Cup of Joe – March 27, 2023

Donald Trump, who said last week he would be arrested in a probe into alleged hush money he paid to a porn star, now suggests the case might be dropped by Manhattan’s district attorney, Axios reports.

Said Trump: “I think they’ve already dropped the case. It’s a fake case. Some fake cases, they have absolutely nothing.”

Less than a week after trolling the world into believing he would be arrested this week (and using it to raise $1.5 million from his swarms of loyal followers), disgraced former president Donald Trump is using his deranged social media platform Truth Social once again to warn that “potential death and destruction” would result if he’s charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for his crimes related to the hush-money payments he arranged for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. Just hours later, the D.A.’s office discovered a threatening letter addressed to Bragg containing white powder in its mailroom. New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection determined that the substance was not dangerous, but the DA’s office remains on high alert, as along with the powder, the envelope contained a single piece of paper with the typewritten words, “ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!” How subtle.

“Not a crime. Not a misdemeanor. Not an affair. I never liked horse face. That wouldn’t be the one. There is no one. We have a great First Lady.”— Donald Trump at his rally in Waco, Texas.

“You can argue about whether or not it’s appropriate to bring such a case. You can argue about the optics of it. But the idea that this is unprecedented is just false. It’s just wrong.”— Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bahama, on NBC News, on the bush money probe into Donald Trump.

Playbook: “The clips and headlines coming out of the rally were enough to incite panic in any Republican concerned about the party’s ability to defeat President Joe Biden. The current president should be extremely politically vulnerable: Inflation is still hurting voters and some economists are predicting a recession. And yet, rather than attack Biden for those weaknesses, Republicans are held captive to Trump’s grievances.”

New York Times: “In the last 28 months… Trump has been voted out of the White House, impeached for his role in the Capitol riot and criticized for marching many of his fellow Republicans off an electoral cliff in the 2022 midterms with his drumbeat of election-fraud lies.”

“He dined at home with a white supremacist called for the termination of the Constitution… embraced the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, described President Vladimir Putin of Russia as a genius and used a gay joke to mock a fellow Republican… has become the target of four criminal investigations.”

“Still, Mr. Trump remains a strong front-runner for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.”

Waco-Tribune-Herald: “Trump arrived shortly before 6 p.m., his plane circling the airport as attendees intently looked to the heavens. He wrapped up at 7:32 in the evening, though quite a few fans did not last that long.”

“About 30 minutes into the rally, the crowd began to thin, with people getting a head start on the walk back to the parking lots, designated and otherwise. Several leaving early said they accomplished what they wanted to achieve by showing up for the rally, enduring traffic and long lines. Some said after hours on the tarmac, they were tired, hungry or both and wanted to get home.”

“A trio of House Republican committee chairs say the House of Representatives could soon take up legislation to strip state and local prosecutors of the authority to prosecute former presidents in response to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s potential indictment of former president Donald Trump,” The Independent reports.

“In a letter to Mr Bragg, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, and House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil rejected arguments the Manhattan prosecutor gave in response to the trio’s demand that he give evidence before their panels about the ongoing investigation into Mr Trump.”

“President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Federal Aviation Administration is withdrawing his name from nomination due to ‘an onslaught of unfounded Republican attacks’ on the nominee’s service and experience,” CNN reports.

“Phillip Washington’s nomination was first announced by the White House last year, but has faced strong criticism from Republican lawmakers over a number of issues, including Washington’s slim aviation credentials and his potential legal entanglements.”

“Russia has struck a deal with neighboring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday,” NBC News reports.

“Such a move would not violate nuclear nonproliferation agreements, Putin said, adding that the United States had stationed nuclear weapons on the territory of European allies.”

Ted Nugent appeared at Donald Trump’s rally in Waco, Texas and inexplicably called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “homosexual weirdo.”

He then called for a “moment of silence for the political prisoners in the gulags of Washington, D.C., because of jack-booted thugs in our own government.”

New York Times: “Industry consolidation, depleted manufacturing lines and supply chain issues have combined to constrain the production of basic ammunition like artillery shells while also prompting concern about building adequate reserves of more sophisticated weapons.”

A hospital in Idaho will stop delivering babies or providing other obstetrical care due recently enacted state laws “that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care.” After the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, Idaho banned nearly all abortions and subjected physicians to prosecution for providing abortions, even if needed to protect the health of a pregnant patient. A physician who violates the law face two to five years in prison, along with their medical license being suspended or revoked. Bonner General Health in Sandpoint will discontinue obstetrical services in mid-May, meaning patients will now have to drive 46 miles for labor and delivery care. The Sandpoint area averages annual snowfall of about 60 inches. (Associated Press / Idaho Statesman / Washington Post)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen backtracked on the prospect that regulators would not extend deposit insurance to protect the banking system. Yesterday, Yellen made a point of saying she had not considered or discussed temporarily expanding emergency federal insurance – or as she called it, “blanket insurance” – to all U.S. banking deposits without approval by Congress. Yellen, however, testified today before a House Appropriations subcommittee that federal emergency actions could be deployed again in the future if necessary, saying: “We have used important tools to act quickly to prevent contagion. And they are tools we could use again. Regional bank stocks fell Wednesday following comments Yellen made at a Senate hearing that afternoon. (Bloomberg / CNBC / Reuters)

Washington Post: “As the upheaval nears its fourth month with no sign of easing, and even spreads into the ranks of Israel’s revered military, the prime minister seems unable, or unwilling, to apply his vaunted touch.”

Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill to ban most gender-affirming care for minors. Senate Bill 140 bars doctors in Georgia from providing minors with hormone therapy or surgery related to gender transition. Physician who violate the law risk losing their license. The bill will take effect July 1. Kemp skipped the bill signing ceremony, in part, because he’s a total clown. Instead, he announced the signing on Twitter. (CNN / ABC News / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

78% of trans adults say that “living as a different gender has made them more satisfied with their lives.” 45% say they are “a lot” more satisfied. (Washington Post)

A right-wing federal appeals court blocked President Biden’s order that federal employees must be vaccinated against Covid. Conservative jurisprudence is clear on the fact that all the authority of the executive branch is vested in the president of the United States (unless the president is a Democrat).

Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) vetoed a sweeping Republican bill that would ban transgender-youths’ access to gender-affirming care and restrict the bathrooms they can use. Props to Gov. Beshear for not backing down to these freaks even in an election year.

The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would prohibit banning books or other materials from libraries in response to partisan or doctrinal pressure.

The United States Senate confirmed Gary Gensler to head the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 14, 2021, the same day that cryptocurrency company Coinbase went public on the U.S. stock market. Gensler has been critical of the crypto sector from the beginning, (rightly) characterizing it as bursting with fraud (hi, Sam Bankman-Fried), and his agency has been embroiled in a series of skirmishes with crypto executives even as the industry continues to fall in on itself. On Wednesday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong posted that after an investigation of the company’s assets, the SEC delivered a formal notice to prepare for enforcement actions. Cryptocurrency companies believe they operate in a regulatory gray-area, and Gensler has thus questioned whether crypto firms rely on a business model that is fundamentally illegal. Coinbase is prepared to go to court with the SEC, in a case that will almost certainly determine the fate of the whole crypto industry.

The House GOP narrowly passed legislation today called the Parents’ Bill of Rights Act (eyes roll up atop my brain, an early priority of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The bill would require schools to publish course studies and a list of all books kept in libraries, as well as underscore parental prerogatives to meet with educators, speak at school board meetings, and examine school budgets. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) successfully added an amendment that would require schools to report when transgender girls join girls’ athletic teams and denote which bathrooms they are allowed to use. 

The bill is DOA in the Senate, but it’s a clear harbinger of what’s to come if and when the Republican Party regains majorities again. It also exposes the core of what they’re after. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, the furthest-right lunatics in Congress, tried unsuccessfully to add provisions to the Parental Bill of Rights Act that called for abolishing Department of Education programs in schools and giving vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools with public funds. That amendment may have failed for now, but it’s a clear shot across the bow that was ultimately supported by over 100 House Republicans. 

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

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