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Wake Up To Politics - March 6, 2020

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP world headquarters in my bedroom. It’s Friday, March 6, 2020. 4 days until the next Democratic primaries. 242 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

"The Second Gilded Age of Politics": The latest episode of the Wake Up To Politics Podcast is in feeds now. The episode is all about money in politics, breaking down the key terms you need to know to understand the campaign finance debate and giving you some tips to read campaign fundraising reports for yourself. My guest is Washington Post reporter Michelle Ye He Lee. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or Stitcher

Friday Roundup

Warren ends presidential bid: "Senator Elizabeth Warren entered the 2020 race with expansive plans to use the federal government to remake American society, pressing to strip power and wealth from a moneyed class that she saw as fundamentally corrupting the country’s economic and political order."

"She exited on Thursday after her avalanche of progressive policy proposals, which briefly elevated her to front-runner status last fall, failed to attract a broader political coalition in a Democratic Party increasingly, if not singularly, focused on defeating President Trump."

"Her departure means that a Democratic field that began as the most diverse  in American history — and included six women — is now essentially down to two white men: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders." (New York Times)

--- "Elizabeth Warren’s exit raises questions about the role of women in U.S. politics" (Washington Post)

--- Meanwhile: "Mike Bloomberg plans new group to support Democratic nominee" (Washington Post)

--- The race is officially Biden vs. Sanders now. The two candidates opened the new phase of the campaign on Thursday, with a Twitter back-and-forth over Social Security. The next contests are in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington on Tuesday. Michigan is attracting most of the media attention, as Biden hopes to pull out a win in a state where Sanders won an upset victory in 2016. Sanders canceled a trip to Mississippi today and is headed to Michigan today, underlining his vulnerabilities in the south and among African-American voters.

Federal judge rebukes Barr over Mueller report: "A federal judge on Thursday sharply rebuked Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the special counsel’s Russia report, saying Barr had made 'misleading public statements' to spin the investigation’s findings in favor of President Donald Trump and had shown a 'lack of candor.'"

"U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton delivered the criticism in a 23-page order in which he directed the Justice Department to provide him with an unredacted version of the report so that he could decide if any additional information from the document could be publicly disclosed."

"The scolding was unusually blunt, with Walton saying Barr had appeared to make a 'calculated attempt' to influence public opinion about the report in ways favorable to Trump. The rebuke tapped into lingering criticism of Barr, from Democrats in Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller himself, that he had misrepresented some of the investigation’s most damning findings." (Associated Press)

Schumer walks back SCOTUS comments: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed regret on Thursday over controversial comments he made about two Supreme Court justices that led Chief Justice John Roberts to issue a rare admonishment of the New York Democrat."

"Speaking from the Senate floor, Schumer said he was not making a threat against two of the court’s conservative justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, when he said during a Wednesday address before pro-abortion activists that the pair would 'pay the price' if they act to restrict abortion rights." (Politico)

Coronavirus update: "Painful market turbulence resumed Thursday, pulling major stock indexes down more than 3% and government-bond yields to record lows as fears grew over the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S."

"The declines continued what has been a dizzying two weeks on Wall Street as investors tried to gauge how the epidemic will affect global growth and whether governments would be able to combat it. The S&P 500 has risen or fallen at least 2% for four consecutive sessions, the longest such stretch since August 2011—when the European debt crisis rocked markets—according to Dow Jones Market Data." (Wall Street Journal)

--- The death toll from coronavirus in the United States has risen to 14 as of this morning. There have now been 225 cases confirmed across the country.

--- Both chambers of Congress have now passed the bipartisan $8 billion emergency funding bill to combat the virus. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation today.

--- Inside the White House: "A presidency of two for coronavirus: Trump hands his sidekick the job of a savior" (Politico)


President Donald Trump will visit Nashville, Tennessee, to survey the damage from a devastating tornado earlier this week, and then travel to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he will participate in two fundraisers tonight and spend the weekend.

First Lady Melania Trump will deliver keynote remarks at the U.S. Department of Justice National Opioid Summit.

The House and Senate will not meet.

The Supreme Court will meet for its weekly conference.

Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Detroit, Michigan. Former Vice President Joe Biden does not have campaign events scheduled.

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