Cup of Joe – August 21, 2023

Hurricane Hilary, which reached Category 4 status in the Pacific Friday, is moving on a path toward the west coast of the Baja California peninsula, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, as of this writing. Hilary is expected to weaken to a Category 2 on Sunday and diminish to a tropical storm by Monday. Heavy rainfall is expected for the Southwest.

Hilary is the eighth named storm in the Pacific hurricane season this year and has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 hurricane as of this writing. Storms are considered hurricanes once winds reach at least 74 mph and become major hurricanes—those classified as Category 3 and above—once winds reach 111 mph or more. Hurricane Hilary is expected to turn into a Category 4 hurricane today before weakening to a tropical storm over the weekend as it approaches California. Track its trajectory here.

It is rare for a tropical storm system to make landfall in California due to typically cool waters; however, the El Niño weather pattern is fueling higher tropical activity this year. The last tropical storm system to make landfall in California was in 1939.

Politico: “The White House’s $24 billion request to arm Ukraine will test the administration’s ability to support Kyiv just as it meets its fiercest resistance from Russia and — for the first time — a Republican-led House holding the purse strings.”

“The request is part of a larger, $40 billion package full of unrelated big-budget items. The West Wing believes the deal will get done, even if the aid package shrinks, and is executing a strategy to make sure that happens, according to interviews with nearly a dozen White House and congressional aides.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyers issued a warning if the Justice Department charged the president’s son, his lawyers would put the president on the witness stand, Politico reports.

New York Times: “The deal’s collapse — chronicled in over 200 pages of confidential correspondence between Mr. Weiss’s office and Mr. Biden’s legal team, and interviews with those close to Mr. Biden, lawyers involved in the case and Justice Department officials — came after intense negotiations that started with the prospect that Mr. Biden would not be charged at all and now could end in his possible indictment and trial.”

“Earlier this year, The Times found, Mr. Weiss appeared willing to forgo any prosecution of Mr. Biden at all, and his office came close to agreeing to end the investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges. But the correspondence reveals that his position, relayed through his staff, changed around the time a pair of IRS officials on the case accused the Justice Department of hamstringing the investigation. Mr. Weiss suddenly demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to committing tax offenses.”

“Now, the IRS agents and their Republican allies say they believe the evidence they brought forward, at the precise time they did, played a role in influencing the outcome.”

Washington Post: “Manchin isn’t the essential tiebreaking vote for Democrats in the Senate anymore, but a year after the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act — which wouldn’t have passed without his support — he’s irate at the way Biden is implementing the law. And he’s fighting back: Besides his pressure on FERC, Manchin has vowed to oppose appointments to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. He is even publicly flirting with running for president in 2024, an unlikely prospect but one that could be devastating for Biden — and a situation that senior White House officials are closely monitoring.”

“Now Biden and his aides are in the delicate position of trying to agree to Manchin’s demands where they can to avoid antagonizing him more, while still advancing a climate agenda that the senator strongly opposes — even though his vote last year made it possible in the first place.”

“Publicly, the White House has resisted hitting back at Manchin.”

J. Michael Luttig and Laurence Tribe: “The historically unprecedented federal and state indictments of former President Donald Trump have prompted many to ask whether his conviction pursuant to any or all of these indictments would be either necessary or sufficient to deny him the office of the presidency in 2024.”

“Having thought long and deeply about the text, history, and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause for much of our professional careers, both of us concluded some years ago that, in fact, a conviction would be beside the point. The disqualification clause operates independently of any such criminal proceedings and, indeed, also independently of impeachment proceedings and of congressional legislation.”

“Rudy Giuliani is running out of money and looking to collect from a longtime client who has yet to pay: former President Donald Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“To recover the millions of dollars he believes he is owed for his efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power, Mr. Giuliani first deferred to his lawyer, who pressed anyone in Mr. Trump’s circle who would listen.”

“When that fizzled out, Mr. Giuliani and his lawyer made personal appeals to the former president over a two-hour dinner in April at his Mar-a-Lago estate and in a private meeting at his golf club in West Palm Beach.”

“When those entreaties largely failed as well, Mr. Giuliani’s son, Andrew, who has an independent relationship with the former president, visited Mr. Trump at his club in New Jersey this month, with what people briefed on the meeting said was the hope of getting his father’s huge legal bills covered.”

“He never listens to his lawyers. But he listened this time, didn’t he? Why? Because he’s scared. He is scared he’s just a couple of steps away from that jail cell closing behind him.”

— Chris Christie, quoted by the HuffPost, on Donald Trump canceling his news conference next week.

“The loop Donald Trump’s private jet made above the Iowa State Fair before his visit last weekend was more than just a gesture to the hundreds of supporters — and a few rival candidates — on the ground. It was a reminder that the four-time indicted former president casts a Boeing 757-sized shadow over the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination,” the AP reports.

“That’s where agreement about Trump seems to end. With less than five months before Iowans cast the first votes in the GOP contest, conversations with more than 40 Republicans at the time-honored presidential campaign ritual suggest the party is far from unified on much of anything else.”

“Most voters say that until the winter chill sets in, they’re keeping an open mind, honoring the state’s tradition of vetting all candidates. Still, many GOP voters say they can’t help but weigh their intense feelings about Trump as they consider their choices.”

The Des Moines Register will be releasing a much-anticipated poll of the GOP primary race on Monday evening.

Donald Trump’s interview with Tucker Carlson to air during the first Republican debate has already been recorded, the Washington Post reports.

“It is not yet clear where the interview will appear. Carlson has started a show on X, formerly called Twitter, but Trump sees the platform as a rival to Truth Social, which he helped create.”

“The move is a blow to Fox News, which will be airing the first debate and has been losing audience to other far-right news outlets.”

“Wearing a bulletproof vest, Christian Zurita is asking the people of one of the world’s most violent nations to vote for a dead man,” Bloomberg reports.

“Zurita is running for president of Ecuador in the place of his closest friend and fellow journalist Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot dead a week ago as he campaigned for the top job. Villavicencio was killed so close to the vote, scheduled for Sunday, that all of the ballots have already been printed with his name and photo on them.”

“Authorities are searching for a member of the Proud Boys extremist group who disappeared days before his sentencing in a U.S. Capitol riot case, where prosecutors are seeking more than a decade in prison,” the AP reports.

“Christopher Worrell, 52, of Naples, Florida, was supposed to be sentenced Friday after being found guilty of spraying pepper spray gel on police officers, as part of the mob storming the Capitol as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory on Jan. 6, 2021. Prosecutors had asked a judge to sentence him to 14 years.”

“Federal prosecutors are seeking sentences of 27 to 33 years in federal prison in the cases of four Proud Boys found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their actions during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as 20 years for a fifth Proud Boy found guilty on other charges,” NBC News reports.

“Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean and Zachary Rehl were all convicted of seditious conspiracy in May after a monthslong trial that began in January. A fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge but found guilty of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers.”

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

0 comments on “Cup of Joe – August 21, 2023

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: