White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden threatens Putin with economic sanctions, but will that be enough to stop Russia from invading Ukraine? Soft ball questions from political reporters neglect to explore the topic, and others, in depth.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Paris Hilton to curate NFT Liverpool event, organized by Adelia Art Gallery. Tom Brady’s sports and entertainment NFT platform, Autograph, raises over $170 million in its Series B round. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

William Wragg makes an announcement that WHIPS and Boris Johnson loyalists are using negative personal information against Members of the Parliament who want to cast a letter of no confidence against Boris Johnson, the PM who finds himself in hot water this week. 

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Senators Joe Manchin (D-West VA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) joined Republicans to oppose the change of filibuster rules. They voted to keep the filibuster intact, effectively killing both of the voting rights bills Biden wants to pass. The President did not hide his disappointment. “I am profoundly disappointed that the Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed — but I am not deterred,” he said on Twitter. 

Bernie Sanders was furious. “It’s not just this vote. These are people who I think have undermined the President of the United States. They have forced us to go through five months of discussions which have gotten absolutely nowhere.”

The Vermont Senator is now supporting a primary challenge for Manchin and Sinema to unseat them. Sinema is up for re-election in 2024. 

Soprano Nevena Bridgen shares her opulent talent in a world-premier of her music video for Puccini’s “Vissi D’arte.” Bridgen’s artistic vision honors 122 years since Puccini’s Tosca premiered.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden held his first two-hours-long press conference in an orderly, ‘you can ask me a question if I call your name,’ manner. 

Trump quickly shared his commentary on the matter. “How come Biden picks a reporter off a list, in all cases softball questions, and then reads the answer? I would never have been allowed to get away with that, nor would I have to!”

During the Trump presidency, questions about Putin dominated, and this continues to be the case, with an exception – The stakes have never been higher for international security. The wind of war is at the European doorsteps. Biden promised “severe economic consequences” to Russia if they attack Ukraine, but if Putin has made up his mind about the cost he is willing to take for his actions, would it make any difference? That question, among many others, was not asked at the press conference.  

Instead, Biden was able to say everything he wanted to say, even that he “outperformed the expectations,” a claim that has not been challenged with the facts that inflation is at an all-time high, the withdrawal from Afghanistan was botched, the number of covid deaths remains substantial, and much more. 

Full disclaimer: Seeing journalists’ praise of Biden after his press conference makes me uncomfortable. When did our role become akin to that in his press office? If you can’t be critical of POTUS, then just be honest. Go and work for the administration. Don’t pretend to be a political journalist.

Biden is masking Americans up, but he said at the press conference that “we’re not going back to lockdowns.” He also made it clear that “we’re not going back to closing schools.”

While no one believes that Biden will run in 2024, he used the presser to announce that Kamala Harris will be his running mate in the next presidential election, where he is hoping to win the second term. 

Today at the White House, Biden will meet with members of the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force. In the afternoon, he will meet with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In the evening, Biden will speak at the virtual Democratic National Committee grassroots event. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

Paris Hilton will be a special guest curator for the NFT Liverpool event, organized by the art collector Amir Soleymani (known as Mondoir) and Adelia Art Gallery. The art will be unveiled on April 26, 2022 and will be showcased for 125 days.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$42,116.73

Ether (ETH):$3,146.56

SOL:$137.87

LUNA: $82.24

Sports and entertainment NFT platform, Autograph, co-founded by NFL player Tom Brady, has raised $170 million in its Series B round.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Across the pond, The UK’s PM is fighting to stay in power. Dominic Cummings is about to unload everything he has on Boris Johnson, including some personal stuff from The Chequers that Carrie won’t be pleased to learn about.

A prominent Boris Johnson critic, William Wragg, announced in the parliament today that WHIPS and Boris Johnson loyalists are using negative personal information against Members of the Parliament who want to cast a letter of no confidence against Boris Johnson. 

“When did our country become a Banana Republic? Intimidation tactics former PM Theresa May did not use. What Boris Johnson and his loyalists are doing is straight out of Putin’s playbook,” a prominent MP shared his frustration with Good Morning DC.

Another Boris Johnson loyalist, Trudy Harrison, was spotted on Tuesday night patrolling outside Sir Graham Stuart Brady’s office in Portcullis House to see which MPs are delivering the letters. “They can only intimidate you if they know you’ve put the letter in,” a prominent MP shared with Good Morning DC.

The UK is also ditching masks, and the law will no longer require them. The PM said that, while certain conditions will require the masks, it will be left to a personal choice. The Labour Party has supported the easing up of covid restrictions “as long as they are supported by science.” 

And that’s a wrap for this Thursday morning, January 20, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...