Cup of Joe – June 25, 2023

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s long-term strategy is this — he has no long-term strategy,” Punchbowl News reports.

“The California Republican has shown, to a remarkable degree, that his day-to-day, week-to-week style in running the House is to essentially push through — to just keep dancing — and deal with problems as they come. Get through today and worry about what happens next when it happens.”

9McCarthy is fully cognizant of the “Do-whatever-it-takes” dynamic — and he even seems to relish it. McCarthy has privately remarked to aides and reporters that he has to ‘keep on dancing.’ On Thursday, McCarthy exited the House floor saying that he got through another week.”

CNN: House conservatives’ hardball tactics anger moderates and leave McCarthy in middle.

“Tensions inside the conservative House Freedom Caucus have reached the point that some members are floating the idea of purging colleagues from the group,” Politico reports.

“At least two hardliners have discussed — and proposed to Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-PA) — trying to boot members who no longer meet the group’s ideological standards, according to three Republicans with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity. The lawmakers declined to name who’s behind the ouster calls, underscoring the sensitivity of the situation.”

“While the members suggesting a purge did not specify the people they want to remove, they are signaling that one target of any ejection push is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).”

“When Judge Aileen Cannon assumed control of the case stemming from former President Donald Trump’s indictment for putting national security secrets at risk, she set the stage for the trial to be held with a regional jury pool comprised mostly of counties that Mr. Trump won handily in his two previous campaigns,” the New York Times reports.

“She signaled that the trial would take place in the federal courthouse where she normally sits, in Fort Pierce, at the northern end of the Southern District of Florida. The region that feeds potential jurors to that courthouse is made up of one swing county and four others that are ruby red in their political leanings and that Mr. Trump won by substantial margins in both 2016 and 2020.”

The Economist: “A final term gives a politician an opportunity for courage. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s lame-duck Democratic governor, seemed to be seizing it when he announced his opposition to the death penalty in a conversation on faith and leadership at Loyola University, a Jesuit college, in March. In a state where Donald Trump trounced Hillary Clinton in 2016 and easily captured the eight electoral-college votes in 2020, most voters have long approved of putting inmates to death. Despite newfound support from the outgoing governor, a bill to ban the practice died in committee in May. Abolishing it, Republicans and prosecutors argued, would incentivize murderers to go rogue.”

“Mr Edwards’s political bravery is now being put to the test. On June 13th, 51 of the state’s 57 death-row inmates filed for clemency (the other six chose not to do so). A governor-appointed parole board will hear their cases one by one—the defence has just 15 minutes to argue for the life of each inmate—and could recommend that the governor swap out capital punishment for life imprisonment without parole.”

“Six people who gathered signatures to try to get a Republican congressional candidate on Colorado’s primary ballot in 2022 have been charged by state prosecutors on accusations that they submitted signatures of dead people and signatures that didn’t match voter files,” the Colorado Sun reports.

“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges Thursday arising from the fake nominating petition signatures that resulted in the disqualification of five Republican candidates for governor in 2022,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

“In New York and London, owners of gleaming office towers are walking away from their debt rather than pouring good money after bad. The landlords of downtown San Francisco’s largest mall have abandoned it. A new Hong Kong skyscraper is only a quarter leased,” Bloomberg reports.

“The creeping rot inside commercial real estate is like a dark seam running through the global economy. Even as stock markets rally and investors are hopeful that the fastest interest-rate increases in a generation will ebb, the trouble in property is set to play out for years.”

Associated Press: “Prigozhin’s video in May and his other rants against the military leadership have been met with silence from Putin, as well as the brass. Some see Putin’s failure to squelch the infighting as a sign of potential shifts in Russia’s political scene that set the stage for more internal battles.”

9Prigozhin’s rift with the military has been ignored by state-controlled TV, where most Russians get their news, although it is followed closely by the politically active, ultrapatriotic readers and viewers on social media networks, which share his contempt for military leaders.”

“When President Joe Biden referred to his Chinese counterpart as a dictator late Tuesday in California, the response from Beijing was swift and angry,” CNN reports.Said a foreign ministry spokesperson: “The remarks seriously contradict basic facts, seriously violate diplomatic etiquette, and seriously infringe on China’s political dignity.”

“Whether the new acrimony further derails a ‘thaw’ in US-China ties, something that Biden has openly hoped for, remained an open question.”

Politico: “As the nation nears the one year anniversary of the fall of Roe, the Missouri case is one of nearly a dozen challenges to abortion restrictions filed by clergy members and practitioners of everything from Judaism to Satanism that are now making their way through state and federal courts — a strategy that aims to restore access to the procedure and chip away at the assumption that all religious people oppose abortion.”

“In fact, many of the lawsuits are wielding religious protection laws enacted by anti-abortion state officials to target those officials’ own restrictions on the procedure.”

“Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, is barred from voting in the impeachment trial that could lead to her husband’s permanent removal from office, the Republican-controlled Senate decided Wednesday,” the AP reports.

“The rule settles a question that has loomed over the Texas Capitol since Ken Paxton last month became just the third sitting official to be impeached in Texas’ nearly 200-year history.”

“Years after their lives were turned upside down by conspiracy theorists, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea ArShaye ‘Shaye’ Moss, were officially cleared by Georgia authorities on Tuesday,” NBC News reports.

“The fraud claims were ‘unsubstantiated and found to have no merit,’ the investigation concluded, reporting on the work of the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and investigators from the Secretary of State’s office vetting the alleged fraud.”

“A Russian court upheld the extended detention of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter deemed by the U.S. to be wrongfully held, ordering that he remain in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison until at least Aug. 30,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“A suspected lone Russian diplomat is apparently squatting on the site of Moscow’s proposed embassy after the Australian government vetoed the plan on security grounds,” the AP reports. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese dismissed the Russian act of defiance, saying a “bloke standing in the cold on a bit of grass in Canberra is not a threat to our national security.”

The Guardian: “The political future of one of the big names of the global populist right is on the line this week as Brazilian judges prepare to decide whether Jair Bolsonaro should be banned from running for office.”

“Members of Brazil’s superior electoral court will gather on Thursday to consider the first of 16 cases being brought against the far-right former president, who failed to win a second term after losing last October’s election to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.”

“Ryan Kelley, a real estate agent and conservative activist who sought to become governor of Michigan in 2022, will plead guilty next month to a misdemeanor charge stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

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

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