* The Administration remains frustrated with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. But he’s hardly the first political leader with career- and constituency-over-country priorities. Trump won the state in 2020 by 40 points.
* “I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” That was Sen. Manchin explaining, as it were, his home-state reality and his resultant “moderate” status.
* President Biden says the government will double—to 1 billion—the rapid, at-home COVID tests to be distributed free to Americans—along with the most protective N95 masks.
* The Federal Highway Administration will distribute $26.5 billion to upgrade bridges in states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over the next five years.
* President Biden held nine news conferences in his first year in office. Were he not susceptible to “Bidenisms,” there likely would have been more.
* Biden visited 24 states in his first year as president. Among the most visited: Pennsylvania (7) and Michigan (5). Both were key states in his 2020 election win. BTW, First Lady Jill Biden went to 35 states.
* Military Industrial Complex Update. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Congress is projected to spend about $8.5 trillion for the military over the next 10 years. For context, that’s about a half trillion–remember when “trillion” rarely showed up in budget copy?–more than is budgeted for nonmilitary discretionary programs combined. BTW, the U.S. has 11 aircraft carriers (that cost $1.5 billion annually to operate). China has two. What would Dwight Eisenhower say?
* “We’re at an inflection point for domestic offshore wind-energy development.”–Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, on the array of initiatives by the Biden Administration to advance clean energy, including plans to hold the largest-ever sale of offshore wind farm rights in U.S. history.