Updates on Hong Kong and Biden

Grind for July 6th
“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Political News

The Headline

Poll Update: Joe Biden is still in the lead despite a 5-point drop

The Grind

Former Vice President Joe Biden is still in the lead despite a 5-point drop during the month of June. His performance during last week’s debate in Miami was impressive, but the debate itself exposed voters to other options.

Foremost among those options is Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who gained 6 points during June. Her attacks on Biden during the debate were a great way to attract attention, and we can expect her momentum to continue.

The Details

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang jumped 1 point in the polls despite a weak performance in Miami (we can chalk this up to the “dead cat bounce” effect) and his support is likely to decline from here.

Former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also delivered lackluster performances in Miami that will no doubt send them back to the minor leagues where they belong.

O’Rourke dropped 2 points this month and Buttigieg is down 1 point.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is up 3 points following the debate (MSNBC gave her plenty of coverage), and Bernie Sanders is down 1 point following a passionate performance that lacked any detail.

According to RCP’s nationwide average, Biden is squarely in the lead with 33 points followed by Sanders with 17.2, Warren with 12.8 and Harris with 7.8. The only other candidate with more than 3 points is Mayor Pete with 6.

The next Democratic debate will be held starting July 30th in Detroit.


The Headline

In Hong Kong, protestors break into and vandalize government building

The Grind

An estimated 550,000 people gathered in the streets of Hong Kong on Monday to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China.

A smaller group broke from the crowd and swarmed the Legislative Council building, using iron sheets and bits of scaffolding to break through the facility’s glass doors.

Once inside, protestors sprayed messages on the walls such as “HK is not China.”

The Details

The violence follows weeks of protests over a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China.

Critics view the bill as a threat to Hong Kong’s independent judiciary system and worry that Beijing will use it to prosecute political dissidents in Hong Kong. Over the past month, more than 1 million people have taken to the streets to express their anger over the proposed legislation.

“The kind of deafness that I see in the government this time around despite these protests is really worrying,” said one protestor. “The complete disregard for the will of the people is what alarms me.”

Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended all work on the extradition bill in mid-June but stopped short of protestors’ demands to abandon it completely. The opposition is also calling for Lam’s resignation and for an investigation into police use of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse an earlier protest.

In her first public appearance since June 15th, Lam condemned Monday’s violence and described the event as two separate scenes:

“One was a peaceful and rational parade…the other one was a heartbreaking, shocking, and law-breaking scene.”

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