Cup of Joe – September 3, 2023

“After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) experienced his second freezing episode in five weeks, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is declining to say whether he would follow a state law requiring him to appoint a Republican in the event of a Senate vacancy,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Beshear: “There is no Senate vacancy. Senator McConnell has said he’s going to serve out his term, and I believe him, so I’m not going to speculate about something that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen.”

Washington Post: “If Republicans grow dissatisfied with McConnell’s continued practice of keeping matters of his health private, they could request a special meeting of the Senate GOP conference to discuss it, needing just a handful of signatures to prompt such a conversation. So far no Republican has made that request, and privately senior aides think senators will want to see McConnell — and each other — in person next week before deciding whether such action is necessary.”

“With the Senate on its summer break until Tuesday, Republicans were scattered across the nation and globe when news of the McConnell incident broke. Unable to speak face-to-face with McConnell, they instead relied on phone calls and texts to talk with the leader and each other about the health episode.”

New York Times: “Seven neurologists, relying on what they described as unusually revealing video of Mr. McConnell freezing up in public twice recently, said in interviews Thursday and Friday that the episodes captured in real time likely pointed to more serious medical problems afflicting the longtime Republican leader…”

“The neurologists said that the episodes justified close medical attention and could prompt treatment to keep them from recurring. While several possibilities were suggested, including mini-strokes, doctors said that the spells appeared most consistent with focal seizures, which are electrical surges in one region of the brain.”

The White House slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for saying she’s willing to stop funding the government if Congress doesn’t hold a vote to open an impeachment inquiry on President Joe Biden, warning Republicans not to let the “hardcore fringe of their party” force a shutdown, USA Today reports.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Breitbart that he would only open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden with a full House vote — shutting down talk of Republicans potentially moving forward without one.

Said McCarthy: “To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives. That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”

An FBI whistleblower filed a statement asserting that Rudy Giuliani “may have been compromised” by Russian intelligence while working as a lawyer and adviser to Trump during the 2020 campaign, Mother Jones reports.

Donald Trump denied claims from New York’s attorney general that he inflated his net worth by as much as $2.2 billion, swearing he has “phenomenal numbers” that show “a net worth billions of dollars more than she viciously and falsely claimed.”


Each day, former President Trump’s staff presents him with a stack of mostly supportive letters, op-eds and printouts of tweets. They’re meant to keep him informed — but perhaps just as important, to boost his spirits,” Axios reports.

“Trump, signature black Sharpie in hand, often scrawls responses on them and has his aides text a photo of the comments back to the writers. The Trump-signed hard copies are sent back by U.S. mail.”

“It’s an ego-soothing exercise for Trump that winds up creating a series of viral threads, as recipients of Trump’s comments — some of whom are essentially pen pals with large digital followings — post them on social media.”

“The U.S. added more jobs than expected in August, a sign of resilience for a labor market under pressure from Federal Reserve interest rate hikes,” CNBC reports.

“Nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 187,000 for the month, above the estimate for 170,000.”

New York Times: “The data is the latest indication that while hiring has weakened, there is no sign of an imminent recession that would result in widespread joblessness.”

“House Oversight Democrats are calling on committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) to use his subpoena power to investigate the foreign business dealings of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — an investigation Comer has been personally stalling for more than a year,” Rolling Stone reports.

“Since Republicans gained control of the House in 2022, Comer has focused the bulk of the Oversight Committee’s work on a sprawling probe into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.”

“But earlier this month, Comer himself acknowledged that Kushner had ‘crossed the line of ethics’ in his foreign business dealings, a statement Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is looking to capitalize on.”

“Ukrainian forces have penetrated the main Russian defensive line in their country’s southeast, raising hopes of a breakthrough that would reinvigorate the slow-moving counteroffensive,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Associated Press: “Unexplained Caribbean and European trips that cost taxpayers more than $90,000. A $600 sports coat paid for by an event organizer. A $45 office Christmas cake taken as his own.”

“These are among the perks that Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ‘s former employees say he reveled in while using his office in ways that now have him facing a federal criminal investigation and potential ouster over allegations of corruption.”

“The Biden administration has approved the first-ever U.S. military transfer to Taiwan under a program generally reserved for assistance to sovereign, independent states,” the AP reports.

“The package is modest — only $80 million of what Congress had set aside as a potential $2 billion — but the implications of using the so-called Foreign Military Financing program to provide it infuriated China.”

Washington Post: “More than a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, many conservatives have grown frustrated by the number of people able to circumvent antiabortion laws — with some advocates grasping for even stricter measures they hope will fully eradicate abortion nationwide.”

“That frustration is driving a new strategy in heavily conservative cities and counties across Texas. Designed by the architects of the state’s ‘heartbeat’ ban that took effect months before Roe fell, ordinances like the one proposed in Llano — where some 80 percent of voters in the county backed President Donald Trump in 2020 — make it illegal to transport anyone to get an abortion on roads within the city or county limits. The laws allow any private citizen to sue a person or organization they suspect of violating the ordinance.”

“Antiabortion advocates behind the measure are targeting regions along interstates and in areas with airports, with the goal of blocking off the main arteries out of Texas and keeping pregnant women hemmed within the confines of their antiabortion state.”

“Even before the newly elected justice who gave liberals a one-seat majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has heard a case, Republican lawmakers are talking about taking the unprecedented step of impeaching and removing her from office,” the AP reports.

“And they have the votes to do it.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Assembly Speaker Robin Vos continues to leave the door open to launching impeachment proceedings against state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz if she does not recuse herself from lawsuits challenging the state’s electoral maps.”

“As Florida lawmakers expanded eligibility for school vouchers this year, they also gave parents more ways to spend the money,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“Theme park passes, 55-inch TVs, and stand-up paddleboards are among the approved items that recipients can buy to use at home. The purchases can be made by parents who home-school their children or send them to private schools, if any voucher money remains after paying tuition and fees.”

“Democratic state officials in California are taking a leading role in fighting the education culture wars at the local level, just as conservatives launch an effort to take the same issues directly to voters,” NBC News reports.

“Three of the top elected officials in the state — Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond — are pulling a variety of levers to fight back against conservative school board policies banning books and restricting support for LGBTQ students.”

“The Proud Boy who smashed through a window to the US Capitol with a police riot shield on January 6, 2021, allowing the first wave of rioters to storm the building as members of Congress were being evacuated was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison,” CNN reports.

“Images of Dominic Pezzola, nicknamed ‘Spazzolini,’ using the police riot shield to first breach the Capitol building quickly became a symbol of the violence that day.”

“A one-time leader in the Proud Boys far-right extremist group has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, tying the record for the longest sentence in the attack,” the AP reports.

“Ethan Nordean was one of several members convicted of spearheading an attack on the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election.”

A campaign official for Donald Trump’s New Hampshire operation was outed as one of the rioters who confronted police outside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, telling one officer: “go hang yourself,” the Daily Beast reports.

Said Dylan Quattrucci: “I work for the Republican Party… I’m done! I’m going to attack, and I’m going to fucking go, and I am not having this shit.”

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

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