Cup of Joe – March 13, 2023

“The Texas judge who could undo government approval of a key abortion drug has scheduled the first hearing in the case for Wednesday but took unusual steps to keep it from being publicized,” the Washington Post reports.

“The hearing will be an opportunity for lawyers for the Justice Department, the company that makes the drug and the conservative group that is challenging it to argue their positions before U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk. After they do, the judge could rule at any time.”

“Mike Pence delivered what amounted to his strongest rebuke of Donald Trump, criticizing the former president for his role in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol as well as attempts to rewrite the history of that day,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Pence: “President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

He added: “The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6th. But make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way.”

Playbook: “Pence has long had a reputation for fawning over Trump and acting as his ‘yes’ man…”

9But last night, Pence signaled something important about his possible 2024 bid: a willingness to challenge Trump in a way that no other Republican presidential hopeful has.”

“Where many other contenders fear the tremendous sway Trump has over a core portion of the GOP base and treat the former president as if he’s Voldemort— the Harry Potter dark lord referred to as ‘he who shall not be named’ — Pence didn’t shy away from criticizing Trump directly, by name.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ruled out a bailout from the federal government for now-collapsed Silicon Valley Bank, but said that the government will step in to help depositors in some capacity, USA Today reports.

Meanwhile, Axios reports Silicon Valley Bank on Friday paid out annual bonuses to eligible U.S. employees, just hours before the bank was seized by the U.S. government.

 Washington Post: “Tech executives, former government officials and at least two Democratic lawmakers called for safeguarding depositors with money at stake in the collapse if a buyer for the bank’s assets isn’t found by Monday, arguing that it’s the only way to limit a cascade of bigger problems.”

“Companies that did business with Silicon Valley Bank are already warning that the bank’s failure may force thousands of layoffs or furloughs, and prevent many workers from receiving their next paycheck.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis is blamed diversity and inclusion for the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Florida Politics reports. Said DeSantis: “I think that really diverted from them focusing on their core mission.” LOL. Everything wrong in the world, including train derailments and bank collapses as a result of risky investments is the result of opposing discrimination and racism. DeSantis is a one tune jackass.

Katie Phang: “I spent almost 25 years as a trial lawyer before I became the host of the Katie Phang Show. Whether it was a criminal or civil case, the facts and the evidence are what mattered the most. And my currency as a trial lawyer? The truth. Sure, as a lawyer, you perfect the art of the spin. But at the end of the day, and no matter how hard you try to make it look nicer or sound better, it’s the truth that will either bring victory or a crushing defeat.”

“In the Dominion versus Fox News defamation case, Fox is now trapped in an ever-worsening spiral of lies of its own creation. Time and time again, Fox allegedly trafficked in lies and falsehoods. And the result just might be a financial death penalty for the network…”

“Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in lost profits and reputational harm. But it’s also seeking punitive damages, which are not capped under New York state law and could also be in the billions of dollars.”

The Air Force detailed President Biden’s new design colors for Air Force One, the Daily Beast reports.

The announcement placed an emphasis on how Biden’s design is “modernizing” the iconic aircraft “for the 21st century,” replacing the colors former President Donald Trump had planned with “deeper, more modern” hues.

The Washington Post finds more inconsistencies in the resume of freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN).  “Our reporting shows that Ogles’s résumé enhancement is not a recent development. In a 2009 résumé submitted for a job, he claimed numerous roles with businesses and on boards of organizations that were exaggerated or could not be corroborated. A consulting firm he claimed to run from 2003 to 2010 cannot be found in Tennessee corporate records. Indeed, during his various bids for public office in this period, local newspapers described him as a restaurateur, not a business consultant.”

“The expected restart of student-loan repayments later this year could add to pressure on younger borrowers, who are already falling behind on debt in an era of high inflation and rising interest rates,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Americans in their 30s and younger are showing signs of financial strain. In the fourth quarter, they fell behind on credit-card payments by 90 days or more at a rate similar to that in 2009, at the end of the financial crisis. Those borrowers also hold more than 54% of outstanding student-loan debt, New York Federal Reserve data show.”

FWIW has identified “a large-scale, opaque, and interconnected network of over 70 right-wing Facebook pages – which are run by only a handful of individuals – that crank out hundreds of hyper-partisan, conservative posts daily.”

“With names like ‘President Trump is My Wingman,’ ‘Freedom From The Press’, and ‘The American Tribune,’ these pages have built a cumulative owned audience of 38 million followers and have generated more than 100 million reactions, shares, and comments on their posts over the past year.”

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) apologized after the uproar over his interactions with provocative posts on social media, while insisting that his intentions have been misconstrued, WTVF reports. Said McNally: “I’m really, really sorry if I’ve embarrassed my family, embarrassed my friends, embarrassed any of the members of the legislature with the posts. It was not my intent to… and not my intent to hurt them.”  The video is brutally awkward.

“Chinese lawmakers unanimously voted to give Xi Jinping a third term as president Friday, completing his ascension to supreme leader of the world’s No. 2 economy,” Bloomberg reports.

“Xi won the vote in the National People’s Congress 2,952-0, officially giving him five more years in power and demonstrating his unrivaled grip over the ruling Communist Party.”

Donald Trump revealed that Richard Nixon’s “biggest regret” was giving in to GOP pressure to resign during the Watergate impeachment crisis, a move the 45th president said he wouldn’t have made, the Washington Examiner reports. Said Trump: “His daughter actually told me that his biggest regret was that he didn’t fight, he should have fought.”

If Nixon had fought, he would have been impeached in the House and removed in the Senate, which would have involved loss of pension, disqualification, and loss of security detail.

The Economist: “No party will ever again make the mistake the Republicans made when they chose to object to the January 6th committee by not nominating members to it. That freed the committee’s Democrats, and the two Republicans who defied their leadership to take part, to script a coherent and at times riveting television series about how Donald Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election.”

“Mr Jordan, by contrast, is stuck with Democrats, including the formidable ranking minority member, Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, who can grill his witnesses and call their own.”

Lynda Bennett (R), who ran for Congress last year in North Carolina, pleaded guilty to a federal campaign finance violation related to a loan from a family member that prosecutors said was falsely portrayed in campaign reports as originating from her own personal funds, the AP reports.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said “he’s planning to introduce legislation that would slap tariffs on carbon-intensive imports, an idea gaining traction with the GOP as a climate solution,” Bloomberg reports. Said Graham: “It’s time to take the gloves off.”

“The so-called carbon border adjustment could be a boon to domestic industries while adding incentives for countries such as China and India to reduce emissions. The idea, already embraced by Europe, also has drawn interest from the Biden administration.”

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

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