Cup of Joe – September 24, 2023

Politico: “President Joe Biden will travel to Michigan to join the picket line of auto workers on strike nationwide, he said on Friday afternoon.

“Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create,” Biden wrote on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

His decision to stand alongside the striking workers represents perhaps the most significant display of union solidarity ever by a sitting president. Biden’s announcement comes a week after he expressed solidarity with the UAW and said he “understand[s] the workers’ frustration.”

The announcement of his trip was seen as a seismic moment within certain segments of the labor community. “Pretty hard-core,” said one union adviser, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) wants Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign his seat in the U.S. Senate following his indictment on federal bribery charges, as do State Senate President Nick Scutari (D) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D), the New Jersey Globe reports.

Meanwhile, Politico reports Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) is also calling on Menendez to resign.

“Democratic leaders in Sen. Bob Menendez’s home state of New Jersey met on Friday afternoon about a possible removal of his name from the party line on next year’s ballot,” Politico reports.

“The discussion signals that the embattled Democratic senator’s reelection bid in 2024 could face fresh peril following his indictment on federal bribery and conspiracy charges, which was unsealed earlier Friday.”

Talking Points Memo: “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled that he would not push for the senator’s resignation in a Friday statement which lauded Menendez for being a “dedicated public servant.”

“He has a right to due process and a fair trial,” Schumer said.

Other senators, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), have so far been silent on the case. Menendez leaving would open up a competitive race for his seat, one likely being eyed by members of Congress from the state’s delegation, including those calling for his resignation.”

Washington Post: “Biden’s allies say they have long planned to showcase the president carrying out the duties of his office while highlighting the political struggles of his GOP opponents. But they have leaned into the strategy in the past week as it became clear that far-right Republicans were having outsize sway both in Congress and on the campaign trail, according to White House officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal strategy, and as it became more likely the GOP infighting could lead to a government shutdown.”

“The split-screen message — which the Biden team has also used to contrast a purportedly steady White House with a raucous GOP primary — stands in lieu of more traditional campaigning by the president, who is not yet holding rallies or town halls as he seeks reelection. White House and campaign aides believe Biden’s best way to secure votes for next year is to remain above the political fray this year, presenting himself as an effective president rather than a politician.”

“Prosecutors are probing former President Donald Trump’s political operation after it paid over $44 million to lawyers and law firms that have represented potential witnesses and codefendants in his ongoing legal cases since 2020 — accounting for about half of the operation’s legal expenses during that time,” Open Secrets reports.

“The political network’s payments to lawyers and law firms that represent witnesses and defendants in the former president’s ongoing legal cases have raised concerns about Trump pressuring witnesses citing the former president’s history of allegedly trying to influence witnesses.”

“Special counsel Jack Smith has added a veteran war crimes prosecutor — who served as Smith’s deputy during his stint at the Hague — to his team as it prepares to put former President Donald Trump on trial in Washington and Florida,” Politico reports.

“Alex Whiting worked alongside Smith for three years, helping prosecute crimes against humanity that occurred in Kosovo in the late 1990s.”

Donald Trump said on Truth Social that Gen. Mark Milley — who he called “a woke train wreck” — should be executed for treason.

“I would like to make clear. I would not back the former president of the United States. He is dangerous for the country. He is willing and has showed, time and time again, willingness to proliferate lies to vulnerable American people so he could stay in power… To me, that is the most un-American thing that you can do.”— Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, in a CBS News interview.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said that Donald Trump is “too dumb to be a danger to democracy,” the Texas Tribune reports. Said Sununu: “Let’s not give him that much credit… I want everyone to relax. It’s all going to work out… Asshole leaders come and go, but our system stands strong.”

“Investors are also growing increasingly concerned that a government shutdown would cut into 4th quarter gross domestic product and, more broadly, that it would undermine global confidence in America’s ability to keep its own government open and operating,” CNBC reports.

“The political careers of two of Norway’s most powerful women are under threat after it was revealed that their husbands were trading in shares behind their backs,” the AP reports.

“Anniken Huitfeldt, the current foreign minister of the center-left Labor Party, and Norway’s former conservative prime minister for eight years, Erna Solberg, are having to explain why they were making decisions in office that could potentially have enriched their spouses.”

A year after Los Angeles City Council Member Kevin de León’s (D) “political career was upended following the leak of a recorded conversation featuring racist and derogatory remarks,” the embattled politician has announced he is seeking reelection, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“History may be repeating itself in Virginia as the federal government careens toward a shutdown in early October, just weeks before a key election in the Commonwealth,” The Messenger reports.

“With Republicans in Congress unable to agree on a spending deal, Democrats in Virginia – home to one of the largest shares of federal government workers and contractors – are preparing to use the seemingly inevitable shutdown as a cautionary tale against handing Republicans total control of state government… The goal is to tie Republicans in the commonwealth to ‘extremism’ in Washington.”

“It’s a familiar argument for Democrats in the Commonwealth: When the federal government shuttered for over two weeks in October 2013, the slate of statewide Democrats set to face voters that November made the shutdown a central part of their campaign, hopscotching between federal contractors in the closing weeks of the campaign to highlight the impact the shutdown – which they blamed on Republicans in Congress – was having on Virginia.”

Politico: “Nine California lawmakers wrote a letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta over the weekend, arguing that Trump isn’t eligible to be on the ballot for inciting an insurrection when a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”

“The move, which comes amid several lawsuits to keep Trump off state ballots across the county, is unique because Bonta could use his standing as California’s top law enforcement officer to expedite a state court ruling on the matter. Should the effort succeed, California could be the first state to bump Trump off its ballot, even if the ruling is ultimately overturned.”

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

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