Dem Notes

* The U.S. made sure Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were not invited to the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. As a result, the leaders of Mexico, Guatamala, El Salvador and Honduras opted out. If the United Nations can include blatant non-democracies, so can the Summit of the Americas. That’s because, when possible, you should talk to your adversaries. Especially when they’re in your own hemisphere. Especially when it’s in the enlightened self-interest of the U.S. to gather all the regional players variously impacted by migration and humanitarian crises.

* Neither President Biden nor ex-President Trump seem likely to announce candidacies for 2024 until after the mid-terms. Most Dems don’t expect the octogenarian incumbent to run again, but saying it now only formalizes his lame-duck status earlier than necessary. A number of Republican donors feel a Trump announcement to run could help Democrats in November.

* “I will not pressure the Ukrainian government—in private or public—to make any territorial concessions.”–President Joe Biden. Begged question: What’s meant by “pressure”?

* Inflation rate in May: 8.6 percent; in April: 8.3 percent.

* “Biden doesn’t get the credit he deserves for steering the country through the worst of the pandemic, passing historic legislation, pulling the NATO alliance together against Russian aggression and restoring decency and decorum to the White House. And part of the reason he doesn’t is performative. He looks his age and isn’t as agile in front of the camera as he once was, and this had fed a narrative about competence that isn’t rooted in reality.”–Democratic strategist David Axelrod.

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