Cup of Joe – July 24, 2023

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is intensifying his efforts to de-emphasize racism in his state’s public school curriculum by arguing that some Black people benefited from being enslaved and defending his state’s new African American history standards that civil rights leaders and scholars say misrepresents centuries of U.S. reality,” the Washington Post reports.

Said DeSantis: “They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life.”

“Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday rebuked the Florida Board of Education’s new standards for how Black history will be taught in schools, calling it an effort by extremist leaders to spread propaganda,” NBC News reports.

Said Harris: “They want to replace history with lies. These extremist, so-called leaders should model what we know to be the correct and right approach if we really are invested in the well being of our children. Instead, they dare to push propaganda to our children. This is the United States of America. We’re not supposed to do that.”

New York Times on the high cost of DeSantis’ vaccine uturn: “Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age, than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave, according to the Times analysis. With less than 7 percent of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14 percent of deaths between the start of July and the end of October.”

“Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that ‘our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,’ a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.”

“Republicans are hammering ‘Joe Biden’s America’ as a land of rising violent crime, surging immigration and out of control inflation, but there’s just one problem: the numbers are starting to move in the opposite direction,” Axios reports.

“With 2024 around the corner, the U.S. is making measurable progress in the areas where Biden has been most vulnerable to GOP attacks.”

Morgan Stanley is crediting President Biden’s economic policies with driving an unexpected surge in the U.S. economy that is so significant that the bank was forced to make a “sizable upward revision” to its estimates for U.S. gross domestic product, CNBC reports.

As a result of these unexpected swells, Morgan Stanley now projects 1.9% GDP growth for the first half of this year. That’s nearly four times higher than the bank’s previous forecast of 0.5%.

“Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been contacted by the federal special counsel investigating former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election,” The Hill reports.

“The move shows overlap between Smith’s federal investigation and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation into the same conduct in Georgia.”

“Prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office questioned former White House aide William Russell about then-President Donald Trump’s state of mind during and after the 2020 election period,” NBC News reports.

“Russell — who was with Trump for some of the day on Jan. 6, 2021 — testified for hours Thursday before the federal grand jury deciding whether to indict the former president over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.”

“Mark Meadows joked about the baseless claim that large numbers of votes were fraudulently cast in the names of dead people in the days before the then-White House chief of staff participated in a phone call in which then-President Trump alleged there were close to 5,000 dead voters in Georgia and urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the 2020 election there,” the Washington Post reports.

“In a text message that has been scrutinized by federal prosecutors, Meadows wrote to a White House lawyer that his son, Atlanta-area attorney Blake Meadows, had been probing possible fraud and had found only a handful of possible votes cast in dead voters’ names, far short of what Trump was alleging. The lawyer teasingly responded that perhaps Meadows’s son could locate the thousands of votes Trump would need to win the election. The text was described by multiple people familiar with the exchange.”

“The jocular text message, which has not been previously reported, is one of many exchanges from the time in which Trump aides and other Republican officials expressed deep skepticism or even openly mocked the election claims being made publicly by Trump.”

“Three of Donald Trump’s rivals for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination are pushing for cuts to Social Security benefits that would only affect younger Americans, as the party’s leaders grapple with the explosive politics of the retirement program,” the Washington Post reports.Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley have proposes curbing spending on the program without affecting seniors.

The Economist: “Roughly a third of Americans live in areas where the government has issued warnings about extreme heat in the past week… These hot cities are in the Sunbelt, or the southern part of the country, ranging from Los Angeles to Miami. Tourists flocked sweatily to Death Valley, California, the hottest place on Earth, to see if it would get warmer than the previous record of 56.7°C (it didn’t). Researchers in Florida worry that hot ocean temperatures will bleach coral reefs and worsen hurricane season…”

“Yet extreme heat in the Sunbelt is not convincing Americans to up sticks. Census figures suggest that 12 of the 15 fastest-growing cities in America are in the region.”

“A federal judge convicted a former State Department appointee Thursday on eight felony counts for joining the assault on police inside a tunnel at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,” WUSA reports. “Federico Klein, of Virginia, was found guilty of six counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding police and one count each of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding — all felonies — on Thursday by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden.”

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos condemned President Biden for his latest plan to cancel student loans, The Hill reports. Said DeVos: “What President Biden is trying to do is just a blatant vote buy. The Supreme Court has ruled it’s illegal. He can’t just with a stroke of the pen wipe away over half a trillion dollars in student loan debt.” She added: “It’s just transferring it to all those who didn’t take out student loans or those who faithfully made payments. It’s patently unfair. It’s patently illegal. The Supreme Court has ruled on that.”

Washington Post: “As the oldest major party front-runners in American history — even with demanding schedules — they both remain physically capable. Both candidates have recent passing reports from their physicians and partake in healthy living habits — no smoking, no drinking, no hazardous labor.”

“Actuarial tables suggest they are far more likely than not to live through a second term if elected, and experts in aging say there is little reason to doubt their continued health during that time, given the enormous benefits of their socioeconomic status, including access to high-quality health care.”

“When President Joe Biden return[ed] to Pennsylvania on Thursday, his message will be similar to the one he’s delivered on many of his 26 previous visits to the commonwealth since taking office,” CNN reports.

“Biden’s economic message is now branded under the name ‘Bidenomics.’ But the push to remind voters of his achievements on infrastructure, jobs and manufacturing has been underway for much of his presidency, particularly in the battlegrounds like Pennsylvania that will decide next year’s election.”

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early Sunday he was going to the hospital for an emergency procedure to receive a pacemaker, but vowed to press ahead with his controversial judicial overhaul plan,” Politico reports.

“An FBI analyst conducted overly broad searches in June 2022 for information about a U.S. senator and a state senator in the Section 702 database,” Axios reports.

“The U.S. Justice Department has threatened legal action against Gov. Greg Abbott over the 1,000-foot floating barrier that the state deployed in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass earlier this month,” the Texas Tribune reports.

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

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