent a week prior, while his disapproval rating is down from 55 percent to 50 percent.

Both polls found that most of those polled approve of Biden's handling of the situation in Ukraine. Politico/Morning Consult found a plurality of 47 percent of those polled either "strongly" or "somewhat" support Biden's Ukraine policy, up four points from previous polling, while the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey found a majority of 52 percent of those surveyed approve, an 18-point surge.

Biden's approval rating is up despite GOP criticism of his response to Russia's aggression, which has led to the deaths of more than 400 civilians and caused more than two million people to flee Ukraine for safety.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday said that "the United States should have supplied weapons to Ukraine sooner."

However, McCarthy absolved former President Donald Trump for purposefully withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to secure dirt on Biden during the 2020 election. Trump was impeached on charges of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce an investigation into Biden in exchange for the military aid Congress had already approved. But McCarthy voted against impeaching Trump.

The loudest message coming from Republicans is an attempt to tie rising gasoline prices to Biden's handling of the situation in Ukraine, blaming Biden for buying foreign oil and not increasing American output.

"Joe Biden is fueling Putin's genocide in Ukraine with every barrel of Russian oil he purchases," Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted on Sunday.

"Gas wouldn't be this expensive if Joe Biden opened up America's oil pipelines. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted on Monday.

The GOP claim that the United States can quickly ramp up oil production to lower the cost of gas is false, according to sources cited by Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell.

Rampell noted that it takes between 10 and 12 months to lower fuel prices through increased oil production.

What's more, the GOP argument that Biden's cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline is to blame for rising gas prices is also false, Rampell points out: The pipeline was nowhere close to being finished when he took office, and would not be online now even if construction had continued.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Don't Look Now, But The Biden Economy Just Happens To Be Glorious

If Joe Biden takes office, there'll be a "depression the likes of which you've never seen," Donald Trump warned a month before he lost the 2020 presidential election. It didn't happen.

You know that, right?

Also, your 401(k) surely did not "go to hell," as the previous guy predicted. On the contrary, stocks in the S&P 500 are up 26 percent as the first year of the Biden presidency is about to end.

How good is that? "U.S. financial markets are outperforming the world by the biggest margin in the 21st century" is how Bloomberg News put it.

The U.S. gross domestic product is expected to have grown an extraordinary 5.6 percent this year, according to economists. And that's after adjusting for inflation.

The unemployment rate is down to 4.2 percent. Retail sales in the recent Christmas shopping season rose eight percent from the same period last year — the biggest gain in 17 years.

As Bloomberg summed it up, "America's economy improved more in Joe Biden's first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years."

And so how do we explain Biden's lackluster approval ratings, weirdly depressed by discontent on how he's managing the economy? The reasons include distorted media coverage of the economy, a Republican opposition that doesn't want to give Democrats credit, and Democrats who don't want to give themselves credit (and for wholly neurotic reasons).

Now, as always, there are economic concerns. Inflation has been cutting into the good news of fattening paychecks for American workers. However, the bubbly retail numbers point to consumers with the means to spend and happy to do it. That consumer credit grew a record 27 percent in Biden's first year reflects public confidence about the future.

The supply chain blockages seem to be easing, as witnessed in the fake news of bare store shelves this shopping season. The difficulty in getting parts and products shipped from Asia has raised interest in bringing manufacturing back into this country, and that is a good thing.

The biggest driver of inflation, oil prices, could very well be headed down. "Much needed relief for tight markets is on the way," according to the International Energy Agency. The simple reason is rising oil production. Helping matters was Biden's planned release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserves, with similar steps being taken in other countries.

Why Democrats don't shout hosannas for this basically strong economy has long been a mystery. One explanation is that some of the loudest voices in the party, mainly on the left, engage in a culture of complaint. The lefties obsess angrily on what isn't being done for the poor and ignore what is.

They've been hollering at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin for blocking passage of the current Build Back Better plan, even though it is they who screwed it up. All hope is not lost, though. Democrats can trim their overweight wish list, thus avoiding such cheesy tricks as financing the child tax credit for just one year. Manchin does have a point.

The programs most worth saving are universal preschool, strengthening the Affordable Care Act, and fighting climate change. A plan costing $1.8. trillion — a number Manchin has reportedly said he would consider — would still be bold under any previous definition of the word.

Stock market gains do benefit the better-off, but lots of average people have some skin in the game. Sweden has more billionaires per capita than we do while maintaining a dream of a social safety net.

There's nothing wrong with prosperity. "Happy Days Are Here Again" was the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt — just before he launched the New Deal.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Despite Dismal Polls, Biden Economic Program Is 'A Smashing Success,

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

According to Gallup, President Joe Biden's approval rating among independents went from 61 percent earlier this year to only 37 percent in September — and late October polls aren't very encouraging either, with the president's overall approval at 42 percent (Rasmussen), 43 percent (YouGov) or 46 percent (Morning Consult).
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Is Joe Biden’s Approval Rating In ‘Free Fall’? Nope

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Amid breathless reports of a political "free fall" and reeling from the White House's "summer from hell," the Beltway press has leaned into the idea that Joe Biden's presidency is unraveling — that his approval rating is in a state of collapse.

Except it's not true. Instead, it's the media falling in love with their favorite Dems In Disarray storyline. The same media that shrugged at Trump's chronically awful approval rating.

In a typical, overheated dispatch, a CNBC report recently announced, "Biden's Approval Ratings Have Plummeted, and That Could Spell trouble for Democrats in Congress." First off, the idea that Biden's approval rating in September 2021, is going to impact the outcome of November 2022 midterms makes no sense. Secondly, Biden's approval rating has fallen a grand total of four points in the past month, according to the polling average tabulated at FiveThirtyEight. So much for the "plummet."

Is Biden's' approval rating down this summer? It is, to 46 percent. Is he in some sort of manic freefall as the press suggests, fueled by the troop pullout from Afghanistan and the Delta surge? He is not.

A true ratings collapse would be like when President Ronald Reagan's approval dropped nine points in five days when the Iran Contra scandal broke. Or when George W. Bush's cratered 16 points in three months following the launch of the disastrous Iraq War.

Here are the Biden approval ratings from last 15 polls posted at FiveThirtyEight, minus the Rasmussen surveys, which are notoriously pro-Republican: 46, 44, 47, 47, 49, 47, 48, 42, 48, 49, 47, 44, 47, 50, 48.

If you take out the high (50) and the low (42) data points, the results have been markedly consistent this month. Where's the plummet?

When a recent Quinnipiac poll showed Biden's approval at 42 percent, Newsweek announced, "Joe Biden's Approval Rating Continues to Sink, Shows No Signs of Improving." Newsweek then ignored the fact that the next seven polls released after Quinnipiac all showed him improving.

The cherry picking seems intentional. When a NPR/PBS voter survey in early September showed Biden's approval at 43 percent, CNN's Chris Cillizza pounced: "This Poll Number Will Send Democrats Into a Panic." A week later though, Cillizza was silent when CNN's own poll found Biden's approval climbing to 52 percent.

CNN seemed to struggle with how to cover its good-news-for-Biden poll when the Beltway's preferred narrative was his "summer from hell." This was CNN's online headline for a story that showed Biden with a strong approval rating: "Americans Turn Pessimistic Amid Concerns Over Economy and Coronavirus." Later in a news segment, when a CNN anchor suggested the network's latest showing had Biden's rating at 43 percent, she had to be corrected by a guest who pointed out CNN's survey showed a 52 percent mark.

Biden's summertime slide has been fueled by Afghanistan and Covid, two unique and pressing challenges. But it also represents a natural progression for first term presidents as the so-called "honeymoon" with voters slowly wears off. Between being sworn in January 2009, and September 1 of that year, President Barack Obama, a successful two-term president, lost seven points on his approval rating, which is exactly how many points Biden has dipped since his inauguration.

Note that as with Biden, the press often obsessed over minor downward movements in Obama's approval in order to concoct a narrative about a president "sinking" and "plunging." At one point, a New York Times editorial was so anxious to push a narrative about Obama's supposedly broken presidency, it fabricated his approval rating, claiming it was 40 percent in a new poll, when it was actually 50 percent in that new survey.

The contrast with how the press has treated the popularity of the last two Democratic presidents with how they treated Trump's unpopularity couldn't be more startling.

When Biden's approval rating first fell below 50 percent this summer, it was considered newsworthy, as pundits weigh in on the approval "slide" and wondered if the Afghanistan story was going to doom his presidency. Rarely included in that heavy-handed analysis was the fact that at the same point in his presidency, Trump was sitting at a woeful 37 percent approval rating.

While Trump wallowed in abysmal ratings for most of his presidency (he never cracked 50 percent), the press mostly looked away, treating his poor standing as being usual. It was normalized.

Here's a quick example. In October, 2018 Politico published a piece about Trump's fire hose, "new media strategy," where he appeared on TV without pause and constantly answered reporters' shouted questions at the White House. In the eyes of Politico, it was a novel and winning strategy — it "worked" for Trump. And Politico even singled out Trump's top aide who was responsible for the approach.

Of course, what Politico never mentioned, and what the D.C. press didn't really think mattered in October 2018, was that Trump's approval stood at a lowly 41 percent.

Can you imagine today if Biden's approval fell five more points, to 41 percent, and the Beltway press started writing stories about how smart his communications strategy was? It's inconceivable because Democrats are held to a tougher media standard.

Why Biden’s Approval Ratings Will Rise Again

When President Joe Biden announced his new plan to mandate vaccinations and additional strong measures to curtail the spreading coronavirus, he was refreshingly brisk and blunt. It was a speech that marked an important step toward restoration of American political sanity.

"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe and convenient," the president said. And then he sounded the bass note: "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us."

Evidently the president now realizes that the great majority of this country's citizens — after enduring the lockdowns, wearing the masks, taking the shots — are frustrated and yearning for effective action against the pandemic and its human accomplices. They see no reason to tolerate collusion in the spread of a deadly disease that has killed hundreds of thousands and threatens to kill many more with surging variants. They are ready to crack down on the selfish, stupid minority who cannot be bothered to protect their neighbors or themselves.

Does that sound angry? Until now, most expressions of rage, not to mention violent threats and acts, have come from the opposite direction. Everyone has seen viral videos of outrageous misconduct and vile assaults from the opponents of masking and vaccination, encouraged by right-wing media outlets that confuse "freedom" with promiscuous infection. This week, millions watched a disgusting person intentionally cough on a woman and her daughter in a grocery store because they were masked. Happily, that person's employers at SAP watched it too, and fired her sorry ass.

Yes, Americans have seen enough of that literally sickening behavior. When Biden said, "our patience is wearing thin," he was putting it mildly. He knows, because recent polls have suggested that patience with him was beginning to diminish too.

While the chaotic U.S. departure from Afghanistan may have influenced the dip in Biden's approval ratings, his deeper problem was the raging wave of coronavirus infections and deaths brought on by the Delta variant. The high ratings he enjoyed since taking office owed much to his deliberate and determined offensive against the pandemic; when he was perceived to falter over the past few months, his numbers slipped. Meanwhile, public support has been rising for vaccine mandates and a tougher approach overall.

The trend first became obvious in California, as so many trends do. The recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom, it should be emphasized, caught fire when he was caught flouting his own COVID-19 regulations at a fancy Napa restaurant. The latest surveys, however, show Newsom pulling ahead because of his own government's vaccination mandates — and because he has rightly warned against the "anti-vax Republican government" that would take over if voters boot him. He has saved his political career by putting vaccine mandates at the center of his administration. If the election were held today, he would likely win by as much as 20 percent, perhaps more.

Even before Biden announced his own new suite of policies, the vaccination rate was steadily increasing again, largely thanks to public and private sector mandates that have gained traction since early summer. By overwhelming majorities, the public approves of those requirements at work and at school — and the result is that vaccine hesitancy has been steadily diminishing, with polls showing resistance at its lowest level since the question was first asked.

The most bracing moment in Biden's speech came when he informed the governors of Texas and Florida, and any others who might follow them, that his administration will financially and legally bolster any school district they attempt to intimidate from protecting teachers and students. In that instant, he confronted the toxic bullying by Republicans who want to prolong the pandemic for partisan gain — and showed who is tougher.

What Americans want from their leaders is usually simple enough. They want compassion, common sense, decency, and above all strength of conviction. In a word, they want the kind of leadership that Biden is providing. His numbers will soon rise again as the infection numbers fall.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com

Fox Poll Shows Broad Support For Biden As GOP Attacks Flop

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A new Fox News poll released Wednesday shows congressional Republicans are way out of step with the American public. Months of GOP attacks on the President Joe Biden, his economic policies, and COVID-19 safety requirementshave failed to sway most of the American public.

Conducted between August 7 and August 10, the poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters. It found majority support for Biden and all his proposed economic investments.

By a 53 pecrent -- 46 percent majority, voters said they approve of the job Biden is doing as president, much better than any Fox News poll approval rating for Donald Trump over his single term as president.

Asked about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan plan to invest $550 billion in transportation, broadband, electrical, and water system infrastructure that passed in the Senate on Tuesday, 62 percent said they favor the package, while 30 pecent said they oppose it.

Asked about Democrats' $3.5 trillion plan to "address climate change, healthcare, and child care," 56 percent backed that as well, while 38 percent did not.

Most Senate Republicans voted against the bipartisan infrastructure package, and not one of them backed the budget resolution, the first step toward passing the $3.5 trillion spending package, though previous polling had also shown both measures to be broadly popular.

Across the country, Republicans have also pushed to prohibit governments and businesses from instituting requirements that people get COVID-19 vaccines or wear masks to curb transmission of the coronavirus in schools and indoor workplaces.

But the Fox News poll shows the public backs both.

Asked, "Do you favor or oppose cities and towns requiring all workers and customers to have proof of a coronavirus vaccine for indoor activities such as restaurants, gyms, and performances," 50 percent said they favored those measures and 46 percent said they oppose them.

By a 50 percent -- 47 percent margin, respondents also said that it was more important to protect "the safety of Americans by requiring the vaccine to participate in everyday activities" than "the freedom of Americans to choose whether or not to get vaccinated."

A majority of 54 percent said that schools and school districts should be free to require masks or proof of vaccination for in-person learning; 31 percent said they should not be.

Just 36 percent of those surveyed support the idea that their local public schools should "reopen fully in-person as usual" this fall without requiring masks or social distancing.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Poll: Nearly One-Third Of Republicans Believe Trump Will Be ‘Reinstated’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

I'll never understand why anyone listens to Donald Trump on any subject. He wanted to nuke hurricanes. He wanted to put alligator-filled moats along the southern border. He thinks windmills cause cancer, asbestos is swell, and exercise is bad for you. He seriously suggested pumping our bodies full of UV light and disinfectant. He thinks we have planes that are literally invisible, for God's sake!

Nevertheless, millions of Trump fans have bent their brains into pretzels trying to make his doofus proclamations sound presidential—or even marginally nonsimian (see also: hydroxychloroquine).

We've pretty well established that Trump's brain is, at best, masticated circus peanut and, at worst, Lucifer's molten boom-booms, and yet when he dry-heaves utter batshit nonsense, plenty of his fans seem all too ready to lick it up like feral purse poodles.

Case in point: Fully 29 percent of Republicans think Donald Trump is returning before the year is out—possibly riding in on a cloud or a flaming chariot or (more likely) a golf cart with a cupholder and custom-installed deep fryer.

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll asked survey respondents this straightforward question: "How likely do you think it is that former President Donald Trump will be reinstated as U.S. President this year, if at all?" The question was no doubt included in the poll because Trump himself has been telling insiders that he thinks he'll be back in office by August. (Narrator: He won't.)

The results? (You still have time to bail if you've had your yearly quota of frothing insanity. You're still here? Okay, gird your loins.)

Among Republicans surveyed, 17 percent think it's "very likely" that Trump will return to the White House this year, 12 percent think it's "somewhat likely," and ten percent don't know or have no opinion. Taken together, this shows that two-fifths of Republicans have not yet accepted that Joe Biden won the presidency.

Of course, that wasn't the only eye-opening result. Asked whether things are going in the right direction in the U.S. or on the wrong track, only 15 percent of Republicans thought things were going in a positive direction, while 85 percent said we're veering off course. Guess 85 percent of Republicans prefer raging pandemics and collapsing economies to Democratic presidents.

Is this what it's like to lick hallucinogenic toads for breakfast in lieu of frosted Pop-Tarts? At some point, do you just surrender to the unreality of your environment?

Over at Civiqs, even more Republicans report they're worried; a stunning 93 percent of card-carrying GOPers think we're all gonna die.

If you enjoy watching Donald Trump eat the Republican Party from within, like a genetically modified tropical eyeball worm, you'll be happy to know that the Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 80 percent of Republicans want to stick around so they can see him play either a major role (59 percent) or a minor role (21 percent) in the party going forward. If you'd prefer he stay in Florida chucking oyster shells at flamingos from his balcony, you'll likely be disappointed by the 13 percent of Republicans who want him to slink away.

There's also some good news, of course. President Biden's approval rating is at 53 percent among all registered voters, with 28 percent of respondents "strongly" approving of the job he's doing, 25 percent "somewhat" approving, 43 percent disapproving, and the rest offering no opinion.

Meanwhile, 66 percent of registered voters want Congress to pass an infrastructure bill—so maybe we should get that done, huh?

There's still some sanity left in the world, so long as you look in the right place. And that right place is clearly nowhere in the vicinity of the right wing. I invite Republicans to hurry on back to planet Earth. The water's fine. At least it is for now—unfortunately, only 12 percent of Republicans consider passing a bill to address climate change a "top priority."

Go figure.