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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.
Biden’s forceful nudge to get vaccinated:
Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, “President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE on Thursday will announce a requirement that all federal workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a source familiar with the plans.” https://bit.ly/3l6uVu1
What about the option to instead get regularly tested for COVID-19?: Workers will no longer be able to opt-out.
Is that the extent of Biden’s afternoon speech?: No, it’s part of Biden’s six-pillar approach to stopping the spread of the delta variant.
A hint from White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Psaki says White House offered 'early stage call' to Nicki Minaj Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE: The White House is signaling that new measures are coming for unvaccinated Americans. https://bit.ly/3zXqVSJ
What we know about today’s announcement, via CNN: https://cnn.it/3nj5gRM
LIVESTREAM OF BIDEN’S REMARKS:
He is scheduled to speak at 5 p.m. EDT. Watch: https://bit.ly/3jSyoNw
Happy Thursday! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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NEWS THIS MORNING
The Taliban is letting about 200 people leave:
Via CNN’s Mostafa Salem, Kylie Atwood and Laura Smith-Spark, “About 200 people, among them US nationals, have been cleared by the Taliban to leave Kabul on a Qatari flight, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN on Thursday.” https://cnn.it/2X6d26s
How many Americans are on board?: It’s unclear.
Keep in mind: “It will be the first commercial flight to depart from Kabul International Airport since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August.”
What this means going forward: “While the move is the first step in resolving a diplomatic impasse that has left scores of Americans and other international workers stranded in Afghanistan, there was no indication that the Taliban would allow the tens of thousands of Afghans who qualify for emergency American visas to leave.”
EXAMPLE OF A PASSENGER ON BOARD:
Via The New York Times, “Safi, 42, from Toronto, was among those passing through security and planning to board a waiting Boeing 777. He said that he had tried to leave during the evacuation but had given up as chaos enveloped the streets outside the airport.” https://nyti.ms/3BVqpFv
Via The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim and Tyler Pager, Amid bipartisan opposition, the White House is expected to withdraw its nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). https://wapo.st/2X8F5T2
Why — his work with a gun control group: “President Biden nominated Chipman, who worked at ATF for more than two decades before joining the gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in April as part of a larger effort to curb gun violence. But his nomination faced unified opposition from Republican senators as well as concerns from a handful of Senate Democrats from states friendly to gun rights.” https://wapo.st/2X8F5T2
Why this is noteworthy: “The collapse of Chipman’s nomination is yet another example of the intractable politics of gun policy on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have struggled to pass legislation or confirm nominees to deal with the issue.”
Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Democratic leaders are betting that centrist Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-W.Va.) will back down in his opposition to the $3.5 trillion spending bill. https://bit.ly/3lbWNwQ
Meaning: “In doing so, they’re essentially daring Manchin and other moderates like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to vote against the eventual budget reconciliation package, knowing that the base would erupt in anger over any Democratic lawmakers who buck the party on such a high-profile vote.”
The House Ways and Means Committee is working on the $3.5 trillion social spending bill. Livestream and highlights from the markup: https://bit.ly/3E5bSJa
IN THE GOP
Hey! Hey, guys! It’s me! Me, Don!:
Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE is trying to maintain his political relevance — and it could be a tough battle.” https://bit.ly/2XdByTk
“No one disputes that Trump is the central figure in the Republican Party. But his chief enemy right now is time.”
Why this is worth mentioning: “Almost eight months into President Biden’s administration, Trump cannot command attention as easily as he once did. And if Trump really does have ambitions to be the first president since Grover Cleveland to serve nonconsecutive terms, he will need to remain central to the political landscape until 2024, while holding no office.”
Former President Trump endorsed Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Jan. 6 panel says it is reviewing Milley actions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? MORE’s (R-Wyo.) primary challenger, attorney Harriet Hageman. https://bit.ly/2Vr0MNc
From Trump’s endorsement: “I strongly endorse Republican House of Representatives Candidate Harriet Hageman from Wyoming who is running against warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney.”
Reaction from Liz Cheney — Lol:
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
A possible vaccine mandate in the LA school system:
Via The Los Angeles Times’s Howard Blume and Laura Newberry, The Los Angeles Board of Education may implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for eligible students. https://lat.ms/3jU89X2
Why I say “likely”: The board is voting today, but most board members seem to support the requirement.
Keep in mind: “The nation’s second-largest school system has been sued multiple times over its COVID-safety measures, which are among the most strict and sweeping in the nation. A vaccine mandate also could bring a lawsuit, district officials have acknowledged to The Times.”
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 40,470,929
U.S. death toll: 652,869
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 377 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 810,715 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
The House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
10:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris delivered remarks at the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Also attending: Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Oversight Republicans seek testimony from Afghanistan watchdog France cancels DC gala in anger over Biden sub deal: report MORE, Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden increases vaccine requirement for federal workers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats face headwinds on .5 trillion plan, debt ceiling White House rallies private industry in cyber battle MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden increases vaccine requirement for federal workers Asian American leaders eager to talk voting rights with Biden Biden's trade agenda is off to a rocky start MORE, USAID Administrator Samantha Power and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar.
3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris meets with abortion and reproductive health providers and patients to discuss Texas’s new abortion law.
WHAT TO WATCH:
1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3yWn4V0
5 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on his plan to stop the spread of the delta variant and increase COVID-19 vaccinations. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3jSyoNw
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Wiener Schnitzel Day.
Trending on Twitter — The trailer for The new Matrix!:
Via The Hollywood Reporter, “The Matrix Resurrections dropped its first trailer Thursday morning, and the tease was eye-popping with astonishing visuals that fans have come to expect from the beloved sci-fi franchise.” https://bit.ly/3niAyZ4
Watch the trailer: https://bit.ly/3DVYAPn
When the film will be released: On Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max
And because you made it this far, here’s a dog having a grand old time at the playground: https://bit.ly/3l63VuN