Cup of Joe – May 29, 2023

Today, President Biden, Vice President Harris, the First Lady, and Doug Emhoff will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, with the President then delivering remarks.

Vice President Harris attends a Democratic National Committee fundraising event in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The First Lady departs Tuesday for a weeklong trip to Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Portugal.

According to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the House will vote Wednesday on an agreement to increase the debt limit. The White House has estimated it may need as many as 100 Democrats to back the plan to get it through.

President Biden delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado on Thursday.

The Supreme Court may announce opinions on Thursday, though it is not clear in which cases.

North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, named after a Confederate general, will be officially renamed Fort Liberty on Friday.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News the debt ceiling deal contained no wins for Democrats, claiming that Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told him that himself.

Said McCarthy: “One thing Hakeem told me: there’s nothing in the bill for them. There’s not one thing in the bill for Democrats.”

But Jeffries told CBS News it’s not true: “I have no idea what he’s talking about, particularly because I have not been able to review the actual legislative text. I talked to him yesterday afternoon… I haven’t spoken to him since that point and time.”

Washington Post: “For Biden, one upside of the deal — assuming it passes — is that he will not have to deal with the debt ceiling again until after the next presidential campaign, because the agreement raises the debt ceiling until 2025. This was a top priority of the administration, which will be grateful to move past the messy fight over the debt limit that has provoked substantial criticism even among fellow Democrats.”

Dan Pfeiffer: “Let’s be clear, this is shitty public policy foisted on the nation by a radical Republican House willing to blow up the economy and cause millions of jobs to vanish. Efforts to deal with deficits that do not include asking the wealthy and corporations to pay what they owe are cruel and wholly unserious. The tightening of access to aid for the most vulnerable Americans serves no purpose other than performative cruelty to appease the MAGA base.”

“But this could have been way worse in so many ways. The devil is very much in the details, but it seems like President Biden and his team outplayed McCarthy.”

Associated Press: “White House officials will brief House Democrats on a Sunday video call.”

“Conservative House Republicans are already voicing criticism about the agreement in principle to cap spending and raise the debt ceiling announced late Saturday as the White House and GOP leadership work to avoid a default on the nation’s debt,” The Hill reports.

“Rep. Dan Bishop (R) tweeted a vomiting emoji to express his thoughts on the proposed deal, noting that RINOS, or Republicans in Name Only, were “congratulating McCarthy for getting almost zippo in exchange for $4T debt ceiling hike.””

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) characterized the debt ceiling deal negotiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as a “turd-sandwich” and vowed to try to stop the resulting bill from making it out of the lower chamber.

Said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) on Twitter: “This ‘deal’ is insanity.”

Said Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) on Twitter: “No one claiming to be a conservative could justify a YES vote.”

“This ‘deal’ is insanity. A $4T debt ceiling increase with virtually no cuts is not what we agreed to. Not gonna vote to bankrupt our country. The American people deserve better.”— Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), on Twitter.

“Ronald Reagan said: ‘If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later. Speaker McCarthy’s version: ‘If you can get five or six percent of what you were asking for, you take the deal and claim victory.”— Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), on Twitter, blasting the debt ceiling deal.

“I called on the president to invoke the 14th Amendment and mint a coin and do not negotiate with hostage takers. I mean, we don’t negotiate with terrorists globally. Why are we gonna negotiate with the economic terrorists here that are the Republican Party?”— Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), quoted by The Hill.

Washington Post: “Anita Dunn, one of Biden’s closest key political strategists, has recently focused more on Harris’ schedule and public events… Dunn recently directed the White House public engagement and political teams to help schedule events with Harris, having her promote popular causes like abortion rights and infrastructure spending.”

“The president and his allies, meanwhile, have made an evident effort to defend Harris and highlight her role in recent weeks, with Biden saying in a television interview that she is ‘really very, very good.’”

New York Times: “They push her wheelchair, remind her how and when she should vote and step in to explain what is happening when she grows confused. They stay with her in the cloak room just off the Senate floor, where Ms. Feinstein has taken to waiting her turn to vote, then appearing in the doorway to register her ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ from the outer edge of the chamber.’”

“All senators rely heavily on staff. But for years, Ms. Feinstein’s memory problems have meant that she has needed far more support than other senators. Briefing her on the news of the day requires longer sessions and more background information. … Since she has returned to work on a limited schedule as she recovers from shingles and multiple serious complications, Ms. Feinstein’s staff has made sure she is never alone and is heavily protected.”

Washington Post: California Democrats divided on Dianne Feinstein serving to term’s end.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) “and Democratic leaders said they are building support for future elections. Issues like abortion and guns, considered so polarizing in the U.S., can be harnessed and made into successful policy and politics,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Some Democrats say Whitmer is doing what many others in the party have tried, but failed to do: pursue a long-held version of a progressive goal but not in a way that’s likely to provoke a backlash.”

NBC News: “Officials who work for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration — not his campaign — have been sending text messages to Florida lobbyists soliciting political contributions for DeSantis’ presidential bid, a breach of traditional norms that has raised ethical and legal questions and left many here in the state capital shocked.”

Said one Florida lobbyist: “The bottom line is that the administration appears to be keeping tabs on who is giving, and are doing it using state staff. … You are in a prisoner’s dilemma. They are going to remain in power. We all understand that.”

“An engineering chief at Twitter says he is leaving the company a day after the launch of Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign on the platform was hit with technical glitches,” the BBC reports.

“Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has vexed his Western allies while tightening his grip on power during 20 years as the NATO country’s paramount politician, won re-election on Sunday,” the New York Times reports. 

Peruvian anti-drug police seized 58 one-kilogram packages of cocaine Thursday bearing pictures of a Nazi flags on the outside and the name “Hitler” printed in low relief, CBS News reports.

“Gay British soldiers were subjected to electric shock treatment in an effort to ‘cure’ them of their homosexuality, according to a damning investigation into historic homophobia in the UK armed forces,” Bloomberg reports.

Jonathan Martin: “For months, high-level Republican lawmakers, donors and strategists eager to block Trump have described, in separate conversations with me, an endgame to the presidential primary.”

“When it becomes clear in the early state and national polling who is consolidating support, the most influential figures with ties to the lagging candidates will stage a sort of political intervention and tell them it’s time to quit and rally to the strongest alternative to Trump.”

“Such a plot always struck me as a bit far-fetched, for starters because politicians aren’t known for putting party ahead of self. Yet the appetite among elite Republicans to move past Trump was and is so immense I thought there could at least be a do-the-right-thing effort.”

“Yet as spring turns to summer, traditionally the period when presidential hopefuls consider whether they’re gaining any traction, this vision seems more fantasy than strategy.”

John Ellis: “Ron DeSantis says that Donald Trump is a loser and that the time has come for Republican primary voters and caucus attenders to leave him behind and get on with the task of winning elections. This is an odd way to address Trump voters, to put it mildly. You’re-a-loser-if-you-keep-voting-for-that-loser is not a winning message.”

“Polls reflect this. For a time after the 2022 mid-term elections, it appeared that DeSantis would emerge as the Savior, the one who could defeat Trump while holding ‘the base.’ Those hopes were quickly dashed by Trump’s announcement of candidacy, and the ineptitude of the DeSantis political operation’s response.”

“In the wake of DeSantis’s cliff-dive in national and key state polls, the DeSantis campaign has doubled down on ‘Loser Don’ and introduced the new-and-improved Retail Ron, who actually shakes hands, flips burgers and smiles at voters.”

“A super PAC backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential run has raised $500,000 into a separate draft committee that is expected to be transferred directly to his campaign in the coming days,” CBS News reports.

“The group, ‘Never Back Down’ has been encouraging donors to contribute online to the ‘Draft DeSantis 2024 Fund,’ a super PAC created in early March to house money from DeSantis donors until his campaign launch. Super PACs can raise unlimited funds, but they are generally considered expenditure-only, meaning they cannot contribute directly to a candidate.”

“Campaign finance experts called the move ‘unprecedented’ and had mixed reactions on if it violated FEC regulations.”

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

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