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

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden focuses on strengthening the nation’s relationship with a “vital partner,” Japan.

DIGITAL ASSETS

FTX and SALT announce a multi-year partnership for future events and CryptoBahamas.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Blinken meets with Lavrov today in Geneva amid rising tensions over Ukraine. 

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

President Biden addressed the DNC grassroots town hall yesterday speaking for almost exactly nine minutes.

The President noted the anniversary of his inauguration into office: “Sometimes it seems longer, doesn’t it, Kamala?” Biden went on to say that “it’s been a year of challenges,” as well as of “enormous progress.”

He noted some of his achievements, with 210 million people vaccinated and a 3.9 percent unemployment rate foremost among them.

“We’re focused on delivering for the American people,” he said, outlining both measures in his infrastructure package, which already passed Congress, and aspects of the Build Back Better agenda, which remains in limbo.

Speaking on taxes, he reiterated that nobody earning below $400,000 would “pay a penny more.”

Biden said that they have “unity in the Democratic Party,” adding that “48 of the 50 Democrats vote with me on everything and the others vote with me on 80% of everything.”

The President used the opportunity during his DNC talk to attack the GOP. “What are Republicans for? What are they for? They don’t stand for anything – except to stop us.”

Biden called on DNC members to understand that the 2022 midterm election is “critical” and that the Democrats “have to keep control of the House and Senate and expand our majority.”

The president ended his speech by invoking the struggle between democracy and autocracy, to which he has frequently referred when discussing his domestic agenda.

As the press was leaving the auditorium, Jacqui Heinrich of Fox News shouted the question at President Biden: “Why are you waiting on Putin to make the first move, sir?”

The president’s response was captured by audio engineers and went as follows: “What a stupid question!”

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.

TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE

This Friday morning, Biden will hold a virtual meeting with Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will discuss ways to advance their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and a strong rules based order. The two Leaders are also expected to discuss a strong, united response if Russia proceeds with military action against Ukraine.

For Biden, Japan is a vital partner. For his first foreign leader visit to the White House, President Biden hosted former Japanese Prime Minister Suga. After the Japanese elections, President Biden was the first leader to call Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, on the morning of his first full day in office. For their first trip abroad, Secretaries Blinken and Austin traveled to Japan. Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai recently visited Japan for economic consultations regarding the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework on which you will see a deeper and more intensive economic engagement with Japan and other Indo-Pacific partners over the course of this year.

Also today, Biden will give a speech on his administration’s work to increase the supply of semiconductors and rebuild supply chains. The Secretary of Commerce will also attend and deliver remarks.

In the afternoon, Biden will address the nation’s mayors during the US Conference of Mayors’ 90th Annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton.

In the evening, the President and the First Lady will go to Delaware where they will spend the weekend. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

Bitcion reached a new low this morning and is at $38,993.06

FTX and SALT are joining forces in a multi-year partnership. FTX will serve as the presenting sponsor of annual SALT events in North America, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as the SALT Crypto Show, a new digital series launching in early 2022.

FTX and SALT are creating a new event, Crypto Bahamas, that will debut April 26-29, 2022, at the Baha Mar resort in Nassau.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$38,993.06

Ether (ETH):$2,873.49

SOL:$123.62

LUNA: $77.87

Mark Cuban has his own NFT collection on Lazy.com/mcuban

PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi referred to the metaverse as “isolating” in an interview for Bloomberg. He also called VR headsets “annoying.”

Russia is making a move to ban crypto. On Thursday, Elizaveta Danilova, the director of the Bank of Russia’s Financial Stability Department presented a “Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures” report announcing measures to make crypto illegal. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Blinken is meeting today the Russian foreign minister, Lavrov, on neutral ground in Geneva. “Russia has posed the real challenge to European security,” said Blinken and reiterated that the United States “would like nothing better than to develop a more stable, predictable relationship with Russia.” Speaking on Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Blinken stipulated the following view. “We oppose the pipeline,” he said. 

Austria voted to make vaccines mandatory for all their citizens. They are the first European country to mandate vaccination and the police will be making routine checks during traffic stops. 

And that’s a wrap for this Friday morning, January 21 2022. Good Morning DC will be back on Monday 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...