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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 86,913

Journal Archives

Politico: Majority of Californians believe Feinstein isn't fit to serve, poll finds

Nearly two-thirds of Californians believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein is no longer fit to serve in office due to her health condition, a new poll found.

The respondents, which ranged across the ideological spectrum, cited the 89-year-old Feinstein’s latest illness as the reason she should resign, according to the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by The Los Angeles Times. Twenty percent of respondents disagreed.

Feinstein took several months away from her office earlier this year to recover from shingles. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, her absence caused a logjam on party-line judicial nominees.

Though she has since returned to the hill, 52 percent of surveyed Democratic voters in California believe she should resign, according to the poll. If that happens, Gov. Gavin Newsom would be able to appoint a replacement to serve out the term.


House Dems take pessimistic tone on debt as McCarthy pushes to 'finish up' talks

Source: Politico

House Democrats, whose votes will be needed to pass any debt deal that steers the nation away from a painful default next month, are beginning to sound the alarm as White House-GOP talks stretch on.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries struck a pessimistic tone on Wednesday, shortly after Speaker Kevin McCarthy dispatched his Republican negotiators to the White House to continue the talks.

“It’s increasingly clear to me that House Republicans are intent on crashing the economy and defaulting on our debt,” Jeffries told reporters. “That’s wrong. It will hurt everyday Americans in the brinkmanship.”

He cited several recent developments in the talks between McCarthy’s emissaries and President Joe Biden’s in darkening his outlook on the high-stakes negotiations — including comments like Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) comparison of the standoff to hostage-taking and the growing influence of former President Donald Trump.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/24/debt-limit-talks-wednesday-kevin-mccarthy-00098564

Donald Trump sure knows how to pick staff...


AG Ken Paxton likely committed impeachable crimes, Texas House investigators say

Source: Houston Chronicle

A Texas House committee on Wednesday heard explosive new testimony from lawyers investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, including that he appeared to provide a friend with confidential FBI documents and committed other potentially impeachable crimes in an effort to help him retaliate against adversaries and federal officials.

Many of the details have been outlined in a whistleblower suit that accuses Paxton of firing four top aides as retaliation after they reported the alleged misconduct to federal authorities.

But Wednesday’s testimony painted the fullest picture yet of the ways in which Paxton allegedly leveraged the resources of his office to help the friend and campaign donor, Nate Paul. It also created a new and immediate threat for Paxton, who has denied all wrongdoing, since the House General Investigating Committee could recommend that the chamber censure him or begin impeachment proceedings.

“Would it be fair to say the OAG’s office was effectively hijacked for an investigation by Nate Paul through the attorney general?” asked Houston state Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston.

Read more: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/paxton-misconduct-texas-house-18116717.php

A glass of wine and a laughing-crying emoji: Trump team trolls Ron DeSantis launch

NBC News

WASHINGTON — No one liked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' campaign launch more than former President Donald Trump.

"Wow. The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER!" Trump wrote on the Truth Social media platform. "His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!"

Schadenfreude — the German word for taking pleasure in another's failure — might understate the glee Trump and his team felt as DeSantis' glitch-ridden Twitter audio-chat with billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk failed to lift off for about 20 minutes.

As hundreds of thousands of listeners logged off, Trump allies shared images to represent their excitement: a glass of wine and a laughing-to-tears emoji among them. Trump quickly posted a video to Truth Social that showed contrasting images of his boisterous campaign announcement last year and a Twitter screen showing the DeSantis discussion "Preparing to launch."


DeSantis launches GOP presidential campaign in Twitter announcement plagued by glitches

Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday with a Twitter announcement plagued by technical glitches, stepping into a crowded Republican primary contest that will test his strength against former President Donald Trump and criticism that he’s not ready for the national stage.

The 44-year-old Republican, an outspoken cultural conservative, initially announced his decision in a video posted on social media, but planned to discuss it further in a first-of-its-kind conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces. But the audio stream crashed repeatedly, making it virtually impossible for most users to hear the high-profile announcement in real time.

“We need the courage to lead and the strength to win,” DeSantis said in a minute-long video posted on social media before the conversation with Musk. “I’m Ron DeSantis, and I’m running for president to lead our great American comeback.”

Despite the rocky start, DeSantis’ announcement marks a new chapter in his extraordinary rise from little-known congressman to two-term governor to a leading figure in the nation’s bitter fights over race, gender, abortion and other divisive issues.

One lesson I learned early on is: never trust your tech to anyone else.

According to THE BULWARK....

Ron DeSantis' campaign Twitter handle was @rondesantisFL, and @rondesantis was held by real-estate guy in California. Now that Musk is in charge @RonDesantis has been assigned to Ron's Presidential campaign.

Arrest Order Extended for Washington State Woman Refusing TB Treatment

New York Times

A Washington State woman who has refused to receive treatment for tuberculosis for more than a year remains at large three months after a civil warrant was issued for her arrest, officials said this week.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said on Monday that the woman, identified as V.N. in court documents, was still refusing treatment and that a judge on Friday extended the civil warrant he had issued in February authorizing law enforcement to detain her.

Sometime after that, the woman was seen leaving her home and taking a city bus to a local casino, according to a court filing in April. A lawyer for V.N. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The Health Department said this was only the third time in the past 20 years that it had had to seek a court order to detain a patient refusing treatment for TB, the second-leading infectious killer worldwide after Covid-19. TB, a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which spreads from infected people through the air, killed 1.6 million people in 2021, according to the World Health Organization.

DeSantis Allies' $200 Million Plan for Beating Trump

New York Times

A key political group supporting Ron DeSantis’s presidential run is preparing a $100 million voter-outreach push so big it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses.

The effort is part of an on-the-ground organizing operation that intends to hire more than 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day, an extraordinary number of people for even the best-funded campaigns.

Top officials with the pro-DeSantis group, a super PAC called Never Back Down, provided their most detailed account yet of their battle plan to aid Mr. DeSantis, whom they believe they can sell as the only candidate to take on — and win — the cultural fights that are definitional for the Republican Party in 2024.

The group said it expected to have an overall budget of at least $200 million, including more than $80 million to be transferred from an old DeSantis state political account, for the daunting task of vaulting the Florida governor past former President Donald J. Trump, who has established himself as the dominant early front-runner.

DeSantis enters presidential race ahead of Twitter announcement with Elon Musk

Source: Washington Post

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday filed paperwork to run for president ahead of an unorthodox announcement planned this evening with Twitter CEO Elon Musk launching a long-expected campaign that many Republicans view as the most formidable 2024 primary challenge to Donald Trump.

DeSantis filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, a spokeswoman confirmed, and plans to state his intentions on Twitter in a 6 p.m. virtual conversation with the social media platform’s billionaire executive, before joining Fox News for an interview. The launch underscores DeSantis’s embrace of conservative influencers as he looks to bypass the mainstream media he derides. It also aligns him with one of the world’s richest people — a polarizing figure who shares DeSantis’s disdain for the media and liberal critics and has quickly become one of the most prominent, provocative voices on the right.

The governor’s entrance comes after some upheaval in the Republican primary. Trump, the former president, has strengthened his position since the start of the year, even as he faces increasing legal peril. Other Republicans have entered the race, but all are mired in single-digits and have failed to make a dent in Trump’s commanding polling lead. And the Florida governor, once seen as a potentially dominant force in the party, is trying to regain his footing after falling well behind Trump, even as he has maintained a clear grip on second place.

DeSantis, 44, became a GOP star as a first-term governor who derided pandemic-driven shutdowns and vaccine mandates and cast himself as an enemy of what he calls “woke ideology” in the news media, major companies such as Disney and schools, where he has worked to restrict discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2023/05/24/ron-desantis-2024-president-announcement

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