HomeUncategorized4/16-17 Easter Weekend News Roundup and Open Thread

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Benny

Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is running for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma.

A former state attorney general, Pruitt filed on Friday to fill the seat left open by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who has announced plans to retire at the end of the year. Pruitt served in the state Senate from 1998 to 2006 and held office for two terms as attorney general after being elected in 2010.

Pruitt is one of many former Trump officials eyeing Congress as their path to return to public life. Among those running are former President Donald Trump’s first Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, who is seeking a House seat in Montana, and State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, who is vying for a seat in Tennessee.

Pruitt’s move to make it official on Friday came after it was reported last month that he was weighing a run, according to CBS News, making calls to gauge support in a crowded Republican primary. Already, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W Shannon, Inhofe’s former chief of staff Luke Holland and state Sen. Nathan Dahm are set to battle it out for the Senate seat. Former Rep. Kendra Horn is the first Democrat to enter the race.

Pruitt left his post as state attorney general to lead Trump’s aggressive anti-regulation agenda at the EPA. His tenure was laden with ethics scandals and investigations, in which he ultimately resigned amid allegations he was trying to personally benefit from his office. Most of the department’s inspector general investigations were inconclusive, as Pruitt resigned in 2018 before the investigations were complete.

In his resignation letter to Trump, he praised the president but said the “unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” Trump at the time had kind words for his departing EPA chief.

“Look, Scott is a terrific guy,” the president said. “And he came to me and he said, ‘I have such great confidence in the administration. I don’t want to be a distraction.’ And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction.”

Benny

orlbucfan

They need to pick the ticks (so-called strategists, consultants) off. Ignore the losers like $hrill, get out and meet the voters, lay off the craporate bribes, and do something like the so-State-Strategy. Byedone has also had s few semi-senile gaffes.

Benny

Benny

orlbucfan

T and R x 2, jcb!! Hope your weather is cooperating for the Holiday Weekend. 🙂

Benny

wi64

Those familiar with STOS will get this 🙂

261925.webp
orlbucfan

What is STOS?

la58

Star Trek the Originally Series. Back then the guys in the red shirts were security and were the first to get killed off.

wi64

Then STNG, DS9 and the other 2 by name.

orlbucfan

Now, does it stand for the 1960s original? Thanks. It gets confusing cos there are so many versions upon versions. 🙄

wi64

Yeah quite a few just saying TOS refers to the original even Trek has its slang.

Benny

orlbucfan

Guys like Musk and Bezos are classic examples of megalomaniacs powered by too much money. Happy Easter Everyone! 🙂

wi64

Bezos really looks like the villian in Austin Powers to me.

Benny

From the article:

Musk claims that buying Twitter is about protecting a virtual public square that is essential for democracy. Yet social media platforms have proven better at amplifying the perspectives of white nationalists and outright fascists than providing a level playing field for reasoned conversation. With his own distorted conception of free speech, why should we expect a Musk-led Twitter to do any better?

At the same time, all this assumes that Musk actually wants to buy Twitter. Yes, he’s submitted an offer and claims he wants to purchase. But Musk is a serial liar who frequently engages in publicity stunts for media attention. One need only think back to the 2018 “funding secured” tweet, where Musk claimed to have the money to take Tesla private. That proved to be untrue — the beginning of his ongoing feud with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In the case of Twitter, Musk’s efforts are already running into trouble and the structure of the acquisition offer suggests it could be a way out of this whole misguided affair. Musk is facing a shareholder lawsuit because he was supposed to report his position in the company by March 24 — ten days after hitting a 5 percent ownership stake — but didn’t do so until April 4, meaning shareholders potentially lost out on over $100 million. SEC action on that front could still be coming. Twitter employees are seemingly also angry over his attempt to take over the company, and given that Twitter’s share price fell after Musk’s acquisition offer was made public, investors don’t seem to be taking it seriously.

For one, Musk doesn’t have the $43 billion on hand for the purchase. He’d either need to sell a significant chunk of Tesla shares — which could sink its inflated valuation — or borrow even more against them. Further, while Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share is above Twitter’s current price, it was much higher than that last year, and investors feel Musk’s offer is too low to be taken seriously. But in his offer letter, Musk claims it’s his “best and final” offer, “a high price and your shareholders will love it,” and if it’s not taken, “I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

It’s impossible to get inside Musk’s head to know what he’s thinking — I’m not sure I’d even want a peek at what goes on in there. There’s certainly a possibility this is serious, and that his offer letter is a display of hubris by a man with virtually limitless wealth and few people around to contradict him. But there’s also a chance this has already gone wrong and he’s getting tired of it, so he’s presented an offer he knows the board will reject that will allow him to say he was turned down. And in the meantime, he can keep railing against the platform, instead of backing off with his tail between his legs.

orlbucfan

Musk is a fruitcake who has been adversely affected by too much money and success. Rare is the person, male or female, who can handle it and keep a level head.

wi64

I for one would keep a level head its part of my personality, i know i would do better BUT not 100% of the time by any stretch. Imagine what a trillionaire futurist progressive could do? Thats if the Billionaires didn’t stage an accident for him.

Benny

wi64

Of course 🤬🤬

orlbucfan

Nina will need the grassroots more than ever. These poisonous greedball backwards entities need accountability badly. Her winning that seat will be a good start. We still don’t know the D replacement for Stephanie RW Murphy down here.

wi64

Good luck Orl.

magsview

I read the following article a couple of days ago and couldn’t help but hope that the super PAC corruption might be reduced,

Campaign finance watchdog cracks down on untraceable super PAC donations

The article focuses on donations to (R) Martha McSally.

But what about this funding to Brown??

One month after Samson Energy mogul Stacy Schusterman poured $2 million into DMFI PAC, the group purchased TV ads starting Monday to boost Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) in her primary campaign rematch against former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner in a newly redrawn Cleveland congressional district. The primary election date is May 3.

Last year, DMFI PAC spent $1.9 million attacking Turner and promoting Brown, helping the latter win the seat in a special election. The group also spent $1.4 million attacking Sanders during his 2020 campaign.

Oh great, we have some transparency here, at least we know who is buying government when it comes to Dems? But will anything actually be done about it?

Benny

Benny

magsview

IIRC, that statement by Biden was made in a kind of angry tone, as though, ‘how dare you doubt my sincerity!’ kind of way, each “period!” louder and angrier than the one before.

Benny

Still Feeling the Bern by Maureen Dowd

Ari Rabin-Havt could not stop smiling in the winter of 2020.

When a reporter asked the deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders why he was so happy, he replied, “Simple. I work for a 78-year-old Jewish socialist, who had a heart attack a few months ago and has won the popular vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.” With an expletive, he added, “That’s remarkable.”

In “The Fighting Soul: On the Road With Bernie Sanders,” the former adviser offers an intimate portrait of his cranky boss, writing about everything from Sanders’s famous mittens, to his love of picket lines and Motown songs, to his distaste for “the inane droning of cable news commentators,” to his prescient fear that Donald Trump was “nuts” and would upend democracy.

I relish hearing about what Rabin-Havt calls “Bernie’s natural impatience” with the frivolous — pretty much everything except the sweeping changes he wants in the country.

Once, in Bloomington, Ind., the Vermont senator got grouchy because the advance staff left four big bottles of water in his hotel room.

“Ari,” he told his aide, “I’m not the president of the United States. I don’t need four bottles of water in my room.”

When staffers at Jim Clyburn’s World Famous Fish Fry in South Carolina insisted that all the candidates go onstage in matching Clyburn T-shirts for their speeches, Bernie balked at the goofy suck-up idea.

Before the first debate in Miami during the Democratic primaries in 2019, Joe Biden was standing right behind Bernie as the candidates were having their makeup touched up.

“As they were about to go onstage, Biden rubbed Bernie down the full length of his back with his hands,” Rabin-Havt writes. “Barely paying attention, Bernie used his right hand to swat Biden away.”

In L.A. for the second debate, Bernie was stopped on the street by Jeff Katzenberg. The former Disney chairman and DreamWorks C.E.O., and a prolific fund-raiser and donor, introduced himself. Sanders kept strolling, unimpressed. “Bernie would have been more likely to stop for a teacher, a nurse, or a mechanic,” Rabin-Havt writes.

I had my own Bernie swatting moment when I interviewed him during the 2020 primaries on Feb. 14 and asked him what he had gotten his wife, Jane, for Valentine’s Day. He informed me in no uncertain terms that romance with Jane was beside the point; Medicare for All was the point!

During that run, Bernie was game for anything as long as it promoted his causes. Rabin-Havt tells about the time the candidate happily Facetimed with Cardi B., who was wearing a white bathrobe. The rapper had also endorsed him in 2016, sending out an Instagram video in which she instructed her followers to “Vote for daddy Bernie, bitch.”

When Sanders met with Barack Obama at his Georgetown office in 2018 to tell him he was thinking about running for president again, Obama offered this advice: “Bernie, you are an Old Testament prophet — a moral voice for our party giving us guidance. Here is the thing, though. Prophets don’t get to be king. Kings have to make choices prophets don’t. Are you willing to make those choices?”

Rabin-Havt (whose brother, Raphi, worked with me at The Times for a spell) writes: “Obama continued, making the point that to win the Democratic nomination, Bernie would have to widen his appeal and convince the party to back him — which would mean being a different type of politician and a different type of candidate than he wanted to be. Bernie listened to Obama, but it was clear to me he never accepted that premise. He has a fundamental belief that he could lead an uncompromising movement that would challenge those who ran the Democratic Party while also leading that same institution, one he steadfastly refused to join.”

The author sums up with a trenchant point: Bernie may never see “the promised land,” but he did win.

“While Bernie Sanders will never be president, his two campaigns have transformed the Democratic Party and this country. Old orthodoxies about government spending and foreign policy have crumbled as a result of the unceasing efforts by an old socialist.”

Since it turned out that Bernie’s ideas were more popular than many realized, he got Democrats out of their deficit-hawk mode and convinced them that it was OK to spend money to help people. During the early days of the pandemic, even Republican members of Congress realized they needed to shovel money out the door to keep things going. He’s been the champion of the $15 minimum wage that his party now almost universally embraces.

As the Prince of Darkness, Mitch McConnell, said last year of Sanders’s influence: “Bernie Sanders is really happy. He may have lost a nomination, but he won the argument over what today’s Democratic Party is: more taxes, more spending, more borrowing.”

That victory may have come at a cost. Republicans, and a shrinking but influential number of moderate Democrats, are attributing the surge of inflation to aggressive government spending. That’s driven down poll numbers for Biden and the Democrats.

If Republicans win in November, as seems likely, Democratic ambitions will shrink, but Bernie’s imprint on the party is going to be long-lasting.

As much as he acted unfazed by the Berniemania of the campaign, he secretly liked it. Once, driving in front of the Capitol, he stopped at a red light and a bunch of shrieking high school students ran up to the car to take selfies.

Bernie chuckled and said to Rabin-Havt, “I’m like Mick Jagger.” If Mick Jagger wore mittens.

orlbucfan

Read it. Over 1300 comments which I didn’t think the NYT would post. I would say a good 95% were feeling the Bern all the way.☮️👍Of course, these clowns played their part in getting him defeated. Media hypocrites are no surprise.💩

wi64

All i can say Bernie’s candidacy is the PTB was never so united about drawing their collective power to defeat him. He was a clear and present danger to thier way of life. They felt threatened by him.

magsview

Not sure what to make of Obama’s inferring that HE was ‘kingly’ enough to make tough “choices”, but that Bernie was not.

wi64

just a couple of relevant toons

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