Cup of Joe – October 1, 2023

Speaker Kevin McCarthy began Saturday looking to try to pass a “clean” short-term spending bill to keep the federal government open for 45 days, Punchbowl News reports. This effort would need Democratic votes to pass the House.

McCarthy confirmed to CNN that the House will try to pass a stopgap spending bill that will require Democratic votes. When asked if he is concerned that a member, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), could move to oust him over this bill, McCarthy replied: “If I have to risk my job for standing up for American public, I will do that.”

The House has passed a 45-day stopgap bill to prevent a federal government shutdown, 335 to 91. The Senate has overwhelmingly passed the House’s 45-day stopgap funding bill, 88 to 9. The bill will now head to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

This will avert a government shutdown.

Politico: “McCarthy’s shift in strategy comes less than 24 hours before a shutdown that’s set to begin at midnight Sunday. And it comes with significant political risk for the Californian, who’s facing threats to try to strip him of his gavel.”

“They made us lose. It’s like they wanted us to lose.”— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), on NewsNation, on the 21 Republicans who voted against a stopgap bill to fund the federal government for 30 days.

Playbook: “With a possible vote to oust McCarthy now looking more likely than ever, expect a ton of attention on whether House Democrats would step in to help save his gavel.”

“Among those with strong opinions is his predecessor, Nancy Pelosi.”

“The former speaker, we’re told, has warned her colleagues — including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and some in his new leadership team — against rushing to bail out a man whom she argues can’t be trusted. Instead, she’s counseled, Democrats should let Republicans deal with the drama themselves.”

“Pelosi’s position will not surprise veteran Hill watchers. She’s long had a frosty relationship with McCarthy, who once joked about hitting her in the head with her own speakership gavel.”

President Biden told ProPublica that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had made a “terrible bargain” and that “in order to keep the speakership, he’s willing to do things that he, I think, he knows are inconsistent with the constitutional processes.”

Biden criticized the role of a “group of MAGA Republicans who genuinely want to have a fundamental change in the way that the system works. And that’s what worries me the most.”

Dan Balz: “There are good weeks and bad weeks and then there is the week that the Republican Party is just concluding, a kaleidoscopic display of self-inflicted wounds by politicians unwilling to govern responsibly and a party still loath to confront the damage done by former president Donald Trump.”

“At every turn this past week, when the spotlight was on them, Republicans showed the public their worst: marching toward a government shutdown wholly of their own making; botching their first hearing in an impeachment inquiry into President Biden that was launched without serious forethought or evidence of criminal wrongdoing; squabbling and shouting by presidential candidates during a nationally televised debate that mostly ignored the elephant not onstage.”

“The small group of House Republicans bucking their party leaders and pushing the government toward a shutdown would have carried a dismissive label in past years. They would be called gadflies—annoying to colleagues, and easily swatted away,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Today, the gadflies are giants of the political scene.”

“They are the members using inflammatory rhetoric and disruptive tactics to draw media attention and campaign donations from the most partisan voters—giving them power to oppose their own party leaders and a majority of their House GOP colleagues. In doing so, they have become heroes to many in the GOP but symbols of what many voters say they lament: The drastic polarization of politics, where the most combative politicians can command status while centrists struggle to be heard.”

A federal judge rejected bids by four defendants in Georgia’s election subversion case to move the proceedings to federal court, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“A judge on Friday rejected a request by former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to move the Georgia election subversion charges against him from state court to federal court,” the AP reports.

“Bail bondsman Scott Hall on Friday became the first defendant in the Fulton County election interference case to take a plea agreement with prosecutors,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“During an impromptu hearing before Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Hall pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties.”

Washington Post: “Prosecutors had alleged in a 98-page indictment unsealed last month that Hall served as a linchpin of a secretive effort to access and copy elections software in remote Coffee County, working alongside pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who allegedly retained the forensic data firm that accompanied Hall and others to Coffee County.”

“As part of his efforts to turn up evidence of voter fraud, Hall gained the ear of top officials not just in Georgia but also in Washington.”

New York Times: “From Latin America to the Middle East, Mr. Menendez has long been among the most hawkish Democrats on Capitol Hill, and never afraid to oppose or criticize members of his own party on issues he holds dear. His replacement as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, has been vague about his plans but is closer personally to Mr. Biden and likely to be more accommodating of his agenda.”

“After a dud of a first impeachment hearing Thursday, some House Republicans are pushing to take the Biden inquiry away from House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) and put it in the hands of Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH),” Playbook reports.

Said one senior GOP aide: “People are just not happy.”

Philip Bump: “The Republican push to impeach President Biden formally began on Thursday with a hearing held by the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill. By most objective accounts, it was not a huge success for the GOP, featuring witnesses who by their own admission couldn’t provide any evidence incriminating Biden and who were loath to state that such evidence existed.”

“But in the creaky machine that is modern American politics, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is how the impeachment inquiry is perceived, and in that critical battle, the actual machinations in the hearing room are unimportant. What’s important are the snippets excerpted from the hearing and the extent to which flaws in either side’s case are smoothed over for mass consumption.”

“By that measure, the hearing was just dandy.”

“Special counsel prosecutors reiterated Friday to the federal judge overseeing the 2020 election interference prosecution against Donald Trump the need to impose a limited gag order against the former president to curtail his ability to attack them and potentially intimidate trial witnesses,” The Guardian reports. “The sharply worded, 22-page filing, submitted ahead of a hearing scheduled for October 16 in federal district court in Washington, accused Trump of continuing to make prejudicial public statements even after they had first made the request three weeks ago.”

Washington Post: Prosecutors cite Trump’s supposed gun purchase as possible crime.

“The United Auto Workers is again expanding its strike, now targeting General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. SUV plants, while Jeep maker Stellantis NV received a pass this week following progress made in negotiations,” the Detroit News reports.

“That sends about 7,000 more autoworkers to the picket line, according to the UAW. In all, about 25,300 autoworkers will be on strike, out of the UAW’s roughly 146,000 members at the Detroit Three.”

Politico/Morning Consult poll: “In addition to the 75 percent of voters — a bipartisan consensus of 81 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of independents — who support a binding ethics code, roughly two-thirds of voters support term limits for the justices (68 percent).”

“Donald Trump plans to show up in person for at least the first week of a civil trial set to open in New York on Monday in which he and his business empire are accused of persistent fraud,” Politico reports.

“Trump’s plan, disclosed by his lawyers in a separate case, sets up the potential of a tense showdown with Justice Arthur Engoron, the Manhattan judge who is overseeing New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit aimed at dismantling Trump’s businesses. Trump has repeatedly insulted Engoron on social media.”

“Top Republican senators said Friday they won’t try to prevent Democrats from replacing the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on the Judiciary Committee after the vacancy left Democrats without a majority on the key panel,” NBC News reports. “Feinstein’s death means the key panel that processes President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees is now split evenly, 10 to 10, between Democrats and Republicans. A tie vote means a nominee fails to advance out of committee, meaning Democrats would need at least some GOP support to send any potential judges to the full Senate.”

“President Biden issued a broad and blistering attack against former President Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing his predecessor and would-be successor of inciting violence, seeking unfettered power and plotting to undermine the Constitution if he returns to office in next year’s elections,” the New York Times reports.  “In his most direct condemnation of his leading Republican challenger in many months, Mr. Biden portrayed Mr. Trump as a budding autocrat with no fidelity to the tenets of American democracy and who is motivated by hatred and a desire for retribution.”

“While he usually avoids referring to Mr. Trump by name, Mr. Biden this time held nothing back as he offered a dire warning about the consequences of a new Trump term.”

Donald Trump made a bizarre pitch to California voters, promising to fill the state’s canals with enough water to dampen forests to prevent wildfires. Said Trump: “All the currently dry canals will be brimming and used to irrigate everything including your own homes and bathrooms and everything—you’re going to be happy and I’m going to get it done fast.”

He added: “They say that there’s so much water up north that I want to have the overflow areas go into your forests and dampen your forests because if you dampen your forests you’re not going to have these forest fires that are burning at levels that nobody’s ever seen before.”

Washington Post: “Just months before primary season begins, judges in an unusually large number of states — about a dozen — are weighing the legality of congressional maps. The cases in federal and state courts reflect a pushback against aggressive gerrymandering — much of it in states controlled by Republicans. Most of the cases would, if successful, give Democrats an opportunity to gain seats where they will be favored to win.”

“Almost all of the challenges began as soon as states drew maps in the once-a-decade process that followed the 2020 Census. But there is renewed vigor to the legal battles after two Supreme Court decisions in June: one enforcing the role courts may play in policing partisan map drawing and the other reaffirming the vitality of the Voting Rights Act in making sure minority voters have the opportunities to elect candidates of their choice.”

A Mississippi sheriff “tapped into the power of a grand jury at least eight times over a year to spy on his married girlfriend and the school employee with whom she was also ‘unfaithful,’” Mississippi Today reports.  “The investigative report, compiled in 2016 by the district attorney at the time, Michael Guest, laid out evidence that Sheriff Bailey had duped the prosecutor’s office and potentially violated state law on fraud, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.”

“Mr. Guest, now a U.S. congressman and chairman of the House Committee on Ethics, decided he could not pursue the case further because of conflicts of interest, including his years long friendship with the sheriff.”

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to the battleground state of Georgia this week to show off infrastructure investments funded by the Biden administration that she’ll say are benefiting residents of the Peach State,” Bloomberg reports.

“President Joe Biden placed a big bet that he could sell an improving economy under the banner of ‘Bidenomics,’” Politico reports. “Three months later, some allied Democrats fear he’s made a serious misstep.”

“Several top Biden allies have privately raised concerns about the phrase to the White House.”

David Corn: “This episode came to mind as I read the ruling issued this week by New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who pronounced that Donald Trump had committed fraud for years by massively overvaluing his properties and assets and who ordered several of Trump’s businesses removed from Trump’s control. This was a major blow to Trump’s corporate and real estate empire. It was also a stunning defeat for Trump in his decades-long war on reality.”

“Trump for most of his life has acted as if the truth means nothing and he can concoct his own convenient reality. He has done this through deception, bullshit, subterfuge, and never-ending image spinning. That is, through unrelenting fraud.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) accused President Biden in a bizarre video — without any evidence — of being involved in “prostitution rings.”

“A senior executive at U.S. risk advisory firm Kroll has been barred from leaving mainland China for the past two months, heightening concerns about the risks foreign companies face when doing business in the country,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Former national security adviser John Bolton said that he fears a second Donald Trump presidency would bring “constitutional crisis,” The Hill reports.  Said Bolton: “I think it’s almost certain that the top level of the second Trump term will be the bottom level on Jan. 20, 2021. And then it will go downhill from there.”

“Very simply, if you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store. Shot!”— Donald Trump, in a speech to California Republicans.

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) accused Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of declining to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump after the insurrection out of concern for his own re-election chances, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Said Kinzinger: “I still don’t believe it. I mean, I believe it, but I still don’t process it. Mike Gallagher was, I think, an iota away from voting to impeach. And then a month later, he’s kind of on the front lines against Liz Cheney. How do you make a pivot that quickly?”

Menachem Kaiser: “For years I’ve seen up close the pull Nazi artifacts can exert. I’ve spent time with Polish treasure hunters seeking, and occasionally finding, any variety of objects left behind by the Nazis. But I hadn’t understood how pervasive the trade was — hadn’t understood, in fact, that it was a trade, how thoroughly these artifacts had been commodified.”

“And I certainly hadn’t realized how the big the market was here, in the United States.”

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

0 comments on “Cup of Joe – October 1, 2023

Leave a Reply