Cup of Joe – August 20, 2023

Law enforcement officials are anticipating that Donald Trump will surrender at a Fulton County, Georgia, jail no earlier than Thursday, NBC News reports.

Trump and his 18 co-defendants have until noon on Friday August 25 to report to the Fulton County jail.

“Attorneys for former President Donald Trump are expected to meet early next week with the Fulton County district attorney’s office in order to negotiate terms of the bond package for the former president following this indictment last Monday,” ABC News reports.

“The FBI has joined an investigation into a barrage of threats against Fulton County officials in recent days, including members of the Atlanta-area grand jury that voted to indict former president Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in a sweeping criminal case focused on alleged 2020 election interference,” the Washington Post reports.

“Arizona’s criminal probe into the 2020 fake electors plot is heating up and investigators are now asking plenty of questions about a key Donald Trump ally involved in it: former state GOP chair Kelli Ward,” Rolling Stone reports.

“The Arizona probe has been accelerating in the past several weeks, with prosecutors gathering evidence and speaking with individuals with knowledge of how the fake electors scheme was carried out in the state.”

Punchbowl News: “Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. House conservatives are in an uproar over the possibility of a short-term stopgap funding bill after their leadership floated the idea to members on a conference call this week.”

“Since Speaker Kevin McCarthy privately told members on Monday that he expected Congress would need to pass a continuing resolution to fund federal agencies past the Sept. 30 deadline, several House Republicans have voiced their opposition to it absent some clear conservative policy victories.”

“It’s created yet another difficult situation for McCarthy, who may be forced by conservatives to attach poison-pill riders to the CR that could never pass in the Senate.”

“A federal judge has denied former President Trump’s attempt to delay a January civil trial in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him,” The Hill reports.

“After U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan earlier this summer rejected Trump’s bid to toss the lawsuit, Trump appealed that decision and requested Kaplan pause the trial in the meantime.”

A former regional minister in Russia who decided to flee being drafted into Vladimir Putin’s armed forces is now working as a truck driver in the U.S., The Guardian reports.

Donald Trump told Fox News that Russian president Vladimir Putin “would have never gone into Ukraine” if he was still president, citing “my relationship with him” and because “I was the apple of his eye.”

“The U.S. has cleared the way for the Netherlands to deliver F-16 jets to Ukraine, Dutch authorities said Friday, a potentially significant boost to Ukraine in the medium term as it seeks to expel Russian troops from its territory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“So far, Ukraine has received none of the supersonic F-16s, cutting-edge jet fighters that can engage in air-to-air combat and conduct air-to-ground strikes.”

New York Times: “Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which began two months ago, has a chance of prevailing without the fighter jets, experts say, but it is likely to be far more difficult.”

New York Times: “A morass of delays, court backlogs and legal skirmishes awaits, interviews with nearly two dozen current and former prosecutors, judges, legal experts and people involved in the Trump cases show. Some experts predicted that only one or two trials will take place next year; one speculated that none of the four Trump cases will start before the election.”

“It would be virtually unheard of for any defendant to play a game of courthouse Twister like this, let alone one who is also the leading contender for the Republican nomination for the presidency. And between the extensive legal arguments that must take place before a trial can begin — not to mention that the trials themselves could last weeks or months — there are simply not enough boxes on the calendar to squeeze in all the former president’s trials.”

“Ever since members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization sprang into action to help Ukraine try to thwart Russia’s invasion last year, China has warned about a similar U.S.-led security alliance forming in Asia that would seek to hobble Beijing’s ambitions and provoke a confrontation,” the New York Times reports.

“President Biden’s Camp David summit on Friday with the leaders of Japan and South Korea most likely reinforces Beijing’s perception. The talks saw Japan and South Korea put aside their historical animosities to forge a defense pact with the United States aimed at deterring Chinese and North Korean aggression.”

Washington Post: Biden declares ‘new era’ of partnership with South Korea and Japan.

“President Biden on Friday offered his first public comments on the appointment of a special counsel to oversee an investigation into his son, Hunter Biden,” The Hill reports.

Said Biden: “I have no comment on any investigation that’s going on. That’s up to the Justice Department, and that’s all I have to say.”

Washington Post: “For President Biden, who aides say speaks to his children and grandchildren almost every day, the apparent conclusion of his son’s legal troubles marked a welcome end to a painful chapter for the Biden family, that of Hunter’s struggles with addiction and the scrutiny his actions have drawn from federal prosecutors.”

“The feeling of closure was premature, however. The plea deal unexpectedly collapsed, leading Attorney General Merrick Garland last week to appoint the prosecutor investigating Hunter, U.S. Attorney David Weiss, as special counsel to continue the criminal probe.”

“Hunter’s extended stay at the White House this summer, which has not previously been reported, was a fresh reminder of the president’s continued closeness with his 53-year-old son despite his legal troubles and the intensifying political scrutiny Hunter is receiving from Republicans as Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign gets underway.”

Clergy and staff of the Archdiocese of Cologne tried to browse pornography on work PCs, the BBC reports.

“I struggled with pornography and being exposed to it at a young age. Of course, that leads to, you know, sexual sin, masturbation and stuff. And so, that was a chronic habit that I had that just became a bad habit.”— Pennsylvania congressional candidate Mark Houck (R), quoted by Politico on his “sexual sin.”

Washington Post: “Hundreds of thousands of children have begun home schooling in the last three years, an unprecedented spike that generated a huge new market. In New Hampshire, for instance, the number of home-schoolers doubled during the pandemic, and even today it remains 40 percent above pre-covid totals.”

“For many years, home schooling has conjured images of parents and children working together at the kitchen table. The new world of home schooling often looks very different: pods, co-ops, microschools and hybrid schools, often outside the home, as well as real-time and recorded virtual instruction. For a growing number of students, education now exists somewhere on a continuum between school and home, in person and online, professional and amateur.”

Associated Press: “How did it come to this? People who’ve studied Giuliani’s rise and fall see his failed 2008 presidential run as a turning point.”

“Giuliani started as the front runner for the Republican nomination, capitalizing on his post-9/11 popularity. But he struggled in the primaries amid GOP concerns about his past support for abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, and questions about his personal life and business ties to the Middle East.”

“For years following the race, Giuliani’s political career appeared over. After falling into a deep depression, he and his then-wife Judith decamped to Florida, where Trump put them up for a month in a bungalow at his Mar-a-Lago estate.”

“I mean, look, the last thing I want to have happen is stay there too long … I’ve watched it happen too many times in my time in the Senate, and it’s a pitiful thing to watch, where really good people, both sides of the aisle, really, really good people, have stellar careers in public service, really deteriorate to the point where they’re just a shell of what they formerly were. But the voters know that; the voters know that. They can see what I can see.” — Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), quote by NBC News.

“James O’Keefe, the founder and until this past February CEO of the right-wing nonprofit Project Veritas, is currently under investigation by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office,” The Nation reports. “While the exact nature of the investigation is not yet public, the timing would suggest that it relates to O’Keefe’s alleged financial improprieties during his tenure as the group’s chairman and CEO.”

“A group that works to elect Democrats as the top election officials in states around the country is planning a $10 million venture to pay for private security for election officials of both parties, register new voters and try to combat disinformation,” the New York Times reports.

Flush with $3 billion in investor money, Jared Kushner’s efforts to make financial deals in the Middle East have struggled to gain traction, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“A dual citizen of France and Canada who sent letters containing homemade ricin to then-President Donald Trump and eight Texas law enforcement officials was sentenced Thursday to nearly 22 years in prison,” CNN reports.

“A Connecticut alderman and mayoral candidate is pressing ahead with his campaign after being charged this week by federal prosecutors with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021,” the AP reports.

“Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was formally charged with providing false testimony to a parliamentary committee investigating government corruption,” Bloomberg reports.

“Europe is bracing for the possible influx of a drug that’s hooked the Middle East as political shifts and crackdowns in the Gulf spur producers in Syria and Lebanon to tap new markets,” Bloomberg reports. “Selling for around $3 to $25 per tablet, the amphetamine-type pill captagon is primarily produced and trafficked by individuals and groups tied to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his ally the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.”

“A Defense Department review of biological threats released Thursday said the U.S. military is at a ‘pivotal moment’ in biodefense and must act urgently to address the potential of bioweapons and other catastrophic events, including pandemics,” the Washington Post reports.

“In particular, the review highlighted a growing threat posed by China as well as acute dangers emanating from Russia and persistent threats from North Korea, Iran and violent extremist organizations.”

“Maximilian Krah, the newly elected top candidate of the far-right Alternative for Germany for the European elections, doesn’t believe in watering down political messages to win centrist votes,” the Washington Post reports.

“Hailing from what analysts describe as the party’s ethno-nationalist wing, he has described Pride Month as “disgusting,” is a proponent of deporting immigrants and peppers his speech with allusions white supremacist conspiracy theories.”

“Far-right experts say his recent election as lead candidate to represent the party in the 2024 European Parliament elections was just another sign of the AfD’s increasing radicalization.”

The Economist: “A dark cloud hangs over Chinese born in the 1990s and 2000s. Since Xi Jinping won power in 2012, the government has grown more repressive and society less vibrant. Censors have turned the internet into a drearier place, while letting nationalist trolls drum in the state’s talking-points. At university students must grapple with Mr Xi’s forbidding personal ideology.”

“Worst of all for some, China’s economy is stagnating. The unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 in cities is over 21%—a number so disheartening that earlier this month the government stopped publishing the data, pending a review.”

“The US and Iran are engaged in broad but largely unacknowledged efforts to reach agreements on everything from prisoner exchanges to oil revenue to nuclear capabilities — while avoiding deals that could be swatted down by opponents on either side,” Bloomberg reports.

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

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