Associated Press: “Those close to the former vice president believe he would start off at a fundraising disadvantage compared to would-be rivals, whose campaigns have benefited from an early flood of small-dollar donations from the most liberal wing of the party. Biden, a 76-year-old lifetime politician with strong connections to the party’s establishment, would be forced to rely on an ‘old-school grind-it-out’ plan to generate campaign cash from wealthy individual donors, according to a person with direct knowledge of Biden’s thinking.”
“Questions about money are among the nagging issues Biden is still considering as he weighs launching a campaign. He’s decamped this week to St. Croix, a favorite Biden family vacation spot in the Caribbean, to discuss the remaining roadblocks with his wife, Jill.”
“President Trump on Monday will propose major spending cuts across a range of domestic government programs while seeking a large increase for the Pentagon, a budget plan that’s already encountering withering opposition from Democrats who control the House, as well as some Republicans,” the Washington Post reports.
“The budget has little chance of becoming law because of bipartisan resistance to many of its elements, but it sets forth the White House’s vision ahead of what is expected to be a fierce battle over government spending later this year.”
“Even with deep spending cuts, the president’s plan would not balance the budget until the mid-2030s… falling short of the 10-year time frame that Republicans have sought for years.”
“Russian internet trolls appear to be shifting strategy in their efforts to disrupt the 2020 U.S. elections, promoting politically divisive messages through phony social media accounts instead of creating propaganda themselves,” Bloomberg reports.
“The Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency may be among those trying to circumvent protections put in place by companies including Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to find and remove fake content that hackers created to sow division among the American electorate in the 2016 presidential campaign.”
“Alabama Republican Roy Moore, whose unsuccessful 2017 campaign for the U.S. Senate was marred by allegations he sexually assaulted or pursued teenage girls while in his 30s, said on Friday that he may again run for the Senate,” Reuters reports.
Said Moore: “I’m seriously considering it, I think that the 2017 Senate race was stolen.”
“The U.S. is ‘watching in real time’ developments at a long-range rocket site that North Korea is believed to have rebuilt,” NBC News reports. “The Sohae facility has been used in the past for satellite launches which employ similar technology to what is required to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles. It is now back to “normal operating status,” according to new commercial images and analysis from two teams of researchers.”
Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is set to make a “major announcement” on March 20, USA Today reports. Gillum posted a video which includes clips from his gubernatorial campaign and ends with chants of “Bring it Home,” which became his rallying cry during the 2018 election for governor.
New York Times: “Creating yet another roadblock to the Trump administration’s efforts to deport ineligible migrants, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that immigration authorities can no longer swiftly deport asylum seekers who fail an initial screening, opening the door for thousands of migrants a year to get another shot in the federal courts to win asylum in the United States.”
“The ruling broadens constitutional protections for undocumented immigrants at the border and opens a new legal gateway for some of them to appeal for permission to stay in the country.”
Washington Post: “But investigating Ivanka Trump is so politically sensitive that Democrats are proceeding with caution. It is unclear even which House committee would take the lead; aides for several panels with jurisdiction suggested that other committees may be better suited to probing the president’s eldest daughter.”
President Trump “has said privately he does not want his children testifying on Capitol Hill or providing documents to their investigations.”
“Last May, China approved more than a half-dozen Ivanka trademarks around the time Trump shielded a major Chinese state-owned equipment company from U.S. sanctions. The year before, Ivanka’s clothing line saw the same trademark boon the same day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.”
“Chelsea Manning, an anti-secrecy activist and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst whose release of classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010 sparked worldwide controversy over transparency in the military and whistleblower protections, was taken into custody at a federal court on Friday after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions before a secret grand jury,” ABC News reports.
Good. She is a traitor just like Assange and Trump.
“As he watches the 2020 Democratic candidates fire up campaign crowds, President Donald Trump is itching to upstage them with rallies of his own. Not so fast, say Trump’s political advisers, who are arguing that Trump’s best asset is the White House — and that he should make the most of it,” Politico reports.
“The rambunctious rallies can come later, they say. For now, Trump’s Republican allies and campaign officials believe an early re-election strategy built around his role as chief executive in dignified settings like the Oval Office and the Rose Garden will carry more weight with voters than his signature freewheeling arena speeches.”
“Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is still searching for a first presidential endorsement from colleagues in New York’s delegation, leaving her the only senator running in 2020 without any home-state congressional backing. The New York Democrat, who is still in the exploratory phase of her presidential bid, is working behind the scenes to curry support among her colleagues,” Politico reports.
“Gillibrand is having lunch with House members — some for the first time — and hosting informal drinks with the state delegation next week. She’s made phone calls to them and asked others for help in shoring up endorsements. But, so far, no one has jumped on board.”
Entertainment Weekly: “Running With Beto, a feature documentary following Beto O’Rourke’s frenetic campaign as he criss-crossed the Lone Star State, visiting all 254 counties in two years, will make its world premiere Saturday at the SXSW Film Festival, before airing on HBO on May 28.”
“The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a controversial bill Thursday that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, legislation that could become among the most restrictive in the nation,” the Tennessean reports.
“The 99-member House took up the bill… though some members of the House Republican caucus ahead of the vote remained hesitant about moving forward with the legislation as it is currently written.”
“Most of the GOP caucus ultimately voted for the bill.”