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Biden on his bike for 2024

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Before President Joe Biden fell from his bike while dismounting in Rehoboth Delaware – at his summer home for his 45th anniversary celebrations with Dr Jill Biden and Fathers Day on Sunday – he had a lot on his mind

Bruce Wolpe joins ticker NEWS – Donald Trump teases 2024 presidential bid

When he spoke to the Associated Press late last week he was very candid. 

In discussing the mood of the country, the president said

“ People are really, really down. They’re really down. Their need for mental health in America has skyrocketed because people have seen everything upset. Everything they counted on upset. But most of it’s a consequence of, of, of what’s happening, what happened is a consequence of the, the COVID crisis.

People lost their jobs. People are out of their jobs. And then, were they going to get back to work? Schools were closed. Think of this. I think we vastly underestimate this.”

BIDEN FALLS OFF BIKE

As a politician, Biden has always felt the people who he works for in his gut

The White House can be a bubble, but Biden’s was a pretty accurate take on how so many Americans are feeling right now. He went deeper:

“We have a little thing called climate change going on. And it’s having profound impacts. We got the tundra melting. We’ve got the North Pole, I mean, so people are looking and, and I think it’s totally understandable that they are worried because they look around and see,

“My God, everything is changing.” We have more hurricanes and tornadoes and flooding. People saw what — I took my kids years ago to Yellowstone Park. They call me, “Daddy did you see what happened at Yellowstone, right?” Well, it’s unthinkable. These are 1,000-year kinds of events.

I think, you know, I fully understand why the average voter out there is just confused and upset and worried. And they’re worried, for example, you know, can they send their kid back to, back to college? What’s going to happen? Are we going to take away the ability of people to borrow? So I think there’s a lot of reasons for people to want to know what comes next.”

Biden talked about his legislative program, and he thinks he can get the votes to lower the household costs of utility bills and prescription drugs, make investments in technology and broadband, and enact fairer taxes for the super-wealthy.  

Biden knows he has to deliver the goods. 

While the political chatter in Washington lurched into making his stumble off the bike a metaphor for his presidency right now, Biden immediately got back on it and pedaled ahead to his destination:  re-election in 2024.

There is a lot of speculation on whether he will run again. 

Here are the facts:  Biden wants to run again.  He especially wants to run again if Trump runs again.  Biden entered the presidential campaign in 2020 because he felt he had to save the country by stopping Trump from destroying America’s democracy.  And he did. Trump in 2024 only re-ignites the urgency of Biden’s mission.

There is no whispering from inside the White House undermining or contradicting the president’s intention. Among political professionals, there no material dissent from the judgment that Biden is the strongest Democratic candidate:  there is no obvious alternative who commands anything near the support Biden has among Democrats.  

Biden knows his approval rating.  He knows the Republicans smell blood. He knows many Democrats who voted for him have doubts given his age and his current standing.  But Biden knows that inflation will recede, the economy will recover, and the Republicans in 2023 will be the most extremist cohort of radical lawmakers the country has ever seen, and  that the place to be is in the centre, where elections in the United States are won and lost.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina

Rep. Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and the third ranking leader in the House, whose support for Biden effectively sealed Biden’s nomination in 2020, said over the weekend   “My advice: be yourself, stay focused. Make the promises and keep them.”

That is exactly where Biden is.  To Joe Biden that looks like the winning hand in ’24.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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Gun violence epidemic – are the cries of millions falling on deaf ears?

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Gun violence is continuing to soar throughout the United States, with mass shootings taking innocent lives and dominating news headlines day after day

ticker’s Brittany Coles was joined by senior fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre, Bruce Wolpe and journalist and commentator, Misha Zelinsky.

On May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, New York, 10 people were killed when a white supremacist stormed a supermarket.

Just days later, 19 children and two teachers lost their lives after a gunman armed with a semi-automatic weapon opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

On the day Americans are supposed to celebrate their freedom and independence, seven people were shot dead by a 21-year-old man.

And this is just to name a few.

Rallies for gun reform have been held right around the country, with protestors in Washington, New York and other major cities calling on lawmakers to act.

But with gun violence only increasing and gun sales only going up and up, are the cries of millions falling on deaf ears?

Activities once considered normal are now plagued by fear thanks to the gun culture, the panelists speak on the gun epidemic across America.

How many more policy makers, celebrities, local authorities have to take to the stand to call for tighter gun restrictions to help (as Kamala Harris phrased it) “end this horror”?

March for our Lives was formed back in 2018 after a shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The activist group helped force Republicans in Florida to enact reforms including raising the age to buy long guns and enact a three-day gap between purchase and access.

Does this prove that activism does work?

Just a few weeks ago, March for our Lives happened on the very street of the Highland Park shooting.

A stark reminder a mass shooting can occur anywhere.

“And we got to take this stuff seriously, as seriously as you are – because you have been forced to have to take it seriously,” VP Kamala Harris told Highland Park residents.

“The whole nation should understand and have a level of empathy to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community,” Harris continued. “And we should stand together and speak out about why it’s got to stop.”

Harris also told Americans “we have to be smarter as a country”

There’s been over 300 mass shooting so far, From Uvalde to Chicago this year.

Biden signed the first significant federal bill on gun safety in decades, but that was just days after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public… so what does “be smarter” mean now?

Viewed over 2 million times this is the viral moment from Philadelphia on the night of the Fourth of July of people running away from an active shooter while fireworks celebrate the country are going off in the background.. with the tweet captioned ‘america is a horror story’

National anthem playing, screams from Americans in the birthplace of their nation, it seems like the active shooter is the new symbol of the fourth of July.

The NRA are a powerful lobby group – there’s a long way to come when it comes to efficient gun reform to combat violence and crime in the states.

One thing is clear – activities once considered normal and care-free are now plagued by fear, propaganda-driven acceptance of gun ownership.

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Tech

Does Boeing have a safety problem?

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With two crashes of the 737 Max and ongoing production problems with the 787, former employees are asking whether Boeing has a safety problem

Boeing is the biggest name in aviation. “If it aint Boeing”, as the saying goes. But today Boeing is the most scrutinised company in aviation history.

The separate crashes of the 737 Max. Production problems with the 787 Dreamliner.

Some blame management all the way back to the merger with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s. Boeing is still one of the largest and most important companies in the US.

But past employees are pointing to a toxic safety culture.

Ticker spoke with Geoffrey Thomas from Airline Ratings, and aviation analyst Jordan Chong.

Boeing safety report

Boeing has published its 2022 Chief Aerospace Safety Officer Report which reveals a host of major changes to sharpen focus and improve culture.

The report covers four main areas; Strengthening Engineering, Enhanced Oversight Mechanisms, Safety Management System Implementation, Investing in a Safer Industry and Fostering Transparency and Openness.

The report is an extremely important document and thus we have decided to reproduce in full as under, bolding important facts and numbers.

Enhanced Oversight Mechanisms

Boeing has made fundamental changes to enhance oversight of safety processes and procedures, and strengthen accountability, transparency and collaboration across the company.

In August 2019, Boeing’s Board of Directors established an Aerospace Safety Committee (ASC) to increase the effectiveness of its oversight of safety in all aspects of operations, including engineering, design, development, manufacturing, production, maintenance and delivery of products and services. The ASC is comprised of independent directors with relevant knowledge and experience. Learn more about their responsibilities here.

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Climate Change

What is causing Australia’s flood crisis?

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Twenty Australians have lost their lives in floods this year, as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts

For the third time this year, floods have battered Australia’s largest city.

Some areas have received eight months of rain in just four days.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says some parts of New South Wales have seen 800mm alone. For perspective, Greater London receives this type of rainfall over the course of a year.

There are more than 100 evacuation orders across Greater Sydney for the current emergency.

It’s the typical narrative for disasters like these, where a cesspit of data floods headlines.

It comes as the BOM confirms this season’s La Niña has ended, so what is causing these floods?

Divulging the data

The Indian Ocean Dipole is a technical term for the differences in sea surface temperatures between the eastern and western parts of the Indian Ocean.

This phenomenon is likely to shift ‘negative’ over the coming months.

This means “warmer waters concentrate near Australia, leading to above average winter–spring rainfall as more moisture is available to weather systems crossing the continent,” according to the BOM.

“We have seen some of these impacted communities being hit by floods for a third and fourth time in 18 months, which is extremely distressing to the residents of these communities.”

Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt

Meanwhile, the SAM refers to the Southern Annular Mode. This is a term used for the non-seasonal, north-south movement of the strong westerly winds.

When the SAM is in the ‘positive’ phase, it directs more moisture-filled air into eastern Australia.

The BOM says this is “driving above average rainfall and more east coast lows”.

This has forced a cargo ship to remain at anchor by the ferocious conditions off the coast of Sydney.

In fact, this happened 15 years ago when storms grounded the Pasha Bulker—a 40,000 tonne bulk carrier ship.

The Pasha Bulker stranded off the coast of Newcastle.

Is this climate change in action?

It is difficult to link any single flood to climate change. But many climate models suggest Australia will repeatedly fall victim to climate change.

Critically, these areas have been battered by heavy rains in recent months. The La Niña has also saturated the ground and filled dams. These are some of the crucial factors that lead to flash flooding.

“Similarly, we’re now working hard together to make sure that impacted communities get the financial and other assistance they need as soon as possible,” Senator Murray Watt says.

Sydney’s bustling population has pushed development into low-lying areas, which also places residents at an increased risk.

A boat passes under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge as heavy rain batters the city.

Greg Mullins is the leader of the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action group, who recently met with Australia’s new government.

“There is absolutely no doubt extreme weather events are being intensified because of climate change.”

“The science is very clear that we’re seeing wild fluctuations between periods of flood and fire, because of warming. On the East Coast of Australia in the last 18 months we’ve now had four major floods,” he says.

Senator Watt says he is committed to learning from past natural hazards, which turn into disasters when they intersect with vulnerable communities, devastate infrastructure, and lead to economic consequences.

This occurred when over 400 people were killed when deluge swept through South Africa in April.

“It’s time for the world to wake up and take real action on climate change. Communities having to deal with flood event after flood event is absolutely affecting our response and recovery,” Mullins says.

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