Cup of Joe – April 18, 2023

“The beginning of the much-anticipated defamation case between Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News has been delayed by one day, until Tuesday, to allow both parties to hold conversations about the possibility of a settlement,“ the Washington Post reports.

“No reason was officially given for the delay, which was announced Sunday evening by the judge overseeing the case. Jury selection had been scheduled to conclude on Monday and then both sides were expected to give opening statements, kicking off a weeks-long trial.”

If there were last second settlement talks, it seems like those have failed.

“A Delaware judge presiding over the landmark defamation case between Dominion Voting Systems and 

Fox News said Monday that the delayed trial will now begin Tuesday at 9am ET,” Axios reports.

“The unexpected delay Sunday evening spurred rumors that the two parties may be trying to work out a settlement ahead of the six-week planned trial. The judge did not mention anything about a potential settlement Monday morning.”

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said banks are likely to become more cautious and may tighten lending further in the wake of recent bank failures, possibly negating the need for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes,” Reuters reports.

Wall Street Journal: “On average, economists expect inflation, as measured by the annual increase in the consumer-price index, to end this year at 3.53%, up from 3.1% in the January survey.”

Punchbowl News: “Republican leaders will attempt to pass this through the House in the next two weeks, if they can. It’ll be a challenge. No Republicans want to vote to lift the debt limit or slash agency budgets without some assurances of the final outcome. And the calendar makes it tougher. The House is in this week and next, and then members go on recess for another week before coming back on May 9. So time is of the essence.”

“The GOP leadership is making the argument that McCarthy’s hand will be strengthened in any upcoming talks with Biden if he can move a bill through the House.”

“Lawyers and associates of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny fear that Russian authorities may be slowly poisoning him in prison after he suffered acute stomach pains and seizures and lost more than 17 pounds in a recent spell in an isolated ‘punishment’ cell,” the Washington Post reports.

“Russian President Putin has signed a bill allowing authorities to issue electronic notices to draftees and reservists amid the fighting in Ukraine. The bill signed into law by Putin was published Friday on the official register of government documents,’ the AP reports.

“Russia’s military service rules previously required the in-person delivery of notices to conscripts and reservists who are called up for duty. Under the new law, the notices issued by local military conscription offices will continue to be sent by mail but they would be considered valid from the moment they are put on a state portal for electronic services.”

“A social-media account overseen by a former U.S. Navy noncommissioned officer—a prominent online voice supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine—played a key role in the spread of intelligence documents allegedly leaked by Airman First Class Jack Teixeira, reposting files from obscure online chat rooms,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Politico: “Confidants and top allies to the 89-year-old Democratic senator are rebuffing calls for her to not just temporarily remove herself from the Senate Judiciary Committee but step down from her job entirely before her term is up in 2024. They argue her request this week to be replaced on the committee while recuperating from shingles should satisfy critics — at least for now. They view the calls for her to quit as laced with ageism, sexism, ideological disputes and unchecked political opportunism.”

Jonathan Chait says that Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) refusal to retire is “an act of almost sociopathic indifference to the people she’s supposed to be serving.”

“For one thing, she has stuck to the office for an unusually long time, even by senatorial standards, to a point where her colleagues and staff openly doubt her cognitive functioning. The San Francisco Chronicle reported a series of alarming anecdotes last year: One California congressional Democrat ‘had to reintroduce themselves to Feinstein multiple times during an interaction that lasted several hours’; ‘some close to her said that on her most difficult days, she does not seem to fully recognize even longtime colleagues’; ‘a month prior, she repeated a question to a witness, word for word, in a hearing with seemingly no awareness of having done so.’”

CNN: McConnell stares down first big question after return from fall: What to do about Feinstein?

New York Times: “Although she has no shortage of in-house communicators, policy analysts and budget experts at her disposal, Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, has spent nearly $2 million on additional help, mostly on the giant consulting firms Deloitte Consulting and the Boston Consulting Group, in shaping her vision for the state delivered each January.”

“Politicians frequently turn to ghostwriters for major political speeches, and consulting firms have become a mainstay of New York government. But Ms. Hochul’s use of such firms in preparing the annual state message appears to be an unusual, and possibly novel, arrangement.”

“Parler, the self-described ‘uncancelable free-speech social platform’ that catered to right-wing users — which was nearly acquired by Kanye West last year — has been shut down by its new owner,” Variety reports.

Said the company: “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more.”

“The official in charge of a secretive Pentagon effort to investigate unexplained aerial incursions has co-authored an academic paper that presents an out-of-this-world theory: Recent objects could actually be alien probes from a mothership sent to study Earth,” Politico reports.

Washington Post: “While India’s overall population is no longer skyrocketing, and in fact it’s quickly flattening, U.N. experts have projected that sometime this month it will finally exceed China’s gradually shrinking population. (They can’t say precisely when.)”

“This demographic milestone, however, masks dramatically divergent trajectories inside India, with fertility rates varying sharply from state to state.”

Politico Magazine on when a red state legislature goes to war with its largest blue city: “This is a version of something happening all over the country, at every level of government, in which the preferences of voters often filter through representative bodies whose lopsided majorities don’t really represent the electorate of the state around them.”

“In Tennessee’s case, the metro area of Nashville, its most populous city and the economic engine of the state, finds itself with little policy influence inside a gun-friendly legislature.”

Failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) goes on trial today for corruption, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“The jury trial should provide an unusual glimpse into a federal political corruption investigation, featuring potentially hours of secret recordings involving Gillum and his brother, Marcus, and testimony from undercover FBI agents.”

“Gillum has denied the allegations against him. But the federal corruption probe that led to charges against Gillum has already led to convictions against another former Tallahassee mayor and a local developer.”

“House Republicans are descending on New York on Monday for a hearing that will use the issue of crime as a political cudgel against Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who charged former President Donald Trump with falsifying business records,” the New York Times reports.

“Democrats have dismissed the session as a stunt meant to mislead the public into believing that crime has reached crisis levels because of lax enforcement by liberal officials.”

Associated Press: “C-SPAN has declined to air it on TV.”

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

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