WASHINGTON — The nationalization of our politics is now complete. Well, almost.
Daily Kos Elections completed its count of the 2020 presidential vote in all 435 congressional districts, and it found that Joe Biden carried 224 districts, while Donald Trump won 211.
That’s almost identical to the actual 222-213 partisan split in Congress that resulted after the 2020 congressional contests.
There were only 16 crossover districts in 2020 — nine Republicans hold districts that Biden carried last year, and seven Democrats represent districts that Trump won.
The other 419 congressional districts are represented by the party that won it in the presidential contest.
Those 16 crossover districts from the 2020 election are down from 35 in 2016 and 83 in 2008.
It’s just the latest data underscoring how polarized — and nationalized — our politics have become.
As we’ve pointed out before, only six states in the country now have split Senate representation, where a Democrat and a Republican both represent it in the U.S. Senate.
That’s down from 21 split states in 1993.
Bottom line: With just a few exceptions, what happens at the top of the ticket carries over to the bottom.
Meet the 16 crossover districts
Trump-Democratic congressional districts (7)
- Maine 2 (Golden)
- Pa. 8 (Cartwright)
- N.J. 3 (Kim)
- Mich. 8 (Slotkin)
- Ill. 17 (Bustos)
- Iowa 3 (Axne)
- Wisc. 3 (Kind)
Biden-GOP congressional districts (9)
- Pa. 1 (Fitzpatrick)
- N.Y. 24 (Katko)
- Fla. 27 (Salazar)
- Texas 24 (Van Duyne)
- Neb. 2 (Bacon)
- Calif. 21 (Valadao)
- Calif. 25 (Garcia)
- Calif. 39 (Kim)
- Calif. 48 (Steel)
Double standard? Or putting the guardrails back up?
Politico has a story that has Democrats charging that Neera Tanden is being held to a double standard — that Republicans (as well as Democrat Joe Manchin) are judging her past tweets by rules they didn’t apply for Donald Trump (or even former Trump Ambassador Ric Grenell, for that matter).
But writer Matt Lewis has a different take: It’s time to put the guardrails back up and hold people accountable for their actions — and their tweets.
Yes, Tanden is being held to a double standard that didn’t exist for Trump, Lewis writes.
But he argues that the alternative to that is no standards at all.
Tweet of the day
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
28,282,645: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 59,303 more than yesterday morning.)
502,493: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,401 more than yesterday morning.)
55,403: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States.
345.6 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.
64,177,474: Number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.
19,438,495: People fully vaccinated in the U.S.
65: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.
At 1:15 p.m. ET, President Biden conducts a roundtable discussion with Black essential workers. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET, Biden hold holds — remotely — a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Joe and the Juice
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is throwing his power around for the first time in an evenly split Senate.
On Friday, the Democratic senator announced he wouldn’t support President Biden’s nominee for OMB Director, Neera Tanden. Quickly, Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Rob Portman followed suit. That all but guarantees Tanden will not be confirmed for Biden’s Cabinet – and that’s if she doesn’t withdraw her nomination before it comes to a vote.
Then on Monday, Manchin announced he was undecided on how he would vote for Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M. Haaland is set to appear before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources today — Manchin chairs the committee.
And the number of the week is … 135
Terminators, sumo wrestlers and porn stars? Our Number of the Week looks back at the wild California recall ballot in 2003. Give it a listen here.
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
Wondering how the states are prioritizing vaccination groups — sometimes at odds with what the White House prefers? Alex Seitz-Wald takes a look.
Here’s what to expect from Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing today.
Xavier Becerra will face tough questions in his confirmation hearings this week as well.
Merrick Garland says his first priority as AG will be investigating Jan 6.
What went wrong in the Capitol breach? A hearing today may shed some light.
A new Florida poll shows Gov. Ron DeSantis getting a lot of attention from Republicans in the state.
The Supreme Court has refused Trump’s last-ditch effort to keep his tax returns from Manhattan’s district attorney.
The Hill may be getting more diverse, but congressional staff remain overwhelmingly white.
G7 to consider mechanism to counter Russian ‘propaganda’
By William James
LONDON (Reuters) -The Group of Seven richest countries will look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian “propaganda” and disinformation, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters.
Speaking ahead of a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London, the first such in-person meeting for two years, Raab said the United Kingdom was “getting the G7 to come together with a rapid rebuttal mechanism” to counter Russian misinformation.
“So that when we see these lies and propaganda or fake news being put out there, we can – not just individually, but come together to provide a rebuttal and frankly to provide the truth, for the people of this country but also in Russia or China or around the world,” Raab said.
Russia and China are trying to sow mistrust across the West, whether by spreading disinformation in elections or by spreading lies about COVID-19 vaccines, according to British, U.S. and European security officials.
Russia denies it is meddling beyond its borders and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria.
“It’s time to think of why the countries which are sick to the core with propaganda, and which used it more than once to justify armed intervention and toppling of governments … accuse our country of their own sins,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media after Raab’s comments.
China says the West is a bully and that its leaders have a post-imperial mindset that makes them feel they can act like global policemen.
Britain has identified Russia as the biggest threat to its security though it views China as its greatest long-term challenge, militarily, economically and technologically.
Raab will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, kicking off a week of diplomacy aimed at reinvigorating the G7’s role and forming a wider bulwark against those it sees as undermining the rules-based international order.
“The scope for intense global cooperation, international cooperation with our American partners and indeed the wider G7, that we’re convening this week has never been greater,” Raab said.
He stressed that meeting in person – something only possible due to measures like daily testing of attendees – would make diplomacy much easier: “You can only do so much by Zoom.”
The G7 members are Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and their combined gross domestic product is about $40 trillion – a little less than half of the global economy.
British and U.S. officials have expressed concern in recent months about growing strategic cooperation between Russia, the world’s largest country by territory, and China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
Asked about the concerns, Raab said: “What matters to us most is that we broaden the international caucus of like-minded countries that stand up for open societies, human rights and democracy, that stand for open trade.”
He said many of those allies wanted “to know how this pandemic started.” The coronavirus outbreak, which began in China in late 2019, has killed 3.2 million people and cost the world trillions of dollars in lost output.
Raab said some of the barriers between the G7 and other like-minded countries needed to be broken down, so that there could be a broader network of allies that stood up for open markets and democracy.
Britain has invited India, Australia and South Korea to attend this week’s meeting, running from Monday to Wednesday, and the full leaders’ summit in June.
Asked whether Britain could seek to join a separate grouping known as the Quad – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – Raab said there was no concrete proposal as yet, but Britain was looking at ways to engage more in the Indo-Pacific.
(Writing by William James and Guy Faulconbridge; Additional reporting by Vladimir SoldatkinEditing by Susan Fenton and Frances Kerry)
New Zealand says differences with China becoming harder to reconcile
By Praveen Menon
WELLINGTON (Reuters) -Differences between New Zealand and its top trading partner China are becoming harder to reconcile as Beijing’s role in the world grows and changes, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
The comments come as New Zealand faces pressure from some elements among Western allies over its reluctance to use the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance to criticise Beijing.
In a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland, Ardern said there are things on which China and New Zealand “do not, cannot, and will not agree”, but added these differences need not define their relationship.
“It will not have escaped the attention of anyone here that as China’s role in the world grows and changes, the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile,” Ardern said.
“This is a challenge that we, and many other countries across the Indo Pacific region, but also in Europe and other regions, are also grappling with,” she added.
In comments that sparked some reaction among Western allies, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said last month she was uncomfortable expanding the role of Five Eyes, which includes Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States.
“This speech appears to be crafted to deflect surprisingly sharp and severe criticism from commentators after Mahuta’s remarks last month,” said Geoffrey Miller, international analyst at the political website Democracy Project.
However, the comments do not change New Zealand’s overall shift to a more China-friendly, or at least more neutral position, he said.
“Ardern and Mahuta are selling the new stance as New Zealand advancing an ‘independent foreign policy’ that is not loyal to any major bloc,” he added.
China, which takes almost one-third of New Zealand’s exports, has accused the Five Eyes of ganging up on it by issuing statements on Hong Kong and the treatment of ethnic Muslim Uyhgurs in Xinjiang.
New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday is set to look at a motion put forward by a smaller party to declare the situation in Xinjiang as a genocide.
Ardern said New Zealand would continue to speak about these issues individually as well as through its partners, noting that managing the relationship with China is not always going to be easy.
China’s Ambassador to New Zealand, Wu Xi, who also spoke at the event warned that Hong Kong and Xinjiang related issues were China’s internal affairs.
“We hope that the New Zealand side could hold an objective and a just a position, abide by international law and not interfere in China’s internal affairs so as to maintain the sound development of our bilateral relations,” she said in her speech.
Beijing is engaged in a diplomatic row with Australia and has imposed trade restrictions after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus. China denies the curbs are reprisals, saying reduced imports of Australian products are the result of buyers’ own decisions.
Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China had recently acted “more aggressively abroad” and was behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.”
When asked if New Zealand would risk trade punishment with China, as did Australia, to uphold values, Ardern said: “It would be a concern to anyone in New Zealand if the consideration was ‘Do we speak on this or are we too worried of economic impacts?'”
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
Canada records C$282.56 billion budget deficit over first 11 months of 2020/21
OTTAWA, April 30 (Reuters) – Canada‘s budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal 2020/21 swelled to C$282.56 billion ($230.04 billion) from a deficit of C$6.98 billion in the year-ago period, as Ottawa spent heavily to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the finance ministry said on Friday.
“The unprecedented shift in the government’s financial results reflects the severe deterioration in the economic situation and temporary measures implemented,” it said in a statement.
Year-to-date revenues dropped 14.1% reflecting a broad-based decline in tax and other revenues, which include items like Crown corporation profits. Year-to-date program expenses, meanwhile, jumped 81.6% largely due to emergency transfers to individuals, businesses and the provinces.
On a monthly basis, Canada posted a deficit of C$14.37 billion in February 2021, compared to the C$3.58 billion surplus recorded in February 2020.
Monthly revenues were down 9.3% on a decline in tax and other revenues. Program expenses climbed 58.1%, again on COVID-19 response measures.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon, 613-235-6745, Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org; Editing by David Ljunggren)
Canada sends medical supplies to India as COVID-19 overwhelms country’s health care – Global News
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday – CBC.ca
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – moosejawtoday.com
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