Cup of Joe – September 18, 2023

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) wrote a scathing op-ed slamming his Republican colleagues’ efforts to impeach President Biden, arguing their efforts are a baseless distraction based on a “narrative in right-wing media.”

Wrote Buck: “Republicans in the House who are itching for an impeachment are relying on an imagined history. What’s missing, despite years of investigation, is the smoking gun that connects Joe Biden to his ne’er-do-well son’s corruption.”

Washington Post: “The Republican polling leader in the 2024 presidential campaign has been relentless in leveling exaggerated or unsubstantiated accusations against Biden — raising suspicions about his family’s finances that House Republicans are now pursuing with their impeachment inquiry.”

“But Trump has so far been markedly less forceful in advocating for impeachment — a position that reflects the tenuous standing of the House GOP strategy, even within the party.”  This is not true at all.  He demanded it.

Dan Balz: “Impeachment proceedings were not meant to start with theories. In a world turned upside down, that’s what McCarthy has done. The real reason for McCarthy’s decision to launch the inquiry was apparent to all. It was a bow to hard-right members of his conference demanding he do this at a time when the speaker is caught up in internal brawling with those members over funding the government by the Sept. 30 deadline.”

“Some of those members have threatened to try to remove McCarthy as speaker; his hold on the gavel has been tenuous since he barely secured it back in January on the 15th ballot. In pungent language, he told them at a closed-door meeting to bring it on. This is the climate that has led to the invocation of one of the most serious and, until recently, rarely used mechanisms in the Constitution for disciplining a president.”

Washington Post: “With less than two weeks to avoid a government shutdown, McCarthy (R-CA) is staring down an open revolt among the hard-right in his conference, some who are threatening to remove him from power and throw the House into further turmoil ahead of a pivotal election year. And across the Capitol, most Senate Republicans have joined hands with Democrats in calls for higher spending levels — as the speaker originally agreed to in the spring — and also want tens of billions of dollars in additional defense spending that is opposed by the House’s hard-right faction.”

“How McCarthy handles the next two weeks will dictate whether the California Republican can effectively unite his disparate conference and lead them into what will be bruising budget negotiations with the Senate, or whether the loudest voices from a small pocket of rabble-rousers can effectively rule by fiat.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was acquitted on all charges at his impeachment trial, the Texas Tribune reports.

Texas House Republicans had accused Paxton of bribery and corruption.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, acquitted in his impeachment trial, “still faces serious risk on three fronts: an ongoing a federal investigation into the same allegations that led to his impeachment; a disciplinary proceeding over his effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election; and felony securities fraud charges dating to 2015,” the AP reports.

“Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Saturday ripped the House’s effort to remove Attorney General Ken Paxton, accusing Speaker Dade Phelan and his team of ramming his impeachment through the lower chamber ‘while paying no attention to the precedent’ set in past impeachments,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

“Patrick, breaking his silence shortly after senators voted to acquit Paxton on all charges, said he would seek an audit of all taxpayer money spent by the House on its impeachment effort. He also called on lawmakers to amend the Texas Constitution so that impeached officials are no longer suspended without pay during impeachment proceedings.”

Donald Trump on Friday attacked special counsel Jack Smith as a “deranged” prosecutor after his office sought restrictions on what the former president can say about his federal election interference case, CNBC reports.

Said Trump: “He wants to take away my right to speak freely and openly.”

The Hill: Former Justice Department official says Trump is “playing with fire” ahead of criminal trials.

“The already frosty relationship between President Biden and his attorney general, Merrick Garland, is now in a deep freeze,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Respect and admiration among White House aides for Garland, a longtime federal appeals-court judge chosen to underscore the independence of the Justice Department, has shifted for some into resignation and distrust. They point to Garland having appointed not just a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump, but two others as well: one looking into Biden and another probing his son, Hunter Biden. On Thursday, the latter indicted the younger Biden on gun charges.”

“Some Biden aides have said they see Garland’s handling of the inquiries into the Biden family as driven less by a dispassionate pursuit of justice than by a punctilious desire to give the appearance that sensitive investigations are walled off from political pressure.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) apologized after she and a male companion were ushered out of a production of “Beetlejuice” in Denver last weekend for disrupting the show, Politico reports.

Said Boebert: “There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That’s unacceptable and I’m sorry.”

Donald Trump bungled criticisms of “cognitively impaired” Joe Biden saying he will lead the world into a second world war.

Trump also suggested that he is leading Barack Obama in polls of the 2024 race, despite Obama not being in the contest.

“Donald Trump is planning separate fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago in October for his election campaign and to help pay legal fees for himself and his supporters,“ Bloomberg reports.

“Trump will host one event at his Florida residence for his 2024 election bid, while the other, to be led by his sons Eric and Don Junior, will be for the Patriot Legal Defense Fund.”

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling to New York to attend the UN General Assembly amid heightened tensions with Washington over Syria and Russia,” Bloomberg reports.

“Erdogan is expected to arrive in New York on Sunday, just a day after Turkey rebuffed US allegations of enlisting child soldiers in the ranks of Turkey-backed rebels in Syria, and as Washington prepares to impose sanctions on five Turkish companies and a Turkish individual for helping Russia evade sanctions.”

“In theory, the announcement Thursday that President Biden’s son Hunter was indicted on charges related to his purchase of a gun in 2018 would seem like an obvious political win for the president’s opponents. Hunter Biden has been disparaged repeatedly by Republican politicians and the right-wing media to impugn the president; his reaching a plea agreement earlier this year that included the gun question was presented as an unacceptably light response to his alleged actions. That deal fell apart and here we are,” the Washington Post reports.

“But the indictment instead meant that the right’s broader conspiracy theory about how Joe Biden is using the levers of power needed to be adjusted… It can’t both be the case that Joe Biden is leaning on the Justice Department to go easy on Hunter Biden and that Hunter Biden is now facing a set of charges that are only rarely brought against defendants.”

CNN: “U.S. officials believe that Chinese leaders have made a deliberate decision not to launch additional balloons since the one over the US was shot down by American fighter jets in February.”

“The apparent suspension of the program comes as both the US and China have sought to stabilize an increasingly tense relationship.”

Walt Disney Co. has held exploratory talks about selling its ABC network and TV stations to local broadcaster Nexstar Media Group Inc., Bloomberg reports.

CNN: “In conversations with more than a half-dozen people inside and around ABC News that CNN spoke to Thursday evening, it was made clear that a feeling of dread and trepidation is washing over the outlet as they face the unknown.”

Washington Post: “The disaffection among conservatives has spawned a movement to change the state’s political dynamic in a novel if quixotic way — rather than relocate or change the politics, which seems impossible to many here, why not move the border and become residents who live under the rules of Idaho?”

“This is no small task. Both the Oregon and Idaho state legislatures, which are controlled by Democrats and Republicans respectively, would have to approve a border shift, which in this case would be the most significant geographically since western states began forming in the mid-19th century. The issue would then go to the U.S. Congress.”

“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) quietly has directed the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to no longer enforce the chamber’s informal dress code for its members,” Axios reports.

“The new directive will allow Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who tends to favor gym shorts and hoodies over the business attire traditionally required in the chamber, to linger on the Senate floor before and after votes.”

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

0 comments on “Cup of Joe – September 18, 2023

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: