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On the roster: Pelosi: Biden didn’t know ‘the world we’re in now’ - Huge hauls for Bernie, Harris - Trump backs off health care, wait until after election - North Carolina GOP rocked by corruption charges - Tough call: Mosquito bites or listening to EDM
PELOSI: BIDEN DIDN’T KNOW ‘THE WORLD WE’RE IN NOW’
Politico: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she does not think the allegations against Joe Biden of unwelcome contact are disqualifying for a 2020 run, but that the former vice president should be more aware of others’ personal space. ‘I don’t think it’s disqualifying,’ Pelosi said… ‘He has to understand in the world that we’re in now that people’s space is important to them, and what’s important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it.’ … Pelosi pushed back against the tone of former vice president’s apologies. ‘It is how it’s received, so to say, ‘I’m sorry that you were offended’ is not an apology,’ the California Democrat said. ‘‘I’m sorry I invaded your space,’ but not, ‘I’m sorry you were offended.’ What’s that? That’s not accepting the fact that people think differently about communication.’”
But old school is his brand - NPR: “On the most obvious level, complaints of this kind renew the criticism of Biden's past performance on issues affecting women and people of color, the two constituencies likely to matter most in choosing the next Democratic nominee. But on a deeper level, these stories reinforce a perception of the 76-year-old Biden as an only partially reconstructed man of the last century – an embodiment of the attitudes of an earlier era. His basic vulnerability is being cast as a candidate of the past in a party selling itself as the party of the future. … Such contrition may help Biden mend some fences. But adjusting his aura of attachment to the past is a trickier proposition. Because perceptions of Biden as ‘old school’ or ‘old fashioned’ are not just liabilities to be shed. They are also the basis of his appeal to many older, white, working-class Democrats and independents.”
Team Biden blaming Bernie - Axios: “Joe Biden advisers believe coverage of allegations of inappropriate behavior is being stoked by rival Democrats — a dynamic that could actually fire up the vice president at a time when others see success as increasingly improbable. Why it matters: Several around Biden think advisers to Bernie Sanders are at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign. One prominent backer thinks Biden will run, and ‘is ready to kill Bernie.’ [Axios’ Mike Allen] got this text last night from a source close to Biden: ‘VP directed staff this evening to reach out to supporters and donors with a simple message — full steam ahead.’ Why you'll hear about this again: A second woman went on the record Monday to say that a past display of affection by Biden had made her feel uncomfortable. … Biden spokesman Bill Russo blasted ‘right wing trolls’ from ‘the dark recesses of the internet’ for circulating misleading photos of Biden embraces.”
THE RULEBOOK: PEOPLE’S HOUSE
“The House of Representatives will derive its powers from the people of America; and the people will be represented in the same proportion, and on the same principle, as they are in the legislature of a particular State.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 39
TIME OUT: ‘LET'S ROCK, LET'S ROLL’
AP: “Rockabilly Hall of Famer Billy Adams, who wrote and recorded the rockabilly staple ‘Rock, Pretty Mama,’ has died. He was 79. Adams died Saturday in Westmoreland, Tennessee. His funeral was held Monday in Spring Hill, Tennessee, said Clif Doyal, Adams' publicist and manager. Born in Redbush, Kentucky, Adams was one of 14 children and the son of a coal miner who worked in the Van Lear coal mine, the same place that Loretta Lynn sings about in ‘Coal Miner's Daughter.’ Adams told Public Radio International for a series they did on rockabilly music, that with no money for instruments, he strummed a lard bucket like a guitar and listened to Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry radio program. Among other songs he recorded in the late ‘50s include ‘You Heard Me Knocking,’ ‘True Love Will Come Your Way,’ and ‘You Gotta Have a Duck Tail.’”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 42.6 percent
Average disapproval: 52.8 percent
Net Score: -10.2 points
Change from one week ago: down 2.2 points
[Average includes: NBC/WSJ: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; Pew Research Center: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 50% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 39% approve - 55% disapprove; Fox News: 46% approve - 51% disapprove.]
HUGE HAULS FOR BERNIE, HARRIS
CBS News: “The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are revealing how deep and broad their support is, just after the March 31 fundraising deadline that marked the end of the first quarter of 2019. … Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign raised $18.2 million in campaign donations in the first quarter… The campaign has raised $32 million in total, including the $14 million that the campaign started with. This solidifies Sanders' position as a frontrunner in the race. … California Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign has raised $12 million from more than 218,000 individual contributions in the first quarter of 2019. With the average contribution totaling $28, the Harris campaign said that over 99 percent of her donors can contribute again. … While he's still in the exploratory phase of his 2020 campaign, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on Monday that initial reports showed his campaign raised over $7 million since launching his exploratory committee in January.”
Who’s hustling? - AP: “It’s far from clear that the candidate who holds the most events, whether leaping onto tables or addressing big rallies, will emerge as the candidate with the most votes. Still, Democrats watching the display from a distance say the engagement, the activity and the enthusiasm bode well. … [F]ormer Texas congressman [Beto O’Rourke] has logged 55 first-quarter events in nine states where he publicly took voter questions, according to his campaign. [Kirsten] Gillibrand held 59 public events in eight states since launching an exploratory committee in January, according to the New York senator’s campaign. Buttigieg has held 35 events in 11 states since the South Bend, Indiana, mayor started an exploratory committee that same month. California Sen. Kamala Harris has emerged as a top-tier contender despite fewer public events than some opponents, clocking in with 26 public first-quarter events in eight states since launching her campaign in January, according to an AP estimate.”
Bernie still hasn’t released his tax returns - Business Insider: “It's been over a month since Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged to release his tax returns and there's no updated timeline on when they'll see the light of day. Sanders has offered vague answers on when he'll release the returns, even as he pressures President Donald Trump to do the same. In an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS's ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday, the Vermont senator was asked if he will be releasing his tax returns. Brennan noted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — who like Sanders is running for president in 2020 — released her 2018 tax returns earlier in the week. ‘Yeah, we will. I mean, we have it all done and it's just a question of dotting the i's and crossing the t's. Yes, we will, absolutely,’ Sanders said. ‘And by the way, let me challenge President Trump to do the same,’ he added.”
Bloomberg hedging on decision not to run - Axios: “Michael Bloomberg might still run for president in 2020, especially if former Vice President Joe Biden winds up not getting in, according to people who have discussed the matter with the former New York mayor. Between the lines: These people tell [Axios] that Bloomberg, 77, who announced March 5 that he wouldn't run, might reconsider if a centrist lane were to open up. The most likely scenario for that would be if Biden, 76, whose displays of public affection have burst into a major issue, were to stay out or fade fast. Why it matters: Bloomberg would be a voice of more moderate practicality in a field where the early campaigning has been dominated by leftish idealism. Bloomberg, estimated by Forbes to be worth $58 billion, could spend unlimited amounts to argue that no one in the race had done more to promote action on climate and guns.”
TRUMP BACKS OFF HEALTH CARE, WAIT UNTIL AFTER ELECTION
Axios: “President Trump said in a series of tweets Monday night Republicans were developing a ‘really great’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act, but it would not happen until after the 2020 elections. …Trump did not give any details of the Republican plan, but he tweeted it would be ‘truly great HealthCare that will work for America.’ ‘Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions,’ he said. The big picture: Trump's Twitter declaration comes after the Justice Department said last week the courts should strike down the entire Affordable Care Act — not just its protections for pre-existing conditions. It announced the move in a legal filing, part of a lawsuit challenging the law's individual insurance mandate.”
House Dems hold show votes on ObamaCare - ABC News: “In an effort by Democrats to keep health care in the headlines, a non-binding resolution condemning the Trump administration's support of a federal lawsuit that could overturn the Affordable Care Act will go to a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Additionally, House and Senate Democrats will rally on Tuesday morning in front of the Supreme Court to promote resolutions calling for the Department of Justice to reverse its position in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. ‘Americans are facing higher health care costs than ever, but this administration's lawsuit would drive up prices and put coverage out of reach for thousands of Texas families,’ Rep. Colin Allred, a co-author of the resolution, said.”
NORTH CAROLINA GOP ROCKED BY CORRUPTION CHARGES
WRAL: “North Carolina's largest political donor and three others, including the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, have been arrested on bribery charges. Greg Lindberg, two of his business associates and N.C. GOP Chairman Robin Hayes were all indicted last month, but the indictments were unsealed Tuesday. They turned themselves in to the FBI in Charlotte Tuesday as well and had first appearances before a U.S. magistrate. They're all accused of trying to bribe state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who recorded conversations and worked with the FBI to expose an alleged scheme that would have traded more than $1 million in political contributions in exchange for regulatory help at the department. Hayes, a former congressman and GOP candidate for governor, is also charged with three counts of making false statements to the FBI.”
HARDLINERS CONSIDERED FOR ‘IMMIGRATION CZAR’
AP: “As he threatens to shut down the southern border, President Donald Trump is considering bringing on a ‘border’ or ‘immigration czar’ to coordinate immigration policy across various federal agencies, according to four people familiar with the discussions. Trump is weighing at least two potential candidates for the post: former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the conversations publicly. Kobach and Cuccinelli are far-right conservatives with strong views on immigration. Cuccinelli was seen at the White House on Monday.”
Homeland Security grapples with crisis - NBC News: “Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Monday that she will be increasing the number of Central American asylum seekers who are made to wait in Mexico until they can see a U.S. immigration judge. Nielsen also said she will be temporarily reassigning 750 Customs and Border Protection agents to ‘address the influx of migrants’ in certain areas, as NBC News reported last week. Daily border crossings have surpassed a 13-year high as the number of undocumented Central American migrants, mainly families with children seeking asylum, has increased in recent months. Last week, Nielsen sent a letter to Congress urging members to fund more detention beds for migrants and to give DHS new authority to deport unaccompanied children more quickly.”
DEMS INTRO AMENDMENT FOR POPULAR VOTE
NBC News: “Leading Democratic senators are expected to introduce a constitutional amendment Tuesday to abolish the Electoral College, adding momentum to a long-shot idea that has been gaining steam among 2020 presidential candidates. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii plans to introduce the measure along with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2-ranking Democrat in the Senate, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to Schatz's spokesperson. Also signed on to the legislation is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of a growing number of presidential candidates who have called for electing presidents by popular vote, even though changing the Constitution is seen as virtually impossible today. A constitutional amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds supermajority in both the House (about 290 votes) and Senate (67 votes) and requires ratification by 38 states.”
Ohioans to vote on whether to circumvent the Constitution - Columbus Dispatch: “Ohioans could vote this fall on a measure to award the presidency to the candidate who wins the national popular vote — regardless of which candidate wins the Buckeye State. The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved, would bypass the Electoral College by apparently authorizing Ohio’s membership in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. But several more states still must approve the measure for it to potentially impact the 2020 presidential race between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and a Democratic challenger. Since 2006, the District of Columbia and 13 states with 184 electoral votes have enacted a popular-vote measure into law. States representing 86 more electoral votes are needed to reach the majority of 270 Electoral College votes to guarantee the most-popular candidate becomes president. Ohio has 18 winner-take-all electoral votes.”
Chicago poised to elect first African-American female mayor - NPR
Pittsburgh area statehouse race could offer clues on Pennsylvania vote - NBC News
Dems playing politics with disaster relief funds for Midwest, Republicans say - Fox News
Congress worries about battle with Trump over government spending, debt limit - Politico
Pergram: ‘Impeachment on the table for some Democrats, but not all Democrats’ - Fox News
AUDIBLE: THE DAVIDS HAVE THEIR WAYS
“It’s not going to happen because smaller states really like the Electoral College.” – Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaking at the Mitch McConnell Center at the University of Louisville downplaying Democratic hopes for eliminating the Electoral College.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris, As a proud WestbyGodian I welcome your input every day. Your higher level of objective thinking needs to spread faster than liberals' emotion driven drivel. Thank you for representing the Mountain State so proudly. I may be seeing this wrong because I am a conservative, but it appears to some extent that the government is like an elementary school . . . the Judiciary is the board of Education, the President is the Principal, the Senators are the adult teachers and Congress is full of immature little shouting brat kindergarten children of the #meonly movement. P.S. FYI Tracers are indeed live rounds. The only differences are that you see them coming and they burn as they punch a hole through you.” – Barry Level, Greenbrier Valley, W. Va.
[Ed. note: Quite right, Mr. Level. I shouldn’t have juxtaposed tracers with “live rounds” but rather “regular loads.” As for your school analogy, I kind of like it! Hope you’re enjoying springtime in an extraordinary place in the world. You’re a lucky man.]
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TOUGH CALL: MOSQUITO BITES OR LISTENING TO EDM
BBC: “According to a recent scientific study, the way to avoid mosquito bites is to listen to electronic music - specifically dubstep, specifically by US artist Skrillex. Sound is ‘crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals,’ says a team of international scientists specialising in mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. They subjected adults of the species Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito, to electronic music to see whether it could work as a repellent. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, a track by Skrillex which features on his Grammy-award winning album of the same name, was chosen because of its mix of very high and very low frequencies. … And the results, which were published in the journal Acta Tropica, were good news for us and for Skrillex”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Such an achievement, such a life, deserves a monument alongside the other miracles of our history — Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR — which is precisely where stands the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for the National Review on Aug. 26, 2011.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.