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On the roster: Trump scuttles deal that would avoid Senate rebuke - Warren, Biden poised for another showdown - Schultz outlines presidential prerogatives - Audible: Earmuffs! - Wo ist das Toilettenpapier?
TRUMP SCUTTLES DEAL THAT WOULD AVOID SENATE REBUKE
WaPo: “President Trump said Wednesday he opposes Republican legislation to rein in presidential emergency powers — crippling an attempt at compromise on the eve of a crucial Senate vote. Trump made his views known in a phone call with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as Lee lunched with fellow Republican senators at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it. Lee then relayed the information to his colleagues. The development came a day before the Senate votes on a disapproval resolution that would nullify the national emergency Trump has declared at the U.S.-Mexico border as a way to circumvent Congress and get billions for his wall. Lee’s effort to craft legislation limiting the scope of presidential emergency powers going forward was seen as a way to limit GOP defections on the separate disapproval resolution vote.”
Undercuts Pence (again) - NYT: “But that near certainty appeared to shift on Tuesday as Vice President Mike Pence pressed Senate Republicans at a closed-door meeting before their weekly policy lunch. A measure sponsored by Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and supported by more than a dozen Republican senators, would curtail the president’s powers under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, requiring a congressional vote of approval for any new emergency declaration after 30 days.”
Buuuutttt… Pelosi had nixed it already - Fox News: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday that she would not allow the House to take up legislation that would potentially spare President Trump from an embarrassing rebuff from Congress over his decision to declare a national emergency on the border. ‘In an effort to avoid voting in favor of the House's resolution to terminate Trump’s #FakeEmergency, GOP senators are proposing legislation to allow Trump to violate the Constitution *just this once.* The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass,’ Pelosi tweeted.”
Senate GOP feeling froggy about challenging Trump on foreign policy - Bloomberg: “With Democrats controlling the House and GOP senators joining with Democrats to rebuke Trump, the odds are higher that Congress in coming months could send the president legislation that contradicts his will and forces a veto. ‘Congress is definitely stepping up and expressing its views,’ said Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and Trump ally. … GOP willingness to buck the president began growing last summer with a vote reaffirming U.S. support for NATO. The measure drew support from nearly every Republican in the Senate and followed Trump’s statements questioning the alliance’s relevance and warnings that the U.S. was spending too much money to protect European nations and getting too little in return.”
THE RULEBOOK: EVEN WHEN MEASURED IN THE MILLIONS
“The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 45
TIME OUT: BAD, BAD BIRDS
FiveThirtyEight: “The 2018 Baltimore Orioles were so bad that we questioned whether they belonged in the major leagues at all. … There have been a few teams who went into a season with less apparent talent than Baltimore — but not many. Using Baseball-Reference.com, we gathered data for each American League team’s opening day lineup since 1973 (to include every team who used the designated hitter full-time) and calculated those players’ established WAR track records going into the season. The track records for these Orioles — to the extent they have track records at all — place the team at or near the low-water mark at each position relative to all other AL opening day starting lineups since 1973… Only three teams in our sample — the 1977 and 1982 Toronto Blue Jays and the 1980 Oakland Athletics — had lower established WAR levels for their starting lineups on Opening Day than the Orioles will have this season.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 42.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53.2 percent
Net Score: -10.8 points
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 44% approve - 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 54% unapproved; IBD: 41% approve - 53% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 46% approve - 52% disapprove.]
WARREN, BIDEN POISED FOR ANOTHER SHOWDOWN
Politico: “On a February morning in 2005 in a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Joe Biden confronted Elizabeth Warren over a subject they’d been feuding over for years: the country’s bankruptcy laws. … Fourteen years later, Warren and Biden are expected to find themselves facing off again, this time on a much larger stage. And while a bill that passed in 2005 is unlikely to dominate the 2020 Democratic primaries, the fight over the bankruptcy legislation helped shape Warren politically and could be a surprising liability for Biden in the race to become his party’s choice to replace President Donald Trump. … Delaware was home to one of the nation’s biggest credit card issuers at the time, and advocates on both sides of the debate saw Biden as trying to represent his state’s interests in Congress. But with emotions still raw about the banking bailouts of the Great Recession, some Democrats see Biden’s vote for the bill as part of a broader record that’s not as progressive as he’d like it to appear.”
Sanders’ secret weapon: Sincerity - Vanity Fair: “Tom Townsend, the president of the AFL-CIO in Dubuque, called it an uncomplicated political formula that national Democrats seemed to have lost sight of before 2016. And yet, he told me, several of the Democrats currently running for president aren’t presenting a coherent rationale for their campaigns. ‘There are a couple I have talked to, and I don’t have a clue why they are running,’ he said. ‘Other than they want to run.’ One candidate who does make sense for many of his fellow workers, he said, is Sanders. ‘He talks to average people in a language they understand. It’s been a long time since people came to Dubuque and talked about real Midwestern issues, not what donors wanted to talk about or what national people want to talk about it. What people liked about Bernie is he was genuine. No one thinks he was making crap up to get corporate donations.’”
Beto does Iowa - AP: “Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is planning a series of stops in Iowa beginning Thursday as he nears an announcement on a 2020 White House bid. O’Rourke, a former congressman, is set to make stops in Burlington, along the Mississippi River in southeast Iowa, and Dubuque, to the north, during his three days in Iowa, according to two people familiar with the plans. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose details of the plans. A spokesman said Monday that O’Rourke planned to visit the University of Northern Iowa on Saturday to campaign for Eric Giddens, the Democratic candidate running in a state Senate special election this month. O’Rourke released a video Monday night from Texas, announcing his support for Giddens and wearing a University of Northern Iowa cap.
Wasserman: Dems’ messy process may spare Trump - NYT: “Donald Trump’s low approval ratings have attracted a crush of Democrats vying to make him a one-term president. But he might have an unlikely ally in his re-election bid: Democrats’ mess of a primary system…. By contrast, the Democratic Party’s egalitarian-minded rules allocate all pledged delegates to its convention on a proportional basis: A presidential candidate who receives at least 15 percent of the vote in any state or congressional district receives a corresponding share of delegates, making it difficult for a leading candidate to become a runaway train. In fact, had the 2016 Republican primary played out under Democrats’ rules, it would have almost assuredly resulted in an ugly, contested convention. … But for 2020, Democrats' jam-packed field is already on track to surpass the Republican 17-way rumble of 2016 and lacks an obvious front-runner.”
Big tech’s growing 2020 woes - Rolling Stone: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rolled out the most ambitious policy plan of her presidential campaign — and arguably of any 2020 candidate — when she called for breaking up of the nation’s three tech giants: Facebook, Amazon and Google. … Rolling Stone can report that Warren, [Sen. Amy] Klobuchar, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and ex-Congressman John Delaney will appear on Saturday, March 30th, at the Heartland Forum in Storm Lake, Iowa, to discuss America’s monopoly problem and other rural issues and offer solutions. (Every declared and likely Democratic candidate was invited, a spokesman for the event says.) … The driving force behind the event — and perhaps the larger resurgence in public understanding and desire for action around antitrust and monopolies — is Barry Lynn, the 57-year-old founder and director of the Open Markets Institute.”
SCHULTZ OUTLINES PRESIDENTIAL PREROGATIVES
AP: “Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Wednesday offered his vision for what an independent presidency could look like, even though he still hasn't decided whether to enter the White House race himself. In a speech at Miami Dade College, Schultz laid out his plans for protecting democracy and free enterprise and sought to show how a president elected outside the two-party system could repair the current dysfunction in Washington. Schultz also vowed to sign only legislation that has bipartisan support and to not put forward any Supreme Court nominee who cannot be confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate. … Schultz also said that he would assemble a Cabinet that includes members from across the political spectrum and consists of a larger share of women than that of any previous president.”
Former Trump campaign boss, Manafort, 69, to serve nearly seven years for his crimes - Fox News
Paralysis in London as Parliament rejects another Brexit plan - BBC
Impeachment fight still simmering among Dems - Roll Call
Newsom grants reprieves for all 737 on California death row - San Francisco Chronicle
Q Poll: DeSantis most popular Florida governor in a decade - Orlando Sentinel
After Florida gubernatorial defeat, Putnam to lead conservation group Ducks Unlimited - Memphis Commercial Appeal
Neomi Rao confirmed to replace Kavanaugh on D.C. Circuit - Fox News
Office space: Pelosi boots Pence from House digs - NPR
“Motherf***ers! … Sorry, kids.” – Beto O’Rourke while “darting” through an intersection while driving his kids home from school, as quoted by Vanity Fair in their latest piece on the potential presidential candidate.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“G'day Chris, Just a brief point from someone here ‘at the end of the world’ (New Zealand - we have spoken before!) Why is that the new freshmen, who have achieved nothing in actual governing, are allowed to act as though they have achieved something in government? Why does nobody remind them (and the people) that they are - almost by definition - amateurs, as yet? Truly an example of the disaster of ‘arrogance’ plus ‘ignorance’ perhaps?” – Mike O'Neill, New Zealand
[Ed. note: Be careful, Mr. O’Neill, or the populists will hear you. One of the core tenets of populism, no matter what political ideology, is that expertise and experience are overrated. Voters in the United States and much of the world these days have a strong feeling that the hard-won wisdom that comes through in a career in public service is outweighed by the tendency of such individuals to be elitists. When Donald Trump was running for president his inexperience was touted as an advantage by supporters. Those who are excited about the congresswomen to whom you allude would certainly say the same thing. Always good to hear from you!]
“Wasn’t it Bob Dole who was mocked for referring to the ‘Brooklyn’ Dodgers? So now the President is referring to Tim Cook as Tim Apple, and it's a joke? Let's check that neuro workup.” – Norman F. Smith, Jr., Newtown, Pa.
[Ed. note: Poor Bob Dole. You are referencing the then-Republican nominee’s Sept. 18, 1996 mishap in which he likened himself to Hideo Nomo, the Dodgers’ ace who pitched a no-hitter that week. Dole was trailing President Bill Clinton substantially and Dole sought to rally supporters at a Los Angeles area speech saying that he would do as Nomo did and “wipe them out between now and Nov. 5.” But in making his joke, Dole slipped and referenced the pre-1958 home of the Dodgers, Brooklyn, N.Y. Now, Dole obviously knew that the Dodgers were in Los Angeles, otherwise he wouldn’t have referenced the team and its star player while visiting the city. But he slipped and referenced the team’s home for the first 35 years of his life. Reporters looking for something that would both highlight Dole’s reputation as an out-of-touch oldster and a hapless campaigner pounced. Plus, 1996 was one of the most boring elections of recent memory, and reporters will always find a way to make a living out on the dusty campaign trail. “Dole delivers a no-no to the glory days of Brooklyn” announced the NYT’s headline. I don’t know whether “Tim Apple” is better or worse than Dole’s gaffe, but the times have certainly changed. Not only does Trump commit so many transgressions against syntax, fact and reason in his remarks that reporters can’t keep up, but thanks to social media, the half-life of these moments for any politician is astonishingly short. When Adam Nagourney filed his dispatch for the Times 23 years ago from Los Angeles, the story of Dole’s senior moment in California would still be unknown to almost all. Cable news was in its infancy and social media was still far off in the future. Much like the bogus story of George H.W. Bush being astounded by the existence of supermarket scanners four years prior, the Dole/Dodgers story could be shaped and mature into a meme before it was released to the general public. By the time reporters could get around to making fun of Trump for his synaptic slip, Twitter had already used up every gag, pun and jab. Pity us poor headline writers in the days of social media. All the good ones are all already taken.]
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WO IST DAS TOILETTENPAPIER?
Fox News: “A Bavarian town that accidentally ordered a 12-year supply of toilet paper is officially wiped out. The mayor of Fuchstal, a small German town of around 4,000 people near Munich, says ‘the last roll has now been used up.’ The toilet roll tale started in 2006 when a council employee mistakenly ordered two massive truckloads of the paper product. When the first vehicle rolled into the town, authorities realized their mistake and were able to successfully cancel the second truck. However, they were still stuck with roll upon roll on the first truck. … Part of the reason why it took the town more than a decade to use up the toilet paper was because of the condition of the paper itself. Residents complained the gray-colored 1-ply was too flimsy, turned brittle and yellow under exposure to sunlight. Some workers refused outright to use it and opted to bring their own toiled paper from home. The silver-gray lining in the fiasco is that the botched order saved the city money because the price of wood rose the following year.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“[Politics] is the only American industry whose participants devote prodigious sums to destroying whatever shred of allegiance any of them might once have won with their customers.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Oct. 28, 1994.
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.