Joe biden

The Democrats have a Joe Biden problem

The Democrats dare to hope that this week will be a study in contrasts. On their side stands President Joe Biden, the veteran statesman, using all his diplomatic experience to stop a third world war breaking out in the Middle East. On the other, in the dock in Manhattan, sits Donald Trump, facing 34 criminal counts in a case relating to porn stars, adultery and hush money. As Biden urges Israel to ‘think carefully’ as it considers how to respond to Iran’s attack last weekend, Trump is, as ever, ranting away about himself. This speaks to Biden’s 2024 re-election pitch: it’s democracy (him) vs chaos (you know who). Trump can

Beware pathological niceness

When so many polls suggest that restricting mass immigration would be to politicians’ electoral advantage, voters in the West are continually stymied by why the immoderate flow of foreigners into their countries continues apace. Online comments abound with theories. Biden could lose the coming election because of his lovey-dovey border policies alone A global World Economic Forum-led cabal is intent on eliminating the nation state by fracturing polities into mutually hostile subgroups, making them easier to control. (An atomised in-fighting rabble would seem rather harder to control, but maybe that’s just me.) In the US, Democrats are intentionally importing minorities who will supposedly all vote Democratic and usher in a

Joe Biden’s dog is out of control

I was shocked to read about the behaviour of Joe Biden’s dog, Commander. According to a CNN report based on freedom of information requests, he bit US Secret Service agents on 24 separate occasions between October 2022 and July 2023. There were also numerous other incidents involving the White House staff. These were not playful nips, either. The agents reported being bitten on the wrist, forearm, elbow, waist, chest, thigh and shoulder, with at least two bites requiring stitches. On one occasion, an agent was bitten so badly that tours of the White House had to be suspended for 20 minutes while a janitor mopped up the blood. During his

Is an impeachment inquiry good for Biden?

25 min listen

The House of Representatives has voted to open an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, after three Republican-led committees alleged bribery and corruption during his time as vice-president. Could it actually be good news for Biden? Freddy speaks to Jacob Heilbrunn.

How is Joe Biden handling the Israel-Palestine crisis?

27 min listen

This week Freddy speaks to Dennis Ross, former Middle East coordinator under President Clinton and current Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. They discuss Biden’s visit to Israel this week, how his policy towards the Middle East borrows from Trump and Obama, and how we can discern between the public posturing and private desires of Middle Eastern states. 

Joe Biden’s Middle East diplomacy is a wreck

Joe Biden prides himself on his decades of foreign-policy experience, his ability to talk tough yet be kind, and his talent for bringing opposing sides together. Touching down in Israel today, he gave Bibi Netanyahu a big hug – quite the gesture – and promptly told him he believed that ‘the other team’ – i.e. Hamas, not Israel – was responsible for the bomb that struck a hospital in Gaza last night, killing many of non-combatant Palestinians and inspiring another wave of anti-Israel protests. Biden will now set about trying to help release the hostages held by Hamas and persuading local powers to allow a secure flow of humanitarian aid

Freddy Gray, Kate Andrews & Lloyd Evans

20 min listen

This week Freddy Gray takes a trip to Planet Biden and imagines what would happen if little green men invaded earth and found a big orange one back in the White House (01:15), Kate Andrews finds herself appalled by the so-called ‘advice’ routinely handed out to women that can be at best, judgemental, and at its worst, slightly bullying (12:51), and Lloyd Evans spills the beans on searching for love on his recent blind date, courtesy of the Guardian (07:13). Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran

Emergency on Planet Biden

‘If aliens attacked Earth, do you think we would be safer under Joe Biden or Donald Trump?’ That’s a question in a new poll of American voters, and 43 per cent of respondents opted for Trump, 32 per cent for Biden, while 25 per cent sagaciously picked ‘Don’t know’. It’s fun to imagine President Donald in charge against the extra-terrestrials. ‘Zogblark the Magnificent is a good friend of mine,’ Trump would shout from the White House lawn, as the helicopter blades of Marine One clattered away behind. ‘He’s said some very nice things about me. Believe me. Things you wouldn’t believe… But we can’t have him exerting the supreme authority

Trumpvision: He’s making America watch again

It was hardly a surprise when Donald Trump said last weekend that he would not be participating in the televised Republican candidate debates. ‘New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by “legendary” numbers,’ he declared on his very own Truth Social platform. ‘The public knows who I am & what a successful presidency I had… I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES.’ In other words, I am winning so I do what I want. Trump’s arrogance puts many people off. It’s also compelling because he has a point. On the right of American politics – and, to a large extent, on the left and centre too

In praise of minding your own business

Athens With energy bordering on the demonic, I strut around an ancient stadium trying to make up for the debauchery of the past two weeks in Patmos. Alexandra has flown back to Gstaad and I’m staying with my oldest friend, Aliki Goulandris, whose magnificent country house north of the capital brings back very pleasant memories. Just saying her name, which is Alice in English, makes me think of my youth and my two tiny children who both grew up in this house. It was the golden age: Davis Cup, karate championships, polo in Paris, sailing the Nefertiti and Bushido, Lolly and JT and Alexandra swimming in the pool, and parties

Letters: Biden is alienating Britain

Joe Shmoe Sir: Your piece ‘Not so special’ (Leading article, 8 July) was right. Joe Biden doesn’t like us and a brief 45 minutes with Rishi Sunak last week doesn’t change that. In Saudi Arabia last year, Biden compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with Britain’s past in Ireland. This was outrageous – what about the US historical treatment of Mexicans, Cubans and Filipinos, and Biden’s friendliness towards IRA terrorists? Britain enjoyed excellent relations with the US under Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton, all of whom had Irish ancestry, and it is self-indulgent and a dereliction for this President to make his chosen personal background an issue, as he does. Britain stood

Joe Biden is not OK

One of the most reliable standards in international comedy has long been the outstanding ineloquence of American politicians. In this place I recently summoned up the golden memory of Dan Quayle. But if you look at the record, there was similar – far less justified – tittering at Ronald Reagan. Closer to our own time comedians and others had much fun with George W. Bush, Donald Trump and indeed almost everybody who has ever risen to the top of the Republican party. Kamala Harris picks up big subjects then says something simultaneously excitable, unfollowable and banal Something striking about this is that rarely is there any similar tittering over the

Rishi’s US charm offensive

As Rishi Sunak faces concern at home that his five priorities are slipping out of reach, he is flying to Washington tonight for another foray on the world stage. The Prime Minister will spend two days in the USA where he will meet President Joe Biden for his first bilateral in America (and the fifth since he entered No. 10). While Boris Johnson made his dislike of the phrase ‘special relationship’ well known, Sunak has no such qualms – though one government aide suggests that it still may not appear in his lexicon: the Prime Minister prefers instead to refer to America as the UK’s greatest ally. While the Windsor

Does Biden actually care about gay rights?

Joseph Robinette Biden, a practising Catholic, has travelled a long way when it comes to gay rights. In 1996, as Senator for Delaware, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which blocked the federal recognition of same-sex unions. Two years earlier he voted to cut funding to schools that taught the acceptance of homosexuality. In the 1970s, when asked about homosexuals in the US military, he replied: ‘My gut reaction is that they are a security risk but I must admit I have not given this much thought… I’ll be darned!’   Saudi Arabia is the world’s second-biggest oil producer and so it gets a pass. Uganda has little to

Violent extremists won’t spoil Joe Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland

What can violent extremists do to wreck Joe Biden’s first visit to Northern Ireland? The answer is precious little. The President’s visit has been denied the electoral fairy dust of a functioning Executive as he blows in to hail 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement. While that might disappoint some local politicians keen to bathe in some harmless warm platitudes, it will be less of a security headache for those charged with keeping him safe. So what of the known arrangements and the risks? Biden will land at Belfast International Airport this evening and be taken, one assumes by air, to a venue in the city for some glad-handing.

Is progressivism winning in America?

36 min listen

Galen Druke, host of the FiveThirtyEight podcast, joins Freddy Gray on this episode to talk about what to take away from Chicago’s election this week, how well the Biden team is handling the progressive wing of the Democratic party, and whether the Democrats would prefer to face up against Ron or Don as the Republican nominee. Produced by Natasha Feroze, Saby Kulkarni and Cindy Yu.

Joe Biden has some difficult questions to answer

Joe Biden has become the Typhoid Mary of classified documents, spreading them as he goes. They keep turning up in batch after batch, everywhere but the floor at Starbucks. The President has said almost nothing about the mess, except to reassure us that ‘people know I take classified documents seriously’. That defence has since taken on a slight change of punctuation: ‘People know I take classified documents. Seriously.’ He certainly does. He takes them everywhere. Most recently, classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center, a foreign policy thinktank in Washington, DC established by Biden in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. The documents raise additional questions. Why were

The US knows the main threat is China

China’s President Xi Jinping opened the CCP’s 20th party congress by doubling down on four key issues: no let up on zero-Covid; no renunciation of force when it comes to Taiwan; a promise to build up China’s military strength; and no tolerance of any opposition to his rule. As he enters his third term, the most important new challenge he has to address are the export controls announced by the US on the eve of the congress that threaten to undercut China’s ability to develop semiconductors and supercomputers. Xi remains defiant: he promised to ‘resolutely win the battle in key core technologies.’ Yet Xi must be worried that the US

Joe Biden has jolted China

The chip war between China and America is heating up, with an increasingly assertive Joe Biden battling with Xi Jinping as he enters his third term as Chinese leader. The US last week further restricted China’s access to advanced American know-how, in what were some of the most stringent export controls for decades. Xi didn’t mention semiconductors in a speech on Sunday marking the opening of the Communist party’s twice-a-decade congress in Beijing, but he did pledge that China would ‘resolutely win the battle in key core technologies’. To compete with the US, China will need better tech. These new export controls will make Xi’s vision much harder to achieve. Joe

Does Joe Biden know what ‘super-wealthy’ Americans pay in tax?

Joe Biden, ice cream in hand as so often, yesterday pronounced on Liz Truss’s tax reform disaster.  ‘I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a mistake,’ said Joe Biden, sounding every bit the wise old man of global politics. ‘I think that the idea of cutting taxes on the super-wealthy at a time when… I disagree with the policy, but that’s up to Great Britain.’ That concession at the end is the President realising he’s just breached the normal rules of diplomacy – by giving his opinion on an ally’s domestic difficulties. But he just can’t help himself. Biden has probably forgotten, but he has proposed increasing the