Cup of Joe – July 17, 2023

Democrats won a big victory today as a New York appellate court ruled that a New York redistricting commission must redraw the congressional map in time for the 2024 elections.

The ruling – which Republicans will immediately appeal — could help Democrats shift “as many as six” House seats their way next year, according to the New York Times.

This has potentially far-reaching political implications.

First, it would balance out North Carolina’s redistricting process, where a Republican supermajority has promised to redraw that map in a way that is likely to flip four seats to the GOP.

But today’s decision in New York comes after Supreme Court victories for Democrats last month in Alabama and Louisiana that will likely add a new Democratic-held seat in each state.

And another pickup for Democrats from that decision is possible in Georgia.

Democrats need to pick off just five House seats to take back the majority in 2024.

“The US Department of Education will forgive $39 billion in student debt by updating a technical requirement under a long-existing program,” Bloomberg reports.  “The change, announced Friday, will help more than 804,000 borrowers. It comes as the Biden administration pursues alternatives to a $400 billion student loan forgiveness plan that the Supreme Court struck down in June.”

New York Times: “No Labels’ possible third-party challenge for the presidency next year has drawn fire from liberals, centrists and even some members of Congress who support the group’s principles but fear that their efforts — based on the seemingly high-minded ideals of national unity — could greatly damage President Biden’s re-election campaign and hand the White House back to Donald J. Trump.”

“But at an event on Monday, the group will formally release what it calls a ‘common sense’ proposal for a centrist White House, in hopes of shifting the conversation from the politics of its potential presidential bid to the actual policies that it believes can unite the country and temper the partisanship of the major party nominees. If the ideas do not take political flight, or if one or both of the parties adopt many of the proposals the group’s leaders say no challenge will be necessary.”

Washington Post: No Labels releases proposals to guide third-party presidential ticket.

“Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said Thursday that he will not run for president in 2024 as No Labels pushes for a bipartisan, third-party presidential ticket on next year’s ballot,” NBC News reports.

Said Cuban: “No. My family would disown me.”

“I’d give a respectful word of caution to all the groups that are opposing what No Labels wants to do in 2024. They obviously have the right to oppose us. But if they begin to take action that’s aimed at blocking us from achieving our constitutional right to gain access to the ballot for a third ticket, they’re really running the risk of not only unconstitutional but illegal behavior.”— Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), quoted by the Washington Post.

A new ad from Progress Action Fund might be the raciest political ad ever.

The Wrap: “The scene opens up with a man and a woman kissing in bed, both of them in their underwear with the woman straddling the man and asking if he has a condom. When the man reaches into his nightstand drawer in hopes of practicing safe sex, an elderly, white male hand snatches the condom out before he can, causing both the woman and her lover to scream in confusion at the dark-suited, red-tied man standing over them.”

Said the elderly man: “Sorry, you can’t use those… I’m your Republican congressman. Now that we’re in charge, we’re banning birth control.”

“A Florida state guard established by the rightwing governor, Ron DeSantis, under the guise of a civilian disaster relief force is instead being trained as an armed, combat-ready militia under his personal command, according to military veteran recruits who have quit the program,” The Guardian reports.

“Several veterans resigned after an encampment last month having become concerned at the ‘militaristic’ training and ‘abuse’ one disabled veteran suffered at the hands of instructors, according to an investigation by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) was grilled on CNN why she voted in favor of an anti-abortion amendment that she had previously characterized as “being assholes to women.”

Said Mace: “Nothing in here would prohibit a woman from traveling out of state to follow state law. So I think that’s, you know, a really important message. Nothing would prohibit her from being able to do that. There are no limits on her travel.”

Amy Walter: “It’s hard to believe that voters who have stuck with Trump through all of his current legal troubles — including two indictments and a battery and defamation lawsuit — are going to suddenly abandon him if a Georgia grand jury indicts him later this summer for alleged voter interference in the 2020 election.”

“However, some Republican strategists I’ve spoken with argue that the weight of Trump’s legal troubles is taking an unseen toll. Republicans are rallying behind Trump because they see him being unfairly attacked. But, defending him is different from voting for him. Many of these GOP voters are weary of the chaos and the drama that engulfs the former president. And, every new indictment, court appearance or controversy reminds those voters that if they vote for Trump, this is exactly what they will get for another four years.”

“South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Saturday, offering an apparent show of support for the country in its war with Russia,” the AP reports.

“Yoon’s office said he traveled to Ukraine with his wife, Kim Keon Hee, following trips to Lithuania for a NATO summit and to Poland. It’s his first visit since Russia invaded Ukraine almost 17 months ago.”

“The campaign of embattled Rep. George Santos, who is facing federal indictment on fraud and money laundering charges, paid the congressmember $85,000 in the second quarter of this year,” Politico reports.  “Though the New York representative says he is running for reelection, he spent virtually nothing on campaigning.”

“The payments the campaign made to Santos stemmed from hundreds of thousands of dollars that the congressmember previously loaned to his campaign. Those loans had sparked questions about how Santos had so much money to lend his political efforts.”

“Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry lashed out at House lawmakers during a committee hearing on Thursday over the criticisms of his use of a private jet that has emitted hundreds of metric tons of carbon, even as he battles climate change,” Fox News reports. Said Kerry: “We don’t own a private jet. I don’t own a private jet. I personally have never owned a private jet. And obviously it’s pretty stupid to talk about coming in a private jet from the State Department up here. I just honestly, if that’s where you want to go, go.”

“WhatsApp messages from Boris Johnson’s old mobile phone have still not been handed over to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry because he has reportedly forgotten the passcode,” the Evening Standard reports.  “The former prime minister stopped using the device in May 2021 due to security concerns but it likely contains crucial correspondence about the Government’s early pandemic response.”

Twitter owner Elon Musk said that cash flow at the social media company remains negative after a nearly 50% drop in advertising revenue coupled with “heavy debt,” CNBC reports.

An Ohio attorney — who supports Donald Trump — told a judge that he voted twice in the last two presidential elections by accident, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former White House adviser Neil Patel are seeking to raise funds to start a new media company that would potentially use Twitter as its backbone,“ the Wall Street Journal reports.  “The new company would be anchored by longer versions of the free videos that Carlson has been posting regularly on Twitter since shortly after his departure from Fox News, but would ultimately be driven by subscriptions.”

“Carlson and Patel are looking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the company.”

“The Michigan Republican Party has about $93,000 in its bank accounts 16 months before the November 2024 presidential election, a revelation GOP insiders said paints an alarming financial picture for a political party that had full control of state government five years ago,” the Detroit News reports.

“Florida Republicans have hit dozens of voter registration groups with thousands of dollars of fines, the latest salvo in an alarming crackdown on voting in the state led by Governor Ron DeSantis,” The Guardian reports.

“Republicans are hoping to save Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) majority in 2024 by recruiting more women, minorities and veterans to run in flippable blue districts,” Axios reports.

“While blasting an anti-woke agenda and praising the end of affirmative action, Republicans see a winning strategy in pulling together a slate of diverse candidates for the most competitive seats next year.”

Associated Press: “After an anemic showing in the midterms, Republicans have virtually no cushion in their quest to retain control of the House, which was made all the more complicated by a surprise U.S. Supreme Court decision last month that will likely bring two new safely Democratic districts. Democrats need to pick up just five seats to control the House.”

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

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