Cup of Joe – November 3, 2022

David DePape, the man who’s been charged with breaking into Pelosi’s home and assaulting her husband with a hammer, allegedly told first responders at the scene that he had planned on attacking a local professor and several state and federal politicians (plus their families), according to a new DOJ filing, which didn’t identify the targets by name.

DePape also allegedly said he was on a “suicide mission” to stop the “lies coming out of Washington D.C.”

DePape pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to all state charges connected to the attack. He hasn’t entered a plea for the federal charges yet (for which he could face decades of prison time if convicted).

It turns out that the U.S. Capitol Police’s surveillance cameras outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) home caught the break-in in real time on Friday. Officers monitoring the department’s 1,800-odd cameras didn’t immediately notice the intruder. When San Francisco Police arrived at the Pelosi residence, flashing police lights appeared on the screen and caught the attention of Capitol Police, according to the Washington PostCNN, and the New York Times.

Once Capitol Police began to rewind the tape, this is what they reportedly saw: “The officer in D.C. quickly pulled up additional camera angles from around Pelosi’s home and began to backtrack, watching recordings from the minutes before San Francisco police arrived. There, on camera, was a man with a hammer, breaking a glass panel and entering the speaker’s home, according to three people familiar with how Capitol Police learned of the break-in and who have been briefed on or viewed the video themselves.”

The USCP didn’t find out about the break-in and subsequent assault on Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, until 10 minutes after the fact, CNN reports.

Pelosi faces more threats than any other lawmaker, a law enforcement official told the Post. The police reportedly believe that’s due to the Democratic leader being a woman, being constantly attacked by Republicans, and the fact that she’s second in line to the presidency (something the attacker explicitly mentioned when he confronted Paul Pelosi).

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) on Tuesday deleted a tweet mocking the assault of Paul Pelosi, husband of her colleague, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

New York Times: “The reaction to the assault on Mr. Pelosi among Republicans — who have circulated conspiracy theories about it, dismissed it as an act of random violence and made the Pelosis the punchline of a dark joke — underscores how thoroughly the G.O.P. has internalized his example. It suggested that Republicans have come to conclude that, like Mr. Trump, they will pay no political price for attacks on their opponents, however meanspirited, inflammatory or false.”

“If anything, some Republicans seem to believe they will be rewarded by their right-wing base for such coarseness — or even suffer political consequences if they do not join in and show that they are in on the joke.”

The New York Times spoke to the former boss of the man accused of violently assaulting Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.

Said Frank Ciccarelli: “If you got him talking about politics, it was all over. Because he really believed in the whole MAGA, ‘Pizzagate,’ stolen election — you know, all of it, all the way down the line. If you go to Fox News, if you go on the internet and you look at QAnon, you know, he had all these theories.”

Donald Trump promoted baseless claims about the attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi in an interview with conservative radio host Chris Stigall, Rolling Stone reports.

Trump said that “weird things going on in that household,” and repeated the unfounded idea that a window in the Pelosi home was “broken from the inside to the out. It wasn’t a break-in, it was a break-out.”

He also falsely suggested that Pelosi may have known the intruder, adding “Yeah, yeah, it’s a lot of bad stuff.”

The Federal Reserve lifted interest rates by 0.75 percentage point to combat inflation and signaled plans to keep raising them, though possibly in smaller increments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

That marks the fourth consecutive increase of that size as officials seek to reduce inflation by slowing the economy.

“The nation’s extreme shortage of job seekers worsened in September, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, after dropping sharply the previous month,” the New York Times reports.

“Employers had 10.7 million positions open as summer ended, up from 10.3 million in August. That leaves the ratio of unemployed workers to posted jobs at 1.9, a persistently high level even as the economy appears to be decelerating because the Federal Reserve is working to quell inflation.”

“President Biden’s top aide wakes up almost every morning at around 3:30 a.m. in his suburban Maryland home, rolls over in bed and pulls out his iPhone to check a number critical to the fate of the presidency,” the Washington Post reports.

“The information sought by Biden’s chief of staff is not covert intelligence from a foreign government nor a top-secret national security assessment, but a publicly available tracker on — the average national gas price, which updates in the early morning…”

“Klain’s fixation on gas prices reflects a wider sense inside the Biden administration that the president’s popularity is, to a remarkable degree, tied up in that single indicator — one that many economists regard as not nearly as important as the attention it gets. With some incredulity, White House economic officials have watched for months as the president’s approval rating moves in almost exact relation to the average national gas price.”

“Europe is close to entering a recession and the US economy may not be far behind,” Bloomberg reports.

“That’s the stark message Wednesday from A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s No. 2 container carrier and a bellwether for the $29 trillion market for global trade.”

Esquire: “The campaigns of Oz, Lee, Walker, and Masters did not respond, while the others all offered the eerily similar responses that you can find… Usually, these solutions came in the form of pointing out horrible things the Biden administration has done.”

“Not mentioned: global supply shocks tied to the pandemic shutdown, monopoly power and corporate concentration, corporate profits, the war in Ukraine, OPEC, housing (the main driver of inflation through much of 2022), or the Federal Reserve.”

The Supreme Court rejected Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) bid on Tuesday to block the Fulton County district attorney’s subpoena for his testimony in her Trump election meddling probe in Georgia.

Graham now has to testify in front of the special grand jury in the district attorney’s case.

The South Carolina senator can still object to questions, but only on a case-by-case basis.

Of particular interest to the district attorney: Graham’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) after the 2020 election in which the senator allegedly asked Raffensperger about throwing out legally cast ballots.

 “A federal judge has rejected Rudy Giuliani’s effort to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers who he falsely accused of election fraud — stoking a furor that led to threats and harassment against both women,” Politico reports.

Rep. Liz Cheney said the House Jan. 6 committee is in talks with former President Donald Trump’s lawyers about his potential testimony, ABC News reports.

A federal judge has thrown out former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ challenge to a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, USA Today reports.

“Donald Trump’s attorneys saw a direct appeal to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as their best hope of derailing Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election, according to emails newly disclosed to congressional investigators,”  Politico reports.

“Liz Cheney and I are not courageous. There’s no strength in this. We’re just surrounded by cowards.” — Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), on Morning Joe, on why Republicans are having such a hard time condemning the violent assault on Paul Pelosi.

“The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection interviewed Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi on Monday, in part focusing on his role in issuing statements that undercut former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony,” the Washington Post reports.

“Lawmakers and investigators on the committee are working to finish a final report, delving into intelligence failures and why the Secret Service failed to take action after it was notified of various threats regarding Jan. 6.”

Far-right Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro finally broke his silence on Tuesday after left-wing challenger President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva beat him in Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday: The incumbent has agreed to transition to the new administration.

But Bolsonaro, who had claimed he’d only lose the election if it were rigged, refused to recognize da Silva’s victory. He just thanked his supporters for voting for him.

Bolsonaro also didn’t call on his supporters to end the hundreds of roadblocks they set up in protest against his defeat as they waited for him to speak.

“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro emerged from his post-election silence Tuesday to thank those who voted for him, and his chief of staff said the president had authorized him to begin a transition to President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,” the Washington Post reports.

“Bolsonaro didn’t directly concede defeat in the election Sunday, or direct his supporters to stop blockading highways across the country. But the move eased fears he would follow the example of his ally, former president Donald Trump, refusing to accept the result and dragging his nation into a constitutional crisis.”

“Voting stations across Israel have closed and the exit polls predict that the right-wing bloc led by Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a thin majority in the next Knesset, making the former prime minister the most likely to be asked to form a government,” Haaretz reports.

“In a shock triumph for the far right, the Religious Zionism party headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich is forecast to become the third-largest party in the Knesset.”

Jerusalem Post: “The victory will bring Netanyahu back into power after serving as prime minister between 1996-1999 and 2009-2021. He is already Israel’s longest serving prime minister.”

A federal judge on Tuesday prohibited Clean Elections USA, a right-wing group that’s been monitoring ballot drop boxes in Arizona, from engaging in some of the surveillance methods that’ve led to voter intimidation and harassment.

Both sides stipulated to the temporary restraining order, though it appeared to go farther than what had been discussed earlier in the day in open court.

The agreed-to order prohibits the group from: taking photos/videos of people at the drop boxes, spreading information about the voters online, and lying on social media or in interviews about Arizona’s laws on early voting.

The judge, Michael Liburdi, had previously allowed Clean Elections USA to keep monitoring the drop boxes last week in a different lawsuit by the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino. Liburdi said on Tuesday that the evidence provided in this suit, which was brought by the League of Women Voters, was more compelling.

Rick Hasen: “The United States has failed its first important test for democracy since the 2020 election season: Election denialism has taken hold among a significant segment of Republican voters, and election deniers are poised to win elections next week.”

“They will go on to oversee or certify some elections in 2024. The question that matters now is whether the next line of defense for American democracy—our system of state and federal courts—is strong enough for the task ahead.”

YouGov: “There is broad agreement on one thing: American democracy is under threat. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say it is, and that jumps to 79% among likely voters. Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to see a threat, but the threats they see are different.”

“Democrats who believe democracy is under threat are most likely to name the lack of acceptance of election results by some candidates (79%), political extremism (78%), and gerrymandering (61%) as threats they have in mind when thinking of democracy under threat, with corruption (59%) a close fourth.”

“Republicans are most likely to cite votes not being counted correctly (76%), ineligible voters casting ballots (72%), and corruption (70%).”

“Pennsylvania officials cannot count votes from mail-in or absentee ballots that lack accurate, handwritten dates on their return envelopes, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday, a week before tabulation will begin in races for governor, the U.S. Senate and the state Legislature,” the AP reports.

 “The shadow campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is poised to break wide open, with about a dozen 2024 contenders scheduled to showcase themselves to leading donors and activists attending an annual Republican Jewish Coalition conference,” the Washington Examiner reports.  “Former President Donald Trump is not on the guest list. He was invited to Las Vegas but declined… But nearly every other prominent Republican eyeing a White House bid is coming. That includes former Vice President Mike Pence and two veterans of Trump’s Cabinet: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.”

“Also appearing is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considered a top Trump rival should both mount presidential campaigns… Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the latest entrant into the GOP’s 2024 sweepstakes, is headlining the RJC’s megadonor fundraising dinner — a slot coveted by ambitious Republicans — the Thursday before the conference begins.”

 “Former President Donald Trump’s final run of midterm campaign rallies includes stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both key Senate battlegrounds. But a third event in Florida, where Republicans are heavily favored, will instead highlight the party’s political tensions as it looks to the 2024 presidential election,” the New York Times reports.

“A Trump rally in Miami on Sunday was scheduled to support Senator Marco Rubio, who is seeking a third term. But while polls show Mr. Rubio as a strong favorite, the rally has instead focused attention on Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is holding an event of his own elsewhere in the state on the same day.”

“Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have been locked in a cold war ahead of an expected 2024 face-off. But Republican donors hoping to retain their influence have found it easy to play both sides. They can back DeSantis in Tallahassee, where he’s raised gobs of cash for his re-election next week, and still stay friendly with Trump in Mar a Lago,” Semafor reports.

“Those days are coming to an end. Major donors will likely have to choose between backing an expected DeSantis run, sticking with Trump, or sitting out the fight and risking cachet with both.”

“While hedging bets and cutting a maximum campaign check of $5,000 to each is likely to be a popular option, the real action will be in outside groups, where donors can make unlimited contributions.”

Tara Palmeri: “There’s a bit of denialism swirling around D.C., and around the political power corridors of the country, regarding whether Donald Trump is actually running for president or just engaging in an elongated, Lear-esque fit of equivocating narcissism. Well, he’s running. And the clearest indication—beyond his many public statements that he intends to do so, and beyond the many reassurances I’ve received from aides that they are doing the paperwork—is that Trump is ‘getting antsy,’ as one aide told me. In fact, he would have announced earlier, but was persuaded to postpone on account of the various resultant financial costs and regulatory hurdles of being a candidate.”

“In fact, Trump’s aides are doing the sorts of things that campaigns do in their early stages, like having those hard conversations about what worked in 2016 and did not in 2020, about hierarchy and titles, and engaging vendors.”

Yair Rosenberg: “Twitter’s problems run far deeper than a problematic owner. To begin with, it’s structurally designed to impede complex discussion by forcing users to reduce all topics to 240-character soundbites. This can be a fun way to react to Game of Thrones, but it is not a good way to litigate economic policy or geopolitical conflicts. The constricted format impedes free-flowing conversation while privileging performative sloganeering. This is why Donald Trump, who seemingly never had a complex thought in his life, loved Twitter. Why our intellectual elite has decided to yoke the public discourse to a site whose most successful users are people like Trump is less understandable.”

“The platform’s structure also encourages fabrication. With so many voices talking at once, it’s hard for any individual to go viral. But there is one dependable way to cut through the noise: Say something no one else is saying. In theory, this should reward funny or novel thinking. But in practice, it rewards dishonesty, because it’s a lot easier to come up with something genuinely new if you just make it up.”

Trump’s likely to get un-banned from Twitter now that Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a supposed (but not really) free speech “absolutist,” officially has full control of the social media giant. But the ex-president repeated on Tuesday his previous claim that he “won’t go back” to Twitter even if he could because he prefers his knockoff app, Truth Social.

Trump claimed that Truth was better because “it’s friendlier” but also “can be very nasty.” The ex-president’s brain worms never take a vacation, do they?

Truth Social has been found to censor anti-Trump posts, by the way.

Emily Oster: “Obviously some people intended to mislead and made wildly irresponsible claims. Remember when the public-health community had to spend a lot of time and resources urging Americans not to inject themselves with bleach? That was bad. Misinformation was, and remains, a huge problem. But most errors were made by people who were working in earnest for the good of society.”

“Given the amount of uncertainty, almost every position was taken on every topic. And on every topic, someone was eventually proved right, and someone else was proved wrong. In some instances, the right people were right for the wrong reasons. In other instances, they had a prescient understanding of the available information.”

“The people who got it right, for whatever reason, may want to gloat. Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn’t accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet. These discussions are heated, unpleasant and, ultimately, unproductive.”

“We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge.”

new study finds requests for pills used to self-manage abortions rose significantly in 30 states after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, NBC News reports.

“Three women who indicated they were opposed to the Supreme Court’s major abortion ruling earlier this year briefly interrupted oral arguments in another case on Wednesday,” USA Today reports.

“Truth Social, the right-wing social network, has faced one business calamity after the next since it launched in February. Two executives resigned after its app launch was mired with problems. Another executive was fired after filing a whistle-blower complaint, claiming that Truth’s parent company was relying on ‘fraudulent misrepresentations.’ Two federal investigations are putting $1.3 billion in much-needed financing in jeopardy,” the New York Times reports.

“Yet users logging into Truth Social each day saw something quite different during that time: a vibrant right-wing ecosystem increasingly brimming with activity.”

“Truth Social’s long-term future remains in doubt, but experts say the app itself has only grown more influential in conservative circles ahead of the midterm election.”

Tom Nichols: “It might seem late in the game to point to any one event as a final or conclusive moment in the decline of the Republican Party. And I have no doubt that if the GOP returns to power this winter, its worst members will find new ways to appall decent people while gamboling about in jester’s bells for its base. (As my Atlantic colleague Adam Serwer has put it so well, ‘The cruelty is the point.’) But the reaction among Republican elected officials and their conservative-media life-support system to the beating of Paul Pelosi—by a man named David DePape, who was charged with attempting to kidnap Speaker Nancy Pelosi and admitted to planning to torture her—feels different.”

“I am not alone; my friend Mona Charen, among others, also senses that this event marks a new level of depravity in the GOP. I have struggled for a few days to decide why, exactly, this moment seems like an inflection point. In terms of actual damage, January 6 was far worse than one violent crime in San Francisco. Republican leaders—and here I will leave aside Donald Trump, who is in a class of hideousness all by himself—have said far worse things over the past five years. But a parade of Republicans somehow think that an unhinged, hammer-wielding intruder putting an old man in the ICU is funny…”

“One might think that it would be easy for America, as one nation, to condemn an attempt to kidnap the woman second in line to the presidency that resulted in the beating of her husband with a hammer. As Ernest Hemingway would say: Pretty to think so. Instead, we have seen the dark heart of the Republican Party, with a reaction so callous, so flippantly sadistic, so hateful, that it all feels irredeemable.”

“The Justice Department is weighing whether to grant immunity to the Trump adviser Kash Patel and force his testimony about claims that highly sensitive government documents the FBI seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort were declassified,” The Guardian reports.

“Two Washington power centers will on Wednesday lay bare the politically poisonous dynamics of the top economic issue threatening President Joe Biden’s congressional majorities with the midterm elections less than a week away,” CNN reports.

“The Fed is likely to trigger another historic interest rate hike and, about a half-mile away at the White House, Biden will host an event to highlight the administration’s extensive efforts to expand the workforce in critical fields like broadband and construction. One policy decision is expected to ripple through markets, media and politics alike, turning a spotlight directly onto an issue that Democratic officials say has wrought significant damage to their political prospects. The other will detail an intensive administration effort designed to reshape the pipeline to enter into professions over time.”

Tim Miller: “To summarize: Voters want to ensure that police are funded, that there are more cops on the streets, that guns are more difficult to purchase, and that people should be able to have police confiscate weapons from loved ones with mental health issues.”

“How about in bumper sticker form: More cops. Fewer guns and violent criminals on the street.”

“Or, in other words, exactly the policies that Joe Biden has tried to enact during his first two years and will continue if left to his own devices!”

Jacob Heilbrunn: “As the historian Richard Hofstadter once observed, the alarming thing about American politics isn’t that most believers in conspiracy theories are crazy. It’s that they aren’t. ‘It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant,’ he wrote. Hofstadter’s theory may sound like a description of Donald Trump and his followers, but it was, of course, written much earlier—in 1964, about the encroaching paranoia in American politics expressed by the presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who infamously declared in his acceptance speech that ‘extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.’ Goldwater’s candidacy ultimately flamed out, but the passions and hatreds he inspired have only grown. Now more than ever, the Republican Party has become the vehicle for an assault not only on liberalism, but on American democracy itself.”

“In the present day, the GOP’s delusions have become so pervasive that even former party stalwarts such as Liz Cheney have ended up as lonely dissidents, reduced to hoping that some sliver of sanity can be retrieved from the wreckage to rebuild the party. Even the events of January 6, 2021, proved no more than a speed bump for the Trumpian project, whose adherents are exploiting it as a kind of Beer Hall Putsch moment to double down on purging the GOP and ensuring fresh fealty to the former guy.”

Doug Heye: “More and more in our politics, the loudest, angriest, most divisive voices get the most attention (and money). Real solutions, and the politicians who put their heads down to do hard work, get short shrift. Collectively, we have to lower the temperature. People keep getting hurt. We’re very lucky no one has been killed — and I worry I need to emphasize ‘yet.’”

“As a Republican, I know the original sin begins with us. Republicans — not all, to be sure, but enough — vilified Barack Obama’s most personal attributes. His religion was questioned. Racist cartoons were common. So were jokes about Obama’s African heritage (‘Kenya hear me,’ Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert said at a House Republican Conference meeting). Rebukes came, but they weren’t loud or frequent enough. The old ‘not one of us’ racist trope remained.”

“Then along came Donald Trump, whose campaign message was essentially yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded political theater. When Trump urged his supporters to “knock the crap” out of protesters, they obliged, just as extremists have when Trump told them in 2020 to ‘stand back and stand by.’ Trump’s rhetoric — years of picking at our every division — made the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection inevitable.”

“It should remain an indelible stain on the soul of a party that continues to support Trump, whether out of opportunity or fear.”

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

1 comment on “Cup of Joe – November 3, 2022

  1. Re the Pelosi attack…. the right hasn’t “failed to police itself”. Thats framing misses the point that the right has succeeded in what they’re trying to do….
    turn 30-40% of the country into bloodthirsty zealots.

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