President Joe Biden presided over an event at the White House on Monday in which he announced the creation of a Council on Supply Chain Resilience and promised actions to “strengthen supply chains, lower costs for families and help Americans get the goods they need.” This news might bring a sigh of relief to many — finally, the Biden administration is taking inflation seriously! But the White House first led with a “Bidenomics” victory lap that felt more like a slap in the face than a swelling pocketbook.
Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg gave opening remarks in which he chastised the media for “saying that Christmas was going to be canceled” due to supply chain disruptions in the winter of 2021. Instead, he claimed, under the leadership of Biden, everyone got their goods “99 percent on time,” although businesses and consumers started their holiday shopping months earlier than normal in anticipation of delays and paid higher prices for their troubles. When Biden took the lectern, he claimed that families had a “little bit of breathing room” on Thanksgiving this year as “the cost went down,” echoing a White House infographic released shortly before the holiday. Of course, as many pointed out on X, some food prices might be slightly down on the year, but they’re still much higher than they were when Biden took office.
Biden did tout some new initiatives aimed at reducing the likelihood of supply chain disruptions, such as building new infrastructure and launching agreements with global trade partners. However, he also outsourced much of the blame for continued inflation and high prices on corporations, which he accused of “price gouging” and issuing “junk fees.” Grocery stores in particular have borne the brunt of price gouging accusations due to the industry’s record numerical profits, but this ignores the fact that profit margins on food remain in the single digits, as low as they’ve ever been.
Biden really has no choice but to pay lip service to the economic struggles of Americans as polls show the economy is far and away the top issue for voters — and that voters are more likely to trust Trump on the economy by a double-digit margin. If Biden’s team is going to continue to fly the “Bidenomics” banner, though, some accountability would be nice.
On our radar
FIRE AWAY An NBC News poll found for the first time in its history that a majority of American voters — 52 percent — have a gun in their household; 66 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats said that they or someone in their household owns a gun.
ANYONE BUT TRUMP Senator Mitt Romney told CBS in an interview released Friday that he would prefer to vote for a Democrat over former president Donald Trump or businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. He also said he would be “very unlikely” to support President Joe Biden.
NO JOE President Joe Biden will not be at this year’s UN climate summit, White House officials told the New York Times. Aides have suggested that the president is too busy confronting the Israel-Palestine conflict to attend.
George Santos unfiltered
The House is expected to vote this week on whether to expel embattled New York representative George Santos following an explosive report by the House Ethics Committee that found Santos spent campaign funds on OnlyFans pornography, Botox and makeup.
Santos insisted in a speech Friday that he was “not going anywhere.” In a wild and unfiltered appearance on an X Space, Santos accused his fellow congressmen of voting while drunk and sleeping with lobbyists. He even went directly after House Ethics chairman Michael Guest, a Republican from Missouri, asserting that Guest should “stop being a pussy.”
Nonetheless, Santos doesn’t seem to believe his own words about his future in Congress.
“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he acknowledged. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”
–Juan P. Villasmil
Biden’s war on ‘Big Sandwich’
As Americans finish up their Thanksgiving leftovers, the Biden administration is setting its sights on a different food: sandwiches.
Lina Khan, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, is investigating whether the $10 billion purchase of Subway by a private equity firm runs afoul of antitrust regulations, a move that her longtime allies like Senator Elizabeth Warren called necessary to prevent a “sandwich shop monopoly.”
The problem with Warren’s argument is that it’s not just food prices that are up; the price of everything from house plants to used cars has soared since 2020 — well before any ink was signed on a potential Subway purchase. Representative Darrell Issa told me Warren’s anti-sandwich logic is a “delicious irony” and quite a fall from grace from her failed presidential campaign.
Khan’s latest quest is derided by critics as half-baked at best. “McCongressman” Kevin Hern, who previously managed a small empire of McDonald’s franchises, told me Khan is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal here: “I should hope the FTC has bigger issues to deal with than crusading against an imaginary ‘big sandwich’ boogeyman, but unfortunately this is just another day in the Biden administration.”
Almost all of the battles the thirty-four-year-old Khan has chosen have failed thus far, with the agency losing key battles against her foes in big tech like Microsoft and Meta. The Democratic wunderkind’s agency is currently suing Amazon, with the tech company arguing she prejudged herself with, among other remarks, her famous Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox paper.