What Now ?! – 4/21/19

The Atlantic: “Joe Biden is running. The former vice president will make his candidacy official with a video announcement next Wednesday.”

“Seriously, he’s actually made a decision. It’s taken two years of back and forth, it’ll be his third (or depending on how you count, seventh) try for the White House, many people thought he wouldn’t actually do it, but the biggest factor reshaping the 2020 Democratic primary field is actually locking into place.”

First Read: “The Atlantic reports that the campaign is weighing a more lighthearted announcement on the Rocky steps in Philadelphia OR one in Charlottesville to take on Trump on race and division. Those are two radically different opening messages. One’s upbeat and hopeful, and one is solemn and weighty.”

“That sure seems like a huge decision to be indecisive about less than a week before go time.”

Philip Bump: “Shortly before the election, we looked at two conflicting metrics that suggested very different results in the House contests.”

“According to Gallup data on past midterm elections, the strength of the economy suggested the Republicans would lose only a few seats in the House, fewer than 10 — at least, if past behavior was a guide. At the same time, though, Trump’s unpopularity meant it was more likely that the Republicans would lose far more seats, perhaps as many as 40.”

“Both of those things couldn’t be true. The Republicans couldn’t both fare decently because of the healthy economy and terribly because of the unpopular president.”

“They lost 41 seats. The ‘unpopular president’ theory was a better predictor of the results than the ‘good economy’ one.”

“German WhatsApp users are spreading far-right propaganda through the use of stickers and chain letters but the company is doing little to nothing to stop it, despite local laws forbidding the use of Nazi imagery,” BuzzFeed News reports.

North Korea tested a new type of tactical guided weapon, CNBC reports. “The test of ‘a powerful warhead’ was overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and marks the first public weapons test from the rogue regime since President Trump’s historic meeting with Kim in Singapore last year.”

Washington Post: “It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was fired, but the move would mark the first weapons test since President Trump’s summit with Kim in Hanoi in February and a sign of public defiance by Kim following a stalemate in the high-stakes denuclearization talks.”

“President Trump’s attorneys and the White House are moving to resist a growing number of congressional requests for information, increasing the likelihood of a protracted legal fight that could test the power of congressional subpoenas,” the Washington Post reports.

“The building battle will shape how much material House Democrats will be able to obtain about Trump’s policies and personal finances through multiple investigations launched by various congressional committees.”

“White House officials are already digging in their heels on a slew of requests related to Trump’s actions as president.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to hire Fox News commentator Monica Crowley as his top spokeswoman, Bloomberg reports, “as he seeks to tout the GOP’s tax cuts and navigate Democrats’ demands for the president’s tax returns.”

“Most Republicans are rejecting Democrat-led state bills to tighten childhood immunization laws in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in two decades, alarming public health experts who fear the nation could become as divided over vaccines as it is over global warming,” Politicoreports.

“Democrats in six states — Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, New York and Maine — have authored or co-sponsored bills to make it harder for parents to avoid vaccinating their school-age children, and mostly faced GOP opposition. Meanwhile in West Virginia and Mississippi, states with some of the nation’s strictest vaccination laws, Republican lawmakers have introduced measures to expand vaccine exemptions, although it’s not yet clear how much traction they have.”

The Guardian: “Several videos taken at the border in New Mexico this week appeared to show men belonging to a group that calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots approaching migrant families and children, ordering them to sit down, calling federal agents on them, and at one point potentially misrepresenting themselves by saying ‘border patrol’ as they approached.”

“The group has repeatedly appeared in local news stories in recent weeks, expressing support for Trump’s proposed border wall and presenting themselves as ‘volunteers’ aiding border patrol efforts.”

Washington Post: “There’s little doubt that Mussolini was nominated because of — not despite — his relationship to Il Duce… Mussolini repeatedly hinted he views his great grandfather as an inspiration.”

“Like some other descendants of the former Italian dictator, Caio maintained an ambivalent relationship with family history. In a recent interview with Il Corriere della Sera, he claimed that he is ‘not a fascist,’ but on April 16 he was scheduled to hold a lecture about fascist doctrine at a Fratelli D’Italia event in Padua.”

For the first time since creating the index in 2002, Reporters Without Borders ranked the United States alongside countries whose treatment of journalists is considered “problematic,” the Washington Post reports.

A new CBO report finds that more than 1 million Americans have lost health coverage since 2016.

Vox: “The report — which came out within hours of the Mueller report on Thursday and so didn’t get much attention — follows other studies, all suggesting that America’s uninsured rate is rising under President Trump, whose administration has passed new rules that make it more difficult to enroll in coverage.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who is contemplating jumping in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential race, has been given a clean bill of health after undergoing surgery to remove cancer, NBC News reports.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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