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Cup of Joe – November 4, 2023

“President Joe Biden and his top advisers are warning Israel with growing force that it will become increasingly difficult for it to pursue its military goals in Gaza as global outcry intensifies about the scale of humanitarian suffering there,” CNN reports.

“Secretary of State Antony Blinken will urge the Israeli government to agree to a series of brief cessations of military operations in Gaza to allow for hostages to be released safely and for humanitarian aid to be distributed,” the New York Times reports.

A new Quinnipiac poll finds an overwhelming majority of voters (84%) are either very concerned (43%) or somewhat concerned (41%) that the United States will be drawn into a military conflict in the Middle East.

“Top Biden officials are preparing Democratic lawmakers and immigration policy advocates for the likelihood the administration will have to swallow compromises on asylum law in order for the president’s national security funding request to pass,” Politico reports.

“The outreach illustrates how challenging the coming days will be for the White House as it tries to move a $106 billion supplemental aid package that includes money for Ukraine, Israel, the southern border and Taiwan. Republicans have insisted that any large-scale plan include border policy changes as well.”

“In the process, they have placed a political lighting rod of an issue squarely into the biggest legislative matter before Congress — and forced the White House to balance competing interests.”

“Wagner Group, the Russian paramilitary organization, plans to provide an air-defense system to Hezbollah,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Russian SA-22 system they plan to send uses antiaircraft missiles and air-defense guns to intercept aircraft.”

“The intelligence comes amid broader concerns about Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia, opening up a northern front against Israel.”

“Speaker Mike Johnson floated a fresh idea for heading off a shutdown after the Nov. 17 deadline — one that would seemingly create a series of rolling funding threats and could draw opposition from across the political spectrum,” Politico reports.

“While it’s not totally clear how that would work, Johnson seemed to be referring to different lengths of funding for each of the 12 individual appropriations bills, triggering ongoing shutdown threats for different parts of government. A continuing resolution typically extends current funding levels for all appropriations bills until one later date, buying time for lawmakers to haggle over an updated government funding deal.”

“Needless to say, Democrats and the White House would never go for it. And a number of Republicans, particularly appropriators charged with overseeing those funding bills, would likely think it’s a bad idea.”

Said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to Roll Call: “I think the speaker doesn’t have a clue. That’s 12 shutdowns. What are we talking about?”

“Speaker Mike Johnson is about to run into a legislative buzzsaw,” Punchbowl News reports.

“On every major issue Congress is currently considering, Johnson is not only out of step with Senate Democrats and the Biden administration — but he’s also out of step with Senate Republican leadership, which has its own unique set of challenges.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is targeting fellow Republicans who did not support her effort to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (R-MI) and referred to one as “Colonel Sanders” when he decided to hit back.

Said Greene to Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX): “You voted to kick me out of the freedom caucus, but keep CNN wannabe Ken Buck and vaping groping Lauren Boebert and you voted with the Democrats to protect Terrorist Tlaib.”

Roy responded, telling her “to go chase so-called Jewish space lasers if she wants to spend time on that sort of thing.”

“Donald Trump’s two eldest sons took the stand in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday in a civil fraud case against them and their father that threatens the family empire,” the New York Times reports.

“Donald Trump Jr. was calm but defensive, seeking to blame accountants for errors on financial statements that a judge has already found were fraudulent. His younger brother Eric was more combative — he acknowledged his place at the center of the business, but denied involvement in the financial statements.”

“Eric Trump — who will continue his testimony on Friday — lost his temper after lengthy questioning about his knowledge of the company’s annual financial statements.”

Donald Trump threw a tantrum at one of his lawyers — calling him a “little fucker” — upon learning of the March 2024 start date for his New York hush-money trial, The Atlantic reports.

Said Trump: “That’s in the middle of the primaries! If I lose the presidency, you are going to be the reason!”

“Ivanka Trump lost her effort to pause her testimony on Wednesday, shortly after her father is anticipated to take the stand in his civil fraud case,” The Messenger reports.

Newsweek: “During Trump Jr.’s cross-examination, prosecutors presented a document dated January 15, 2021, that showed the former president reinstating himself as trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.”

“Alex Woodward, senior reporter for the Independent, said the document in question stated that full control of Trump’s trust would be returned to the former president on January 20, 2021, the day that he left the White House. Trump had forgone his trustee position to Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer of The Trump Organization, prior to taking office in January 2017.”

“Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. are conducting a broad public corruption investigation into whether Mayor Eric Adams’s 2021 election campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations,” according to a search warrant obtained by the New York Times.

“Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday searched the Brooklyn home of Mayor Eric Adams’s chief fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, a campaign consultant who is deeply entwined with efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda,” the New York Times reports.

“The raid apparently prompted Mr. Adams to abruptly cancel several meetings scheduled for Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., to talk to White House officials and members of Congress about the influx of migrants in New York and other major cities. Instead, he hurriedly returned to New York ‘to deal with a matter.’”

Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) spokesperson asked anti-abortion groups to “make clear” GOP senators risk primary challenges if they support an effort to overcome his military holds over a Pentagon abortion policy, Politico reports.

“Prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith’s office have accused former President Donald Trump’s legal team of seeking to manipulate the courts in their bid to delay his trials past the 2024 presidential election,” CNN reports.

“Donald Trump asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to lift a gag order restricting his speech about potential witnesses, prosecutors and court staff in the case that accuses him of scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss,” the AP reports.

“Sam Bankman-Fried, the tousle-haired mogul who founded the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, was convicted on Thursday of all seven charges of fraud and conspiracy after a monthlong trial that laid bare the hubris and risk-taking across the crypto industry,” the New York Times reports.

“These charges carry a maximum sentence of 110 years.”

Speaker Mike Johnson has hired ex-Fox News executive Raj Shah to be his spokesperson and run messaging for House Republicans, Politico reports.

Shah urged Fox News to promote Donald Trump’s election lies and was ousted after the network settled its lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems.

“Before House Speaker Mike Johnson was elected to public office, he was the dean of a small Baptist law school that didn’t exist,” the AP reports.

“The establishment of the Judge Paul Pressler School of Law was supposed to be a capstone achievement for Louisiana College, which administrators boasted would ‘unashamedly embrace’ a ‘biblical worldview.’”

“Instead, it collapsed roughly a decade ago without enrolling students or opening its doors amid infighting by officials, accusations of financial impropriety and difficulty obtaining accreditation, which frightened away would-be donors.”

 Hunter Biden decried the “weaponization” of his drug addiction in a USA Today op-ed.

Wrote Biden: “Over four years ago, I chose life over the slow strangle-death grip of addiction, which in my case consisted each day of a bottle of vodka and as many hits on a crack pipe as possible… What troubles me, is the demonization of addiction, of human frailty, using me as its avatar and the devastating consequences it has for the millions struggling with addiction.”

He added: “The weaponization of my addiction by partisan and craven factions represents a real threat to those desperate to get sober but are afraid of what may await them if they do.”

“Hunter Biden served U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday with a subpoena as part of his lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service,” The Messenger reports.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) is escalating a push to ensure fellow Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) faces consequences for his indictment on bribery charges, Politico reports.

Fetterman proposed “internal sanctions for any senator who is indicted for offenses such as mishandling classified information, being charged as a foreign agent or compromising national security.”

“House Republicans are considering issuing a subpoena of Hunter Biden in their impeachment investigation of his father, President Joe Biden,” The Messenger reports.

“Subpoenaing the president’s son, who is facing federal tax and firearm charges in Delaware, would mark the crescendo of an unwinding impeachment inquiry.”

Nearly every House Republican who appeared on“Hannity” last night raised their hands when asked if they were headed toward impeaching President Biden.

The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that state Attorney General Todd Rokita “engaged in attorney misconduct” when he made comments on Fox News about an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Former Housing Secretary Ben Carson was interviewed on CNN by Abby Phillip:

PHILLIP: But what evidence do you have that the Justice Department has been weaponized against Trump specifically? There’s no evidence of that.

CARSON: Well, let’s put it this way. Al Capone, who was a notorious killer, had one indictment, and Donald Trump has four indictments. That would tell you something right there.

PHILLIP: I don’t think that’s evidence of anything except that Donald Trump has allegedly committed conduct that has resulted in indictments.

CARSON: It’s evidence that you have a group of people, a system that is out to get this president, and they feel that he is an existential threat to their existence.

When you’re comparing Donald Trump to Al Capone, you’re losing.

Politico: “Trump’s latest policy proposal proposes taxing large private university endowments to pay for a new institution called ‘American Academy.’ … Using the federal government to create an entirely new educational institution aimed at competing with the thousands of existing schools would drastically reshape American higher education.”

Donald Trump on Thursday referred to those jailed over their actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol as “hostages” during a rally with supporters in Texas, The Hill reports.

“A man who was a Princeton University student when he stormed the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Wednesday to two months of incarceration for interfering with police officers trying to hold off a mob of Donald Trump supporters,” the AP reports.

An Alaska man apparently upset over an impending eviction emailed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and threatened to “cut the flesh off your body and wear your skin like clothes,” according to an unsealed federal complaint.

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

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