Cup of Joe – May 16, 2023

“President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will likely resume talks on Tuesday at the White House over the debt limit, the president said Sunday, as the nation continues to edge closer to its legal borrowing authority with no agreement in sight,” the AP reports.

Punchbowl News: “The president is scheduled to leave Wednesday for the G7 meeting in Japan. Biden will want to see significant progress in the talks before his departure in order to insulate himself from any criticism over flying to Asia with a debt-limit breach looming.”

Said Biden: “I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist. But I really think there’s a desire on their part as well as ours to reach agreement. I think we’ll be able to do it.”

Playbook: “The White House messaging on the debt limit has been to condemn the GOP’s brinkmanship and the details of the House-passed bill. But Biden on Sunday struck a very different tone.”

With another White House meeting between the President and congressional leaders on the debt ceiling expected Tuesday, the timeline for Treasury being unable to meet its obligations has accelerated. Here’s why.

“Despite warnings about a potential surge in migrants that sent thousands of federal personnel to the southern US border, officials said the days after the expiration of a Covid-related border restriction policy known as Title 42 saw fewer migrants arriving at the border than initially expected,” CNN reports.

“Ahead of the policy’s expiration, long lines formed at checkpoints and makeshift encampments proliferated in border communities.”

“Over the past two days, in contrast, US border authorities saw a 50% drop in the number of migrant encounters along the US southern border, compared to earlier in the week before Title 42 ended.”

New York Times: Title 42 is gone, but not the conditions driving migrants to the U.S.

“An expected spike in illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border after the termination of the Title 42 pandemic-era migration control policy earlier this week did not materialize in the immediate aftermath of the policy change,” CBS News reports.

Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-AZ) digital director, Wade Searle, appears to be a prominent online supporter of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, TPM reports.

“Thailand’s opposition secured a stunning election win on Sunday after trouncing parties allied with the military, setting the stage for a flurry of deal-making over forming a government in a bid to end nearly a decade of conservative, army-backed rule,” Reuters reports.

“Turkey’s presidential election appeared on Sunday to be headed for a runoff after the incumbent, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, failed to win a majority of the vote, a result that left the longtime leader struggling to stave off the toughest political challenge of his career,” the New York Times reports.

Washington Post: “The vote marks Erdogan’s toughest electoral challenge during two decades at the top of Turkish politics, and it is effectively a referendum on the strongman leader’s rule. The results could have sweeping consequences for the nation’s economy and political freedoms, as well as the balance of global power.”

“Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s share of votes in Turkey’s presidential election fell to 49.9% with more than 92.7% of the ballot boxes opened,” Bloomberg reports.

“Incumbent Erdogan’s main challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu had 44.3% of the vote and Sinan Ogan, the third candidate in Sunday’s race, got 5.3%, Anadolu said. If results hold and no candidate wins more than half of the total ballots, Turkey will be headed for a runoff election. The top two contestants would face each other in the second round on May 28.”

“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is facing the greatest political challenge of his career as millions vote on Sunday in pivotal elections that could reshape the country’s domestic and foreign policies,” the New York Times reports.

“The presidential and parliamentary elections are taking place three months after devastating earthquakes killed more than 50,000 people in southern Turkey, and are in many ways a referendum on Mr. Erdogan’s two decades as the country’s dominant politician.”

Washington Post: Erdogan’s fate in the balance as Turkish voters head to the polls.

“In late January, with his mercenary forces dying by the thousands in a fight for the ruined city of Bakhmut, Wagner Group owner Yevgeniy Prigozhin made Ukraine an extraordinary offer,” the Washington Post reports.

“Prigozhin said that if Ukraine’s commanders withdrew their soldiers from the area around Bakhmut, he would give Kyiv information on Russian troop positions, which Ukraine could use to attack them. Prigozhin conveyed the proposal to his contacts in Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, with whom he has maintained secret communications during the course of the war.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting the UK to meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the BBC reports.

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has won the trust of Western governments by refusing to use the weapons they provide for attacks inside Russia and prioritizing the targeting of Russian forces inside Ukraine’s borders,” the Washington Post reports.

“But behind closed doors, Ukraine’s leader has proposed going in a more audacious direction — occupying Russian villages to gain leverage over Moscow, bombing a pipeline that transfers Russian oil to Hungary, a NATO member, and privately pining for long-range missiles to hit targets inside Russia’s borders, according to classified U.S. intelligence documents detailing his internal communications with top aides and military leaders.”

However, the AP reports Zelensky “said Sunday his country is preparing a counteroffensive designed to liberate areas occupied by Russia, not to attack Russian territory.”

“India’s opposition Congress party has swept the Karnataka state elections, dealing a blow to Narendra Modi’s ruling party, which had fought hard to retain power,” The Guardian reports.

“More than a decade after bailouts and austerity measures pulled Greece from the brink of bankruptcy and a eurozone exit, the country has rebounded and is on the cusp of regaining its investment-grade rating,” the Financial Times reports.

“Chinese authorities said they sentenced an American citizen to life in prison on espionage charges, in a case that could further strain relations between Beijing and Washington,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Argentina is preparing a set of emergency measures, including raising its key interest rate by 600 basis points to 97% on Monday, as inflation spirals out of control in the run up to presidential elections,” Bloomberg reports.

“Vice Media Group, popular for websites such as Vice and Motherboard, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday to engineer its sale to a group of lenders, capping years of financial difficulties and top-executive departures,” Reuters reports.

Wall Street Journal: “The bankruptcy filing marks the latest downfall in the wave of digital media platforms that once threatened traditional news outlets.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer and outside cybersecurity experts continued Sunday to scramble to restore systems after an apparent cyberattack disrupted operations over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) told Fox News that Republicans had lost track of a top witness in the investigation of President Biden and his family.

Said Comer: “Unfortunately, we can’t track down the informant. We’re hopeful that the informant is still there… We we’re hopeful that we can find the informant.”   LOL, did he ever exist in the first place?

“Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has escalated his criticism of the country’s powerful military, accusing the head of the army of harboring a ‘personal grudge’ against him and ordering his arrest and a crackdown on his party,” The Guardian reports.

Said Kahn: “It is personal. It’s got nothing to do with national interest.”

Axios: “Planned Parenthood is calling for the major reform of the federal judiciary less than a year after the fall of Roe v. Wade, including expanding the Supreme Court and adding term limits.”

“The organization is also demanding an end to single-judge divisions.”

Donald Trump ripped CNN’s Kaitlan Collins last night, saying she was “not exactly Barbara Walters” and blaming her poor performance for the subsequent firestorm of criticism.

Said Trump: “It’s really amazing to watch the head of CNN get absolutely lambasted for asking me to do a so-called Town Hall. In all fairness, nobody had any problems with what he wanted to do until after the show started, when they quickly realized that Ms. Collins was not exactly Barbara Walters, or even close.”

Axios: “Backstage during the first commercial break Trump adviser Jason Miller — as if psyching up a boxer in his corner or egging on a bully — showed Trump moments-old tweets from Democrats blasting CNN and saying Trump was winning.”

“Trump, who had been getting miffed at Collins’ persistent questioning, went out all pumped up for the second block.”

“They had one of the best days in years. So you would think they would claim success. I was amazed to see that they were traumatized by what took place. They were actually traumatized.”— Donald Trump, in an interview with The Messenger, on CNN’s reaction to his town hall meeting last week.

“When Democrats in 2021 announced the return of congressional earmarks after a 10-year hiatus, lawmakers pledged that the previously scandal-plagued spending program would be different,” The Messenger reports.

“Despite that promise, at least four members of Congress have sponsored millions in federal spending projects for organizations that employ their spouses over the last two years.”

“They include Reps. Pete Aguilar, Jason Crow, Mike Thompson and Sen. Tim Kaine.”

Washington Post: “Tennessee is one of an increasing number of states (19 Republican, 9 Democratic) where one party has a ‘supermajority,’ such a lopsided advantage that it can override a governor’s veto without relying on votes from the other party. In 2020, only 22 states had supermajorities.”

“Of Tennessee’s 131 state legislators, 101 are Republicans, as are the governor, both U.S. senators and 8 of the 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

“But here, as in other states with one-party dominance where representation has been skewed through partisan gerrymandering, the almost-absolute nature of Republican control doesn’t fully reflect the will of Tennessee voters. That means there is often a disconnect between what the public wants and what the legislature does.”

 “The Biden White House is ramping up its pressure on Senate Democrats to confirm Labor nominee Julie Su and deploying some big guns to get her nomination over the line,” Politico reports.

“Over the past two weeks, White House chief of staff Jeff Zients has placed calls to key senators who are considering her nomination, according to a White House official who asked not to be named to speak freely about the outreach. In recent days, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm have also joined the effort, calling moderate Democrats who have been noncommittal about supporting Su.”

President Biden declared white supremacy “the most dangerous terrorist threat” to the American homeland, using a speech to graduating students at a historically Black university to elevate a debate that has already become central to his campaign for a second term, the Washington Post reports.

“A Florida teacher is under investigation by the state Department of Education after what she believes is a targeted attack by a school board member who took issue with a Disney movie shown in her classroom,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

An Arkansas prosecutor who has touted her “tough-on-crime” credentials is under scrutiny following reports that she leveraged her “clout and legal skills behind the scenes to assist her pedophile uncle,” NBC News reports.

Donald Trump said he’ll bring back his former national security adviser Michael Flynn if he wins another four years in the White House in 2024, Rolling Stone reports.

new indication that Special Counsel John Durham’s bogus “investigate the investigators” probe has ended. The significance is that we might be closer to seeing the final report on his probe that Durham is required to provide to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

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

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