President Biden has the reverse Midas touch. Some call it the 'Sadim touch.' It is the name Midas spelled backwards.
Coronavirus, economy, and immigration are the top three issues for 1,308 Americans in our IBD/TIPP poll completed last week.
Let's assess President Biden's performance in these key issues.
Handling The Coronavirus
The share of Americans who give him an A or B has fallen from 56% in April to 45% in October.
73% of Democrats give President Biden an A or B, while only 16% of Republicans and 38% of independents give him good grades.
President Biden's vaccine mandates have been divisive. We believe it is myopic and likely not to have any significant impact. Many Americans are quitting their jobs or facing layoffs because of the mandate, increasing the wage pressure and worsening inflation. In addition, it could trigger supply chain hiccups and cause stagnation.
Handling The Economy
President Biden is presiding over the worst inflation of the decade. New York Post estimates that an average American household is paying $175 more a month due to inflation. In the IBD/TIPP Poll, 81% of Americans are concerned about inflation.
Further, President Biden wants to increase taxes to pay for huge Washington spending of over five trillion dollars on infrastructure and social programs. As we noted: "Businesses and families in the country are hurting and afraid of inflation, and they believe that big government spending is unwise."
President Biden's handling of the economy gets good grades only from 35%.
Among Democrats, the share who gives him a good grade has fallen from 82% in April to 62% in October. This month, 74% of Republicans and 45% of independents give him a D or F. Independents are not impressed, either. They have ranged between 24% to 36% over the past seven months.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 208,887 encounters along the Southwest Border in August. It was two percent below the July level. The report states that 1,002,722 unique individuals have been encountered year-to-date during Fiscal Year 2021, compared to 851,513 during the same period in Fiscal Year 2019.
Americans are concerned that immigrants could worsen the COVID situation.
President Biden gets good grades from only 28%. 51% of Democrats give him a good grade. 80% of Republicans and 53% of independents give him a D or F.
The share of Americans who give him President Biden an A or B has dropped from 51% in April to 38% in October. He gets good grades from 66% of Democrats, 11% Republicans, and 27% independents.
In addition to the three key issues we presented, President Biden's leadership abilities came under the microscope when we surrendered to the Taliban due to a botched withdrawal of troops. The President's account differed from his military Generals' account on their advice about keeping 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.
President Biden signed the AUKUS deal to France's ire. According to John Kerry, the President was not aware of it. "[Biden] asked me. He said, 'What's the situation?' And I explained - he had not been aware of that. He literally had not been aware of what had transpired," Kerry said towards the end of the interview.
There is no room to revel in schadenfreude as President Biden stumbles. We want him to succeed because when a President wins, America wins. At the same time, a democratically elected leader is answerable to the citizens. The survey reveals the sentiments of the American people and their concerns regarding the administration’s grand plans. National policies and actions affect ordinary Americans. It is imperative that the Biden administration take into account the citizens’ fears and address them promptly and effectively.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Tehran is willing to rebuild Beirut port and construct two power plants in Lebanon.
Amir-Abdollahian held separate meetings with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri before talks with recently appointed Prime Minister Najib Mikati. The visit also included talks with Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, representatives from Palestinian groups, and the Shia political movement Hezbollah, Iran's key ally in Lebanon.
Last month, Hezbollah facilitated the import of Iranian fuel into the country via the Syrian port of Baniyas and through unofficial border crossings. The movement's supporters have perceived the deliveries as a victory against U.S. sanctions on Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah
Hezbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly expressed an interest in improving trade with Tehran and Beijing. He said they were willing to support Lebanon with fewer restrictions than Western countries.
While traveling as a "private citizen," Mr. Abbott met Taiwan's President Tsai ing-wen in a formal meeting with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Although his visit is not considered official, Australia's top representative to Taiwan accompanied the former prime minister to formal engagements.
Despite the informal status of the trip, Mr. Abbott received statesman-like treatment, meeting President Tsai Ing-wen flanked by representatives on both sides and dining with Mr. Wu. The foreign minister described him as a "friend" and a "fair dinkum free-trader" about Mr. Abbott's support for Taiwan joining the regional trade pact known as the CPTPP.
There hasn't been any mention of Mr. Abbott's visit to Taiwan in China's state-controlled media. Nor have China's Foreign Ministry representatives been asked about it due to a public holiday at daily media briefings.
Programs like this have transferred thousands of Uyghur laborers to factories in Xinjiang and elsewhere.
U.S. remote-control maker Universal Electronics Inc (UEIC.O) told Reuters it struck a deal with authorities in Xinjiang to transport hundreds of Uyghur workers to its plant in the southern Chinese city of Qinzhou. The first confirmed instance of an American company participating in a transfer program described by some rights groups as forced labor.
The Nasdaq-listed firm, which has sold its equipment and software to Sony, Samsung, L.G., Microsoft, and other tech and broadcast companies, has employed at least 400 Uyghur workers from the far-western region Xinjiang as part of an ongoing worker-transfer agreement.
Reuters could not interview plant workers and, therefore, could not determine whether they were compelled to work at UEI. However, the conditions they face bear hallmarks of standard definitions of forced labor, such as working in isolation, under police guards, and with restricted freedom of movement.
What if dormant microbes trigger the onset of Alzheimer's?
Lifestyle and genetic factors certainly play a role in the development of the illness. But it looks increasingly possible that some common viruses and bacteria – the kinds that give us cold sores and gum disease – may, over the long term, trigger the death of neural tissue and a steady cognitive decline. If so, infections may be one of the leading causes of dementia.
To date, the most compelling evidence for the infection hypothesis comes from a large study in Taiwan, published in 2018, which looked at the progress of 8,362 people carrying a herpes simplex virus. Crucially, some of the participants were given antiviral drugs to treat the infection.
As the infection hypothesis predicted, this reduced the risk of dementia. Overall, those taking a long course of medication were around 90% less likely to develop dementia over the 10-year study period than the participants who had not received any treatment for their infection.
Eventually, doctors may screen people according to the many different microbes they may be carrying in their brains – and control the infections before they have time to cause serious damage.
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