The Chicago Journal

Memphis Business Journal’s Executive of the Year Henry E. Reaves III Shares Advocacy of Defending the Oppressed

Because of Henry’s impeccable leadership skills, passion, and commitment to his cause, he recently won Executive of the Year at this year’s iteration of Memphis Business Journal’s Annual Small Business Awards. The prestigious event honored the city’s most distinguished business entrepreneurs and visionaries for their outstanding contributions to society. Even though the founder could not attend the event, Chief Operating Officer Ted Cummins was joined onstage by several other Reaves Law Firm employees to accept the award.

Aside from this, Henry has received other accolades and titles, such as the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal, both of which were awarded during his military service. In addition, he was recognized for his exceptional efforts toward Operation Enduring Freedom.

What pushed Henry to become an advocate for the oppressed and abused is his firsthand experience with defending bigwigs. Right after graduating from Indiana University School of Law, he worked for a firm that defended insurance companies and corporations. However, witnessing how these influential players strongarm ordinary people to follow their whims left many negative emotions on the principled man.

“Basically, what I was doing was keeping hurt people from getting paid, and I had conflicts with that. It didn’t sit well with me,” he explained. Given this, the visionary has decided to start his own practice. Using the knowledge he acquired from his first job, Henry is now on the other side of the fence, defending the rights of the common people. “It helps me because I got to see the other side. I know their tactics and how they look at cases and evaluate cases. Just being on that side, living it and walking it, was priceless,” he shared.

Now, Reaves Law Firm is one of the fastest-growing mid-sized law firms in the Southeast region. It caters to a broad area, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Aside from its impressive track record, what allowed the venture to achieve massive success is its unwavering dedication to its goal. As Henry meaningfully declared, “We want to be loved by our clients, we want to be respected by our peers, and we want to be feared by our opposition.”

Several clothing retailers have shared bleak sales reports, including American Eagle

The economic climate in the United States is challenging for businesses of all stripes, and American Eagle is no exception.


Last week, the clothing and accessories retailer joined the list of those reporting dismal results.

Industry players are currently figuring out what people will be looking for when the pandemic is over.

Businesses are also facing reduced demand as inflation puts a strain on their budgets.

Retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom have slashed prices and slashed profits to pull products off shelves.

“The retail environment’s not pretty,” said Jeffries analyst Corey Tarlowe.

“Inventories have been elevated. There’s billions of dollars of excess apparel inventory that’s floating out around there right now, and that’s a problem.”

American Eagle

On Wednesday, American Eagle announced it would suspend its dividend.

The decision comes after comparable sales fell 6% in the previous quarter compared to the same period last year.

Mike Mathias, the chief operating officer, noted that the macroeconomic environment had led to a “slowdown in demand.”

Meanwhile, chief marketing officer Jen Foyle said American Eagle’s top priority is “adjusting our assortments and rightsizing inventory.”

The need for write-downs to move inventory hurt profits. American Eagle reported earnings of 4 cents per share.

The stock missed analysts’ estimates of 13 cents a share for the quarter ended July 30.


Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retail Conference last Thursday, Nordstrom CFO Anne Braman said the discount was bigger than expected.

Brahman also said it could take a few minutes to get back to normal. In August, the department store operator reported strong second-quarter sales.

However, the report lowered its economic outlook for the year, citing abundant inventories and weaker demand later in the quarter.

Other retailers

One of the retailer’s rivals, Macy’s, also cut sales and profit forecasts last month.

CFO Adrian Mitchell noted “weakening apparel sales over the quarter as the consumer faces higher costs on essential goods, particularly grocery.”

At the Goldman meeting, Mitchell said the company had made the necessary discounts to eliminate inventory. Retailers such as Gap, Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart have had similar problems with inventory inflation.

Target last month reported a 90% drop in quarterly profit as it used deep discounting to eliminate excess inventory.

Chief financial officer Michael Fiddelke said there was a “softness” for apparel among other individual categories.

Walmart, meanwhile, has been targeting inflation-sensitive consumers.

As a result, they used correspondingly lower prices to pull clothing off store shelves, significantly reducing revenue expectations.

Gap and Kohl’s try to avoid some of the price cuts by implementing specific product packaging and maintaining policies that allow them to hold excess inventory until demand increases.

Analyst Tarlowe said retailers are likely to adjust to demand more quickly next year as supply chains normalize.

Tarlowe said the company is currently working to improve its product.

“All that product was initially ordered for soft and cozy trends is now coming in,” said Tarlowe.

“These retailers have been stuck with it. They’re forced to clear it out. It’s not in the right categories.”


American Eagle joins list of clothing retailers reporting bleak earnings

Rep. Karen Bass’s home gets broken into, only two firearms taken

Friday night, a raid on Rep. Karen Bass’s Los Angeles home resulted in the theft of two firearms.

The news was revealed in a statement released Saturday by the Los Angeles mayoral candidate.

What happened

Bass returned home on Friday and discovered signs of a raid, prompting her to call the police.

You said the thief stole firearms, which were “safely stored,” leaving behind cash, electronics, and other valuables.

“It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” said Bass.

Rep. Karen Bass lives in the Baldwin Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Firearms and burglary

Sarah Leonard Sheahan, Bass’ communications director, confirmed that the guns belonged to members of Congress.

She also said they were secured in a Brinks locker.

According to Leonard Sheahan, the guns were legally registered guns, and Bass never applied for a license to carry a gun.

He also revealed that no one was home during the raid.

On Saturday night, the LAPD asked the public for help to share clues about the suspected burglary.

“Hispanic, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds,” investigators described.

Crime and security in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times co-sponsored a poll last month that showed 77% of voters wanted a sober candidate to face crime.

The opinions come from a study which found that burglaries across the city will increase by 15% by 2022 and that crime has become a major issue in the mayoral race.

In a previous debate, Bass was asked to rate how safe she felt in her neighborhood on a scale of 1 to 10.

“I do feel safe. I would say a 10,” said Bass.

“I feel safe, but I do understand that a lot of people around the city do not feel safe, and I respect that.”

How Karen Bass learned to use a gun

Bass learned to use a firearm in Los Angeles in the late 1970s as an organizer with the Venceremos Brigade in California.

The Venceremos Brigade is a group formed in 1983 to show solidarity with the Cuban revolution, according to The Times.

Bass says a LAPD officer taught him how to use a gun.

According to her, the officer “encouraged a wide variety of people who held leadership responsibilities in the progressive Los Angeles community to learn how to use firearms.”

Elections for the mayor in Los Angeles

Karen Bass has been a member of Congress for six years, representing parts of the Westside and southern Los Angeles.

With Election Day less than two months away, she has built a double-digit lead over billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso in the polls for the mayor.

The rush was on recently and the two got on the scene for their relationship with USC, which has suffered several scandals in recent years.

Bass is facing questions about a $95,000 grant USC gave her in 2011.

Federal prosecutors said the grant was “crucial” to their investigation into allegations of corruption in the university’s social work program.

Bass’s campaign targeted USC board member Caruso for failing to protect women in college.

The attacks are linked to allegations of sexual abuse by former campus gynecologist George Tyndall.


Rep. Karen Bass says her Los Angeles home was burglarized, two firearms stolen

2 guns stolen during break-in at LA home of mayoral candidate Karen Bass

Two firearms stolen in burglary at home of LA mayoral candidate Karen Bass

Low sales prompts Burger King to make huge investments for the long run

On Friday, Burger King announced plans to spend $400 million over the next two years to promote and renovate its restaurants.

The decision is part of a broader strategy to revive US sales.


At its annual franchisee conference, Burger King shared its plans for Las Vegas.

The investment is expected to increase by 10 to 12 cents a year based on adjusted earnings per share this year and next.

The company expects that the investment will pay off in 2025.

Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts polled by Refinitiv expected earnings per share of $3.24 next year.


Burger King’s US same-store sales growth was flat in the second quarter. The burger chain has lagged rivals like McDonald’s and Wendy’s with weak sales in the US last year.

The sales numbers worry Restaurant Brands CEO Jose Cila. During his tenure as CEO, Cil worked to revive demand for Burger King’s sister chain, Tim Hortons, in Canada.

Last year, he also hired former Domino’s Pizza CEO Tom Curtis as the new president of Burger King in the US and Canada.

Some of Burger King’s changes include a more streamlined menu to reduce wait times and fewer paper coupons to encourage customers to switch to its mobile app.


Burger King will make bolder changes. The company plans to spend $200 million to finance renovations at more than 800 locations.

More than $50 million will be used to upgrade more than 3,000 restaurants, including improvements to technology, kitchen equipment, and buildings.

Burger King hopes that a more selective and strategic approach to other projects will lead to better revenue growth, although it may take some time to see results.

“We might see remodels start to hit the market mid-2023 and going forward,” said Cil.

“It should really be a gradual ramp of the business over the course of the couple of years.”

The company also increased its advertising budget by 30%, investing $120 million over the next two years.

Investments will start in the fourth quarter.

“We expect that to start having an impact on sales over the next quarter,” Cil said.

$30 million will be spent on improving mobile apps by 2024.

Burger King also plans to revamp its menu in a multi-year project that includes developing new Whopper flavors, committing to Royal Chicken Crisp sandwiches and investing more in employee training.

Franchise support

Burger King’s strategy is supported by subsidiaries that operate 93 percent of its restaurants in the United States.

Operators and companies will spend money on renovations and advertising.

Over the past three to six months, Tom Curtis and his team have been building a pool of franchisees to develop a strategy.

In addition to Burger King’s funding, franchisees upgrading restaurants must make similar investments to finance these projects.

Burger King is also changing its incentive structure, encouraging the operator to undertake a major overhaul.

The operator of the former renovated Burger King restaurant has been granted a discount on advertising and licensing fees for more than seven years.

The new program also provides them with funding after projects are completed and allows them to choose a discount on royalties paid to the company.

However, Burger King franchisees will have to pay higher ad fund fees if profitability targets are met.


Burger King unveils $400 million plan to revive US sales with investments in renovations and advertising

Burger King investing $400m in US revamp to boost sales

US experts can’t pinpoint if recession will occur or not, opinions divided with shaky data

The United States has been battling an economic crisis for several months now, with the population fearing a recession.

The country also experienced two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, leaving many wondering if the US is already in a recession.

What the experts say

Many commented on the situation and offered different perspectives.

Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, believes the country will head into a “whopper” recession by 2023.

Stephen Roach of Yale University agrees that the country needs a miracle to avoid a 2023 recession but thinks it won’t be as deep as the early 1980s recession.

Richard Thaler, Nobel laureate in economics, sees nothing resembling a recession in the United States.

Thaler based his belief on high vacancy rates, a growing economy, and low unemployment.

Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist, says a recession is more likely than a soft landing for the economy.

However, a rotating recession may be needed to hit the pocket economy.

Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank’s chief investment officer, said the US is not headed for a recession in theory, not even in real terms. Moreover, recent polls reflect different views.

Mixed signals

US GDP fell 0.9% year-on-year in the second quarter and 1.6% in the first, consistent with the traditional definition of a recession.

The slowdown in growth was caused by factors such as government spending, falling inventories, and investment.

In addition, inflation-adjusted personal income and the savings rate have declined.

In the United States, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially announces whether the country is in recession or not.

The Bureau is unlikely to make a preliminary decision on the period in question.

The labor market’s fundamentals are stronger than in previous six-month periods of negative GDP since 1947.

William Foster, Chief Credit Officer of Moody’s, said the jobs-to-GDP ratio remains the most debated topic among economic commentators.

Indeed, the Fed is moving from an accommodative monetary policy to a tightening policy that includes rate hikes to fight inflation, which reached 8.5% in July.

“We’re coming out of an extraordinary period that’s not been seen before in history,” said Foster.

He also said that the National Bureau of Economic Research examines real household income, real spending, industrial production, the labor market, and unemployment—factors that indicate no signs of recession.

“The jobs market is still struggling to hire people, particularly in the services sector,” said Foster.


Despite the economic climate, Foster stressed that families still spend a lot.

However, he pointed out that they were spending at a slower rate of growth, made possible by household savings thanks to the pandemic.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz has expressed concern over the decline in real wages that workers are experiencing despite the tightening of the labor market.

Commentators are divided on which metrics to focus on and which specific sectors to pay attention to.

Peter Boockbar, an investor, says the latest real estate and manufacturing data explain why the US cannot avoid a recession.

He pointed out that the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo real estate market index fell into negative territory last month.

However, Saxo Bank’s Jakobsen responded to the claims by saying:

“We still have double digit increases in the rental market. This is not going to create a recession.”

“Simply, people have enough money on the balance sheet to buy an apartment and rent it out and make 20 to 30%,” he added. “So [a recession] is not going to happen.”


Economists are divided on the risk of a US recession. And the jobs data isn’t helping

UPS could witness the largest union strike if Teamster decides to do so

Labor movements have sprung up since late 2021, with Starbucks and Amazon gaining national attention.

However, one of the country’s oldest unions has clashed with the world’s largest parcel delivery company.

UPS and the Teamsters Union will begin contract negotiations before their contracts expire next year.

Although there is still a long way to go, labor experts are speculating that drivers and parcel delivery will go on strike.

How would this affect the country?

According to Todd Vachon, professor of Labor Relations at Rutgers, the question is how long it will take.

“The union’s president ran and won on taking a more militant approach,” he explained.

“Even if they’re very close [to a deal], the rank and file will be hungry to take on the company.”

If Vachon’s speculation were to come true, a UPS strike would affect nearly every household in the United States.

It is estimated that 6% of the country’s gross domestic product is transported annually on UPS trucks.

Along with the explosive growth of online retail, the company and its drivers are vital to the country’s struggling supply chain. UPS also supplies many products to retail stores, factories, and offices.

Teamster and UPS

Over 350,000 Teamsters work as UPS drivers and package sorters at UPS, with a global workforce of 534,000 permanent employees.

The number is also growing rapidly, as UPS has added 72,000 jobs represented by Teamster since the start of the pandemic.

Despite competition from FedEx, the US Postal Service, and Amazon, none can handle more than a fraction of the 21.5 million US packages that UPS delivers every day.

This month, UPS released a statement stating:

“We want a contract that provides wins for our employees and that provides UPS the flexibility to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry.”

“UPS and the Teamsters have worked cooperatively for almost 100 years to meet the needs of UPS employees, customers, and the communities where we live and work.”

“We believe we’ll continue to find common ground with the Teamsters and reach an agreement that’s good for everyone involved.”

Teamster hasn’t gone on strike since the protest nearly two weeks ago, 25 years ago, and if the union were to strike, it would be the largest strike against a company in US history.

Tensions between UPS and Teamster

In 2018, a majority of Teamster members voted against ratifying the current treaty.

However, the former union leadership (then President James Hoffa) introduced it because there were not enough members who participated in the ratification vote to bring about a strike.

Sean O’Brien became the new union leader this year by reshaping his campaign around the UPS contract.

He promised to make more UPS Teamster members and spoke often of the $300 million strike fund the union had raised to pay members in the event of a strike.

“Do our members wake up every day wanting a strike, I’d say no. But are they fed up? Yes, they’re fed up,” said O’Brien.

“Whether or not there is a strike, that’s totally up to the company. We’re going to utilize as much leverage as we can to get our members the contract they deserve.”

Meanwhile, UPS said the average delivery driver’s salary ($ 95,000 per year) includes benefits like a traditional retirement plan, which is worth an additional $ 50,000 per year.

UPS truck drivers are also better paid. Compared to FedEx and Amazon salaries, Teamsters earn far more than drivers working for small independent contractors.

The current contract expires at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2023, and O’Brien promises the union will not award a contract extension past the deadline.

The Teamsters president says that in addition to improved wages and benefits, the union will also demand better working conditions, such as better working conditions, including air conditioning in vans used for UPS deliveries, which the union says poses a health risk to drivers.


Despite the tensions, UPS has always spoken about how it values the workforce represented by Teamster.

The company is also one of the most union-friendly organizations in the United States compared to other companies that have seen a steady decline in union membership.

The growing number of Teamster jobs at UPS is due to the increase in online shopping, especially during the pandemic outbreak.

In 2021, the company managed to record a record full-year profit in nine months.

UPS closed the year with an operating profit of 50%, at $13.1 billion.

In the first half of 2022, sales increased by a further 10% compared to the previous year. However, O’Brien said: “Everyone gets rich except our members.”

Meanwhile, Carol Tome, CEO of UPS, who took over at the start of the pandemic, says the union agreement is a competitive advantage in times of labor shortages.

Tome is also trying to reassure investors and customers that UPS will be ready in the event of a union strike.

“Our goal with the Teamsters is a win-win,” she said in July.


One of the biggest strikes in US history is brewing at UPS

Negative reviews spoils the record breaking debut of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Amazon Prime Video has finally brought the long-awaited Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, to record viewership.

The viewership

The premiere drew 25 million viewers worldwide, making it the biggest debut in Amazon Prime Video history.

The figures were published in a company press release.

“It is somehow fitting that Tolkien’s stories—among the most popular of all time and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre—have led us to this proud moment,” said head of Amazon Studio, Jennifer Salke.


The debut of The Rings of Power came at a difficult time as it faced stiff competition from the HBO series House of the Dragon.

The $465 million series, based on JRR Tolkien’s works, rivaled the Game of Thrones prequel series, which debuted with the highest score in HBO history.

House of the Dragon drew 9.986 million viewers through its HBO Linear and HBO Max streaming platforms.


Despite the promising numbers, The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power also faced criticism.

Although critics and fans of Peter Jackson films have praised the series, Rings of Power has been bombarded with negative reviews.

Since the show’s inception, many have criticized the casting decisions, especially the addition of black people.

Meanwhile, loyalists to the original source material have criticized the depiction of female dwarfs, pointing out the lack of beards depicted in books and films.


Variety reports that Amazon has taken unusual measures to delay The Rings of Power reviews by 72 hours in order to filter out trolls.

However, the show was reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes and received a 37% rating from users, while critics gave it an 84% rating.

Amazon Prime Videos plans to evaluate reviews to determine if they are legitimate opinions or come from a troll or bot.

The company adopted a similar plan when the A League of Their Own baseball series launched on August 12.

The strategy turned out to be fruitful, as the series received a rating of 4.3 (out of 5 stars) on the streaming platform, compared to 94% of Rotten Tomatoes reviewers.


‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ sets Amazon Prime viewing record

Amazon suspends Lord of the Rings reviews as it becomes Prime’s biggest premiere

Howard Schultz among executives dealt with a legal case for Starbucks’ diversity policy

Starbucks is among many companies that have emphasized the importance of diversity, and they are working to underscore this by introducing new policies to help them achieve their goal. 

However, the policies put in place by the coffee giants have become a problem for some, and the leaders are at their wit’s end. 

The issue

Starbucks Corp. officers and directors are the targets of a lawsuit filed by a conservative think tank. 

The complaint arose out of the belief that the coffee chain’s “Woke” efforts only resulted in racial discrimination. 

Read also: Howard Schultz Tips Web3 Technology Inclusion for Starbucks’ Reward Program

The complaint 

The National Center for Research on Public Policy filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Starbucks’ hiring goals for people of color; outsourcing to “diverse” vendors and advertisers; and the compensation of the Management Board linked to diversity.

According to the complaint, “benefits them personally to pose as virtuous advocates of ‘Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity,’ even as it harms the company and its owners.”

A Starbucks shareholder said the guidelines require the company to make decisions based on race, assist minorities and violate federal and state civil rights laws. 

Thirty-five current and former executives and directors, including interim CEO Howard Schultz, are among the defendants in the case. 

Read also: Starbucks Locations in Michigan to Join the Unionization Efforts

Starbucks and diversity 

As of July 3, Starbucks had more than 34,948 stores worldwide, including 17,050 in the United States. 

The coffee giant is one of many companies that have focused on diversity and education, particularly in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Six months after his death, Starbucks announced plans to hire more Black people, indigenous people, and other people of color in order to fill at least 30% of the jobs in American businesses. 

The company also aims to have 40% of the U.S. retail and manufacturing jobs owned by people of color in the U.S. by 2025 and to tie executive salaries to its diversity efforts. 

In January 2021, Starbucks announced plans to double its annual multi-vendor spend to $1.5 billion by 2030. 

The company also pledged to allocate 15% of its 2022 advertising budget to minority and “targeted” media companies.


Starbucks bosses sued by think tank over diversity push in the US

Starbucks executives, directors are sued over diversity policies

Tesla crash explained, AXA set up demonstration for road safety

The image of a burning Tesla sedan caused concern last week, but the accident and fire were just a demonstration of AXA.

The demonstration

Insurance company AXA said it organized the demonstration to show how electric cars can catch fire quickly after an accident.

Although there was some concern about the fire, AXA assured people that it wasn’t Tesla’s battery that caught fire.

The Paris-based company said it removed the battery from the vehicle prior to the demonstration.

The video

The Swiss Automobile Trade Association has released a video of the crash test in which a Tesla collides with an obstacle, capsizes and lands on the roof.

In the video, an engine rumble is heard shortly before the front half of the car catches fire.

Meanwhile, those present applauded the demonstration.

AXA statement

AXA Switzerland said on Thursday that it regretted the crash test because it gave a “false impression” and caused confusion.

“AXA Switzerland’s statistics show that drivers of electric vehicles cause 50 percent more collisions with damage to their own vehicles than drivers of conventional vehicles with combustion engines,” wrote AXA.

“What the statistics also show is that drivers of more powerful electric vehicles cause damage to either their own or someone else’s vehicle more frequently.”

“Our aim with this year’s Crash Tests was to draw attention to these insights from our statistics and – at the same time – raise awareness of the risks that can potentially arise with accidents involving battery-powered cars.”

The company also said it took steps to protect spectators during the event.

The firm confirmed that the car’s battery had been removed and that the fire had been extinguished “under controlled conditions”.

“In addition, the Crash Test with a Tesla vehicle did not cause the type of damage to the undercarriage that would be likely to spark a battery fire as the images would appear to suggest,” AXA said.

In addition, the company admitted that it used fireworks to start the fire.

An explanation of the event

AXA is known for conducting crash tests to solve road safety problems.

The company said data shows EVs are less likely to catch fire than combustion engine cars. AXA Switzerland’s statement also shared its support for Tesla, writing:

“We firmly believe that e-vehicles will play a key role in the automotive future. This is why we see it as important to take an in-depth look at electromobility and its safety.”

Experts shared AXA’s point of view, saying that electric cars are less likely to catch fire than their gas counterparts.

However, they also added that the fire may be more difficult to put out.

Despite the demonstration, there is still a risk of electric vehicle batteries catching fire.

In recent years, several car manufacturers have issued warnings out of fear that the batteries could catch fire.


A Tesla burst into flames during a crash test. The organizer admitted it was staged

Insurance firm stages Tesla crash test, fakes ‘battery’ fire

President Joe Biden’s speech draws the wrath of Republicans calling for civil war and his assassination

On Thursday, President Joe Biden traveled to Philadelphia and delivered his most vocal anti-Republican speech.

During the speech, Biden focused on how they “thrive in chaos” and warned people that their attempts to undermine democracy could lead to violence.

The speech

President Joe Biden delivered his speech at Independence Hall against a red-lit backdrop, calling for a reckoning with a movement led by Donald Trump.

His speech comes ahead of midterm elections, which help determine control of Congress.

Although billed as an official address, Biden’s comments contained the outline of his campaign message. While trying to convey optimism about the country’s future, the president also painted his political opponents in a dark light.

Biden said Trump and his followers are threatening the American experiment.

Minutes after stepping onto the podium, he called his predecessors and suggested that Americans should face an existential choice in the upcoming election.

“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” said Biden over the speech.

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

Despite his feelings, Biden tried to separate Trump’s loyal followers from the Republican Party as a whole.

President Joe Biden ended his speech on a more upbeat note, stating that it is up to voters to control the dark forces brewing in the country. 

Biden felt the time was right to speak out against the growing anti-democratic forces in the country after recently calling Republicans “MAGA extremism” and “semi-fascism.”

Meanwhile, officials say the president’s message was nonpartisan and intended to target an extreme wing of the GOP.

Either way, Biden urged his audience to go to the polls in November.

Building up to the speech

The past few weeks have focused on many campaign promises that initially seemed unrealistic before the law was signed.

The factors that grow together are creating a sense in the West Wing that the political wind is changing, especially as more Americans have signed up for midterm elections.

It has also hit the White House, where months of war within the party have emerged, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and crises that many have looked beyond their control to change course.

Biden himself was struck by the sense of darkness that hung over the west wing for months.

The changing winds also coincided with Trump’s re-emergence.

Republican politicians and candidates have started a campaign on the false basis of fraudulent elections.

As the campaign season kicked off with a boost midway through the campaign, multiple factors emerged with enough ammo for Biden to publicly share his thoughts.

“The President felt that this was an appropriate time before the traditional campaign season begins next week to lay out what he sees at stake, not for any individual political party, but for our democracy itself,” said a senior administration official.

Response to Biden’s speech

On Friday afternoon, popular forums among white supremacists and far-right extremists began pouring in with posts calling for Biden’s assassination.

The President was not alone, as Jewish government officials such as Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Alejandro Mayorkas were identified as potential targets.

According to documents covering some of the threats, there were also reports of declarations of civil war.

A threat alert from the Site Intelligence Group was issued Friday, alerting law enforcement and others.

The group tracks extremist activity online and has issued several threat alerts detailing calls for violence after Biden’s speech.

The potential threats were posted on online forums teeming with Proud Boys and neo-Nazis, among other extremist groups.

“Users on several far-right and ultranationalist venues made violent threats against President Joe Biden following his speech addressing political extremism on September 1, 2022,” an alert said.

“Users advocated for Biden to be murdered and predicted violence if he continues speaking about the topic.”

The White House defended Biden’s speech on the grounds that he was standing up for democracy and speaking out against political violence.


Biden warns Trump and his closest followers are trying to undermine American democracy in combative speech

Biden speech denouncing Trump, ‘MAGA ideology’ sparks threats, calls for violence