President Biden

Congress set to dial back Presidential war powers

Should have been done a long time ago:

The Democratic-led House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, is expected to approve legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq, a step supporters say is necessary to constrain presidential war powers even though it is unlikely to affect U.S. military operations around the world.

A vote on Thursday would come one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he intends to bring repeal legislation to the Senate floor this year. “The Iraq War has been over for nearly a decade,” Schumer said. “The authorization passed in 2002 is no longer necessary in 2021.”

Actually, the Iraq War was over shortly after it started, at least it should have been. What happened after that was occupation and insurgency, coupled with sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni elements, all of which was predictable. The 2002 Authorization should never have passed in the first place, but the anger over 9/11 was still fresh, and we didn't have our pound of flesh yet in Afghanistan. All that being said, if you want to sell something to a split Senate, sometimes you need to hold your tongue:

Critical thinking is back in the White House

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Uncle Joe wants all your information, and no bullshit:

Quick decision-making is not Mr. Biden’s style. His reputation as a plain-speaking politician hides a more complicated truth. Before making up his mind, the president demands hours of detail-laden debate from scores of policy experts, taking everyone around him on what some in the West Wing refer to as his Socratic “journey” before arriving at a conclusion.

Those trips are often difficult for his advisers, who are peppered with sometimes obscure questions. Avoiding Mr. Biden’s ire during one of his decision-making seminars means not only going beyond the vague talking points that he will reject, but also steering clear of responses laced with acronyms or too much policy minutiae, which will prompt an outburst of frustration, often laced with profanity.

The contrast to Trump is stark, and that's a good thing. He didn't want any pesky information, and if it couldn't fit on a post-it note he wouldn't read it. But if you want good policy, it needs to be hashed out in detail. That's how you discover (ahead of time) any potential negative consequences. He should reign in that frustration if possible though, because it could stifle some input that could be critical. But it's early days still, and the sooner his people figure out he's not a blowhard like Trump the better:

Uncle Joe is pissed about GOP voter suppression efforts

McConnell may have just lost his filibuster barricade:

President Joe Biden on Thursday in his first formal news conference since taking office blasted Republican-controlled state legislatures that are seeking to restrict voting access, labeling those attempts “sick” and “un-American.”

“This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” Biden said, referring to laws that enforced racial segregation in the South. “This is gigantic, what they’re trying to do, and it cannot be sustained.” Biden said he would “do everything in my power” to prevent those changes from going into effect.

Strained analogies aside (wouldn't an eagle be more dangerous?), I'm glad to see the President is not only angry about this, but angry for the right reasons. This is not just political maneuvering on the part of Republicans, it is an age-old effort to suppress the rights of African-Americans and other people of color, using disingenuous points of attack. Here's more from a real President:

Xavier Becerra’s Leadership at HHS will Jumpstart Federal COVID-19 Response

Our country is in the middle of the worst public health crisis in American history, and despite the approval of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, the Trump administration's failure to effectively distribute the vaccine far and wide has undermined the response to the pandemic, and left North Carolinians vulnerable to the virus.

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