Cup of Joe – November 14, 2023

Playbook: “With just four days until a government shutdown, the race is on to see whether Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan for a two-pronged clean continuing resolution can peel off enough House Democrats to make up for Republican defections. (That’s to say nothing of what will happen with the Senate and White House, of course.)”

“The number of GOP members opposed rose to seven today as Reps. Bob Good, Freedom Caucus leader Scott Perry and Tim Burchett voiced their dissent, saying they couldn’t go along with a broken status quo. Rep. Ralph Norman said he hasn’t decided yet — including, crucially, on whether he’ll vote for the rule in committee.”

“And Dem leadership doesn’t sound inclined to help out.”

“Former President Trump’s allies are pre-screening the ideologies of thousands of potential foot soldiers, as part of an unprecedented operation to centralize and expand his power at every level of the U.S. government if he wins in 2024, officials involved in the effort tell Axios,” Axios reports.

“Hundreds of people are spending tens of millions of dollars to install a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists across government to rip off the restraints imposed on the previous 46 presidents.”

“Donald Trump hung up on Kim Kardashian when she called for help with a clemency case — because he assumed she voted for President Biden,” Jonathan Karl writes in Tired of WinningAxios reports.

Donald Trump said a group of prosecutors — “the ‘team of losers and misfits’ who have been working illegally for years to ‘take me down’” — will end up in a mental institution “by the time my next term as President is successfully completed.”

A new Financial Times/University of Michigan poll found that just 14% of voters say their finances are better off now than when President Biden took office.

The problem for Biden is many more are actually better off.

The Washington Post explains the mystery: “Most Americans are financially better off than they were before the coronavirus pandemic, but they feel worse about their economic prospects.”

Rising prices are largely to blame. New data coming out Tuesday is expected to show that inflation once again lessened its grip on households in October, extending a year-long trend. That comes on top of a string of eye-popping data points — strong economic growth, unemployment at longtime lows, wages finally outpacing inflation, all leaving Americans with more money in their bank accounts than they have had in years.

Even stranger is that the disconnect between a booming economy and how Americans feel appears to be widening.

The good news for Biden is that he still has a year before the election to convince voters of the reality.

“Secret Service agents protecting President Joe Biden’s granddaughter opened fire after three people tried to break into an unmarked Secret Service vehicle in the nation’s capital,” the AP reports.

“The agents, assigned to protect Naomi Biden, were out with her in the Georgetown neighborhood late Sunday night when they saw the three people breaking a window of the parked and unoccupied SUV.”

“A federal New Orleans appeals court has given the Louisiana Legislature until Jan. 15, 2024 to draw a new congressional map that adds a second majority Black district, although it’s unclear whether incoming Republican Gov.-elect Jeff Landry would have time to call a Special Session between his Jan. 8 inauguration and the deadline,” the Shreveport Times reports.

Behind closed doors, Chinese President Xi Jinping has for years warned about inevitable conflict with the U.S., “an almost fatalistic conviction” dating to the Obama administration “that China’s rise would prompt a backlash from Western rivals,” the New York Times reports.

Daily Beast: “It’s no mystery what Rep. Mike Johnson said when he delivered the keynote address at the Council for National Policy’s conference at the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton on Oct. 4, 2019.”

“But what is a mystery is who paid for Johnson to be there, how much they paid, and whether the future Speaker of the House violated disclosure laws by failing to report his trip to New Orleans and the expenses associated with his attendance at an elite, far-right conservative conference.”

Washington Post: “In Arizona, the state GOP chairman has been begging the Republican National Committee for a financial bailout. Michigan party officials have gotten into physical fights as their finances have dipped into the red. And in Georgia, the state party is in a standoff with the Republican governor and saddled with legal fees for alternate electors put forward in 2020.”

“In each of these 2024 battlegrounds, election denial and grassroots fervor for former president Donald Trump have rocked the Republican apparatus. Now, the state parties are plagued by infighting, struggling to raise money and sometimes to cover legal costs stemming from Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat — threatening to hamper GOP organizing capabilities in next year’s presidential election.”

Nate Silver: “It’s inherently kind of crazy that American presidential campaigns take more than a year to run, but they do. Late entrants don’t have a very good track record. Case in point: Michael Bloomberg, who formally entered the Democratic nomination race on Nov. 24, 2019 and spent more than $1 billion in four months. For his troubles, he won … the American Samoa caucus. And that was it.”

“So as much as it might make sense for Democrats to replace Joe Biden on their ticket, who’s age is a huge concern to voters and who is polling poorly against Trump, it’s not like we’re playing Fantasy Politics Manager here. Convincing Biden to step aside would not be easy. Running a race against him if he didn’t step down would be messy, with little guarantee of who would emerge victorious other than that it might be Biden anyway, worse for battle wear. Then there’s the whole question of what might happen to Vice President Harris.”

“So my view as of six weeks ago was that it was probably just too late to replace Biden. But as Biden’s polling gets worse — his approval ratings are near their lowest-ever number — I’ve been increasingly hedging on that. Democrats would be taking a huge risk by replacing Biden — but they’re also taking a huge risk by nominating him. There’s no getting out of this.”

“As Democrats’ worries about President Joe Biden’s re-election chances reach a fever pitch, super PAC Priorities USA released a slate of research on Monday thatargues the 2024 presidential election will be difficult but ‘is winnable’ for Biden – with the right strategy,” The Messenger reports.

“Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge who was an older sister of Donald Trump and served as both his protector and critic throughout their lives, has died. She was 86,” the New York Times reports.

new survey of county Republican Party chairs finds they are closing ranks behind Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

Seth Masket: “Among this group of Republicans, the 2024 presidential campaign has looked somewhat more competitive than it has in other polls. Notably, a large contingent of respondents had remained undecided, giving Trump opponents some hope that they could win over a key constituency in the party. Those hopes may be fading, however, as more uncommitted chairs are coming off the fence and backing Trump.”

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

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