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Friday’s Mini-Report, 4.12.24

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s slightly-earlier-than-usual edition of quick hits.

* This proved to be quite a legislative fight: “The House voted to renew a powerful surveillance program on Friday, two days after a band of 19 conservative privacy hawks revolted against Republican leadership and blocked the legislation on the floor when their demands were not met. The vote was 273-147 and was overwhelmingly bipartisan, with both Republicans and Democrats voting in favor of the legislation.”

* It’s hard not to notice just how much effort Biden is putting into student loan debt relief: “President Joe Biden announced Friday that his administration is canceling $7.4 billion in student loans for 277,000 borrowers.”

* In Israel: “The United States dispatched its top military commander for the Middle East to Israel on Thursday, after President Biden stated that, despite recent friction, American support for Israel ‘is ironclad’ in the event of an attack by Iran. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly vowed to punish Israel for an April 1 strike in Syria that killed several senior Iranian commanders. Israel has put its military on alert, and Mr. Biden said on Wednesday that Iran was threatening a ‘significant’ attack.”

* Getting Beijing’s attention: “President Joe Biden said Thursday that U.S. defense commitment to Pacific allies was ‘ironclad’ as he gathered Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House in the midst of growing concern about provocative Chinese military action in the Indo-Pacific.”

* There were some nuanced differences, but the optics are far from ideal: “Even as some of President Biden’s top campaign officials were attacking Donald J. Trump’s campaign for soliciting donations to pay his legal fees, the Biden-aligned Democratic National Committee was helping pay for lawyers in the special counsel investigation into Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents.”

* This really isn’t how immigration policy is supposed to work in this country: “Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a law that would allow local law enforcement officials to arrest some undocumented immigrants and state courts to order their deportation, making Iowa the second state to recently challenge the federal government’s authority on immigration policies.”

* Hmm: “Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo said he will not comply with a subpoena issued by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of their ongoing investigation into ethics practices at the Supreme Court.”

* The whole right-to-repair conversation is advancing in interesting ways: “The next time you need to have your iPhone fixed, you may not have to pay as much to get it working just the way it used to. Apple told The Washington Post it is easing a key restriction on iPhone repairs. Starting this fall, owners of an iPhone 15 or newer will be able to get their broken devices fixed with used parts — including screens, batteries and cameras — without any change in functionality.”

Have a safe weekend.