Cup of Joe – November 5, 2023

Punchbowl News: “House Majority Leader Steve Scalise told us that any short-term spending bill that the House passes must have cuts and policy changes, a potential complication in getting the government funded by Nov. 17.”

NBC News: “In a building full of political landmines, Johnson successfully navigated — and survived — his first full legislative week as speaker of the House. He got through his first news conference with no gaffes or viral exchanges; fielded a slew of questions from Senate Republicans on everything from foreign aid to government funding during a private meeting; and shepherded an Israel-only aid package through the lower chamber that united Republicans and divided Democrats.”

“Johnson, however, has pushed all of the heavy lifting until later.”

Two lawmakers with nearby offices told Insider this week that they believe Speaker Mike Johnson sleeps there, though they cautioned that they didn’t know it with absolute certainty.

“The time for gamesmanship is over. What do my Republican colleagues not get about that? The world is on fire.”— House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), at a press conference.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) put out a fundraising message Friday with a new turn on a familiar phrase: “I refuse to put people over politics.”   Not a typo.

“The U.S. economy saw job creation decelerate in October, confirming persistent expectations for a slowdown and possibly taking some heat off the Federal Reserve in its fight against inflation,” CNBC reports.

The office of special counsel Jack Smith urged the D.C. district court to reject an effort to televise the impending trial of Donald Trump.

“An appeals court Friday ordered an administrative stay of a gag order barring former President Trump from targeting witnesses and the prosecutors in his federal election interference case, temporarily pausing its implementation ahead of further legal battles,” The Hill reports.

“The order from the D.C. Circuit court of appeals also expedites the case.”

“Israel’s prime minister resisted pressure from the U.S. to pause strikes on Hamas after Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged more actions to protect civilians in Gaza,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The U.S. is stepping up pressure on Israel, saying it has a moral imperative to pause the fighting while humanitarian relief—and particularly fuel—is delivered to Gaza, U.S. officials say. France, Spain and other European countries have issued similar appeals.”

“The Pentagon is suspending congressional delegation travel to Israel due to the deteriorating security situation,” Punchbowl News reports.

“The decision came down this week as Israel was intensifying its military operations in Gaza.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) slammed President Biden in a vicious video saying he supports genocide and threatening to defeat him in 2024 if he didn’t force a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Tell me, Rashida, are you going to call on Hamas to cease fire? Will they stop their terrorism and rocketfire during a unilateral ceasefire? No? Then shut the fuck up.

Michael Tomasky: “Whenever I look at the latest polls and start to freak out about Donald Trump winning the presidency again, I calm myself by remembering that the guy is very likely going to be an at-least-once convicted felon by next November. While that won’t bother his fans, I still think it will bother enough swing voters that he will lose, and maybe spectacularly.”

“That scenario got a little more likely Thursday when the California judge overseeing a misconduct trial against Trump attorney and coup-plotter John Eastman made a ‘preliminary finding’ of culpability on Eastman’s part for his attempts to halt the certification of the 2020 election results.”

“What’s the upshot? No, Eastman isn’t guilty of anything just yet. But he is now closer to being disbarred, and that could make it more likely that he flips.”

Joyce Vance: “If John Eastman loses his license in the bar proceeding, it incentivizes him (or would incentivize a rationale person) to plead and cooperate in the criminal case to avoid prison (since he’s already lost his license).”

The Daily Beast reports that the New York Attorney General’s office looked at bringing racketeering charges against Donald Trump — “and may have been stymied by state offices under the administration of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”

“This previously undisclosed bureaucratic showdown is now being surfaced in response to the recent leak of internal AG documents that have been sent to the DA’s office last week. Among them is a memo circulated at the AG’s office in 2020 that outlined exactly how to go for the jugular by indicting Trump for essentially running a mob… If he were found guilty, the potential punishment would be severe: a mandatory year in prison and up to 25 years behind bars.”

“A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Friday that the jury in a forthcoming defamation trial against Donald Trump will be kept anonymous for the jurors’ own protection, citing the potential for harassment by the former president’s supporters,” the New York Times reports.

New York Times: “A total of 12 states in the South and Midwest elect their agriculture commissioners, who wield enormous clout on everything from regulating pesticides to containing animal disease outbreaks. Twenty years ago, Democrats held most of those seats; now, Republicans occupy all 12, even in states where Democrats have prevailed in other statewide contests for governor, attorney general and the United States Senate, like North Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia.”

“The reversal of fortune is part of a general decline of the Democratic Party in the South in recent decades. But it also reflects a concerted focus by Republicans on down-ballot races, where they are applying the party’s core message about free markets and government overreach to contests that in the past may not have been partisan political battlegrounds.”

“Donald Trump is staring down four criminal prosecutions that could lead to his imprisonment, a civil trial that threatens to dismantle his business empire and a series of lawsuits aimed at throwing him off the ballot in next year’s presidential race,” Politico reports.

“Yet, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will take up an entirely different Trump-related case: the weighty dispute over whether a T-shirt maker can get a trademark for a mocking reference to Trump’s genitalia.”

“F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland, the mayor of Smiths Station and pastor at First Baptist Church of Phenix City, killed himself early Friday evening,” reports. “Copeland’s death came two days after 1819 News published photos of him wearing women’s clothing and makeup.”

“The publisher of Mark Meadows’s book is suing the former White House chief of staff, arguing in court filings Friday morning that he violated an agreement with All Seasons Press by including false statements about former President Trump’s claims surrounding the 2020 election,” The Hill reports.

“The suit comes after ABC News reported that Meadows received immunity in order to testify before a grand jury convened to hear evidence from special counsel Jack Smith, reportedly contradicting statements he made in his book.”

“President Joe Biden plans to skip an upcoming global climate conference in the Middle East and isn’t likely to follow through on his pledge to visit Africa by year’s end,” Politico reports.

“Biden is not expected to attend COP28, the U.N.’s climate conference, which begins at the end of the month in Dubai and runs into early December. Neither the trip to Dubai nor Africa had been officially announced by the White House, but there had long been internal discussions and preliminary plans for the president to make both stops.”

“A former Donald Trump political appointee at the State Department who tried to storm the Capitol and assaulted law enforcement officers on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 70 months in prison on Friday,” NBC News reports. “Federico Klein was arrested in March 2021 and convicted of eight felonies as well as misdemeanor offenses by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, also a Trump appointee, in July 2023 following a bench trial.”

“A Texas man accused of forcefully removing a Capitol Police officer’s gas mask during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol, was sentenced to 7 years in prison on Friday,” The Hill reports.

“A California judge made a ‘preliminary finding’ Thursday that attorney John Eastman breached professional ethics when he aided Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election, a significant milestone in the lengthy proceedings over whether Eastman should lose his license to practice law,” Politico reports.

Top political donors to the campaigns of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) have received $1.4 billion in state contracts and grants from the agencies he oversees, Mississippi Today reports.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) introduced a bill to expel Palestinians from the United States, saying it’s “necessary to keep Americans safe.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) marked up a thank you letter from Rep. George Santos (R-NY) for voting not to expel him from Congress this week.  However, Raskin added: “P.S. It’s not shameful to resign.”

“There comes a time, maybe every six to eight generations, where the world changes in a very short time… And I think what happens in the next two, three years are going to determine what the world looks like for the next five or six decades.”— President Biden, at the White House.

“The state of Virginia is sending out tax rebate checks to qualified residents, just days before the state’s 2023 General Assembly elections,” NBC News reports. “On Sept. 13, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the state budget into law. Included in that budget was a one-time tax rebate for individual and married Virginia residents who filed their 2022 income tax returns and have a tax liability. Qualified residents receive $200 if they filed individually, and up to $400 if they filed jointly.”

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

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