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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
*Insert the Shark Tank TV set, secretive notes, tense music and dramatic anticipation* … We have a deal!:
Click here for the full effect –> https://bit.ly/3tKg8cY 😉
Congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan deal to fund the government through late September. https://bit.ly/3Kt0JUV
What Democrats are happy about: “The legislation includes what Democrats have lauded as the biggest increase to nondefense discretionary spending in four years.”
What Republicans are happy about: “The GOP has … touted a $42 billion increase for defense spending in the package, saying the deal achieves dollar-for-dollar parity for defense and nondefense increases.”
What about Ukraine?: The bill includes $14 billion in aid to Ukraine.
What else is in the bill: https://bit.ly/3Kt0JUV
TIDBIT — SPEED READERS, GO!:
Punchbowl News’ John Bresnhan tweeted, “The $1.5 trillion omnibus is 2741 pages long. The House will vote on it later today (meaning there’s zero chance members will have a chance to read it.)” https://bit.ly/3CvoxVn
HERE’S THE FULL TEXT OF THE BILL:
HAPPENING TODAY AND FRIDAY — HEARING FROM THE BOSS:
President BidenJoe BidenBiden phones family of American detained in Russia Susan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Former Bernie Sanders press secretary: proposed defense budget includes excessive amount for private contractors MORE is speaking at Senate Democrats’ caucus retreat today at 6:15 pm EST. Biden will also address the House Democratic retreat in Philadelphia on Friday. https://bit.ly/3hV6puW
It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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THE LATEST IN UKRAINE
How much progress has Russia made? And how successful has Ukraine been in fending them off?:
CNN’s Jim Sciutto has a helpful explainer on where the situation stands. https://bit.ly/3pOLBt6
The gist: “Nearly two weeks into the invasion, the war in Ukraine has become a slow grinding conflict. Not the blitzkrieg advance the Russian military had planned and hoped for.”
Watch the 2-minute, 42-second clip: https://bit.ly/3pOLBt6
UKRAINE’S GOAL, ACCORDING TO A SENIOR OFFICIAL — KEEP CONTROL OF ITS MAJOR CITIES FOR ANOTHER 7-10 DAYS:
Via Reuters, here’s the reasoning: https://reut.rs/375CL3I
“Vadym Denysenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said Russia was desperate for at least some kind of victory, citing the cities of Mariupol or the capital Kyiv as the most likely targets. ‘They need at least some victory before they are forced into the final negotiations,’ Denysenko wrote on Facebook. ‘Therefore our task is to stand for the next 7-10 days.’ ” https://reut.rs/375CL3I
‘Loss of Russian Oil Leaves a Void Not Easily Filled, Straining Market’:
Via The New York Times’s Clifford Krauss, “Oil prices were already rising fast as the world economy emerged from Covid-19 shutdowns and producers stretched to meet growing demand. International oil companies had cut back investment over the last two years … With the announcement of the American embargo on Tuesday, prices will probably climb higher, energy analysts say.” https://nyti.ms/3HVZDiU
What percentage of global energy supply comes from Russia?: Roughly 1 out of every 10 barrels of oil.
What countries could fill that gap in supply? It gets tricky: “Only Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have spare capacity, together a little more than 2.5 million barrels a day. Venezuela and Iran could contribute about 1.5 million barrels a day to the market, but that would require lifting American sanctions against those countries.”
Does the US have extra oil?: “[T]he United States could increase output by more than a million barrels a day — but doing so would take a year to achieve, and require oil companies to harness more manpower and equipment.”
More on what this means: https://nyti.ms/3HVZDiU
HELPFUL READ — ‘WHAT DOES A US BAN ON RUSSIAN OIL ACCOMPLISH?’:
Via The Associated Press’s Cathy Bussewitz and matthew daly: https://abcn.ws/3vRdMvq
‘DEMOCRATS LOOK FOR COVER ON RISING GAS PRICES’:
Source: The Hill’s Jordan Carney, “Democrats are looking for ways to lower gas prices, which have skyrocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and could rise further as the US and other countries move to ban Russian imports.” https://bit.ly/3IRFRq9
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH GAS PRICES:
Via CNN Business’s Chris Isidore: https://cnn.it/35JNbG2
The Hill’s Niall Stanage tweeted a photo of gas prices at the closest gas station to him in Washington, DC photo: https://bit.ly/3pR0AD1
LATEST WITH COVID-19
‘CDC says avoid travel to New Zealand, Hong Kong and Thailand as covid cases arise’:
Via The Washington Post’s Hannah Samson: https://wapo.st/35JNMYi
Coronavirus cases in the US: 79,370,034
US death toll: 961,993
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the US: 556 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 134,885 twos
For-context: The US population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
Why everyone is talking about spiders on Twitter:
Axios’s Karri Peifer writes, “Giant spiders expected to drop from sky across the East Coast this spring.” https://bit.ly/3Kuj83Y
The longer version isn’t any better: “An invasive species of spider the size of a child’s hand is expected to ‘colonize’ the entire East Coast this spring by parachuting down from the sky, researchers at the University of Georgia announced last week.”
The full story — sorry: https://bit.ly/3Kuj83Y
Come on. We just had the influx of cicadas last year!
IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
I’m sorry, what?:
Via DCist’s AmandaMichelle Gomez, The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will shut down yellow line access from Washington, DC, to Virginia for seven to eight months for repairs. https://bit.ly/3MFzFnE
specifically: Yellow line access over the Potomac River — between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations
Soooo, what will happen?: WMATA says it will announce alternative travel options before the closure begins.
YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS UP:
WJLA-TV’s Tom Rousey pointed out: “And as if that’s not enough, Metro says getting the future Potomac Yard station ready will require shutting down all rail service south of Reagan National Airport from Sept 10 to Oct 22. So riders who experienced a summer shutdown in 2019 will have to do it all over again.” https://bit.ly/3CtAURR
What timing: “So basically, Potomac Yard Metro station is expected to open in the fall, and riders at the new station on day one will be on trains that can’t cross the Potomac unless they take the Blue Line route through Arlington Cemetery.” https://bit.ly/3HXtWWH
This photo gives me so much anxiety:
CNN’s Kristin Wilson tweeted a photo of remove the ladder setup. photo: https://bit.ly/3MyEQ8L
LOL — my favorite reaction: Politicians sarah ferris captioned the photo, “Me, painting my house when my husband isn’t watching” https://bit.ly/3pLN3N5
More reactions: https://bit.ly/3CtizVc
We are in a new era:
For The Win’s Alex McDaniel tweeted, “tried to give my son cash for the book fair and he looked at me like i was a martian and said ‘just put some money in my e-wallet account.’ https://bit.ly/3HT7Wfn
McDaniel then added: “you know how 8-year-olds are always like ‘paper money is such a hassle, just put it on the card’ ” https://bit.ly/3hQNcua
The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden is in Washington, D.C. Vice PresidentHarris is on her way to Poland.
7:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Harris left for Warsaw, Poland.
10 – 11 a.m. EST: First votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3CtOchp
11 a.m. EST: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
1:30 – 3 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.
6:15 p.m. EST: President Biden delivers remarks at the Democratic Senators Issues Conference at Howard University. This is closed to press.
10 a.m. EST Thursday: The Senate meets. The Senate’s full agenda tomorrow: https://bit.ly/3CtWDct
WHAT TO WATCH:
1 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden phones family of American detained in Russia Overnight Defense & National Security — More help headed Ukraine’s way How Biden came around to banning Russian gas and oil MORE holds a press briefing. live stream: https://bit.ly/3CpLNnW
2 p.m. EST: President Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoCabinet officials to join Biden at House Democratic retreat Live coverage – House tees up vote on Russian fuel ban, sanctions The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sights and sounds from Biden’s State of the Union MORE meet with business leaders and governors to discuss competitiveness legislation. live stream: https://bit.ly/3IVWUr9
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Meatball Day!
And because you read this far, here’s a pup with a pretty odd sleeping spot: https://bit.ly/3CwX8CO
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism