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White House Scrambles to Support Kamala Harris After Damaging CNN Report


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Jewish Voice.

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CHARLIE SPIERING The White House on Monday scrambled to support Vice President Kamala Harris from a damaging CNN report about her struggles.

The report detailed White House aides were exasperated with Harris and her team and the vice president felt unsupported by President Joe Bidenxe2x80x99s team.

xe2x80x9cFor anyone who needs to hear it, the Vice President is not only a vital partner to the president but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country xe2x80x94 from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,xe2x80x9d White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter after the story broke online Sunday night.

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xe2x80x9cJust in case you missed it, let me leave this right here,xe2x80x9d she wrote.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Monday pointedly shared a social media post calling Harris xe2x80x9ccapable and smartxe2x80x9d and xe2x80x9cfunny and kind.xe2x80x9d

Ron Klain on Twitter

The sudden reaction to the CNN story from the White House prompted mockery, especially after Psaki claimed Harris helped deliver on broadband and actually succeeded handling the migration crisis.

In the CNN story, Harrisxe2x80x99 allies complained the West Wing left Harris unprotected from political attacks, as some supporters noted they were much more supportive of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who was attacked for being on paid leave for months after he and his husband Chasten got twins.

The political tensions between Harris and Bidenxe2x80x99s teams havexc2xa0 been simmering in the first nine months of the Biden presidency as Harris struggled with her role on handling the border crisis.

Biden pointedly tried toxc2xa0acknowledge Harris after celebrating the passage of his infrastructure bill, even though he did not let her speak.

xe2x80x9cI feel xe2x80x94 I used to stand there and have to listen to the President,xe2x80x9d Biden noted. xe2x80x9cShexe2x80x99s got to stand and listen to the President, but she deserves an enormous amount of the credit.xe2x80x9d

The Harris team appeared upset the story was breaking after her trip to France, calling it xe2x80x9cunfortunatexe2x80x9d and complained that xe2x80x9csome in the media are focused on gossipxe2x80x9d instead of their success.

Both Biden and Harris are expected to celebrate the passage of the $1.3 trillion infrastructure bill at a signing ceremony at the White House on Monday.

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Kamala Harris’s approval rating falls to 28%, a historic low for any modern vice president


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines.

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  • The Biden administration’s public opinion woes continue.

  • A USA Today/Suffolk poll from the weekend had grim numbers for both President Biden and VP Harris.

  • Harris hit an historic low approval rating of 28%, even lower than Dick Cheney’s all-time worst.

A new poll from USA Today and Suffolk University released on Sunday contains a grim snapshot of public sentiment toward the Biden administration.

President Joe Biden has been on a months-long slide toward historically poor polling numbers, but yesterday’s USA Today/Suffolk poll was even worse for Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden’s approval rating hit yet another a new low, this time at 38%, but Harris’ dropped to 28%.

A 51% majority of respondents said they disapprove of the job Harris is doing as VP.

At this early stage of a modern presidency, Harris’ numbers in the USA Today/Suffolk poll are unprecedented.

The closest comparison – which involves slightly different methodology and margins of error – would be former Vice President Dick Cheney, the most unpopular US vice president in polling history. He bottomed out at 30% in Gallup’s tracking survey, but that wasn’t until the end of former President George W. Bush’s second term in 2007.

Harris has taken on thorny assignments early on in her tenure as VP, including running point on the administration’s efforts at handling the migration surge of asylum seekers at the southern border.

As Insider’s Robin Bravender reported in late October, Harris aides are quietly worried about the 2024 presidential election, should Biden forego a reelection bid, with former 2020 primary rival and Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg posing a potential threat.

The USA Today/Suffolk poll had a sample of 1,000 registered voters nationwide and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president – CNN Video and Searches

 

 


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Kamala Harris sidelined amid tensions with President Biden


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Lee Brown | New York Post.

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Vice President Kamala Harris is being increasingly alienated in the White House as her approval ratings plummet xe2x80x94 as the first female veep feels shexe2x80x99s not getting the same support President Biden gives to white male politicians, according to a detailed new report.

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Despite their public show of unity, Biden and his right-hand woman have a dysfunctional relationship that has reached an xe2x80x9cexhausted stalemate,xe2x80x9d CNN said based on interviews with nearly three dozen insiders.

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At a time when the president would usually be expected to promote his vice president as a future replacement in the White House, Biden has instead been sidelining Harris as a potential liability, the report said.

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She is increasingly being pushed aside into inconsequential jobs and left out of key meetings as her poll numbers sink even lower than the presidentxe2x80x99s and the Democratic base appears to be giving up on her, the report said.

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Her alienation is so clear, her defenders told CNN they have even passed around an Onion story headlined, xe2x80x9cWhite House Urges Kamala Harris To Sit At Computer All Day In Case Emails Come Through.xe2x80x9d

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Harris xe2x80x94 the first woman as well as first woman of color as vice president xe2x80x94 is also becoming more and more frustrated at the lack of support she gets from the White House during her numerous PR nightmares, the insiders said.

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That became abundantly clear when the White House sprang to publicly defend the paternity leave taken by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a potential challenger to Harris for the next Democratic presidential nomination, the insiders told CNN.

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xe2x80x9cItxe2x80x99s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a White man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didnxe2x80x99t want to take themselves,xe2x80x9d a former Harris aide told the outlet.

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However, White House insiders insisted that the vice president has brought the alienation upon herself because of a series of bungles and self-made problems that Biden wants nothing to do with.

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The administration has been particularly bothered by her doomed handling of the border crisis xe2x80x94 including her cackling response when asked about it xe2x80x94 which is still ongoing, the insiders said.

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Fernando Garcxc3xada, executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, told CNN that he was optimistic Harris would take action, but she instead just xe2x80x9cdisappeared.xe2x80x9d

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xe2x80x9cWe havenxe2x80x99t heard any substantive messaging push for better immigration policies,xe2x80x9d he told CNN. xe2x80x9cWe havenxe2x80x99t seen her leadership.xe2x80x9d

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Eleni Kounalakis, the lieutenant governor of California and a longtime friend of Harris, confirmed there is irritation.

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xe2x80x9cIt is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be,xe2x80x9d Kounalakis told CNN. xe2x80x9cThatxe2x80x99s where the frustration is coming from.xe2x80x9d

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Harrisxe2x80x99 chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, denied being one of those taking sides against her boss.

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xe2x80x9cIf someone is accusing me of being loyal to Joe Biden, Ixe2x80x99ll take that. If someone is accusing me of being disloyal to Kamala Harris, I wonxe2x80x99t take that,xe2x80x9d Flournoy told CNN. xe2x80x9cShe doesnxe2x80x99t believe there is a conflict between being loyal to her and being loyal to Joe Biden.xe2x80x9d

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Harrisxe2x80x99 spokeswoman Symone Sanders dismissed the insidersxe2x80x99 griping to the notoriously left-leaning outlet.

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xe2x80x9cIt is unfortunate that after a productive trip to France in which we reaffirmed our relationship with Americaxe2x80x99s oldest ally and demonstrated US leadership on the world stage, and following passage of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and strengthen our communities, some in the media are focused on gossip xe2x80x94 not on the results that the President and the Vice President have delivered,xe2x80x9d Sanders said.

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How Vladimir Putin Utilizes Organized Crime to Power his Mafia State – Berkeley Political Review


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Berkeley Political Review.

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xe2x80x9cIxe2x80x99m sorry, the Russian Mafia is after me.xe2x80x9d While this statement sounds like itxe2x80x99s straight out of a 1960s Bond movie, it was actually uttered by disgraced NFL defensive lineman Justin Bannan on October 16th after non-fatally shooting a woman in a building he partly owned. The validity of Bannonxe2x80x99s claim is for prosecutors to decide, but the news headlines surrounding the incident raises the question: how prolific is the Russian mafia today?

While the Russian mafia is a favorite antagonist of Hollywood screenwriters, it is thought to be all-but-defunct in reality. After all, when was the last time anybody in the U.S. heard about major Russian mafia activity?

The criminal underworld is thriving like never before in Europe. The individuals and groups are not random; they are highly organized, well-funded and responsible for rising levels of cyberterrorism, money laundering and murder. Fortune Magazine lists the Solntsevskaya Bratva, alternately known as the Russian mafia, as the largest organized crime group in the world and it ranks above both the Japanese Yakuza and the Mexican Sinaloa cartel in terms of overall revenue. More interesting than its current standing is how it achieved its status. From a culture that encouraged crime to a government that aided and abetted it, the Russian Federation has become a hotbed for a growing criminal underworld.

Soviet-era repression has given way to a marriage between kleptocracy and organized crime. Among industrialized nations, Russiaxe2x80x99s relationship with crime is uniquely symbiotic. Organized crime in Russia has blossomed as an outgrowth of the political machine. Mafia cells have undertaken assassination attempts, facilitated coercion and acted as tools for the assorted and sundry dirty jobs the Russian elites require.xc2xa0xc2xa0

Russian vory, thieves, have been a staple since Stalinxe2x80x99s U.S.S.R. Mark Galeotti, a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and author of The Vory: Russiaxe2x80x99s Super Mafia writes in the 2018 book that Joseph Stalin incentivized the collaboration between criminals and the government during the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. The soon-to-be Soviet leader utilized gangsters to rob banks and commit piracy to fund the revolution and sow chaos amongst the establishment. Once the Communist Party took power, the government allowed those trapped in gulags xe2x80x93 Soviet forced labor camps housing all ranges of criminals xe2x80x93 to attain an easier life in exchange for acting as enforcers for the government.xc2xa0

These newly established enforcers formed the seedy underbelly of Russian society that expanded upon the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the move towards free-market practices. Since his rise, Vladimir Putin has incentivized gangsters to do his bidding in a new way. Rather than overt collusion, the Russian government, as ABC puts it, xe2x80x9cmake[s] its views knownxe2x80x9d and allows gangs to operate within the guidelines set forward by Putin.xc2xa0

As the European Council on Foreign Relations notes, more and more crime networks tangentially linked to Russian actors have appeared all over Europe. Multiple politically convenient assassinations or assassination attempts have been made on anti-Russia figures by gang members who have been accused of being Russian assets. The Russian government, via the Russian mafia, has dabbled in ventures ranging from hacking to money laundering.xc2xa0

In February of 2018, 18 Russian nationals were accused of money-laundering xe2x82xac50m through Spanish real estate. Among those accused was one Vladislav Reznik, a member of Putin-loyalist party United Russia. An attempted assassination of Chechen Adam Osmayev, a staunchly anti-Putin freedom fighter, was allegedly orchestrated by Russian mafia members in 2017. Since then, the Interior Ministry of Ukraine has pinpointed Russian intel that called for Osmayevxe2x80x99s murder. Leaked secret diplomatic cables from US Diplomats outright called Russia a xe2x80x9cmafia statexe2x80x9d. In 2019, Europol and Italyxe2x80x99s Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate met to assess the state of organized crime in the European Union. The conclusions were striking, leading the body to declare organized crime as xe2x80x9cthe highest riskxe2x80x9d to E.U. security.

Organized crime is arguably just as difficult a task to wrangle today as it was in the Prohibition era in the United States, with the E.U. scrambling to contain the spread. The exact degree to which the vory impact international organized crime statistics is up for debate, mostly owing to the somewhat decentralized nature of how the Solntsevskaya Bratva operates. Research indicates that many cells of organized crime, especially those in Eastern Europe, are directly connected to the Bratva, including many Chechen mafia-affiliated groups.xc2xa0

This decentralization makes it incredibly difficult to take down, and the Russian governmentxe2x80x99s implicit support of the vast array of organized crime means that the surge of activity across the European Union wonxe2x80x99t be going away any time soon. As demonstrated by its handling of political dissidents and freedom fighters, Russia and Vladimir Putin have little care for the opposition voices to their harsh tactics, whether such opposition comes domestically or from the international community.xc2xa0

The validity of Ex-NFL lineman Justin Bannanxe2x80x99s claims of being the target of the Russian mafia may be in question. After all, with the evident ruthlessness of the many organized crime cells operating in Russia, it seems unlikely that Bannan would have made it as far as he did. Regardless, Bannanxe2x80x99s story spotlights the very real problems facing Europe. Organized crime is frying bigger fish than ever before without any end in sight. What the international community can or will do remains to be seen. For now, take some solace in your safety here in the United States, at least while you still can.

Featured Image Source: Wikimedia / Presidencia de la Repxc3xbablica Mexicana