17
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
revelette1
 
  4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 08:38 am
Quote:
The Texas Senate Just Voted To Destroy Its Public Universities

Why Do Texas Republicans Hate College Football?
Generally I don’t flag whacky proposed legislation at the state level or bills that don’t have much chance of passing. They’re too often trolly, and you have enough real stuff to keep track of. But yesterday’s vote by the Texas Senate to end tenure at the state’s three dozen or so public universities is so extraordinary and representative of the current cultural moment that it’s worth your attention.

Many observers in Texas think it’s unlikely that the tenure ban will pass the GOP-controlled Texas House. I hope that’s right. But even if it dies there, we have to reckon with how far Texas senators were willing to go.

The tenure ban contained some wrinkles to give the appearance of softening the blow, as the Texas Tribune notes (emphasis mine):

SB 18 would eliminate tenure only for newly hired professors and would allow a university system governing board to set up its own system of “tiered employment” for faculty, as long as professors receive an annual review.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Eliminating tenure for new hires would put Texas universities at an extreme disadvantage when recruiting faculty. It would cripple many graduate programs. It would inject politics deeply into university management and administration. It would allow state government to play the same kinds of games with higher ed that they love foisting on elementary and secondary educators.

Texas has a remarkable public university system. Long ago, Texas set up a unique funding mechanism that diverted significant value from the state’s extractive resources (oil and gas) to the state’s flagship public universities. That relatively stable and often very lucrative revenue source didn’t completely insulate them from the state budget wars that have decimated higher ed funding in recent decades, but it certainly helped.

With an enrollment of some 700,000 students, Texas public universities are a civic and economic driver for the state and the nation. But if I were a Texas Dem, I’d be homing in on what this means long term for … Aggie and Longhorn football. Kick ’em where it hurts.

Texas Senate Is On A Roll
Texas public schools would have to display the Ten Commandments and set aside time for prayer and Bible study under bills passed by the Texas Senate that now head to the state House.

I should mention that both the tenure ban and the religion in schools bills were pushed for or supported by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R).

What Is UP, Tennessee?
State Rep. Scotty Campbell (R), resigned his seat shortly after being confronted by a Nashville TV station about a three-weeks-old secret ethics panel finding that he sexually harassed an intern.

Campbell, 39, served as vice chair of the House Republican Caucus and was among the GOP lawmakers who recently voted to expel the Tennessee Three.

Is it okay to laugh at the fact that when NewsChannel 5 intercepted Campbell yesterday he mentioned a second intern they didn’t know about?

Confronted with the allegations Thursday as he headed to Capitol Hill, Campbell referenced a second intern who was also involved in the investigation. NewsChannel 5 was previously unaware of that individual’s complaint.

Well played.

Smartmatic Wants MOAR Than Dominion Got
Smartmatic’s attorney tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that the company is seeking at least as much as Dominion’s $787 million from Fox News plus an apology and a full retraction.

Proud Boys Trial Still Going!
Almost every prediction about the Proud Boys trial schedule has been too optimistic, but there is a chance closing arguments will start today and the jury could get the the case next week.

Kevin McCarthy Is Trying It Again?!?
The House debt-ceiling-hostage vote next week is shaping up to look an awful lot like the vote for speaker back in January. As he was then, McCarthy is winging it, planning to bring it to the floor even though the whip count is uncertain; and again the extremist wing of his conference has him over a barrel, hence the-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink far-right-wish-list of a bill.

*Click*
NYT: The Obscure G.O.P. Bookkeeper at the Center of the George Santos Mess

I Think Maybe Biden Is Running Again
WaPo: Biden preparing to announce reelection campaign next week

NYT: Biden in Final Stage of ’24 Planning, With Announcement as Early as Tuesday

CNN: Plans underway for Biden to announce bid for second term next week

TODAY: Waiting On SCOTUS To Rule On Abortion Pill
Expect a decision before midnight from the Supreme Court on whether to stay the abortion pill ruling from Texas pending a full appeal.

How Convenient For Judge Kacsmaryk
CNN has unearthed two interviews with Christian talk radio that Amarillo U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk (of abortion pill and venue-shopping fame) failed to disclose during his 2017 confirmation process.

The future judge was, ummm, unfiltered in the interviews:

In undisclosed radio interviews, Matthew Kacsmaryk referred to being gay as “a lifestyle” and expressed concerns that new norms for “people who experience same-sex attraction” would lead to clashes with religious institutions, calling it the latest in a change in sexual norms that began with “no-fault divorce” and “permissive policies on contraception.”

Permissive policies on contraception! RIP Griswold.

The new disclosures come after the WaPo reported last weekend that Kacsmaryk failed to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee a law review article he authored (and bizarrely removed his name from) which criticized Obama-era protections for transgender people and people seeking abortions.

Senate Judiciary Summons John Roberts
In a slow but better-late-than-never response to the Clarence Thomas scandal, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) has invited Chief Justice John Roberts to come testify about ethics rules for the Supreme Court. Why an invite instead of a subpoena? Because of the absence of Sen. Dianna Feinstein (D-CA).

“Asked about a possible subpoena for Roberts, a frustrated Durbin threw up his hands and said, ‘I don’t have a majority,’” Punchbowl reports.

Keep An Eye On This
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) sent up an early warning flare this week that Senate Republicans might not even allow a permanent replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to sit on the Judiciary Committee. TPM looked into it, and for now key Republican senators are committing not to violate Senate norms and precedents in this way.

RIP Buzzfeed News
Charlie Warzel:

I worked at BuzzFeed News for nearly six years—from March 2013 until January 2019. For most of that time, it felt a bit like standing in the eye of the hurricane that is the internet. Glorious chaos was everywhere around you, yet it felt like the perfect vantage to observe the commercial web grow up. I don’t mean to sound self-aggrandizing, but it is legitimately hard to capture the cultural relevance of BuzzFeed to the media landscape of the mid-2010s, and the excitement and centrality of the organization’s approach to news.

A Good, Old-Fashioned Heist!
Some $20 million in gold and other valuables was stolen from the Toronto airport Monday in a caper reminiscent of the Lufthansa heist that was famously fictionalized in Goodfellas.

https://twitter.com/somebobcat8327/status/1649170826258677760



TPM via Microsoft newsfeed
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 09:01 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Quote:
There were a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated stories in the news that all seem to point to an important theme:

Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner of the Washington Post reported that lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who was deeply involved in Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, this weekend told Republican donors that the party must restrict access to the vote for young voters. Gen Z voters were the key element in providing the extraordinary 11-point victory for pro-choice Wisconsin supreme court candidate Janet Protasiewicz, and they are central to the movement to enact gun safety legislation.

Far from being ostracized for her attempt to overthrow our democratic system, Mitchell is advising the Republican National Committee. In her presentation she declared: “Our constitutional republic’s survival is at stake.”

............

Whether it comes from disgust at the excesses of those who are attacking our democracy or from fear of the law, that transparency reminds me of the pivotal importance of McClure’s Magazine in the early twentieth century. Reformers had expressed philosophical concerns about the concentration of wealth and power at the top of American society for decades, but those concerns could be ignored until the investigative journalists working for McClure’s began to explore the specifics of political corruption and its cost to ordinary Americans. Dismissed as “muckrakers” by politicians, those journalists nonetheless helped to shift the weight of social value from keeping secrets to spilling them.

When that shift happened, the walls protecting the country’s entrenched leaders crumbled fast.

hcr


This reminds me that I was drafted at 18 to fight in Viet Nam - without having the RIGHT TO VOTE! And, at this time, the youth of America (16-25 year olds) were fighting with the "expressed philosophical concerns about the concentration of wealth and power at the top of American society" who had more power that the "one person, one vote" guaranteed by democracy.

Times change but the issues don't!
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 11:37 am
DeSantis Finds Out Being an ‘Asshole’ Has Its Downsides When You’re Running for President

“He’s just a very arrogant guy, very focused on Ron DeSantis,” the governor’s former GOP colleague said this week.

Quote:
When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Washington this week to try to woo lawmakers ahead of his likely White House run, only a dozen reportedly showed up.

That was no surprise to one of the Florida governor’s former House colleagues.

Former Michigan Rep. Dave Trott reached out to Politico, without prompting, to describe exactly what DeSantis was like in person.

“I sat right next to DeSantis for two years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and he never said a single word to me,” Trott emailed. “I was new to Congress, and he didn’t introduce himself or even say hello.”

Trott was even blunter in a phone call with the publication.

“If you’re going to go into politics, kind of a fundamental skill that you should have is likability. I don’t think [he] has that,” Trott told Politico. “He never developed any relationships with other members that I know of. You’d never see him talking on the floor with other people or palling around. He’s just a very arrogant guy, very focused on Ron DeSantis.”

“I think he’s an asshole,” he concluded. “I don’t think he cares about people.”

Trott’s sentiment seems to be pretty widely shared among the Republican lawmakers who know DeSantis well—or at least, the ones he should have befriended along the way if he wanted to run for president.

DeSantis has only three endorsements from sitting members of Congress so far. Hard-headed iconoclastic Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky have both backed him, and freshman Florida Rep. Laurel Lee, who DeSantis had previously appointed Florida’s secretary of state, endorsed him this week.

Compare that to former President Donald Trump, who has already pulled in nearly 50 congressional endorsements. That includes seven Florida lawmakers, whose endorsements his team gleefully timed to announce during DeSantis’ “hey guys, remember me?” trip back to D.C., where he served three terms in Congress.

His stilted style and disinterest in talking to those who could help him is obvious at any public event. His awkward personality has been well-covered for months. The major GOP donors he’ll need to woo in order fill his campaign coffers have found it deeply off-putting. And while his landslide 2022 win and lengthy record of policy wins is powering his support with the GOP base nationally, the more voters see of him, the more they’ll see of his personality.

Trump and his allies are already looking to paint DeSantis as a weird, arrogant geek. Trump’s allies’ first ad attacking DeSantis leads with the cringey report that he eats pudding cups with his fingers:

Being an asshole isn’t a fatal flaw in politics—if it were, we’d have a very different set of politicians in office on both sides of the aisle— and the recent history of the GOP shows that it can actually be an advantage to needle the people your base hates. DeSantis won the governorship in one of the nation’s largest states by winning a primary against a guy who was well-liked and had deep connections across the party.

DeSantis has risen to fame on the GOP side much the same way Trump did: By showing he could piss off the left and own the libs more effectively than anyone else. He won the GOP primary in 2018 with a slew of Fox News appearances and an endorsement from Trump himself. He raised boatloads of money for his 2022 reelection without brown-nosing with megadonors.

His personality and disinterest in making friends hasn’t kept him from becoming the only guy to emerge who has any realistic chance of defeating Trump in the GOP primary.

And it’s not like Trump is Mr. Rogers either—he won the GOP nomination in 2016 even though most of the party’s donors and lawmakers actively hated him, or perhaps because they did. They quickly fell in line.

But as abusive as he can be to perceived enemies, Trump has used the carrot as much as the stick to get Republicans to fall in line. He constantly works the phones with lawmakers and regularly invites them to dinner at Mar-a-Lago. He’s actually put the effort into back-slapping and posing for thumbs-up pictures with anyone who’ll have him.

If DeSantis is going to pull off a wild upset over Trump, he’ll need to make friends and allies throughout the GOP, winning over early-state kingmakers, major donors, and lawmakers who will go on TV to be surrogates for him even on bad days. He’ll need to make voters who haven’t ruled out Trump want to actually vote for him, too, which is harder if they think he’s a weird dude.

It’s very early in the presidential race—DeSantis hasn’t even announced yet—and a lot can change. But first impressions tend to stick around, and DeSantis isn’t exactly overwhelming people with his charm.

vice
Lash
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 01:04 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

You do keep calling Glitterbag a drunk.

Only when it’s demonstrably true and she lurches out into my path.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 01:57 pm
@Lash,
The only thing that's demonstrably true is that since your Bush supporting years you've moved further and further to the right.

Nobody ever fell for your phony ersatz socialism.
blatham
 
  4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 02:35 pm
@hightor,
That excellent Vice piece on DeSantis is mirrored in another by Josh Marshall at TPM
The Fall of Meatball Ron – Egghead Analysis Edition
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 02:45 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
Re: Lash (Post 7316747)

Her behavior never changes. She's here to insult others because that is her nature. She's here to start fights because that is her nature.

She's playing a winner/loser game. Every discussion with her of any sort here plays her game.
blatham
 
  4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 02:57 pm
Did any of you watch the Space X launch? It was bizarre (predictably so) and very typical of how the tech industry always plays the PR game. The shots inside the launch facility had Musk in the foreground. And when the rocket exploded, the three people chosen to do the play by play performed their roles as scripted - Hooray! What a success! In the launch room it was glad-handing all around. They even had a joke prepared in case the rocket exploded... This was a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".

One the one hand, it just like an Apple or Windows cheering audience promo for some new shiny product. But on the other hand, it was really very much like the launch-room sequence from Don't Look Up.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 03:00 pm
@blatham,
I rarely insult others although I’m insulted in almost every comment.
Why do you feel the need to lie?

Try the truth.
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 03:31 pm
@blatham,
That was a great article - actually they both were. Thanks for posting.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 03:45 pm
Quote:
Heritage Foundation Makes Plans to Staff Next G.O.P. Administration
No matter the Republican, the effort has set a goal of up to 20,000 potential officials in a database akin to a right-wing LinkedIn.

If a Republican enters the Oval Office in 2025, whether it’s Donald J. Trump or someone else, there is a good chance that president will turn to the same electronic database to staff the White House and federal agencies.

Think of it as a right-wing LinkedIn. This so-called Project 2025 — part of a $22 million presidential transition operation at a scale never attempted before in conservative politics — is being led by the Heritage Foundation, a group that has been staffing Republican administrations since the Reagan era.

Heritage usually compiles its own personnel lists, and spends far less doing so. But for this election, after conservatives and Mr. Trump himself decried what they viewed as terrible staffing decisions made during his administration, more than 50 conservative groups have temporarily set aside rivalries to team up with Heritage on the project, set to start Friday.

They have already identified several thousand potential recruits and have set a goal of having up to 20,000 potential administration officials in their database by the end of 2024, according to Kevin Roberts, the president of Heritage. Heritage has contracted the technology company Oracle to build a secure personnel database, Dr. Roberts said.

“In 2016, the conservative movement was not prepared to flood the zone with conservative personnel,” Dr. Roberts said. “On Jan. 20, 2025, things will be very different. This database will prepare an army of vetted, trained staff to begin dismantling the administrative state from Day 1.”...
More Here
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 03:51 pm
Republicans have always been the party supporting fossil fuel industries and thus also the party actively trying to fight against the move to renewables.

Quote:
WASHINGTON — Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California has repeatedly said that he and his fellow House Republicans are refusing to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, and risking economic catastrophe, to force a reckoning on America’s $31 trillion national debt.

“Without exaggeration, America’s debt is a ticking time bomb that will detonate unless we take serious, responsible action,” he said this week.

But the bill Mr. McCarthy introduced on Wednesday would only modestly change the nation’s debt trajectory. It also carries a second big objective that has little to do with debt: undercutting President Biden’s climate and clean energy agenda and increasing American production of fossil fuels.

The legislation, which Republicans plan to vote on next week, is meant to force Mr. Biden to negotiate over raising the debt limit, which is currently capped at $31.4 trillion. Unless the cap is lifted, the federal government — which borrows huge sums of money to pay its bills — is expected to run out of cash as early as June.

More than half of the 320 pages of legislative text are a rehash of an energy bill Republicans passed earlier this year, which aimed to speed up leasing and permitting for oil and gas drilling. Republicans claim the bill would boost economic growth and bring in more revenue for the federal government, though the Congressional Budget Office projected it would slightly lose revenue.

The Republican plan also gives priority to removing clean energy incentives that were included in Mr. Biden’s signature climate, health and tax law. That legislation, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, included tax credits and other provisions meant to encourage electric vehicle sales, advanced battery production, utility upgrades and a variety of energy efficiency efforts.

The proposal does include provisions that would meaningfully reduce government spending and deficits, most notably by limiting total growth in certain types of federal spending from 2022 levels...
More Here
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 04:04 pm
@Lash,
Quote:
I rarely insult others although I’m insulted in almost every comment.

You insult our intelligence in almost every comment.

And both the implicit and explicit "I'm uniquely better and smarter than you people" rhetorical stance is hardly one which signals an interest in the opinions or beliefs of anyone else.

Quote:
Try the truth.

Says the advocate of crap like Died Suddenly – who thinks the DNC murdered Seth Rich and that government "spooks" planted antifa agitators at the Jan 6 riot. Does the name Paul Pelosi ring a bell?



blatham
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 04:12 pm
@blatham,
I wanted to add an important point to my Heritage post above...

Any and every strategic or organizational move the GOP might come up with at this point in time for when they gain the WH is utterly dependent on another prior strategy - voter suppression. Perhaps more than any other factor, this is the one we need to watch.
BillW
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 04:38 pm
@blatham,
They have been working on voter suppression for the last twenty-eight years. In fact, they have won two elections in that time period by the electoral vote but lost the popular vote. Furthermore, the Republicans have been anti vote since at least the time of Eisenhower:

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/republicans-popular-vote-majorities/
Quote:
The conversion of the Republican Party into a rigid ideological vehicle occurred long before Trump entered politics, and it has cost what was once referred to as “the Party of Lincoln” the prospect of anything akin to a big win.

The GOP lost the House in 2018, lost the presidency and the Senate in 2020, and finished far worse than had been expected in 2022. But those are just the most recent measurements of its declining fortunes. Republicans have failed to win a majority of the vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. The last Republican president to secure a majority of the vote in two consecutive presidential elections was Ronald Reagan, in 1980 and 1984. And the last to win the sort of overwhelming majorities that Hogan describes was Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.

Eisenhower openly rejected and mocked extremists within his own party and on its fringe, arguing, “It is only common sense to recognize that the great bulk of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, face many common problems and agree on a number of basic objectives.” In a letter to his brother, penned at a time when he was wrestling with the conservatives in the GOP, Ike wrote,

Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L Hunt [and] a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

That being said Bernie, I fully understand where you are coming from and agree with you!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2023 10:28 pm
Twitter on Friday removed labels describing media organisations as state-funded or affiliated with the state.

The move means that Chinese news agency Xinhua will no longer be referred to as state-financed. The same applies to RT (formerly Russia Today), the television broadcaster widely seen as a Kremlin propaganda outlet.
Builder
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2023 12:06 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That should also include CNN, right?
Builder
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2023 12:11 am
@hightor,
Quote:
You insult our intelligence in almost every comment.


You're supposed to be a moderator, which means a neutral party, and unobtrusive observer.

Such a pity that you don't know your own job.

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2023 12:50 am
@Builder,
Builder wrote:

That should also include CNN, right?
And your source that twitter had marked CNN is just your phantasy.
Builder
 
  0  
Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2023 12:57 am
@Walter Hinteler,
You're not that slow on the uptake, are you, Walter?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird
0 Replies
 
 

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