Cup of Joe – October 23, 2023

“The US government has pressed Israel to delay its imminent invasion of Gaza to allow for the release of more Hamas hostages and aid into Gaza,” CNN reports.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops gathered near the Gaza strip on Thursday, “You see Gaza now from a distance, you will soon see it from inside. The command will come,” according to a press release from his office. On a separate visit to a bordering area on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops “The entire nation of Israel stands behind you, and we will give the hard blow to our enemies so that we can achieve victory. For victory!” The looming ground operation has the potential to displace millions of Palestinians, and over one million people have been displaced already. Thousands of people took to the streets in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and the West Bank after Islamic prayers on Friday in protest of Israel’s actions in the war. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the conflict has killed 4,127 Gazans. 

“The U.S. on Saturday circulated a draft resolution to UN Security Council members condemning Hamas for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel,” Axios reports.

The Economist: “For the first time in more than 40 years, the Israel Defence Forces have called up their entire armoured corps, thought to number more than 1,000 tanks. Fully 360,000 reservists have also been mustered, including a civil-defence force of 20,000 people. The additional manpower is intended to bolster the IDF’s full-time personnel, of roughly 170,000.”

“Although some of these troops are deployed along Israel’s northern border, to ward off a potential attack from Lebanon by the militants of Hizbullah, more are massing in the south, near the Gaza Strip. Israel is poised to begin what is expected to be its biggest military operation since the invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Its leaders have said they are determined to destroy Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, in retaliation for its bloodthirsty rampage across southern Israel on October 7th.”

“U.S. public opinion is rallying behind Israel as it responds to the deadly attacks on its citizens by Hamas, the Islamist militant group, but the American appetite for a role in the war is limited,” a new Wall Street Journal/Ipsos poll finds.

“The poll found Americans drawing a sharp distinction between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is committed to the destruction of Israel, and the Palestinian people who live in Gaza and the West Bank. But it also found increased support for Israel, compared with prior surveys, in its decadeslong conflicts with Palestinians.”

Donald Trump on Truth Social attempted to distance himself from Sidney Powell after her plea deal with Georgia prosecutors: “Despite the Fake News reports to the contrary… Ms. Powell was not my attorney, and never was. In fact, she would have been conflicted.”

Wall Street Journal: “GOP lawmakers heading into another week without a speaker will try to overcome deep divisions long enough to unify behind a new candidate, after colleagues soured on conservative firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) following a string of unsuccessful floor votes.”

“With the race now rebooted, at least half a dozen Republican lawmakers are angling for the speaker job, jumping into the race before a Sunday deadline.”

“President Biden took a swipe at House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), after the congressman failed to secure the speakership following three separate votes,” The Hill reports.

Said Biden: “He just got his rear end kicked.”

He declined to weigh in on Jordan’s struggles, saying sarcastically: “I ache for him.”

“A judge has rejected three more attempts by former President Donald Trump and the Colorado GOP to shut down a lawsuit seeking to block him from the 2024 presidential ballot in the state based on the 14th Amendment’s ‘insurrectionist ban,’” CNN reports.

“The flurry of rulings late Friday from Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace are a blow to Trump, who faces candidacy challenges in multiple states stemming from his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection. He still has a pending motion to throw out the Colorado lawsuit, but the case now appears on track for an unprecedented trail this month.”

According to Israeli media reports, the Mossad and Shin Bet (Israel’s international and domestic intelligence agencies) have created a new unit with the Hebrew acronym Nili, to track down and kill all the Hamas fighters who participated in the October 7th incursion into southern Israel which left more than 1,400 Israelis dead, mostly civilians.

According to Israel the attack was carried out by the Nukhba (elite) Force, a naval commando unit of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassem Brigades, Hamas’s military wing.

Press reports suggest the attack was carried out by roughly 2,500 Nukhba fighters.

“Migrants were caught crossing the southern border of the United States more times in the past year than in any other year since at least 1960, when the government started keeping track of the data,” the New York Times reports.

“It is the third record-setting year in a row, during a time when migration around the world is at historic highs.”

“There were more than 2.4 million apprehensions in the 2023 fiscal year, which ended in September. That tops the previous record, set a year earlier, of more than 2.3 million, according to government data released on Saturday. During the 2021 fiscal year, there were more than 1.7 million apprehensions.”

On Thursday an American naval destroyer shot down at least 15 drones and four cruise missiles launched from Yemen and “seemingly” headed toward Israel, according to Defense Department officials. Pentagon spokesman Brig. General Patrick Ryder disclosed the operation, and added that the Defense Department was still assessing whether the drones were targeting the American warship, but he noted on Friday that personnel on the ship did not believe the drones posed a threat, and no similar incidents had occurred since.

The Supreme Court – again – allowed the federal government to ban “ghost guns” – unassembled and unmarked guns that can be bought online and then assembled into fully operative guns. In 2022, Biden announced a new federal rule to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more like regular guns, including requiring serial numbers and background checks for purchase. Gun manufacturers challenged the regulations in court and a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction barring the rule from going into effect. Today’s Supreme Court ruling invalidates that lower court ruling and allows the regulations to remain in effect while the legal challenge plays out. (NPR / CNN / Associated Press / CBS News)

Mortgage rates climbed to 8% – a level last seen in 2000 – causing demand for home loans to drop to the lowest level since 1995. The slowing housing market is a direct result of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation and cool the economy by raising its benchmark interest rate to a 22-year high – to a range of 5.25 to 5.5% – over the past 19 months. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, meanwhile, suggested that the central bank will skip a rate increase for a second straight meeting. (ABC News / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)

US soldier who crossed into North Korea charged, held by US military.  Travis King, 23, has been charged with desertion and also faces charges for other alleged crimes, including assaulting officers, unlawfully possessing alcohol, and possessing sexual images of a child. King was returned to the US after crossing the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating North Korea from South Korea.     

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday that El Niño—a natural ocean and weather pattern in the Tropical Pacific—will drive what could be a warmer or wetter winter in parts of the United States

Police are searching for a man who allegedly killed a Maryland judge on Thursday as an act of retribution after the man lost custody of his children in a case earlier that day.  

Instagram parent company Meta has formally apologized for adding “terrorist” to the biographies of some Instagram users who self-identified as Palestinian in that section of their page. The company said it fixed a problem “that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations,” in some of its products. 

A biography of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is set to be released next week, and in it he is quoted saying so many bitchy things about his fellow Republicans that we honestly gotta give it up for Mitt for this one. He called Chris Christie “A bridge-and-tunnel loudmouth,” among other bon mots.

“Election fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell is selling Wi-Fi monitoring devices that he says make elections more secure,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “But Northern Kentucky elections officials warned Friday that using the devices at polls is illegal – and likely a felony.”

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

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