Cup of Joe – 6/12/22

The Wall Street Journal editorial board concludes after watching the January 6 hearing: “Mr. Trump betrayed his supporters by conning them on Jan. 6, and he is still doing it.”

The New York Post editorial board isn’t swayed either: “The best argument Trump’s people can cling to is that the Capitol building wasn’t properly secured. The committee would look far less partisan by scrutinizing these claims. But what’s the logic? You knew Trump was going to incite a mob, so you should have brought in more troops? Trump himself doesn’t deny that he wished the rioters had succeeded in overturning the election.”

From a Financial Times editorial: “It feels futile by now to appeal to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. So many, through fear or craven self-interest, have thrown in their lot with a man who has a stranglehold on their party.”

“Yet the revelations of the January 6 committee should spur natural Republican sympathizers more broadly, above all in the business world, to step up the fight to regain control of the once pro-business party from a figure who remains a menace to the US republic.”

Washington Post: “The discord marks a new twist on a close father-daughter relationship that has spanned family, business and politics, exposing a rift that has opened since the 2020 election… Before Jan. 6, Ivanka Trump broke with her father and siblings in avoiding baseless fraud allegations and attempts to overturn the election results. On the day of the Capitol riot, she repeatedly tried to convince the president to make a statement or video calling for his supporters to stop the attack.”

“That tension could mount as the committee holds more hearings this month. Ivanka Trump’s descriptions of her efforts to press her father into action on Jan. 6 have made her a key witness for investigators, people familiar with her testimony said. The committee interviewed both Ivanka Trump and Kushner for hours and has also indicated that it will release transcripts.”

New York Times: “Several former prosecutors and veteran lawyers said afterward that the hearing offered the makings of a credible criminal case for conspiracy to commit fraud or obstruction of the work of Congress.”

“In presenting her summary of the evidence, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy) demonstrated that Mr. Trump was told repeatedly by his own advisers that he had lost the election yet repeatedly lied to the country by claiming it had been stolen. He pressured state and federal officials, members of Congress and even his own vice president to disregard vote tallies in key states. And he encouraged the mob led by extremist groups like the Proud Boys while making no serious effort to stop the attack once it began.”

New York Times: “The reference by Ms. Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and the vice chairwoman of the House Jan. 6 committee, to the 25th Amendment being under consideration by cabinet members was one of the most striking assertions in the panel’s two-hour hearing. In the first of six planned public hearings, the committee presented a detailed case against Mr. Trump and the rioters who stormed the Capitol and delayed the congressional certification of the Electoral College results.”

“The panel has signaled that it plans to use the discussions about the 25th Amendment to show not only the chaos that Mr. Trump set off by helping stoke the riot but how little confidence those around him had in his ability to be president.”

In a Friday tweet storm, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asked several of her fellow representatives if they’d asked Donald Trump for a pardon following the January 6 insurrection, Insider reports.

Charlie Sykes: “The refusal of the Trump/GOP to participate in the committee meant that they were shut out of last night’s hearing. They had a chance to make their case, but chose instead to sulk. As last night’s evidence unfolded, that decision looked more and more like an act of supreme political malpractice.”

“The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the U.S. hit $5 Friday night, and the rise in fuel costs is expected to persist throughout the busy summer driving season,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

New York Times: “A surge in prices in May delivered a blow to President Biden and underscored the immense challenge facing the Federal Reserve as inflation, which many economists had expected to show signs of cooling, instead reaccelerated to climb at its fastest pace since late 1981.”

Washington Post: “As the average price of gas nationwide topped $5/gallon early Saturday, surging fuel prices across the United States are creating new strains for millions of consumers and businesses, while compounding intractable political challenges for the Biden administration.”

Washington Post: “The euphoria that accompanied Ukraine’s unforeseen early victories against bumbling Russian troops is fading as Moscow adapts its tactics, recovers its stride and asserts its overwhelming firepower against heavily outgunned Ukrainian forces.”

“Newly promised Western weapons systems are arriving, but too slowly and in insufficient quantities to prevent incremental but inexorable Russian gains in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, which is now the focus of the fight.”

Edward Luce: “The ironic outcome is nostalgia for the Watergate era. Watergate proved that the American republic could withstand assault by a popular and very effective sitting president. The system worked. January 6 shows that an unpopular former president can wield a veto over the fate of democracy. The irony stems from the fact that declining trust in government began during Watergate and is now at rock bottom. Apart from a couple of interludes during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s and Bill Clinton’s in the 1990s, trust in government to do the right thing some or all of the time has been on the slide since Watergate. It is now at a record low of 20 percent.”

“Part of the cure for today’s partisan mutual loathing would be a display of the admirable objectivity shown by the Watergate committee. But the America that was stunned into forcing Nixon’s resignation seems almost as lost in time as the royal tyranny that it expelled. The past is another country, as the saying goes. America’s present feels like two different nations that are barely on speaking terms.”

“Rebel Tory MPs are betting that Boris Johnson will ‘blow himself up’ with further scandals over the summer so that the rules protecting him from another confidence vote can be changed to force him from office,” The Guardian reports. ” Under Conservative party rules, Johnson is immune from another vote for 12 months. But the Guardian understands that the 1922 Committee, which oversees such votes, could cut that period to six months, or even less.”

“The U.S. government indirectly pays an airline controlled by the Taliban regime to ferry Afghan refugees out of Kabul,” NBC News reports.  “Without U.S. troops or diplomats on the ground, the Biden administration has no viable alternative to the arrangement as it tries to help Afghans seeking to resettle in the U.S.”

The Guardian: “Xi Jinping has reiterated China’s commitment to zero-Covid, declaring ‘persistence is victory,’ as Shanghai and Beijing were hit with new lockdowns, shutdowns, and mass testing drives just a week after the cities celebrated the easing of restrictions.”

“Iran dealt a potentially ‘fatal blow’ to the 2015 nuclear accord by removing cameras monitoring its nuclear work, the head of the United Nations atomic agency said Thursday, calling on Tehran to reverse its decision in three or four weeks,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed 29 Republican state lawmakers in Arizona — 27 more than previously known — to set aside Joe Biden’s popular vote victory and “choose” presidential electors, the Washington Post reports.

“The revelation that Ginni Thomas was directly involved in pressing them to override the popular vote — an act that would have been without precedent in the modern era — intensified questions about whether her husband should recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 presidential election and attempts to subvert it.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) attacked Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the January 6 committee, claiming he was “unable” to do his job after losing his own child to suicide.  Said Gaetz: “The country shouldn’t have to go through all that with him.”

Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO) “covered up” an off-roading accident that could have sunk her political career after she lost control of Jeep ATV and left her son, dog, and sister-in-law to smash into a rock face two weeks before key 2020 primary, the Daily Mail reports.

“Senior U.S. officials have conveyed to Saudi Arabia that the US is prepared to move forward with a ‘reset’ of the relationship, and effectively move on from the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in order to repair ties with the key Middle East ally,” CNN reports.  “The planning for a reset is a dramatic about-face for President Joe Biden, who came into office vowing to make Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ over Khashoggi’s murder.”

Another unexpected consequence of high gas prices.

“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue.” — David Axelrod, quoted by the New York Times.

“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 a camera as he once was, and this has fed a narrative about competence that isn’t rooted in reality.” — David Axelrod, quoted by the New York Times.

“Politicians and special interests are using the Jan. 6 hearings in appeals for donations, with even former President Donald Trump trying to cash in on the congressional probe of his role in the deadly US Capitol assault,” Bloomberg reports.

“Like a two-way toll booth just around the corner from this fall’s mid-term elections, donor appeals playing off the investigation run a gamut. They go from committees for Democrats enthusiastically praising the House panel and Republican organizations denouncing it to groups focused on specific policy changes.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested former President Donald Trump pardon Hunter Biden in a bid to “smooth things over” following the January 6 insurrection, the Daily Beast reports.A source said Hannity pitched it because he “genuinely wanted some healing.”

Jill Lawrence: “To be clear, Manchin will never be a progressive hero. He’s got corporate ties and sympathies. He was once on the board of the super-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. He’s worried about the federal deficit. He’s skeptical about government spending. He’s an unreliable partner. And, yes, that 95 percent score is in part because he blocks some nominees and bills before votes are cast.”

“But could another Democrat win statewide in West Virginia? Would progressives prefer a Republican over Manchin? It’s time to stop bashing him, and appreciate him for what he is—a Democratic ally, more often than not.”

Politico: “Capitol Hill has largely moved on from the Covid pandemic — masks are seldom seen and large groups of tourists have returned — but the pandemic-era proxy voting system remains well-utilized by House members.”

“More precisely: More than 40 lawmakers used it throughout Wednesday and Thursday, as the chamber voted on two gun safety bills.”

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

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