BIDEN HASN'T MADE REELECTION DECISION: President Biden told 60 Minutes last Thursday that while he intends to run for re-election in 2024, the decision is still up in the air. "Sir, are you committed to running again, or are there certain conditions that have to be right?" Pelley asked. "Look, if I were to say to you, I'm running again, all of a sudden, a whole range of things come into play that I have-- requirements I have to change and move and do," Mr. Biden said. "In terms of election laws. and it's much too early to make that kind of decision. I'm a great respecter of fate. And so, what I'm doing is I'm doing my job. I'm gonna do that job. And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do. Look, my intention as I said to begin with is that I would run again. But it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.""

 

TRUMP APPROVAL BOTTOMS OUT AT 34% IN NBC POLL: Former President Trump’s favorability rating has dropped to a new low after slowly trickling down over the past few months. A new NBC News poll released Sunday found that 34 percent of registered voters said they have a positive view of Trump, while 54 percent say they have a negative view of him. Trump’s favorability rating was at its lowest in April 2021, when his rating fell to 32 percent in the same NBC poll. The former president’s favorability score is down slightly since last month, with the same 54 percent saying they have a negative view of Trump, but 36 percent saying they had a positive view of him. While Trump’s favorability score has trickled down, President Biden’s score has gone up, though only slightly. This month, 45 percent said they approve of the president — a 2-point increase since last month. Contrarily, 52 percent of voters say they disapprove of Biden, which has gone down 3 percentage points since last month.

 

A 'WAVES' ELECTION DEVELOPING: Instead of a “wave” election, 2022 may be a “‘waves’ election, where unprecedentedly strong crosscurrents push voters in different directions, with an end result that may not be what we expected,” said Democrat Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates (Politico Playbook). Indeed, 2022 is effectively two campaigns running in parallel: “There is a campaign about the economy, cost of living, crime and border security, and Republicans are winning this campaign,” said Republican Bill McInturff  of Public Opinion Strategies. “But there is a second campaign on abortion, democracy and climate change, and Democrats are winning that campaign.” If they want to make major gains in this cycle, they’ll need to do what they can to try and change the focus of the campaign to issues like the economy or immigration.

 

RICHMOND OFFICER BURTON DIES: The Richmond Police Department announced late Sunday night that Officer Seara Burton had passed away (WRTV). "It is with profound sadness that we announce that Officer Seara Burton #140/K9-2 passed away at 9:59 p.m. tonight at Reid Health surrounded by her family," the department said in a post on Facebook Sunday evening. "We would sincerely like to thank the Richmond community, and those who have supported Seara, her Family, and the Department from near and far." Burton was surrounded by her family at Reid Health when she succumbed to her injuries from five weeks prior, according to Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt. Final arrangements are pending.

 

INDY FENTANYL DEATHS SOAR: The number of fatal overdoses last year in Indianapolis soared, eclipsing the number of people who died in shootings and other methods to become the leading cause of death in cases examined by the coroner's office, according to new data (IndyStar). In its annual report examining trends among the decedents it takes in, the Marion County Coroner's Office recorded 799 people last year died from accidental drug intoxication. The alarming statistics surpassed the number of people examined by the office who died from heart disease − long at the top of the list − blunt force trauma and firearms for the second year in a row. When accounting for people who died by suicide from an overdose or their manner of death was undetermined, the number of people climbs to 826.

 

DANIELS ON MEANING OF SECRETARIES VISIT: Last week’s visit to Purdue University by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was a fact-finding mission of sorts as part of a massive effort to rebuild the nation’s semiconductor industry (Dick, Inside Indiana Business). But Purdue President Mitch Daniels believes the visit was much more than a photo opportunity. “I think you can read a lot into it,” said Daniels, who added the secretaries came away impressed with what they saw. “They used terms like blown away as they came away from the tour and meeting our researchers and students. People describe semiconductors as the oil of the next economy, or the one that we have entered. If we can be, as the secretaries believe, and as I have believed, a home for much of that, this will be a whole new era for jobs and economic hope for our state.”

 

UKRAINE AMBASSADOR SAYS RUSS COMMITTING MASSIVE WAR CRIMES: As new evidence emerges of war crimes by the Russian military in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, "It's so important for everyone to see the true face of this aggression and terrorist attack Russia is waging," Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, said Sunday. "It's tortures, rapes, killings. War crimes of a massive proportions," Markarova claimed in an interview with ABC "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl. "That's why we need to liberate the whole territory of Ukraine as soon as possible because clearly Russians are targeting all Ukrainians. Whole families. Children. So, there is no war logic in all of this. It's simply terrorizing and committing genocide against Ukrainians." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address on Thursday that a mass grave was found in the recently recaptured territory of Izyum. Over 400 bodies could be buried in the site, according to Ukrainian officials. (Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, despite evidence otherwise.) "Do you have a handle in terms of those mass graves of who the victims are?" Karl asked Markarova on Sunday. "We already have teams of investigators there," she replied, adding that the country has been preparing national and international criminal cases against Russia -- an effort the U.S. is assisting with, Markarova said.

 

QUEEN'S FUNERAL UNDERWAY IN LONDON: Britain on Monday began to say farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest-serving monarch, during a historic funeral attended by hundreds of dignitaries and watched by millions of people across the globe (Wall Street Journal). The state funeral will close the chapter on the second Elizabethan age, a reign that lasted 70 years and saw an era of radical change for Britain as its empire was dismantled and its global standing shrunk. The queen, however, remained a hugely popular head of state who gave people both in Britain and abroad a valued sense of continuity and proved a powerful symbol of the country’s identity. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central London to pay their respects to the queen, corralled by the largest-ever policing operation for a single day in the capital.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The second Elizabethan era is over with today's burial of Queen Elizabeth II. Will this British monarchy survive? - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

BIZARRE QANON ENDING TO MAGA RALLY: At the end of Saturday night’s Donald Trump rally, something strange (well, more strange than usual) happened. As the former president delivered the eight-minute monologue that concluded his speech, dramatic strings music began to play in the background and a portion of the mesmerized crowd raised their hands with their pointer fingers extended in an odd salute (Yahoo News). The song has not been definitively identified, although some — including The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer — said it is titled “WWG1WGA” after the QAnon slogan, “Where we go one, we go all,” and is affiliated with the movement. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman speculated Trump may have used a song titled “Mirrors” by film and TV composer Will Van De Crommer. But, as a music professor who analyzed “Mirrors” after Trump used it in a video told Vice in August, the two songs are “identical.”

 

Polls

 

POLLSTER WARNS GOP ON ABORTION ISSUE: A North Carolina-based GOP pollster is issuing a warning to Republican legislators: Voters are ready to punish the party for restricting access to abortion too much (Politico). In a poll of 800 likely North Carolina voters conducted by Paul Shumaker, a longtime GOP consultant who works on congressional and state races across the country, only a quarter of the respondents said that abortions should either not be legal in any circumstance or only be legal if the life of the mother is endangered. Support for abortion restrictions doubles if the procedure is permitted "in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the mother's life." Even among Republicans, the poll found, only 40 percent support a near-total abortion ban.

 

56% OF LATINOS PLAN TO VOTE DEMOCRATIC IN NOV: It has been nearly two years since Donald Trump made surprising gains with Hispanic voters. But Republican dreams of a major realignment of Latino voters drawn to G.O.P. stances on crime and social issues have failed to materialize, according to a new poll by The New York Times and Siena College. The poll — one of the largest nonpartisan surveys of Latino voters since the 2020 election — found that Democrats had maintained a grip on the majority of Latino voters, driven in part by women and the belief that Democrats remained the party of the working class. Overall, Hispanic voters are more likely to agree with Democrats on many issues — immigration, gun policy, climate. They are also more likely to see Republicans as the party of the elite and as holding extreme views. And a majority of Hispanic voters, 56 percent, plan to vote for Democrats this fall, compared with 32 percent for Republicans.

 

Congress

 

SPARTZ SAYS ALL STATES MUST SHARE IMMIGRATION BURDEN: The message from Texas Gov. Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has enacted similar relocation efforts of illegal immigrants, is that other states and cities need to understand the burden being placed on border states to deal with illegal immigration. It’s a message Indiana Congresswoman Victoria Spartz empathizes with (WIBC). “Other states need to understand, but also don’t understand a thing such as sanctuary cities,” Spartz said on CNN. “The federal government should have a policy that applies to all the states. There are states’ rights and there are federal responsibilities. Immigration policy is dealt with on the federal level. We need to find legal ways for people to come here because when you create incentives for people to come illegally, people will abuse the system. We are a country of immigrants, but we are also a country of law and order.”

 

THE SENATE will meet at 3 p.m. to take up Florence Pan’s judicial nomination, with a cloture vote at 5:30 p.m.

 

THE HOUSE will meet at noon, with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN DECLARES PANDEMIC IS OVER - President Joe Biden said “the pandemic is over” in discussing Covid during an interview that aired on Sunday evening on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “The pandemic is over,” the president told Scott Pelley as they talked last week at the Detroit Auto Show. “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it ... but the pandemic is over. if you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.” Despite Biden’s statement, Covid has continued to exact a toll in the United States and around the world. The John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center lists more than 2 million Covid cases in the country in the last 28 days, with hundreds dying from the disease every day.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SAYS U.S. WILL DEFEND TAIWAN - U.S. President Joe Biden said U.S forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his most explicit statement on the issue, drawing an angry response from China that said it sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan. Asked in a CBS 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday whether U.S. forces would defend the democratically governed island claimed by China, he replied: "Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack." Asked to clarify if he meant that unlike in Ukraine, U.S. forces - American men and women - would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: "Yes."

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN PAYS RESPECTS FOR QUEEN - Thousands of police, hundreds of troops and an army of officials made final preparations Sunday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — a spectacular display of national mourning that will also be the biggest gathering of world leaders for years (CBS News). President Biden and other dignitaries arrived in London for the funeral, to which around 500 royals, heads of state and heads of government from around the globe have been invited. Mr. Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden paid their respects at Westminster Hall on Sunday, where they were joined by Jane Hartley, U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. The president and first lady each then signed the official condolence book for the queen at Lancaster House.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - The president is currently attending Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. Still to come: The Bidens will leave London at 9:25 a.m. Eastern time to return stateside, arriving back at the White House at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday: The president will head to New York and attend a DNC reception. Wednesday: Biden will speak at the U.N. General Assembly, have a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister LIZ TRUSS, host and speak at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference, and host a leaders’ reception at the American Museum of Natural History. Thursday: Biden will attend another DNC reception and return to the White House. Saturday: Biden will travel to Wilmington, Del. Sunday: Biden will return to the White House.

 

KENTUCKY: CHURCHILL DOWNS BUYS ELLIS PARK - Ellis Park has had its share of different owners and ownership groups over the years (WFIE-TV). From the Green River Jockey Club to James C. Ellis – from the Kumar family to Ron Geary – and most recently with Laguna Development Corporation. But through it all, the racing has continued to thrive at the old pea patch. And now, it appears there’s another change about to occur, following Thursday’s announcement that Churchill Downs has reached an agreement to buy Ellis Park for an estimated $79 million. This deal will include the proposed off-track betting parlor property in Owensboro. It would become the second time in which Churchill Downs has owned the Henderson track. “Sounds like they’re gonna come in and spend quite a bit of money redoing the old place,” longtime horse trainer John Hancock said. “It’s got a lot of work that needs to be done – plumbing, grandstand, the barn area on the back side – but it sounds like they’re willing to take it on.”

 

PUERTO RICO: HURRICANE CREATES MASSIVE POWER OUTAGE - As the eye of Hurricane Fiona barreled west into the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico was left early Monday with a knocked-out energy grid, widespread flooding and continued heavy rains, with conditions remaining too dangerous for officials to assess the scope of the crisis (New York Times). But it was immediately clear that the island would have a difficult recovery process, with as much as 30 inches of rain in some places. Even as the storm moved west, heavy rain from its outer bands were expected in Puerto Rico through Monday afternoon. The rain will be heavy enough to produce what the National Weather Service called “life-threatening and catastrophic flooding” along with mudslides and landslides across Puerto Rico on Monday. All of the nearly 1.5 million customers tracked by poweroutage.us, which tracks power interruptions, were without power on Sunday.

 

NFL: JAGS GASH HAPLESS COLTS 24-0 - The Colts waited eight months for a return trip to Jacksonville, a chance to prove last year's season finale was a fluke and a chance to end a head-scratching and embarrassing skid in the AFC South series (AP). They openly welcomed the opportunity to bury the memories of last year's debacle against the Jaguars and move on from last week's disappointment against Houston. How did they handle it? Well, they were essentially no-shows. Indianapolis was shut out for the third time in the past six seasons — all in Jacksonville — with the latest one a 24-0 drubbing that has to, at the very least, create speculation about coach Frank Reich's future with the franchise. "It's a long season," Reich said. "We'll take our medicine for the pathetic performance today, coaches and players. We'll see how things stack up."

 

NFL: COWBOYS TOP BENGALS 20-17 -  Cooper Rush had no choice but to smile as he embraced offensive coordinator Kellen Moore after the winning kick for the Dallas Cowboys (ESPN). Dak Prescott's backup now has a 2-0 career record filling in, with winning drives on his final possession both times. That was enough to let the emotion flow for the normally stoic Rush, at least for a few moments. "It's actually exciting to see him be excited after he won a game," coach Mike McCarthy after a 20-17 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday. "To get a charge out of it because he is so, so consistent."

 

NFL: PACKERS DOWN BEARS 27-10 -  Aaron Jones made sure the Green Bay Packers' promise to get him the ball more often paid off (ESPN). Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and caught a scoring pass from Aaron Rodgers, who continued his domination of the Chicago Bears by leading Green Bay to a 27-10 victory on Sunday night. Jones had five carries for 49 yards and three catches for 27 yards in a season-opening 23-7 loss at Minnesota, and the Packers (1-1) vowed he'd have a bigger role.

 

Sunday Talk

 

UKRAINE AMBASSADOR SEES NO LOGIC TO WAR: Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova said on Sunday that “there is no war logic” when it comes to reported atrocities blamed on Russia in its invasion of the country as talks of alleged war crimes committed by the Kremlin grow.  During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” co-anchor Jonathan Karl asked Markarova about a new report that was released this week detailing that Russian armed forces committed war crimes in the city of Izyum, including the discovery of mass graves. In response, Markarova told Karl that the alleged reports of war crimes from the Russian armed forces has been an issue since the beginning of the conflict.  “Unfortunately, what we see in Izyum, what we saw in Bucha before, and we can only imagine the situation in Mariupol and other places, which are still under occupation,” Markarova said. “But it’s tortures, rapes, killings.

 

GRAHAM CONFIDENT IN ABORTION BILL SUPPORT: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday expressed confidence that the public would support his 15-week federal abortion ban proposal but acknowledged it does not have the votes to pass the Senate. “I’m pro-life, even in an election year,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream. “I am confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham said. “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”

 

COLORADO GOP SENATE NOMINEE PRO-CHOICE: Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea said on Sunday he won’t back down from his belief that abortions should be legal during the first five months of pregnancy. “I’m not going to change,” O’Dea said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m an independent thinker. I am who I am, and you get what you get, and that’s how I’ll vote,” he told moderator Chuck Todd. O’Dea is challenging incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in what is expected to be a close race. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as “lean Democrat.”

 

SEN. ROUNDS WON'T SUPPORT GRAHAM ABORTION BILL: Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said on Sunday that he does not plan to vote for a national abortion ban bill proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), joining others in the GOP who stand by the notion that such a decision should be left up to states. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Jake Tapper asked Rounds for his thoughts on Graham’s proposed legislation, which would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. “No, I think right now, we should allow the states to explore the different possibilities about the appropriate way,” Rounds told Tapper, noting laws that his own state has passed on the matter. “I don’t think any proposal today would be successful in the House and the Senate,” Rounds said. “I think a better approach probably will be to allow the states to work through this and to find the appropriate language on a state-by-state basis and to find that common ground.”

 

DURBIN FRETS MARRIAGE BILL WON'T PASS IF GOP IN MAJORITY: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday expressed worry that a bill codifying same-sex marriage protections would not pass if the GOP flips the Senate in November. “I am worried about that,” Durbin told moderator Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked about the bill’s prognosis under Republican control. The House in July passed a bill that would require states to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and other Democrats have since attempted to find 10 Republican votes needed for the bill to overcome a legislative filibuster in the Senate. Baldwin announced last week that negotiators would punt the bill until after the November midterms, when Republicans hope to break Democrats’s razor-thin majority and flip the chamber. The winners of those contests will take office in January.

 

CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR SOLUTIONS, NOT STUNTS: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said on Sunday that lawmakers need to find “solutions” to the ongoing migrant crises instead of turning the situation into “theater.” “Look, you know, first of all, we need solutions and not theater. By sending off— folks off to New York and Chicago, it does bring attention, but I— we want to focus more on solutions on the border,” Cuellar told CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, noting that the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security need better tools to enforce the law at the southern border.

 

MAYOR ADAMS SEES 'EROSION IN HUMAN RIGHTS': New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said on Sunday that GOP governors who are busing migrants to Democratic-led cities including his own were using the action to cover up “the erosion of basic human rights.” During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Jake Tapper asked Adams if he wanted to share a message with GOP governors such as Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, both of whom directed busing migrants to various cities in the U.S., including at least one busload of people who were dropped off at the vice president’s home. “Well, I think it’s a message for the entire country,” Adams told Tapper. “You see, this is their way of covering up what many people have been really concerned about the erosion of basic human rights. We’re seeing crisis calls for coordination.”

 

JOHNSON SAID BIDEN UNFAIRLY PERCEIVED ON IMMIGRATION: Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Sunday that the Biden administration has been “unfairly” perceived as “lax” when it comes to the ongoing migrant border crisis. “This administration, I believe, unfairly, is perceived as lax on border enforcement. In fact, we are sending back over 100,000 people a month and have been for the last two years, over 2 million people,” Johnson told CBS’s “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan.