Cup of Joe – November 10, 2023

“After three weeks of chaos and paralysis over the speaker fight, House Republicans say there’s no appetite in their conference for lurching into another crisis: a government shutdown,” NBC News reports.

“But with the deadline just nine days away, Congress still hasn’t come up with a plan to keep the lights on in Washington.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said that Democrats will only vote for a clean continuing resolution to fund the government, Punchbowl News reports.

Said Jeffries: “We will only accept a clean continuing resolution that maintains the status quo to allow for continued negotiations around reaching a year-end spending agreement, consistent with the bipartisan fiscal responsibility act that Republicans themselves negotiated.”

Punchbowl News: “We expect Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to file cloture today on the vehicle for a short-term continuing resolution designed to keep federal agencies open past the Nov. 17 deadline. Schumer’s move will set up an initial procedural vote for early next week.”

“There’s no end-date on a possible Senate CR yet, but mid-December is very likely. This will enrage House Republicans, who’ve been very clear that they don’t want to get jammed up against the holidays by the Senate. But any such CR proposal will get more than the 60 Senate votes needed to move forward. In other words, the Senate is preparing to jam the slow-moving House — if needed.”

Playbook: “The White House has no preference when it comes to a CR’s length. The Senate seems interested in a short-term one that would go only into December in hopes of forcing action on a catchall fiscal 2024 spending bill before the holidays. Meanwhile, the House has suggested that it prefers a longer CR. Biden aides say the GOP’s proposed ‘laddered CR’ is already dead.”

“House Republicans skipped passage of another one of their government funding bills on Thursday, as Speaker Mike Johnson’s legislative goals teeter thanks to the same disputes that vexed his predecessor,” Politico reports.

“With nine days until federal funding expires, the House is adjourning for Veterans’ Day weekend — stunted once more by the ongoing Republican tug of war over how deeply to cut spending and whether to wade into controversial debates like a person’s right to use birth control without losing their job.”

“Shalanda Young, President Joe Biden’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, today implored House Democrats to get comfortable with border security concessions in order to secure new Ukraine aid,” Punchbowl News reports.

“At the same time, bipartisan talks centering on the border crisis are beginning in earnest on the Senate side Wednesday afternoon.”

“The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that former president Donald Trump can appear on the primary ballot next year but left open the possibility he could be struck from the general election ballot because of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” the Washington Post reports. “The ruling offered both a setback and a glimmer of hope to those trying to remove Trump from ballots around the country.”

“Chief Justice Natalie Hudson said the justices are dismissing the case because the state’s primary is ‘an internal party election to serve internal party purposes’ that does not provide the final determination of who appears on the ballot for the general election in November 2024.”

“When Donald Trump faces a jury on charges stemming from his bid to subvert the 2020 election, he wants to prohibit federal prosecutors from even mentioning the chaos and violence unleashed by his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. But to special counsel Jack Smith, Trump’s role in the riot is the heart of the case,” Politico reports.

“A new court filing from Smith’s team this week reveals that the mob that stormed Congress in Trump’s name will be the centerpiece of his trial, scheduled to begin on March 4. It wasn’t just an unfortunate reaction to Trump’s incendiary remarks that day, prosecutors contend. It was a tool that Trump used to launch one last desperate bid to cling to power.”

Donald Trump told a rally that his parents were looking down at him from heaven with pride over his indictments.

Said Trump: “They indicted me! Can you believe? My father and mother are looking down. ‘Son, how did that happen? We’re so proud of you, son. How did that happen?’”

He added: “Every time I’m indicted, I consider it a great badge of honor because I’m being indicted for you. Thanks a lot, everybody. I appreciate it. I’m being indicted for you, and never forget our enemies want to take away my freedom because I will never, ever, ever let them take away your freedom. I won’t let it happen. They want to silence me because I will never let them silence you. I will never let them do it, and in the end, they’re not after me, they’re after you. I just happen to be standing in their way, and that’s true. That’s true.”

“A weak performance for Republicans in Tuesday’s elections has sparked new waves of anxiety in the party, and strategists are now urging their candidates to change course on how they discuss the issue in order to win competitive races next year,” NBC News reports.

“Three GOP sources told NBC News that party operatives fighting to win control of Congress are making a concerted push Wednesday to encourage Republicans to make clear to voters, in speeches and TV ads, that they don’t favor a national ban on all abortions.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said that he’s “not going anywhere” and remains focused on the state, indicating that he will not be a candidate in the 2024 presidential election, NBC News reports.

David Leonhardt: “Nationwide, not a single Republican governor or senator has lost re-election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.”

“That pattern might seem to conflict with this week’s election results, but I don’t think it does. Most Americans support widespread abortion access and will vote for ballot initiatives that protect or establish abortion rights. Yet in an election between two candidates, only a tiny slice of people is likely to vote differently because of any one issue, including abortion.”

New York Times: “Deeply personal and explicit, the ads signaled a new tone in Democrats’ messaging on abortion rights, one that confronts head-on the consequences of strict anti-abortion laws.”

“Historically, it has been Republicans who used dire warnings and shock value in advertising to make their case on the issue — graphic images of bloody fetuses, medically unsubstantiated claims of fetal pain, charged accusations of infanticide, and testimony from women who said they regretted their abortions.”

“After Ohio’s vote Tuesday to protect abortion rights, Democrats are rushing to get similar measures on the ballot next year in key states such as Arizona, Nevada and Florida — partly to boost President Biden and down-ballot Democrats,” Axios reports.

“In the face of bleak polling on the economy, abortion continues to be a winning issue for Democrats — one that could motivate otherwise uninspired voters to turn out and keep the White House in the party’s hands.”

“A complete failure.”— Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), quoted by CNN, on the off-year election results for Republicans.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that women who have received abortions probably didn’t make the decision to have the procedure by themself, arguing that many “got talked into” it, The Messenger reports.

“Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, says the infighting among the GOP is ‘not helping’ the party when it comes to winning elections, following a testy debate between the Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday evening,” The Messenger reports.

Ron Brownstein: “The principal reason for Youngkin’s failure, analysts in both parties agree, was public resistance to his agenda on abortion. Youngkin had elevated the salience of abortion in the contest by explicitly declaring that if voters gave him unified control of both legislative chambers, the GOP would pass a 15-week ban on the procedure, with exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the life of the mother.”

“Youngkin and his advisers described that proposal as a ‘reasonable’ compromise, and hoped it would become a model for Republicans beyond the red states that have already almost all imposed more severe restrictions. But the results made clear that most Virginia voters did not want to roll back access to abortion in the commonwealth, where it is now legal through 26 weeks of pregnancy.”

“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Thursday moved to force a vote on impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, reviving an issue that had largely fallen by the wayside as the GOP remains divided on its impeachment authority,” The Hill reports.

“House lawmakers defeated an effort by Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) to defund the office of Vice President Kamala Harris, one of the highest-level efforts yet to defund prominent federal officials and agencies,” Politico reports.

“106 Republicans voted for the measure.”

“Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses of military operations in areas of Northern Gaza each day,” CNN reports.

“The pauses are meant to allow for humanitarian assistance to get into the besieged enclave and allow civilians to flee.”

“Angst, unease and outrage are spreading through corners of the Biden administration as Israeli forces show no signs of letting up their relentless attacks inside Gaza and the civilian death toll in the besieged enclave – already in the thousands – continues to climb,” CNN reports.

“One month into the Israel-Hamas war, some senior officials privately say there are aspects of Israel’s military operations they simply cannot stomach defending; calls for the US to back a ceasefire are growing among government employees; and others are distraught by the incessant images of Palestinian civilians being killed by Israeli airstrikes.”

A.B. Stoddard: “Is McConnell prepared to endorse Trump a third time next spring? If Trump wins next year McConnell is toast. And if Trump loses it is hard to imagine House Republicans won’t object to certifying a Biden 2024 victory—and the MAGA caucus in the Senate will follow suit.”

“McConnell owes himself a better legacy than being run out of town by J.D. Vance, Ron Johnson, and Donald Trump. He can help the country, and democracy, and himself, by abandoning the needs of his party to do what is right.”

“Just as both Sen. Mitt Romney and former Vice President Mike Pence have, McConnell can choose to liberate himself from the corruption MAGA has in store for Republicans next year. There is no reason not to—like Pence and Romney, McConnell will find no future work in GOP circles once he leaves the Senate.”

“President Joe Biden praised the tentative deal reached between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers,” The Messenger reports.

Said Biden: “Collective bargaining works. SAG-AFTRA members will have the final say on this contract, but the sacrifices they’ve made will ensure a better future for them, their families, and all workers who deserve a fair share of the value they helped create.”

Daily Beast: “According to Kentucky property records, Comer and his own brother have engaged in land swaps related to their family farming business. In one deal—also involving $200,000, as well as a shell company—the more powerful and influential Comer channeled extra money to his brother, seemingly from nothing. Other recent land swaps were quickly followed with new applications for special tax breaks, state records show. All of this, perplexingly, related to the dealings of a family company that appears to have never existed on paper.”

“But unlike with the Bidens, Comer’s own history actually borders a conflict of interest between his official government role and his private family business—and it’s been going on for decades.”

“Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden have been subpoenaed Wednesday by the House Oversight Committee, which took the remarkable step of seeking depositions from family members of President Biden amid its impeachment inquiry,” The Hill reports.

“As part of the request, the committee asked for James Biden’s wife, Sarah Biden, as well as Hunter Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen, to sit for transcribed interviews. The panel also asks for interviews with Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau Biden, and her sister Elizabeth Secundy.”

In 2007, the FBI briefly investigated whether then-Sen. Joe Biden had received a monetary benefit by being given free access to a golf club that could cost $34,000, the Washington Post reports.

“It’s unclear if Biden was ever informed about the FBI investigation, which launched amid a crucial period in his career, around the time he declared a run for president — an effort that evolved into vetting by Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign before his selection as vice-presidential nominee.”

“Speaker Mike Johnson, the little-known Louisiana congressman who emerged from a hardliner revolt as House Republicans’ new leader, is short on both time and experience to avert a US government shutdown,” Bloomberg reports.

“The novice to major Washington negotiations plans to release as soon as Thursday his proposal for temporary government funding that will set the tone for talks and signal the risk of a Nov. 18 federal funding lapse.”

“That gives the new speaker barely a week to make his opening gambit and choose how far to go in his demands to bolster his support among ultra-conservatives who ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.”

Politico: “Congress appears to be right back where it was a couple months ago — staring down a looming deadline to fund the government, and House Republicans having trouble passing even their own versions of spending titles.”

“Federal officials have decided the FBI will leave its iconic but decaying headquarters in downtown Washington for the Maryland suburbs,” the Washington Post reports. “The move follows years of pointed arguments about where the multi-billion dollar project should land.”

Wall Street Journal: “Census Bureau projections released Thursday show that, under the most likely scenario, the U.S. will stop growing by 2080 and shrink slightly by 2100.”

“Steve Bannon, who was a senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, is set to ask a federal appeals court on Thursday to overturn his criminal conviction for defying a subpoena from a congressional panel that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” Reuters reports.

“A manhunt was underway on Wednesday as the FBI and several local police departments searched central New Jersey for a man wanted in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol,” the New York Times reports.

“The FBI circulated a photo that it said showed the man, Gregory Yetman, taking part in the attack two years ago.”

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

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