Cup of Joe – May 14, 2023

“The pandemic-era border policy known as Title 42 expires [on Thursday], and lawmakers from both parties are warning that the Biden administration is not adequately prepared for the expected influx of migrants,” Punchbowl News reports. “But don’t mistake that outrage for something that translates into action. While there’s broad agreement about the nature of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration is still the third-rail issue it has always been on Capitol Hill. The nuances of the issue make it extraordinarily difficult to achieve a bipartisan product that can get 60 votes in the Senate.”

“What’s more, there’s little hope that anything beyond a comprehensive immigration reform package can actually solve the problem.”

New York Times: “Concerns had been building over recent days that the lifting of the order, known as Title 42, would bring scenes of chaos at the border as more people tried to enter with the expectation that they would be given a chance to apply for asylum.”

“While a greater number crossed the border than usual in recent days, putting pressure on processing facilities and border towns, there were few signs of additional disorder in the hours after the policy expired at midnight.”

“President Joe Biden is getting pummeled on immigration — from both sides of the political spectrum,” Politico reports.  “Lawsuits rolled in late Thursday night from the left and the right, amid a torrent of criticism already pouring in over his lifting of the public health order known as Title 42.”

“Trump’s rebuke may have been predictable, but Biden is taking incoming from progressives, too: They say the president’s new rule — similar to a Trump-era policy referred to as the ‘transit ban’ — is too harsh, and will further limit access to the country’s asylum system.”

Politico: “Ten years — a lifetime in Washington — have passed since every Senate Democrat linked arms to back comprehensive immigration reform. Now, as the Covid-related border restrictions expired overnight, the party is sharply divided on an issue that’s at the forefront of the toughest Senate races in the country.”

New York Times: “While migration to the U.S. southern border has always fluctuated, the pandemic and the recession that followed hit Latin America harder than almost anywhere else in the world, plunging millions into hunger, destitution and despair.”

“A generation of progress against extreme poverty was wiped out. Unemployment hit a two-decade high. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine choked off a key pipeline for grain and fertilizer, triggering a spike in food prices.”

“Economic shocks were worsened by violence, as conflict between armed groups festered in once relatively peaceful countries and raged in places long accustomed to the terror.”

“The Biden administration, desperate to limit border crossings after a key pandemic-era measure expires later Thursday, has slashed the amount of time asylum-seekers have to find lawyers before their crucial first interviews with immigration officials,” the Los Angeles Times reports.  “The Trump administration issued a similar policy in 2019, but that effort was later blocked by a federal court. The move is the latest example of Biden adopting a Trump-style scheme in an attempt to manage high numbers of border crossings.”

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the federal government will have to renege on some payments if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit, though no plan on how the department would proceed has yet been presented to President Joe Biden,” Bloomberg reports.

Said Yellen: “If Congress fails to do that, it really impairs our credit rating. We have to default on some obligation, whether it’s Treasuries or payments to Social Security recipients. That’s something America hasn’t done since 1789. And we shouldn’t start now. So we’ve not discussed what to do.”

Daily Beast: “A source close to the former president indicated he and his team buzzed about the town hall performance on their flight back to Florida—with music blasting on the sound system.”

“The former president is even open to doing another CNN town hall, said the source close to him.”

Trump on Truth Social: “People are criticizing CNN for giving me a Forum to tell the TRUTH. I believe it was a very smart thing that they did, with Sky High Ratings that they haven’t seen in a very long time. It was by far the biggest Show of the night, the week, and the month!”

“Starting Thursday evening, crowds are expected to gather at former President Donald Trump’s Doral resort for a weekend conference of conservative figures, some of whom have praised Hitler or espoused debunked claims about elections and vaccines,” Yahoo News reports.  “Some of the speakers are part of Trump’s inner circle, including son Eric Trump, daughter-in-law Lara Trump and Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes.”

“The Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem İnce withdrew from the race after the release of a purported sex tape, boosting chances of outright success for other candidates in a race that polls suggest will be close,” The Guardian reports.  “The former school headteacher and longtime member of the Republican People’s party said an alleged sex tape circulating online was a deepfake, using footage taken from an Israeli porn site.”

“Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered that former Prime Minister Imran Khan be released from custody on Thursday, offering a major victory for the onetime leader who was arrested this week as part of a corruption inquiry, and escalating a political crisis that has engulfed the country,” the New York Times reports.  “The court’s decision is a significant political and legal win for Mr. Khan, whose supporters have flooded the streets in droves since his arrest on Tuesday. It also sets up a direct clash between the Supreme Court and Pakistan’s military, which is widely considered to be the driving force behind his arrest.”

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that the current pause on student loan repayments will end “no later than June 30,” Axios reports.  “The Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan currently remains in legal limbo, but the Supreme Court during oral arguments in February appeared inclined to kill the sweeping plan.”

“Another round of federal grand jury subpoenas went out this week in connection with the corruption investigation into Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey,” NBC News reports.  “Two sources familiar with the matter said at least one powerful New Jersey politician — North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco — was among those who received subpoenas.”

“A deep-pocketed nonprofit organization founded by the conservative activist Leonard Leo gave away $182.7 million in a year’s time, a new tax filing shows, demonstrating how aggressively it has worked behind the scenes to prop up other groups and causes on the right,” the New York Times reports.  “The organization, Marble Freedom Trust, was formed in 2020 and was funded by a gift of more than $1.6 billion — an extraordinary windfall that resulted from a single donor’s contribution of 100 percent of a company’s shares before the company was sold, leaving Marble with the proceeds of the sale.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence said that he and then-President Donald Trump “could have done a better job” keeping the federal debt in check, NBC News reports. Said Pence: “The trillions of dollars that we appropriated for families and businesses and health care in this country during Covid — it’s what government’s for during a time of national emergency. But let me stipulate… we could have done a better job of controlling spending under our administration.”

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) said that Republicans would “gladly” bring back slavery during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. Said Johnson: “I mean, if you could get back to slavery, you would gladly do so. But if you could pay people a dollar an hour, you would settle for that. And that’s, that’s the race to the bottom that we have with immigrants lined up at the border trying to get in and go to work. And my Republican friends talk about how they don’t like that — how it’s a crisis — but yet they savor it.”

Bloomberg: “Since the beginning of the year, a group of White House officials has been meeting frequently to increase the availability and quality of medications.”

“The effort has intensified as Americans struggle to find common drugs like antibiotics and amid high-profile safety lapses like deadly eye drops.”

“President Joe Biden will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House next month, courting an Indo-Pacific leader with whom he has sought stronger ties as the United States looks to blunt China’s growing assertiveness in the region,” the AP reports.

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

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