Cup of Joe – 5/28/22

“Police who responded to the mass shooting at an elementary school here waited around an hour to enter the classroom where the gunman had locked himself because a commander on scene incorrectly thought no lives were at risk,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Steven McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety: “Obviously, based upon the information we have, children in that classroom were at risk and it was in fact still an active shooter… It was the wrong decision. Period.”

Also, from the New York Times: “When specially equipped federal immigration agents arrived at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, the local police at the scene would not allow them to go after the gunman who had opened fire on students inside the school.”

New York Times: Students in the room with the gunman called 911 many times.

It is now clear that all Texas police officers are cowards.

A lieutenant with the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN that police were reluctant to immediately engage with the gunman who spent an hour inside the elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., where he killed 19 children and two adults because “they could’ve been shot.”

That’s the job. To risk your life to save the innocent. Like I said, all Texas police are cowards. They must all be fired at once and never work in law enforcment of any kind again. I also think it might be reasonable to charge them all as accomplices to murder.

“Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) told colleagues Thursday morning that they should be prepared to vote on gun-control legislation when they return to Washington next month after the Memorial Day recess, promising a showdown with Republicans after mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas left 31 people dead,” The Hill reports.

“Schumer said he’s not scheduling a vote this week on two House-passed bills to expand background checks because he wants to give Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other colleagues more time to negotiate a deal with Republicans on background check or red-flag legislation.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told CNN he “met earlier in the day with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and encouraged the senior Republican senator to begin discussions with Democrats, including Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), to see if they can find a middle ground on legislation to respond to the tragic Texas elementary school shooting.”

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are facing enormous pressure to take action in the wake of the horrific shooting, but members on both sides acknowledge the uphill battle to find common ground given the highly polarized political climate around gun legislation and widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun control.”

“It is significant, though, that McConnell has decided to weigh in and is giving a greenlight to a bipartisan effort on a potential legislative response to the shooting.”

“After the deadliest school shooting in a decade, a small group of Republican and Democratic senators have begun an urgent and uphill effort to strike a compromise on new gun laws, voicing hope that a wave of collective outrage at the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers could finally conquer a decade of congressional paralysis,” the New York Times reports.  “Members of the bipartisan group emerged from a private meeting on Thursday determined to work quickly to try to reach a deal on modest steps to limit access to guns.”

“The calculation behind Republicans’ steadfast opposition to any new gun regulations — even in the face of the kind of unthinkable massacre that occurred Tuesday at an elementary school in Texas — is a fairly simple one for Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota,” the New York Times reports.

“Asked Wednesday what the reaction would be from voters back home if he were to support any significant form of gun control, the first-term Republican had a straightforward answer: ‘Most would probably throw me out of office.’”

“On Thursday, Senate Republicans are set to block legislation intended to combat domestic terrorism. And they’re all over the place on whether homegrown extremism even needs more federal attention,” Politico reports.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was confronted by Mark Stone of Sky News about the astounding number of mass shootings in the United States:

STONE: Is this the moment to reform gun laws?

CRUZ: You know, it’s easy to go to politics…

STONE: But it’s important, it’s at the heart of the issue.

CRUZ: I get that that is where the media likes to go… The proposals from Democrats and the media, inevitably when some violent psychopath murders people…

STONE: A violent psychopath who’s able to get a weapon so easily. An 18-year-old with two AR-15s… But why does this only happen in your country? I really think that’s what many people around the world cannot fathom, why only in America. Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?

Cruz then tried to walk away.

Georgia U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker (R) told Fox News that the government should monitor social media to prevent mass shootings.  Said Walker: “A department that can look at young men that’s looking at women that’s looking at social media. What about doing that, looking into things like that, and we can stop that that way?”

Florida state Rep. Randy Fine (R) tweeted what appeared to be a threat toward President Biden.   Said Fine: “I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our President — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place.”

Michael Gerson: “Honestly, I don’t know how effective any of these three ideas — reducing the permissible age for gun sales, strengthening background checks and passing a national red-flag law — would be in the prevention of mass shootings. But I know that none of them are remotely unconstitutional.”

“And I know that a healthy legislative process would pass these laws, closely monitor their effectiveness, consider improvements to strengthen them, and then examine other promising ideas that emerge and pass other legislation.”

Washington Post: “In California, officials estimate 220,000 people could drop their Obamacare plans next year. Premium payments may more than double for roughly 1 million low-income consumers in the state, and costs could spike for older Americans.”

“That’s if Congress doesn’t extend enhanced subsidies helping lower costs for millions of people on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces.”

“It’s a snapshot of the headache Democrats may face right before the midterm elections. There’s increasing anxiety within Democratic circles about the prospect of Congress failing to renew the temporary benefit — and the costs Americans would learn about just weeks before they head to the voting booths.”

“Photos of an AR-15 style rifle, the type of gun used during Tuesday’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, were reportedly shown at a Fort Worth elementary school on Wednesday during what was supposed to be a career day presentation,” the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports.

“Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team,” the AP reports.

“Since a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two teachers, authorities have provided an incomplete — and evolving — explanation of what happened,” the Washington Post reports. “Officials, who are facing mounting questions about the police response to the massacre, have offered varied timelines and explanations of the massacre and law enforcement’s response. They have also made sometimes inconsistent or contradictory announcements about key details, such as how the shooter entered the school or how long he was inside. They have even withdrawn some claims outright.”

Philip Bump: “Again: a lot of this is uncertain. But it does appear that more than 20 people were killed despite a security officer at the scene when the gunman arrived and despite the police being there soon after the killing began.”

“In other words, there were lots of ‘good guys with guns’ in Uvalde, as the rhetorical line goes. But 19 kids died anyway.”

“The Justice Department has stepped up its criminal investigation into the creation of alternate slates of pro-Trump electors seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, with a particular focus on a team of lawyers that worked on behalf of President Donald Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“Four House Republicans including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, signaled on Thursday that they would not cooperate with subpoenas from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, posing a dilemma for the panel that could have broad implications for the inquiry and for Congress itself,” the New York Times reports.

“The Republicans’ resistance could hinder the committee’s investigation, leaving unanswered questions about the deadly mob attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, that left more than 150 police officers injured. It will also likely force the panel to decide whether to pursue criminal contempt of Congress charges against the men, which could prompt a legal showdown whose outcome could set a precedent for future congressional investigations.”

Twenty former House Republicans “are urging Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other conference members to comply with subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 select committee, describing the probe as an important attempt to defend American institutions,” Politico reports.

“Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his office after meeting with a House Republican who was working to challenge the 2020 election, according to testimony the Jan. 6 select committee has heard from one of his former aides,” Politico reports.

“Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked under Meadows when he was former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, told the panel investigating the Capitol attack that she saw Meadows incinerate documents after a meeting in his office with Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).”

“The Meadows-Perry meeting came in the weeks after Election Day 2020, as Trump and his allies searched for ways to reverse the election results.”

“Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has stopped short of refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, telling the panel that he would do so only if it met certain conditions, including sharing all the evidence the committee had on him ahead of time,” the Washington Post reports.

“Former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in New York state’s civil investigation into his business practices, a state appeals court ruled Thursday,” the AP reports.  “Thursday’s ruling could mean a tough decision for Trump about whether to answer questions, or stay silent, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Anything Trump says in a civil deposition could be used against him in the criminal probe being overseen by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.”

“In the latest legal blow to Donald Trump, a federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit the former president filed that sought to halt the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices,” the New York Times reports.

“The ruling, in federal court in Albany, was Mr. Trump’s second defeat related to the investigation in two days. On Thursday, an appellate court ordered Mr. Trump and two of his children to sit for questioning under oath from the office of the state attorney general, Letitia James.”

“Together, the rulings clear the way for Ms. James to complete her investigation in the coming weeks or months.”

Former President Donald Trump disputed a claim from Kellyanne Conway, one of his closest aides while he was in the White House, that she told him he lost the 2020 presidential election, The Hill reports.  Said Trump:”Kellyanne Conway never told me that she thought we lost the election. If she had, I wouldn’t have dealt with her any longer – she would have been wrong – could go back to her crazy husband.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) delivered a forceful speech after Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) blocked unanimous consent to confirm a new undersecretary for health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Politico reports.  Said Tester: “I hope, Madam Chair, that the senator of Florida doesn’t walk in to Memorial Day services and talk about what a great friend he is of our veterans. Cause he is not.”

He added: “This is obstruction at the worst, because this obstruction stops our veterans from getting the healthcare that they need. You want to talk about why the American people think the United States Senate is dysfunctional? The senator from Florida could look in the mirror.”

“White House officials are currently planning to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, after months of internal deliberations over how to structure loan forgiveness for tens of millions of Americans,” the Washington Post reports.

“The White House’s latest plans called for limiting debt forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly… It was unclear whether the administration will simultaneously require interest and payments to resume at the end of August, when the current pause is scheduled to lapse.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Vice News that he thought people still needed assault weapons to kill “feral pigs.”

Said Cassidy: “If you talk to the people that own it, killing feral pigs in the, whatever, the middle of Louisiana. They’ll wonder: ‘Why would you take it away from me?’ I’m law abiding, I’ve never done anything, I use it to kill feral pigs. The action of a criminal deprives me of my right.”

Insider: “Cassidy’s remarks inadvertently referenced a meme from 2019 involving a hypothetical argument on Twitter made in support of keeping assault weapons legal.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Axios he’s earnestly engaged in talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over a climate, energy and deficit reduction package, reviving hopes for action this year.  Manchin called those preliminary talks “respectful” and “encouraging, to a certain extent.”  But he added: “There could be nothing. There could be truly nothing. That’s all I can tell you.”

New York Times: “The price for regular gasoline in California has already risen to more than $6 a gallon, and it is virtually impossible to find gas for under $4 anywhere else. Nationwide, prices have risen by nearly 50 cents a gallon over the last month.”

“The war in Ukraine is the most immediate cause for the jump in prices as global refiners, tanker companies and traders shun Russian exports, forcing up to three million barrels of oil a day off the market. Energy traders have also bid up oil prices in the expectation that Western governments will impose even tougher sanctions on Russia and its energy industry.”

“But another reason for the high prices is that, despite them, motorists have not done much to burn a lot less gasoline.”

“The governments of China and Australia have begun an intense diplomatic race to win over the countries of the South Pacific, as Beijing’s rivalry with the US and its allies spreads into one of the most remote but most strategically sensitive regions of the globe,” the Times of London reports.

“Southern Baptist leaders on Thursday evening released a list of alleged church-related sexual abuse offenders that denomination heads had kept secret for more than a decade,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Executive Committee for the Southern Baptist Convention said earlier this week it would publish the names after it issued a third-party investigation that suggested a widespread coverup by top leaders who ignored and even ‘vilified’ people who came forward with stories of abuse.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet released its decision that looks set to dramatically scale back abortion rights, but one of the next legal battles has already begun in a Mississippi court,” Reuters reports.  “That is where the manufacturer of a pill used to carry out medication abortions, Las Vegas-based GenBioPro Inc, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the conservative state’s restrictions on the pill, used in more than half of all U.S. abortions.”

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

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