Biden’s SOTU Shot at Bipartisanship

Happy Wednesday! Due to this newsletter’s overt Chicago sports bias, we will not be acknowledging LeBron James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer last night, as the development could theoretically detract from Michael Jordan’s G.O.A.T. status.

This is us not acknowledging how cool a moment it wasn’t.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday in the 10 provinces hit hardest by the series of earthquakes that struck the southern part of the country Monday. More than 11,000 people have been confirmed dead in Turkey and Syria since the 7.8- and 7.5-magnitude quakes rattled the region, and the death toll is expected to continue rising as officials continue their rescue efforts. Erdoğan’s emergency declaration will allow the government to temporarily bypass parliament to enact new laws.
  • The U.S. Strategic Command notified Congress last month that the number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launchers in China now exceeds the number of such launchers in the United States. But the U.S. still has more land-based missiles—and nuclear warheads to arm them—than China has.
  • Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands announced Tuesday they will jointly supply Ukraine with at least 100–and up to 178–Leopard 1 tanks, the 1970s predecessor to the Leopard 2 tanks promised last month after much debate. The first tanks should arrive in Ukraine by summer, with the vast majority arriving early next year.
  • In an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank is likely not done raising target interest rates after January’s employment report showed significant job growth beyond economists’ expectations. “I think there has been an expectation that [inflation] will go away quickly and painlessly and I don’t think that’s at all guaranteed,” Powell said. “The base case, for me, is that it will take some time. And we will have to do more rate increases and then we’ll have to look around and see whether we’ve done enough.”
  • In a move first reported by Daily Faceoff, a hockey news site, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is leaving the Biden administration after the State of the Union address to become the executive director of the National Hockey League’s Players Association. An outspoken advocate for labor unions, Walsh will be one of the first cabinet officials to leave the Biden administration. 
  • The U.S. Navy released the first photos on Tuesday of the Chinese spy balloon that American military officials shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday off the South Carolina coast. U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly connected the surveillance balloon to a reconnaissance operation run by the People’s Liberation Army’s air force and have started sharing the intelligence with American allies who have reported being the target of similar military facility-related espionage efforts by Beijing in recent years, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The President’s 2024 Pitch

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sure, the State of the Union address could—and probably shouldbe an email, but if it were, President Joe Biden wouldn’t have had the chance to negotiate policy consensus live on air last night.

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