Cup of Joe – October 8, 2023

“Israel and Gaza were on a war footing on Saturday after Palestinian militants fired thousands of rockets into southern and central Israel in a surprise morning attack that was among the biggest from Gaza in years,” the New York Times reports.

Washington Post: “Hamas militants infiltrated Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip — including by paraglider and over the sea — and launched more than 2,200 rockets… The confrontation, which has killed at least 20 Israelis and injured at least 545, is one of the most serious in years following weeks of rising tensions along the volatile border.” Said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We are at war.”

The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz have the latest.

BBC: “It is hard to describe just how unprecedented today’s developments are.”

“Not only is this likely to be the worst intelligence failure since the 1973 Yom Kippur war (and the timing is no accident – it’s 50 years almost to the day), but rarely, if ever, has Israel lost control of its own towns…”

“The Gaza-based militants have never tried anything remotely this audacious before. By their standards, this was an astonishingly sophisticated – and, yes, brutal – act of hybrid warfare, using hundreds of rockets as the prelude to a mass breakout at multiple points along the normally impregnable fence.”

“The civilians of Gaza must now brace themselves for Israel’s inevitable response. Air strikes are just the prelude.”

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not an operation, not a round of fighting, at war. I am initiating an extensive mobilization of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quoted by the Times of Israel.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. stands squarely by Israel and will ensure it “has what it needs to defend itself” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war against Palestinian militants that launched a surprise attack on his country, The Hill reports.

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) announced that he won’t be running for House Speaker: “House Republicans must unify — and do it fast.”

“GOP lawmakers are casting doubt on whether former President Trump’s endorsement of House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) will move the needle in the speaker race,” Axios reports. “Trump’s backing may be counterproductive in swaying moderates — and the GOP conference vote to pick a speaker nominee is secret ballot, taking the loyalty test out of the equation.”

“[Both] candidates for speaker have said they would not participate in a Fox News televised event that was scheduled for Monday,” Punchbowl News reports.

Politico: “The news comes as Republican centrists, a key voting bloc who the candidates need to lock down for speaker, were outraged by the news that the candidates would appear on Fox News before speaking with the GOP conference.”

“As the No. 2 Republican in the House, Steve Scalise is in pole position to be the new speaker. But his seniority and the prospect of an orderly transition might be liabilities in the eyes of the forces that doomed former speaker Kevin McCarthy,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Republicans’ narrow House majority has given extraordinary leverage to a small band of antiestablishment conservatives who now want more influence in the inner sanctum. Some view Scalise, who has spent nearly a decade working his way up House leadership, as too much a product of the traditional system to lead a conference with various factions that want to throw out the old playbook.”

Scalise “isn’t looking to punish the eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy,” Politico reports. Said Scalise: “We don’t have the luxury of a big majority.”

Scalise  told Fox News his cancer treatment is going “phenomenally well” and that he is healthy enough to take on the job of speaker. Said Scalise: “If the doctors didn’t sign off, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

“As a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, once antagonized his party’s leadership so mercilessly that former Speaker John A. Boehner, whom he helped chase from his position, branded him a ‘legislative terrorist,’” the New York Times reports. “Less than a decade later, Mr. Jordan — a fast-talking Republican often seen sans jacket, known for his hard-line stances and aggressive tactics — is now one of two leading candidates to claim the very speakership whose occupants he once tormented.”

“Mr. Jordan’s journey from the fringe of Republican politics to its epicenter on Capitol Hill is a testament to how sharply his party has veered to the right in recent years, and how thoroughly it has adopted his pugilistic style.”

Rep. Kevin McCarthy says he will not resign from Congress and he will serve until the end of next year and will run for re-election next year. This comes amid multiple reports that he’s “considering” or “expected” to resign. He said those reports are not true.

Politico earlier reported that “McCarthy is considering resigning from the House before the end of his term.”

NBC News: “McCarthy would not be the first former speaker to leave Congress before their term was over. Then-Speaker John Boehner left Congress before the end of his term after suddenly announcing his decision in September 2015 to step down.”

Jill Lawrence: “Kevin McCarthy is the latest but doubtless not the last Republican to find out that when you’re Donald Trump, they let you do it—and when you’re not, they don’t. So many deals, so many pledges, so many lies and reversals, so much hypocrisy and selling out. So much disregard for principle, truth, and consequences.”

“And for what?”

“New York Republicans want their next speaker to have a taste for SALT,” Semafor reports. “The state and local tax deduction is once again popping up, this time in the House GOP’s leadership race. Members from the New York delegation are pressing candidates to address what has long been a top priority of theirs.”

“The chaos-ridden, speaker-less House is threatening to stymie a host of bipartisan legislative efforts across the Capitol — and senators are getting really tired of it,” Politico reports. “Forget the expectations earlier this year of achieving even modest policy reforms, or passing spending bills under so-called ‘regular order.’ Senators will consider themselves lucky to escape the calendar year without a catastrophe. Among the possibilities: a shutdown and a crush of blown deadlines on expiring legislation addressing aviation law, surveillance authority and flood insurance.”

“Centrists in the House attempted to engineer a last-minute bipartisan power-sharing agreement that could have saved Kevin McCarthy’s speakership — a frantic but failed effort that continued just hours before the fateful vote,” Politico reports.  “Democrats in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus proposed a possible arrangement whereby a bloc from their party would vote to save McCarthy in return for a more expansive role in operating the House. Some ideas included giving the two parties an equal number of seats on the powerful Rules Committee and changing the rules of the House to make it harder for a splinter faction to eject a speaker.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) writes in Washington Post calling for a “bipartisan governing coalition.”

“In short, the rules of the House should reflect the inescapable reality that Republicans are reliant on Democratic support to do the basic work of governing. A small band of extremists should not be capable of obstructing that cooperation. The need to change course is urgent.”

“House Republicans, divided and demoralized after the ouster of their speaker this week, are now quietly feuding over how to elect a successor,” the New York Times reports. “The dispute, which erupted on Friday, suggests that the same divisions that led to the downfall of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy are continuing to fester inside the G.O.P. ranks, setting the stage for a potentially bruising contest next week when lawmakers were set to meet to elect his replacement.”

“At issue is a request made by more than 90 House Republicans on Friday to temporarily change the party’s internal rules for nominating a candidate for speaker.”

Politico: “Dozens of House Republicans are quietly pushing a temporary change that would raise the requirements to earn the party’s recommendation for speaker. Under current rules, the House GOP meets in private to decide on a candidate for speaker by a two-thirds vote. The group wants to instead raise that threshold to 218 of the GOP’s 221 votes.”

“The potential speaker would still need to get 218 votes in a public floor vote, but the group’s hope is that raising that required support in the conference meeting means any fighting would happen behind closed doors, avoiding the public spectacle and humiliation of a dragged-out floor vote.”

Politico: “Before Tuesday, the so-called motion to vacate hadn’t been used in 113 years… It won’t take as long for the next deployment now that Gaetz has used it against McCarthy: ‘In case we haven’t noticed, we have a lot of members who like the attention.’”

“But that push for change is running into the harsh reality that any candidate for speaker is going to need support from the party’s right flank — and those members are unlikely to relinquish the power that allows one back-bencher to force a vote on firing the top leader. While a few Democrats say they’re willing to deliver the votes needed to weaken the motion to vacate, their cooperation could instead doom the effort entirely within a GOP that has no appetite for bipartisanship.”

The House impeachment inquiry against President Biden will continue “full steam ahead,” with “further action” expected in the coming days, despite the uncertainty surrounding who will take the helm as speaker of the House, Fox News reports.

“The United Auto Workers will not expand its strike against the Big Three automakers for the time being, union President Shawn Fain said Friday, since contract talks have made ‘significant progress’ in recent days,” Politico reports.

“Fain said the union was poised to strike some of General Motors’ most profitable product lines, but that the company made a major concession on bringing electric vehicle battery production under its master agreement with the UAW.”

“President Biden welcomed job growth news released Friday, but warned of the economic consequences that would ensue if House Republicans do not pass a funding bill to prevent a government shutdown next month,” CNBC reports.

Said Biden: “House Republicans shouldn’t put us back in a crisis again. We have only forty days for Congress to get back to work — the same House Republicans are on recess now — to fund the government, avoid a shutdown, and protect the tremendous gains Americans have made over the past two and a half years.”

Wall Street Journal: “Now, the Treasury itself is a source of risk. No, the U.S. isn’t about to default or fail to sell enough bonds at its next auction. But the scale and upward trajectory of U.S. borrowing and absence of any political corrective now threaten markets and the economy in ways they haven’t for at least a generation.”

“That’s the takeaway from the sudden sharp rise in Treasury yields in recent weeks. The usual suspects can’t explain it: The inflation picture has gotten marginally better, and the Federal Reserve has signaled it’s nearly done raising rates.”

Hunter Biden’s allies “had hoped that fundraising help would have come by now from top supporters of his father, President Joe Biden, but that hasn’t happened,” the CNN reports.  “The financial burden is raising worry among friends.”

Former President Donald Trump late on Thursday abruptly dropped a lawsuit against his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen as a conflict loomed between the litigation and Trump’s campaign to win back the White House, Politico reports.  Trump filed the suit in April in federal court, alleging that Cohen breached attorney-client privilege and a confidentiality agreement by making public allegations about Trump.

“The judge overseeing the probe into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents has paused any litigation involving the classified materials in question as she considers a request from Trump to extend deadlines in the case,“ ABC News reports.

“At issue is how the classified materials at the center of the case are to be handled by the defendants and their attorneys, based on national security requirements.”

“The former controller of the Trump Organization says that Eric Trump directed him to make certain decisions that led to the inflated valuations of several Trump properties,” CNN reports.

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s newest justice has rejected calls from Republican legislative leaders to recuse herself from two lawsuits before the court involving the state’s legislative maps, which she has described as ‘rigged’ — a decision that could push the Assembly speaker to start impeachment proceedings,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz issued an order Friday afternoon in response to requests from Republican lawmakers asking her to recuse from the cases because of her comments during a spring campaign for her seat. The lawmakers argued her comments amounted to pre-judging the cases.”

“In state after state since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Democrats and their abortion rights allies have won victories over Republicans and others who oppose abortion. The latest battleground is Ohio, where a GOP supermajority has fought to consolidate its power in ways that critics — even some within the party — say threatens democracy,” the Washington Post reports.

“Republican leaders here repeatedly defied directives from the state’s highest court to fix gerrymandered electoral maps, leaving the process in chaos and residents voting in districts with unconstitutional boundaries. They enacted more restrictive voter laws that hurt younger, less affluent Ohioans. And they’re now attempting to strip the state school board of its powers after Democrats gained control in last November’s election.”

Lara Trump complained that her cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” isn’t getting played on the radio because it’s “too political,” the Daily Beast reports.  Said Trump: “This is the kind of treatment that I think conservatives are used to. We’re used to being censored. We’re used to being shadow-banned.”   It could be that she is a horrible singer and the song would cause widespread deafness if played on air.

Donald Trump attacked his former White House chief of staff John Kelly saying that he “fired him like a dog.”  Said Trump: “He was incapable of doing a good job, it was too much for him, and I couldn’t stand the guy. He had no heart or respect for people, so I hit him hard — Made no difference to me.”  Trump continued in a second post, calling Kelly a “lowlife.”

New York Times: “According to an analysis published on Thursday, the rate of firearm fatalities among children under 18 increased by 87 percent from 2011 through 2021 in the United States. The death rate attributable to car accidents fell by almost half, leaving firearm injuries the top cause of accidental death in children.”

“My father is really the first and only line of defense for 100+ million Americans… My father is a one man wrecking ball to keep the lunacy and the tyranny from hitting those 100 million.”— Eric Trump, on Newsmax.

“A man who attacked a police officer and a Reuters cameraman during the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced on Wednesday to more than four years in prison,” the Washington Post reports.

“Sean Hannity took a swipe at The View co-host Sunny Hostin on Thursday night for being a ‘snowflake’ and said his own father used to beat him with a belt,” the Daily Beast reports.

“A U.S. jet fighter shot down a Turkish drone on Thursday after it was deemed a threat to U.S. forces in northeast Syria,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The episode comes as Turkey has been mounting air attacks against Kurdish militants it blames for a bombing attack in Ankara on Sunday.”

“Six men suspected of involvement in the murder in August of Ecuador’s anti-corruption presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio were killed in prison on Friday, the prisons agency said, barely a week before a crucial run-off election,” Reuters reports.

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

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