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President Joe Biden left the NATO summit in Europe touting a major success, the pending accession of Sweden and Finland to the defensive alliance, but returns home with a host of domestic troubles dogging his administration.

Biden delivered a triumphant speech in Madrid on Thursday morning, saying the United States and its allies will support Ukraine "as long as it takes" to fend off Russian aggression, with NATO's new additions another indicator of broad Western commitment.


"We’re more united than ever," the president said at the conclusion of his remarks. "And with the addition of Finland and Sweden, we’ll be stronger than ever. They have serious militaries, both of them. We’re going to increase the NATO border by 800 miles along the Finnish-Russian border. Sweden is all in. The point is we’re meeting the goals I set out at the first G-7 meeting. We’re moving to a place that reflects the realities of the second quarter of the 21st century, and we’re on the verge of making significant progress.”

But the first question from the press, delivered by Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville, was a reminder of the domestic snags Biden would greet upon returning home.

"You’ve come to this summit here and the one in Germany after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned constitutional protections for abortion, after the shootings in Buffalo and Texas, at a time of record inflation, and new polling this week shows that 85% of the U.S. public thinks the country is going in the wrong direction," she said. "How do you explain this to those people who feel the country is going in the wrong direction, including some of the leaders you’ve been meeting with this week who think that, when you put all of this together, it amounts to an America that is going backward?"

Biden defended himself, saying that no world leaders think America is going backward and that the country is better positioned to lead the world than ever. Still, the domestic questions linger. Polling shows that Biden's popularity keeps trending downward, with just 38% approving per the latest RealClearPolitics average.

There have been wins in recent weeks. The president signed a modest gun control bill into law and negotiated the entry of two new NATO members. In addition, there is hope among Democrats that the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade will galvanize their voters in the midterm elections.

Even so, Biden will struggle to make any significant gains before November, argues Republican strategist Ron Nehring.

“Biden, who has been running for president for 30 years, should have been smart enough to recognize that the results of the 2020 election did not mean the country took a big shift to the left politically," said Nehring, national spokesman for the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). "It hasn't."

Democrats may be leaning into cultural issues because economic indicators such as inflation are trending negatively, Nehring added, leaving them little choice. He suggests putting election strategy in the hands of experts such as James Carville, who helmed Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and has blamed Democrats' woes on "stupid wokeness."

Superville's press conference question didn't even mention immigration, a topic causing persistent headaches for the White House that 73% of respondents in a Rasmussen Reports survey called a critical election issue.

Democratic leaders are making a different calculation. Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris came out with sharply worded denunciations of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, and party strategists such as Celinda Lake are predicting it can be a winning issue for the party this fall.

"Impressed by the strong statements [Biden] and [Harris] made," tweeted Lake, one of two lead pollsters for the Biden's successful 2020 presidential campaign. "Biden's proactive stance is reassuring. Make no mistake, Roe will be on the ballot."

To back up their point, party activists can point to polls such as a Monmouth University survey that found 60% of adults disapprove of Dobbs, compared to 37% who approve. Further, fully 84% of Democrats strongly disapprove, indicating the issue may drive them to vote in this year's nonpresidential election.


Biden continued his proactive stance in Madrid, calling himself "the only president they've got" and casting Dobbs as a midterm voting issue, as he had since the Supreme Court decision was announced. How voters respond in the fall remains to be seen.

"The bottom line here is, if you care, if the polling data is correct and you think this decision by the court was an outrage or a significant mistake, vote," he said in Madrid. "Show up and vote. Vote in the off year and vote, vote, vote. That's how we'll change it."

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Seven amazing deals at Costco this week from name-brand personal deep tissue massager to flashy mini Lamborghini

COSTCO unveiled some amazing deals this December from cocktail makers to hairdryers and even a mini Lamborghini just in time for Christmas.

Renee Leblanc, @reneemleblanc on TikTok, took her camera to the member's only shopping experience to unveil these ten must-have items at Costco in a recent video.

2One TikToker recorded the week's best deals in the member's only warehouseCredit: TikTok/reneemleblanc 2This deep tissue massager is a great price and a perfect step into self-careCredit: TikTok/reneemleblanc

While a bar tab can run the gamut, just $200 can get you endless cocktails at home this holiday season.

A sleek cocktail maker from Bartesian comes with all the fixings for rounds of drinks both you and your loved ones can enjoy.

It's great for parties in the holidays and beyond.


The T3 Featherweight Styleplus dryer "customizes 5 heat and 3-speed settings based on your unique hair texture and styling selections," according to their site.

READ MORE MONEYSWEET TOOTH Must buy name brand desserts, including Cheesecake Factory - nearly $31 lessCHEERS TO THAT I'm a Costco fan, the item you need to buy when moving into a new apartment

It's a healthier way to heat-style hair that reportedly delivers beautiful results, and it can run up to $250 on the T3 site before sale pricing.

For lucky Costco members, it's just $79.99.


Sharper Image is a name known for decades, associated with tech innovation and the betterment of the home experience.

The brand's Power Percussion Deep Tissue Massager, complete with multiple, deeply-pulsing settings and different attachments to ensure a stellar massage at home, goes for just under $100 at retailers like Best Buy and Walmart.

Most read in MoneyCASH IN $1,755 payment boost to help with Xmas costs, do you live in a state giving bonus?HELPING HAND Americans can claim up to $20,000 in relief payments - see exact date to claim7TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS 7 Christmas direct payments from $250 to $1,500 coming this monthHELPING HAND Exact date Americans will receive up to $800 winter relief check in the mail

Costco offers this very massager for just $79.99, making it the ultimate self-love steal.


Meanwhile, the loungewear set from LAZYPANTS is a must-have item that costs upwards of $100 bought directly from their store or through a department store like Bloomingdales.

While Costco hosts many departments, it is no department store at all and offers this designer clothing set for just $22.99.


A 70-piece Magformer's Magnetic Building set is the perfect gift for kids - or really just your inner child.

The magnet-powered connectable pieces can help bring your imagination to life for just $49.99.


For Costco shoppers that love their coffee fix, they can enjoy $8 off Starbucks' ultra-tempting Torrefaction Espresso Roast.

All you need is a Keurig-style coffee machine, as it comes in the form of $60 pods for $41.99, previously $49.99.


If you're tired of food that spoils far too fast, Costco offers a $140 solution that could pay for itself many times over.

The FoodSaver saves everything from produce to proteins and entrees with its multi-use, vacuum-sealing system, and it's allegedly a breeze to use.

There were also two incredible deals that make great holiday gifts for kids.

A ride-on mini Lamborghini powered by a 12V battery was going for the low, low price of $249.99.

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If the luxury motor lifestyle isn't enough, KidCraft has the Ultimate Slumber Party Mansion Dollhouse with multiple floors and unlimited fun in-store available at Costco.

These dolls are in for the night of their life in the home of their dreams, and just $200 opens the unlimited play potential.

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$1,755 payment boost to help with Xmas costs, do you live in a state giving bonus?


Americans can claim up to $20,000 in relief payments - see exact date to claim


7 Christmas direct payments from $250 to $1,500 coming this month


Exact date Americans will receive up to $800 winter relief check in the mail

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