Cup of Joe – March 7, 2023

“President Joe Biden is coming to Philadelphia Thursday to unveil his latest budget proposal and plans to protect Medicare, according to the White House,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“The budget proposal would cut the federal deficit by more than $2 trillion over 10 years and extend the life of Medicare, the health plan for Americans over age 65, by at least two decades, without cutting benefits, the White House told The Inquirer, though it did not provide details of how Biden would accomplish that difficult combination.”

Politico on the Debt Ceiling Standoff: “Many Democrats argue there are two significant but nuanced differences between the current debate and past debt-limit deals: first, that the party demanding concessions hasn’t made an offer; second, the growing concern that, this time, Republicans would let the nation default on its debt if they can’t extract their tradeoffs.”

“President Joe Biden is set to pay tribute to the heroes of ‘Bloody Sunday,’ joining thousands for the annual commemoration of the seminal moment in the civil rights movement that led to passage of landmark voting rights legislation nearly 60 years ago,” the AP reports.

“The visit to Selma, Alabama, on Sunday also is an opportunity for Biden to speak directly to the current generation of civil rights activists. Many feel dejected because Biden has been unable to make good on a campaign pledge to bolster voting rights and are eager to see his administration keep the issue in the spotlight.”

Associated Press: “At least 14 states have introduced proposals this year focused on restoration of voting rights, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. An Oregon proposal would allow felons to vote while incarcerated. A Tennessee bill would automatically restore voting rights once a sentence is completed, except for a small group of crimes. Texas legislation would restore voting rights to those on probation or parole.”

“Pete Buttigieg admits he got it wrong on the Ohio train derailment response. But while the criticism is fair, he says, the critics are mostly not,” CNN reports.

Said Buttigieg: “It’s really rich to see some of these folks – the former president, these Fox hosts – who are literally lifelong card-carrying members of the East Coast elite, whose top economic policy priority has always been tax cuts for the wealthy, and who wouldn’t know their way around a T.J. Maxx if their life depended on it, to be presenting themselves as if they genuinely care about the forgotten middle of the country.”

He added: “You think Tucker Carlson knows the difference between a T.J. Maxx and a Kohl’s?”

The Economist: “A demographic tragedy is unfolding in Russia. Over the past three years the country has lost around 2m more people than it would ordinarily have done, as a result of war, disease and exodus.”

“The life expectancy of Russian males aged 15 fell by almost five years, to the same level as in Haiti. The number of Russians born in April 2022 was no higher than it had been in the months of Hitler’s occupation. And because so many men of fighting age are dead or in exile, women outnumber men by at least 10m.”

Michael Beschloss: “’I am your retribution’ was said today on anniversary of Lincoln’s second inaugural in which he said he had ‘malice toward none.’”

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R): “If you want to heal our land and unite our country together, you don’t do it by appealing to the angry mob. And that’s true whether you’re talking about an angry mob from the left or the right.”

David Roberts: “‘I am your retribution’ is the core promise of every aspiring fascist strongman.”

“Florida legislators have proposed a spate of new laws that would reshape K-12 and higher education in the state, from requiring teachers to use pronouns matching children’s sex as assigned at birth to establishing a universal school choice voucher program,” the Washington Post reports.

“The half-dozen bills, filed by a cast of GOP state representatives and senators, come shortly before the launch of Florida’s legislative session Tuesday. Other proposals in the mix include eliminating college majors in gender studies, nixing diversity efforts at universities and job protections for tenured faculty, strengthening parents’ ability to veto K-12 class materials and extending a ban on teaching about gender and sexuality — from third grade up to eighth grade.”

 “A little more than a week after television networks called the 2020 presidential election for Joseph R. Biden Jr., top executives and anchors at Fox News held an after-action meeting to figure out how they had messed up,” the New York Times reports.

“Not because they had gotten the key call wrong — but because they had gotten it right. And they had gotten it right before anyone else.”

“Typically, it is a point of pride for a news network to be the first to project election winners. But Fox is no typical news network, and in the days following the 2020 vote, it was besieged with angry protests not only from President Donald J. Trump’s camp but from its own viewers because it had called the battleground state of Arizona for Mr. Biden. Never mind that the call was correct; Fox executives worried that they would lose viewers to hard-right competitors like Newsmax.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) declined to criticize President Joe Biden’s decision to allow Congress to potentially nix reforms to the criminal code of Washington, DC, even as many in the party are breaking with the White House, CNN reports.

However, The Hill reports former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) didn’t hold back, saying Biden should have “told us first.”

New York Times: “Two of the measures under consideration would create a new state oversight board that could punish or remove prosecutors for loosely defined reasons, including ‘willful misconduct.’ A third would sharply reduce the number of signatures required to seek a recall of a district attorney.”

“The proposals are part of a broader push by conservative lawmakers around the country to rein in prosecutors whom they consider too liberal, and who in some cases are refusing to prosecute low-level drug crimes or enforce strict new anti-abortion laws.”

First lady Jill Biden pushed back on concerns about President Joe Biden’s age and dismissed a proposal by Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley for politicians over age 75 to take a mental competency test, calling the idea “ridiculous,” CNN reports.

Said Mrs. Biden: “We would never even discuss something like that.”

“Xi Jinping is on the political march again. After a turbulent year that ended in faltering growth, widespread protests, and a surge of deaths after China abruptly abandoned Covid controls, China’s top leader is poised to secure even more power at the annual gathering of the national legislature that opened on Sunday,” the New York Times reports.

“At the start of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese government laid out a post-Covid agenda centered on reviving the economy with a 5 percent growth target, raising spending on military, education and social needs, and augmenting Mr. Xi’s already formidable influence.”

“The nearly 3,000 carefully selected delegates to the legislature, who are meeting for nine days in Beijing, are set to appoint a new cohort of government leaders crowded with Mr. Xi’s loyalists by the end of the congress. They are also expected to approve a bureaucratic reorganization that will further concentrate policymaking under Mr. Xi and the party.”

Wall Street Journal: China sets conservative growth target as challenges loom.

Donald Trump proposed building “freedom cities” on federal land in a video highlighting some of his plans if elected to a second term in the White House, Axios reports.

Said Trump: “These freedom cities will reopen the frontier, reignite American imagination, and give hundreds of thousands of young people and other people, all hardworking families, a new shot at homeownership and, in fact, the American Dream.”

“Former White House doctor Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) has no well-wishes for President Joe Biden, who just had a cancerous lesion removed. Rather, Jackson said Biden is the cancer himself,” the Daily Beast reports.  Said Jackson: “Biden is the cancer. He’s what needs to be removed, not the lesion they found.”

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

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