Cup of Joe – April 26, 2023

“House GOP leaders are waving off calls from rank-and-file Republicans for changes to their debt-limit proposal,” Politico reports.

“Instead, they’re plowing ahead toward a floor vote this week, daring detractors to vote against it.”

Bloomberg: “The first is a vote expected this week on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan. He insists it’ll pass, but he may not have the votes. McCarthy will be emboldened in his standoff with President Joe Biden if he can point to a passed House bill, but failure would undercut his bargaining power.”

“The second development, though, is the nail-biter: a fresh deadline for a first-ever default on the national debt, should the ceiling not get raised or suspended. As soon as this week, the Treasury Department will release a new estimate — the most precise yet — based on tax-revenue data.”

Punchbowl News: “There are a number of reasons why conservatives are upset with the package. They think the work requirements Republican leaders want to impose on federal social programs like SNAP are too weak. Some of these GOP lawmakers simply don’t want to back a debt-limit increase…”

“It’s safe to say McCarthy needs to eliminate all of this discontent as quickly as possible. The leadership’s posture — so far — is that they can just barrel ahead and muscle the bill through the House unchanged, despite the criticism.”

“So what happens if McCarthy fails? It goes without saying that the worst possible outcome for McCarthy is House Republicans failing to pass the proposal. It would completely sap him of any leverage with the White House and Senate Democrats. If McCarthy can’t get this loaded up GOP bill through the chamber, what can he get through?”

Playbook: “McCarthy, who can lose no more than four votes, has concluded that negotiating further changes will only invite an endless game of whack-a-mole… As this little drama plays out, we have to note the irony that McCarthy is effectively borrowing a page from Biden’s playbook: Just as Democrats have maintained a no-negotiations position on adopting a clean debt limit increase, McCarthy is insisting that Republicans swallow his counter-proposal whole”

New analysis from Moody’s Analytics finds that Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan to cut spending and lift the debt ceiling “would meaningfully increase the likelihood” of a recession and result in 780,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2024 compared with a clean bill to lift the debt limit.

“The nonprofit arm of House Majority PAC is launching a new television ad campaign tying House Republicans to the threat of default, furthering Democratic attacks on Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling proposal and the House GOP’s approach towards budget negotiations,” Politico reports.

“Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday said she would announce this summer whether former President Donald Trump and his allies would be charged with crimes related to alleged interference in Georgia’s 2020 election,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“Willis revealed the timetable in a letter to local law enforcement in which she asked them to be ready for ‘heightened security and preparedness’ because she predicted her announcement ‘may provoke a significant public reaction.’”

“In the letters, Willis said she will announce possible criminal indictments between July 11 and Sept. 1, sending one of the strongest signals yet that she’s on the verge of trying to obtain an indictment against Trump and his supporters.”

“In a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, a jury will begin hearing E. Jean Carroll’s allegation that former President Donald Trump raped her more than two decades ago in a department store dressing room, in a proceeding that seeks to apply the accountability of the #MeToo era to a dominating political figure,” the New York Times reports.

“The trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, expected to last one to two weeks, stems from a lawsuit and will take place amid a barrage of legal action aimed at Mr. Trump, who is running to regain the presidency and arguing that the suits and investigations are meant to drag him down.”

Associated Press: Jury selection set to start in rape lawsuit against Trump.

“The fact that Tucker Carlson will no longer be on FoxNews is a big blow to Cable News, and to America. Tucker was insightful, interesting, and ratings gold.”— Donald Trump, on Truth Social.

The Economist: “Whatever the reason, Mr Carlson’s departure, like Mr O’Reilly’s, is a reminder that while Fox news may nurture and create stars, it is not beholden to them. When their antics become too costly or embarrassing, they are shown the door, whatever the cost (Fox’s stock dropped sharply today).”

“But there is a lesson here for gleeful liberals too. They danced on Mr O’Reilly’s grave, and Mr Carlson sprung up to replace him. Today they may be celebrating Mr Carlson’s departure, but Fox News is alive and well. It is still the most-watched cable network in the country, and has seen off threats from upstart rivals on the right. It won’t take Fox long to find someone else to thrill its viewers and enrage American liberals.”

Punchbowl News: “In continuing to elevate the Democratic lawmakers – Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson – and the issue of gun control, Biden seems to be making multiple political calculations during the same week he’s expected to do a “soft opening” of his reelection bid. The issues this trio represents are politically salient and Democrats believe they have a distinct advantage on them.”

“The Senate will vote on the Equal Rights Amendment this week — 100 years after it was first introduced in Congress — Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday,” the Washington Post reports.

“The proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution would guarantee equal rights under the law regardless of sex — meaning the Constitution would clearly state that women have equal rights as men. While the amendment was introduced in Congress in 1923 by leaders of the suffrage movement, it only passed in March 1972.”

“For nearly two years beginning in 2015, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch sought a buyer for a 40-acre tract of property he co-owned in rural Granby, Colorado,” Politico reports.

“Nine days after he was confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, the then-circuit court judge got one: The chief executive of Greenberg Traurig, one of the nation’s biggest law firms with a robust practice before the high court. Gorsuch owned the property with two other individuals.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked GOP megadonor Harlan Crow for a complete list of gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and evidence that the billionaire real estate developer complied with federal tax law in connection with the long-undisclosed largesse to Thomas, CNBC reports.

Said Wyden: “This unprecedented arrangement between a wealthy benefactor and a Supreme Court justice raises serious concerns related to federal tax and ethics laws.”

“Law enforcement officials arrested seven people accused of interrupting proceedings in the Montana Capitol on Monday to protest the silencing of state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), a transgender lawmaker who has not been allowed to speak on the House floor since Thursday,” the Washington Post reports.

“Chants of ‘Let her speak!’ rang out inside the gallery as the Republican majority voted to block Zephyr from debating legislation. The moment marked an escalation in tensions that have been building since last week, when a group of GOP lawmakers demanded Zephyr’s censure following her impassioned plea to reject the governor’s amendments to a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors.”

“While Zephyr wasn’t formally censured, Republican House leaders have declined to recognize her on the floor for three days, during which her microphone was disabled as other lawmakers debated.”

New York Times: “CNN said on Monday that it was parting ways with Mr. Lemon, a star anchor who was a fixture of the network’s prime-time lineup before enduring a short but controversial tenure as a morning show co-host.”

Lemon on Twitter: “I’m stunned.”

“The former Louisville police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor has a new job in law enforcement in a county northeast of the city,” the AP reports.

“The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday confirmed the hiring of Myles Cosgrove, who was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in January 2021 for violating use-of-force procedures and failing to use a body camera during the raid on Taylor’s apartment.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed an abortion ban at six weeks of pregnancy — even in cases of rape or incest — into law, the AP reports.  The law, one of the strictest in the country, takes effect immediately.

Politico: “While both FBI and Justice Department leadership typically make a personal pitch to Congress for an extension of the program known as Section 702, the deepening chasm between House Republicans and top law enforcement officials has complicated that dynamic. In short, the House GOP doesn’t trust the bureau.”

“And it means the FBI’s typical entreaty — that keeping its powers intact is essential to national security — won’t carry much weight this time around.”

 “Russia said Sunday that the United States has denied visas to journalists who wanted to cover Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s trip to New York, and Lavrov suggested that Moscow would take strong retaliatory measures,” the AP reports.

“There was no immediate comment from the U.S. State Department about the claim of refused visas. The journalists aimed to cover Lavrov’s appearance at the United Nations to mark Russia’s chairmanship of the Security Council.”

Anheuser-Busch said it had placed on leave two executives who oversaw a Bud Light collaboration with a transgender activist, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sources tell Page Six that Donald Trump has been “quietly speaking to” former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway “to get her to join the team for his 2024 campaign. But it’s unclear if Conway is ready to sign up.”

“Leaders of the far-right Proud Boys, fearful about their place in a post-Trump America, instead tried to prevent it from happening at all — even if it meant a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors argued Monday,” Politico reports.

“Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire and associate of Steve Bannon, was denied bail on Thursday after being charged in a $1 billion fraud case in March,” NBC News reports.

Iran formed a secret committee last year to punish celebrities who backed the current anti-government protests, the BBC reports.

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

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