We begin today with Paul Kane of The Washington Post reporting that the Senate might be ready to take over budget talks from the House Republicans.
Beginning with a simple resolution to keep agencies open, a bipartisan collection of senators wants to add its priorities to that bill. The group essentially is daring the divided House Republicans to oppose it and take the blame for shutting down the government if the Sept. 30 deadline has not been met.These senators then expect to use their largely unified position as leverage to get their way in the more detailed agency funding outlines expected in the late fall, while also dominating the split House on negotiations over the annual Pentagon funding policy legislation.
In all, the Senate wants to reimpose its traditional role of regularly jamming the lower chamber into accepting its bipartisan approach to big policy matters.
“Obviously, if you’re from the House perspective, what I would say is this,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who spent 14 years in the House before joining the Senate seven years ago. “You never like it, but you also understand why that’s going to have to be the result. Seriously. I mean, that’s the political math out here.”
Rebecca Davis O’Brien of The New York Times says that some big money Republican donors have anxiety about nominating Number 45 for a second time.
Interviews with more than a dozen Republican donors and their allies revealed hand-wringing, magical thinking, calls to arms and, for some, fatalism. Several of them did not want to be identified by name out of a fear of political repercussions or a desire to stay in the good graces of any eventual Republican nominee, including Mr. Trump.
“If things don’t change quickly, people are going to despair,” Mr. Levine said in an interview. He is among the optimists who believe Mr. Trump’s support is not as robust as the polls suggest and who see a quickly closing window to rally behind another candidate. In Mr. Levine’s 2,500-word Labor Day missive, he urged his readers to pick Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Other schools of thought exist. Some donors have backed Mr. Trump’s rivals despite believing that he is unbeatable in the primaries. These donors are banking, in part, on the chance that Mr. Trump will eventually drop out of the race because of his legal troubles, a health scare or some other personal or political calculation.
Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times has some of her own thoughts about aging (the topic of seemingly half of The New York Times editorial page).
The shame isn’t that Biden is showing his age. The problem is that the Democrats couldn’t find a promising candidate to challenge the Republicans and let Biden go home and get some rest.
Americans should be concerned if the medical professionals caring for Biden determine he can’t carry out his duties.
Otherwise, our concern is just ageism.
Ageism is one of the last acceptable prejudices, “so ingrained in our culture that we often don’t even notice,” according to the American Psychological Association.
Because of ageism, women in the spotlight must wear a ton of makeup to appear youthful, while men can age naturally without worrying about looking old.
After running through my 50s, surviving my 60s and slowing down in my 70s, I’ve learned an important truth: Every day, there is another challenge to overcome.
Heather Cox Richardson writes for her Letters From an American blog about a deal struck by the G20 on various infrastructure projects.
Funding for the projects will come through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI), the Group of Seven’s answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The G7 is a political bloc of advanced economies that share values of liberal democracy.
In a joint statement, the leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States said they met on the margins of the G20 “to reaffirm our shared commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation to deliver solutions for our shared world.” Aside from the U.S., the three countries making that statement are all members of BRICS, the economic bloc that includes China. […]
The economic news coming out of New Delhi shows the global side of Biden’s political vision. Led by the U.S., the G20’s call for massive investment in developing the infrastructure and economies of other countries echoes the post–World War II Economic Recovery Act of 1948, better known as the Marshall Plan. Under this plan, the U.S. spent more than $13 billion to help Europe rebuild its infrastructure and economy. This rebuilding stabilized European governments and provided the U.S. with reliable trading partners.
Matt Viser and Meryl Kornfield of The Washington Post reports that from New Delhi and the G20, President Biden went to Vietnam.
He is scheduled to hold a meeting in the afternoon with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong before an evening news conference. They are scheduled to announce a comprehensive strategic partnership, which will link the countries diplomatically to a greater extent.
“This is Vietnam’s highest tier of international partnership. It’s important to make this more than words,” Jon Finer, the deputy national security adviser, told reporters on Air Force One. “In a system like Vietnam, it’s a signal to the entire government to their entire bureaucracy, about the depth of cooperation and alignment with another country.”
“Vietnam is a critical relationship of the United States and we will be deepening that relationship,” he added.
Biden and Trong have a relationship going back to 2015, when Biden, then the vice president, hosted a luncheon in Washington in Trong’s honor to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
But Hannah Beech of The New York Times reports that Vietnam may be secretly planing to buy arms from Russia.
But even as the United States and Vietnam have nurtured their relationship over recent months, Hanoi is making clandestine plans to buy an arsenal of weapons from Russia in contravention of American sanctions, an internal Vietnamese government document shows.
The Ministry of Finance document, which is dated March 2023 and whose contents have been verified by former and current Vietnamese officials, lays out how Vietnam proposes to modernize its military by secretly paying for defense purchases through transfers at a joint Vietnamese and Russian oil venture in Siberia. Signed by a Vietnamese deputy finance minister, the document notes that Vietnam is negotiating a new arms deal with Russia that would “strengthen strategic trust” at a time when “Russia is being embargoed by Western countries in all aspects.”
For Vietnam, the idea makes a certain sense. Once one of the world’s top 10 arms importers, Vietnam has long depended on Russian weaponry. The United States’ vow to punish nations that buy Russian weapons has roiled Vietnam’s plans to revamp its military and create a tougher deterrent to Chinese encroachment on its maritime borders in the South China Sea.
Yet by developing its secret plan to pay for Russian defense equipment, Vietnam is stepping into the center of a larger security contest that is steeped both in Cold War politics and the hot war of the moment, in Ukraine.
Finally today, your 2023 U.S. Open Women Singles Champion
Have the best possible day everyone!