THE BIG NEWS
2024 Watch: Biden Hopes Voters Care About Debt Limit Deal
- In what Politico calls "the first major cattle call of 2024," every declared Republican presidential candidate minus Donald Trump showed up in Des Moines, Iowa, for GOP Sen. Joni Ernst's annual "Roast and Ride" party, featuring lots of barbecue and motorcycles. In an enduring image, Mike Pence donned a leather jacket adorned with patches and straddled a hog, though his campaign doesn't formally kick off until Wednesday.
- "Iowa conservatives seemed torn," the New York Times observes. "They conceded that unemployment was so low that jobs in the state weren't being filled, but asserted that the economy was a wreck."
- As many as 1,000 people attended events for Guantanamo Bay torture-overseer-turned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on his four-day tour of three states (Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire). The Washington Post reports that he seemed to have a hard time connecting with voters one-on-one. However, some of his "policy stances — including opposition to coronavirus-related restrictions and a Florida bill to allow the death penalty for child rapists — got raucous applause in room after room." An official from Never Back Down, the super PAC that's effectively running the DeSantis campaign, tells the Associated Press they plan to "accuse Trump of being too cozy with major corporations" in the weeks ahead.
- "Over the past few weeks, roughly a quarter-million Floridians have lost health insurance coverage through Medicaid," HuffPost reports.
It's a big deal in Florida. It should be a big deal elsewhere too, because a major reason for the coverage losses are a series of policy decisions that DeSantis and his administration have made. These decisions say a lot about his priorities and values, and how he might govern as president.
- White House aides say President Joe Biden's debt limit deal "gives them 'running room' through the 2024 election to focus on making people feel the impacts of the legislation Biden signed into law, as well as begin to lay out their priorities for what he would do with another term," the Associated Press reports. His campaign team are trying to turn something voters are concerned about -- his age -- into an asset by praising his long-term vision and endurance. Still, the New York Times reports that his age "was all anyone was talking about" recently among Democratic donors on Wall Street. It comes up often in focus groups, as well.
"Does he ramble? Yes, he does," said Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat who categorically rejects the idea that Mr. Biden is too old to be president. "Has he always rambled? Yes, he has. Public and private. He's the same guy."
- "Democratic strategists and activists are concerned that weak turnout in Philadelphia could hamper Biden's chances in 2024," the Washington Post reports. Nobody seems certain what's behind the decline in participation, particularly among Black voters, but "many voters said they have lost faith in their leaders."
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
More Questions Than Answers After Deadly India Train Crash
Three trains crashed on Friday night in eastern India, killing at least 275 people and injuring more than 1,100. Authorities have promised a high-level investigation, but the latest official explanation has it that a crowded passenger train traveling crashed at full speed into a freight train carrying iron ore; a second passenger train heading the other direction then joined the crash. A "signal failure" is being blamed. But per the New York Times, officials have yet to explain why the freight train had stopped on the tracks, and why the passenger train wasn't alerted to it. Rescue work wrapped up yesterday but many families have been unable to reach the area to look for loved ones on account of train cancellations. Some who have made it, the Guardian reports, "described getting little help from the authorities, instead having to plead with hospital staff to let them try to find their [relatives] among the dead." Many passengers were migrant workers.
A Little Good News Amid the Scary Pride Month Headlines
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors on Friday, making his the most populous state yet to force trans teens into the closet. "This is not going to change who people are. It's going to force folks to find other methods to access care, for some people going to the gray market" for meds, Houston resident Lisa Stanton, who lobbied against the bill with her trans daughter, tells the Washington Post. In Florida, which adopted a similar bill last month, the Associated Press reports that the new law has "also made it difficult – even impossible – for many transgender adults to get treatment." Meanwhile, in more encouraging news, the Post reports that a federal judge struck down Tennessee's first-of-its-kind drag show ban, calling it "unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad."
- Federal Grand Jury to Meet This Week in Trump Stolen Documents Case "An indictment, if there is one, could come within days." via NBC News and the Washington Post.
- Biden Signs Debt Limit Bill White House counsel Stuart Delery was researching unilateral options to circumvent the Congressionally imposed debt limit, like invoking the 14th Amendment, until the weekend before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Biden reached a deal. via the Post.
- Dozens Arrested as German Leftists Protest Activist's Verdict Social Democratic politicians criticized the police's "provocative approach" to demonstrations following the conviction of Lina E., a left-wing activist who attacked far-right extremists. via the Associated Press.
- Half a Million March in Warsaw Against Right-wing Rule Many fear that if the Law and Justice wins again in the next general election, democracy, Polish democracy "will be ruined and we will be Hungary or China." via the Guardian.
That's how many times former Chicago cop Jeffrey Kriv lied his way out of traffic tickets by telling a judge his girlfriend had stolen his car. According to ProPublica, it was this -- not the 92 misconduct complaints filed against him -- that eventually cost him his badge.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
6/5: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma host Steve Vladeck, chair in federal courts at the University of Texas School of Law, to discuss his recent book The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
What they can't say: There's still no there there.
Journalist Kari Lydersen discusses her recent piece at In These Times.
"A democratic state has to have control over its security and intelligence institutions. Everything indicates this is not the case. The president has to put a stop to this. His public comments have not been satisfactory."
-- Carlos Pérez Ricart, a member of Mexico's truth commission investigating the country's 1964-1982 Dirty War, speaking to the Washington Post about the discovery of sophisticated spyware on the phone of lead investigator Camilo Vicente Ovalle. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has refused to condemn the hacks targeting members of his own government.
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