Cup of Joe – 10/6/21

“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a vote by Wednesday on increasing the federal government’s borrowing ceiling, but didn’t lay out how Democrats planned to pass a bill without Republican votes,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Punchbowl News: “There’s one thing in Washington you should be paying attention to right now — the rapidly worsening political conflict over lifting the debt limit. The situation is alarming, there’s no other way to put it.”

Schumer signaled he may cancel the chamber’s October recess to allow more time to resolve the stalemate over raising the nation’s borrowing authority, The Hill reports. Said Schumer: “We’re going to stay here until we get this done.”

“During their caucus lunch Tuesday, Senate Democrats discussed potentially excluding the debt ceiling from Senate filibuster rules,” Politico reports.

“The potential carveout for the debt limit is a long shot, given Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) opposition to weakening minority-party rights. But the idea appears more popular within the caucus than going through the strenuous motions of reconciliation after Wednesday’s vote to suspend the debt ceiling likely ends in a filibuster.”

New York Times: “Mr. McConnell has long used the periodic need to raise the government’s borrowing limit as a moment of leverage to secure a policy win, as have leaders of both parties.”

“But two weeks before a potentially catastrophic default, Mr. McConnell has yet to reveal what he wants, telling President Biden in a letter on Monday, ‘We have no list of demands.’”

“Instead, he appears to want to sow political chaos for Democrats while insulating himself and other Republicans from an issue that has the potential to divide them.”

“We’re not voting in any way to help raise the debt ceiling. As a group we are all together.” — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), quoted by Bloomberg, making clear he will filibuster legislation to lift the debt ceiling tomorrow.

R. Marshall Brandt: “All 50 Republicans in the Senate voted not to raise the debt ceiling and therefore willfully default on America’s debt. That vote was just as antithetical to a functioning democracy as was the votes to decertify the election results on January 6.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC that she believes the economy would fall into a recession if Congress fails to address the borrowing limit before an unprecedented default on the U.S. debt.

Said Yellen: “I do regard Oct. 18 as a deadline. It would be catastrophic to not pay the government’s bills, for us to be in a position where we lacked the resources to pay the government’s bills.”

Yellen dismissed the idea of minting a $1 trillion coin to bypass the debt limit as nothing but a “gimmick,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Yellen: “It compromises the independence of the Federal Reserve and instead of showing Congress and the administration can be trusted to pay the country’s bills, it does the opposite.”

Jonathan Allen: “Republicans are taking a decidedly Trumpian approach to the possibility of a U.S. default: Only a sucker pays debts.”

“They want Democrats to be those suckers, and they will get their way. The Democrats are ready to shoulder the political hit to pay debts incurred by former President Donald Trump, who slashed revenue and spent profligately, and they are trying unsuccessfully to shame Republicans into walking away from a Senate floor showdown Wednesday.”

Ron Brownstein: “Anger is peaking among a wide range of Democrats toward Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema over their resistance to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, but the Democrats’ struggle to pass Biden’s sweeping plan is rooted in more than the personal idiosyncrasies and electoral calculations of two individual senators.”

“It also illustrates the structural challenge of passing big legislation through a Senate that is more closely and deeply divided than in earlier generations.”

“Compared with most of the 20th century, it has become much more rare since 2000 for either party to accumulate a comfortable Senate majority of 55 seats or more. And yet, even as each party is operating with fewer Senate votes of its own, it has also become more difficult for the majority to win votes from senators in the opposition party for its key initiatives.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signaled he is open to a budget reconciliation bill in the ballpark of $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion, above the limit he set just last week of $1.5 trillion, The Hill reports.

“President Biden met Tuesday with nearly a dozen vulnerable House Democrats as he and party leaders race to adopt his massive economic agenda before month’s end,” The Hill reports.

“Democrats consider enactment of Biden’s two-piece domestic plan crucial to the party’s chances of keeping control of the lower chamber in next year’s midterm elections — a cycle that’s historically difficult for the party of the incumbent president. And leaders in both chambers are scrambling to unite their clashing factions behind both the bipartisan infrastructure component and a larger, more controversial package of climate and social safety net programs.”

“I hear your frustration. You don’t have to talk to them as much as I have to talk to them.”  — President Biden, quoted by Politico, talking to House progressives about Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Playbook: “Biden will pause the intra-party diplomacy after the meeting with moderates and fly to a swing district in Michigan to promote his agenda.”

“Administration officials have also been exasperated that BBB has been defined by its price tag rather than its (mostly popular) component parts, and hope the trip will begin to change that.”

“Our ears perk up when we hear these accounts of how the president will use the bully pulpit to rally the public behind his agenda. Most politicians want to believe that it’s possible to do that. But there’s a decades-long history of research that shows … it almost never works.”

“In fact, it often backfires, because a big presidential policy speech can sometimes serve to do more to harden the opposition against his policy than to persuade voters to change their minds.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is withdrawing its support of the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after Punchbowl News reported House Republicans were booting it from its strategy calls, Axios reports.

“The pretense for the decision: President Biden formally linking the ‘hard’ infrastructure bill with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package during a meeting with House Democrats on Friday.”

Julia Azari: “On one hand, the resonance of the ‘Democrats in disarray’ trope is due to the media’s interest in covering conflict, and as was true historically, the Democratic Party remains a patchwork party. Coalitions have certainly changed — gone are the days of the uneasy ‘New Deal Coalition’ between civil rights supporters and the movement’s opponents — but Democrats must now balance a multiracial coalition that is multifaceted in what it wants politically.”

“Yet, no matter how uneasy the coalition of progressives and moderates might be at times, Democrats are overall much closer ideologically than they were previously. Additionally, negative partisanship means that no faction in the Democratic Party is likely to defect to the Republican Party or do anything that would help Republicans electorally (like splinter off and form a new political group). Finally, the nationalized nature of our party politics means that all members’ fortunes are increasingly tied to the party brand.”

Olivia Nuzzi reviews I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House by Stephanie Grisham.

“As I read Grisham’s book, I kept thinking that it felt, in some ways, like the story of the Trump presidency was less about one demagogue than it was about the everyday choices of the smaller people working at the levels below policy-making, and how run-of-the-mill self-centeredness and expediency, when practiced by dozens or hundreds of people in an organization, amounts to the system that allows evil. The Trump administration was not possible because of Trump and his brain trust, as it were. It was possible because of the people like Grisham who let them, in minor and individual ways, function.”

In an interview promoting her new book, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told ABC News said it was a mistake to work for former President Trump.   Said Grisham: “We didn’t think about serving the country anymore, it was about surviving in there.”

“I think the way we handled Covid was tragic… I think the President’s vanity got in the way. He was working for his base, not for this country… I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself with respect to Covid.”  — Former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham, in a CNN interview.

Former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham explained on CNN how she went on Fox News and lied about former chief of staff John Kelly on Donald Trump’s order.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Fox Business that the infrastructure bills are part of a Democratic plot to take over America with socialism in one vote.  Said Blackburn: “They want government control of your kids.”  She added that the legislation will also close churches.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was booed by Republican activists after he suggested they should consider taking the coronavirus vaccine, the Daily Beast reports.

As Graham was heckled loudly he clarified: “I didn’t tell you to get it, you ought to think about it.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News the media’s focus on the January 6th inssurection is a distraction intended to “demean” millions of Trump supporters.

Said Pence: “They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that he “parted amicably” with former President Trump at the end of their terms in January.

Julia Ioffe: “What you’ve been watching for the past two weeks is Washington’s full return to its own version of normalcy. After four years of Donald Trump, and eighteen months of a pandemic that forced the Hill to pass giant, bipartisan rescue packages, Washington is back to what it has looked like since at least the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency: two political parties with radically different aims and visions of good governance, haggling over legislation till the last possible minute.”

“Normal is not necessarily a compliment. Normal for Washington for a long time now has been about the impossibility of passing big, ambitious legislation on a bipartisan basis. The parties are now so far apart in how they view the role of government, and their own priorities, that finding a middle ground is pretty much non-existent.”

Michelle Goldberg: “In 2003, Joe Lieberman, at the time one of the worst Democratic senators, traveled to Arizona to campaign for his party’s presidential nomination and was regularly greeted by antiwar demonstrators. ‘He’s a shame to Democrats,’ said the organizer of a protest outside a Tucson hotel, a left-wing social worker named Kyrsten Sinema. ‘I don’t even know why he’s running. He seems to want to get Republicans voting for him — what kind of strategy is that?’”

Mark Barabak: What makes Kyrsten Sinema tick?

The Supreme Court rejected an effort to give Washington, D.C., residents a voting member in Congress, the Washington Post reports.

“The Chinese military has flown a record 145 fighter planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone during the past four days, escalating Beijing’s campaign of intimidation toward the self-governing island,” Axios reports.

“President Biden has emphasized the need to ensure his strategy of ‘vigorous competition’ with China ‘does not veer into conflict.’ China’s growing aggression toward Taiwan is drawing fresh fears of a catastrophic war and threatens to put that rhetoric to the ultimate test.”

Bloomberg: “The 56 People’s Liberation Army aircraft that entered Taiwan’s air-defense-identification zone Monday represented the largest such incursion to date, and followed a similar record over the weekend.”

“Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) won’t stop the execution Tuesday of Ernest Lee Johnson, saying he believes the evidence showed the intellectually disabled man was fully aware of his crime,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“The announcement came amid pleas for Parson to spare the life of Johnson, 61, from Pope Francis, a former Missouri governor, members of Congress and faith-based groups, who want the governor to halt execution, which is scheduled for Tuesday.”

Just days after an arbitrator ruled that Donald Trump could not enforce a nondisclosure agreement with Omarosa Manigault Newman, she told MSNBC that Trump isn’t being honest about his health.

Said Manigault Newman: “I’m really more concerned about the fact that Donald Trump hasn’t come forward and talked about his health… I don’t know if he will even be healthy enough to run in 2024. I think he needs to come clean to the American people about where he is on that before deciding to get into a very stressful and strenuous race for the White House.”

“National security officials at the White House were recently issued a warning: move away from the immediate area as soon as possible if you ever feel the acute onset of pressure, sound or heat in the head,” McClatchy reports.

“The U.S. government is sending a message to diplomats, national security staff and intelligence officers that ‘anomalous health incidents’ — also known as ‘Havana syndrome’ because it was first detected in Cuba — are serious, widespread and pose real danger to their health at home and abroad.”

Donald Trump is no longer on the annual list of America’s 400 wealthiest people — mainly due to the languishing commercial real estate industry, Forbes reports.

“If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself. Five years ago, he had a golden opportunity to diversify his fortune. Fresh off the 2016 election, federal ethics officials were pushing Trump to divest his real estate assets. That would have allowed him to reinvest the proceeds into broad-based index funds and assume office free of conflicts of interest.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “Cup of Joe – 10/6/21

  1. All roads and problems lead to the senate at this point. “Comity” long gone the world’s worst deliberative body now becomes the source of problems old and new that boil down to yet another power struggle and yet another failure to do the nations business. It’s end it now or be back playing the same game the next time. And just for fun never, ever just approve raising the debt ceiling with a Republican in the White House.

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