Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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U.S. President Joe Biden removes his sunglasses before speaking to members of the news media before boarding Marine One for travel to California from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Biden’s $130 million momentum

Were President Joe Biden to win reelection this November, he’d be 86 years old when finishing his second term. That’s part of why a startling 86% of Americans tell pollsters he’s too old to serve again.

But 86 is only one Biden number of note. Another is 130 million. That’s the total number of dollars his campaign has raised to date after raking in $42 million in the month of January alone. In fact, Biden’s $130 million haul is the most any Democrat has ever raised to this point in a campaign. (Donald Trump ended 2023 with $66 million and hasn’t yet reported January totals. He also has a few legal bills to pay.)

That’s why, whatever his popularity numbers, despite the flood of recent stories about possible Democratic Party alternatives to Biden, and whatever embarrassments next week’s Michigan primary may hold in store for a president whose firm support for Israel has angered much of that state’s sizeable Arab-American population, Biden won’t be easy to beat.

It’s also another reason we hold to our view that the only presidential polling questions that really matter are: Will you vote? Who will you vote for?

February 17, 2024: OpenAI Sora logo on a smartphone display

IMAGO/Bihlmayerfotografie via Reuters Connect

We’re Sora-ing, flying

OpenAI, the buzzy startup behind the ChatGPT chatbot, has begun previewing its next tool: Sora. Just like OpenAI’s DALL-E allows users to type out a text prompt and generate an image, Sora will give customers the same ability with video.

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Feb. 13, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Foreign aid bill passed by Senate faces uphill battle in House

A $95 billion bill including aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan passed with bipartisan support in the Senate on Tuesday in a 70-29 vote.

This occurred despite strong objections from former President Donald Trump – the likely 2024 GOP presidential nominee and de facto head of the Republican Party.

Trump builds a wall against foreign aid. Trump argues that the US should only offer foreign aid in the form of a loan, and his stance on the legislation could help tank it in the GOP-controlled House.

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Former US President Donald Trump speaks as he holds a campaign rally in Conway, South Carolina, February 10, 2024.

REUTERS/Sam Wolfe

Trump: I would encourage Russia to attack 'delinquent' NATO allies

Speaking at a South Carolina rally on Saturday, Donald Trumpsaid he would "encourage" Russia to attack NATO members that don’t meet their financial obligations. “No I would not protect you, in fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want,” the former president and likely GOP 2024 nominee thundered. “You gotta pay."

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United States President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Black History Month Reception at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

Annabelle Gordon / Pool/Sipa USA

Border bill fails in Senate: the jockeying intensifies

President Joe Biden is blaming Donald Trump for killing a Senate bill on Ukraine support and border security on Wednesday.

The bill would have delivered billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and Israel along with stricter border security – including asylum restrictions, a major stated goal for the GOP.

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump..

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Two major Trump trial decisions this week

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump is not immune to criminal charges for things he did while president. Specifically: the DC federal indictment accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump will appeal to the Supreme Court to delay the DC trial, stalling it until SCOTUS decides whether to take up the case before its session ends in July.

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Senator James Lankford (R-OK) speaks to media during a Senate vote, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Senate announces plan for Ukraine-Border deal – Trump calls it “meaningless”

A bipartisan group of US Senators released an outline of a deal Sunday that would send billions to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza and beef up US border security after months of wrangling. Too bad House Speaker Mike Johnson called it “dead on arrival.”

Show me the money. Overall, the price tag will cross $118 billion, including ~$60 billion for Ukraine, ~$20 billion for border security, ~$14 billion in security aid to Israel, and ~$10 billion for humanitarian aid in Gaza. The bill also creates new pathways to legal migration and raises the standards of evidence a migrant faces persecution at home needed to claim asylum. Folks who meet the new standards will be able to work and live in the US pending a hearing, and especially compelling cases may even be granted asylum on the spot by an immigration officer.

Will it see the light of day? With former President Donald Trump actively campaigning against the bill, smart money says “no.” He’d like to keep the immigration issue in the headlines to hammer President Joe Biden with – and the situation underscores the dynamics within the Republican Party, where a candidate who holds no office is influencing legislative priorities.

The fact is, Johnson stands to lose his job – just like his predecessor did – if he crosses Trump on this, so his diagnosis may prove prescient.

An upside-down sign rests on the frozen ground outside Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign event at the Franklin VFW on January 22, 2024, in Franklin, New Hampshire.

Michael Nigro/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Haley vows to fight on after Trump wins New Hampshire

Nikki Haley lost the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, but you wouldn’t have known it based on the response from the crowd at her … non-victory speech. Her supporters erupted in applause when the former South Carolina governor proclaimed she’d earned “almost half” the votes. What happened to Ricky Bobby’s America, where “if you ain’t first, you’re last”?

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