Good morning. Today is May 1, and below are the stories I am following.
FROM THE RIGHT
Fox News reports: A.G. Barr to face grilling in Senate as new reports about Mueller raise eyebrows….Senate Democrats are expected to grill Attorney General William Barr in a dramatic and explosive hearing Wednesday morning, as he faces lawmakers’ questions for the first time since releasing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report amid accusations he sought to present the investigation’s findings in President Trump’s favor.
In a late-breaking article sure to feature prominently in Wednesday’s hearing, the Washington Post reported Tuesday evening that Mueller contacted Barr, both in a letter and in a phone call, to express concerns after Barr released his own public summary of the report in March. Mueller reportedly pushed Barr to release the executive summaries written by the special counsel’s office. However, according to both the Post and the Justice Department, Mueller made clear that he did not feel Barr’s summary was inaccurate. Instead, Mueller told Barr that media coverage of the letter had “misinterpreted” the results of the probe concerning obstruction of justice.
MY TAKE: Whether you eat your pasta with a spoon or a fork, it still tastes like pasta. No collusion, no obstruction.
Also… Border Patrol nabs ‘largest group’ of illegal immigrants yet near US-Mexico border… The U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday morning apprehended its largest group of illegal immigrants caught at once, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported. CBP, which oversees the Border Patrol, said 424 illegal aliens were apprehended just after midnight in Sunland Park, N.M.; an additional 230 illegal aliens were apprehended in Antelope Wells, N.M., around 2 a.m. “This is an ongoing situation that U.S Border Patrol agents are facing in southern New Mexico: Hundreds of parents and children being encountered by agents after having faced a dangerous journey in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers,” CBP said in a statement. Border officials said they were struggling to cope with the influx of Central American families, with Border Patrol apprehending a record-setting 53,000 families in March.
MY TAKE: Trump is not getting the job done. He has to cut off the jobs NOW.
FROM THE LEFT
AXIOS is reporting...In the opening days of his 2020 campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden has gone all-in on the general election, positioning himself as the eventual Democratic nominee rather than scrapping with the 19 other wannabes. Biden strategists believe the former V.P. has the luxury of thinking long term rather than scrambling for liberal street credibility.
Polls show a huge bump, including with African American women. (CNN: “Biden solidifies front-runner status with post-announcement bump.”) Biden’s “people” say they’re more convinced than ever that the one dominant, ultimately unifying issue is who can best be counted on to beat President Trump.
The strategy is unfolding in real time:
- Starting with his announcement video and continuing on the road, Biden has been explicitly hitting Trump, trying to make it Trump vs. Biden more than a year ahead of the national conventions.
- Biden has been making the argument for his strength in swing states that’ll matter in November 2020, not during primaries and caucuses.
- Biden isn’t getting sucked into the intra-left debate over “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal.
- The subtle suggestion that Biden would amount to a third Obama term offers voters hope for something between socialism and Hillary Clinton.
- Biden is appealing now to big donors he’ll need in a general election.
Be smart: Biden is applying a lens to the campaign that reflects national polls more than the left-leaning conversation on Democratic Twitter.
MY TAKE: Dear GOP, I repeat my message from yesterday. Take Biden seriously or die trying. Love, DML
ALSO FROM THE LEFT…Post-Mueller, Garrett M. Graff of WIRED reports that Trump’s world “still appears to face 16 known criminal and civil probes, from as many as a dozen different federal, state, and local prosecutors.”
- Four cases are being pursued by federal authorities in New York. … “New York state and local authorities are also building cases, both criminal and civil.”
- These include tax and immigration issues for Trump businesses, plus inauguration spending, the Trump Foundation and the NRA.
- “That’s not counting the dozen cases that the special counsel’s office referred to other law enforcement agencies, cases mentioned in Mueller’s report but redacted so as to obscure any details about them.”
Why it matters: “At this rate, Trump’s investigations may outlast his presidency.”
MY TAKE: How long have I been saying this for? Two years. Trump has a $1B liability stuck in those tax returns and the Dems will find a way to get at it. Question is, can Trump run out the clock?
FROM THE MIDDLE
The WSJ reports… Violence erupts in Venezuela as Guaidó calls for uprising. Thousands of people clashed with pro-government forces following an audacious call by opposition leader Juan Guaidó to join him in overthrowing President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Protests continued Tuesday evening, but there was no sign the rebellion had succeeded in ousting Mr. Maduro.
MY TAKE: Get a SAY NO TO SOCIALISM sticker and send it to a liberal. On the back, write: SEE VENEZUELA
Also…Facebook gets a new look. The social-media giant rolled out a substantial redesign of its website and mobile app, geared toward steering users to participate in more group conversations as it strives to reduce abusive content and the scrutiny resulting from it.
MY TAKE: Facebook…Can’t like with it, can’t live without it. But you can buy the stock.