I got a paper plate award for “Most Likely to Send a Relevant News Article” from my classmates, so I guess this newsletter gig is paying off.– Robert
THE BIG NEWS
DeSantis to Announce Presidential Bid with on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will launch his presidential bid today at 6 pm in a Twitter Spaces conversation with Elon Musk, reports NBC news, in what can only be described as a race to the bottom for who can be the most off-putting creep. The discussion will be “moderated” by David Sacks, a longtime DeSantis supporter and Musk lackey.
DeSantis may see tech reactionaries like Musk and Sacks as his new base of support after other donors ditched him for his extremism on social issues and just not appearing to have the juice. Musk and Sacks’ fellow “PayPal mafia” member billionaire fascist Peter Thiel has also said he’d support DeSantis in 2024 saying he’d be “a terrific president.”
Thiel has his doubts about making culture war the touchstone of DeSantis’ campaign, but expect no such hesitation from Musk and DeSantis. Over the past several weeks the Florida governor has overseen the passage of a 6-week abortion ban, banned gender-affirming care for minors, defunded DEI programs, and banned use of preferred pronouns for transgender children and teens in schools. Over the same time period Musk has boosted conspiracy theories about the Allen, Texas mall shooter and doubled-down on antisemitic attacks on George Soros.
According to NBC News, it’s unclear whether Musk will officially endorse DeSantis during their charisma-free Twitter Spaces chat, but expect volleys from the Trump campaign over the apparent dweeb alliance. One Trump goon told NBC News that “[a]nnouncing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis. This way he doesn’t have to interact with people and the media can’t ask him any questions.”
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Treasury Department Explores Delaying Payments from Federal Agencies
In an attempt to delay hitting the debt ceiling a little longer, Treasury Department is asking other agencies about flexibility for payment due dates early in June, according to the Washington Post. Two unnamed sources told the Times that an official request to delay payments hasn’t been made, yet. The Treasury is trying to keep a sharp eye on payouts as it tries to eke out more time for the White House and House GOP to negotiate. A memo shared with the Times asked agencies to notify Treasury of all “deposits and disbursements” above $50 million days in advance. The exact date the federal government will miss a payment is still unknown, it could be as early as June 1st. Wall Street forecasters are predicting June 8th or 9th, according to the Times. There is some incoming revenue from quarterly tax payments the 15th, so the Treasury might be hoping it can finagle its way until then.
Kari Lake Fails to Overturn Her Arizona Governorship Loss
A Maricopa County judge determined that Lake had failed to prove any misconduct or illegal actions from county officials during the 2022 Arizona governor’s race, according to the Washington Post, which she lost to Katie Hobbs. Her attorneys were also made to pay $2,000 for making “false factual statements” during the trial. Most of her allegations were tossed out from the outset, but an allegation involving signatures for early ballots went to trial. Funnily enough, “Lake’s own witnesses detailed” how the proper signature verification processes were followed. Lake was one of several Republicans pedaling hard election denialism for the 2020 election that ate dirt during the 2022 midterms, but that might not stop her from entering the 2024 Arizona Senate race.
- CEO of Largest Carbon Offset Credit Firm Resigns After Credits Found to be Worthless David Antonioli, CEO of Verra, a nonprofit responsible for certifying carbon credits, has been accused of certifying “tens of millions” of worthless offsets. via the Guardian.
- Florida School Bans Amanda Gorman’s Poem for Biden’s Inauguration “The Hill We Will Climb” will be barred from the school after one parent complained about it. via the New Republic.
- A Shady Property Trust is Buying Up Hospital Real Estate Medical Properties Trust is buying up hospitals and then renting them back to their original owners. In a bewildering set of transactions, the company is making private equity rich and killing community hospitals. This piece is worth taking some time with. via the American Prospect.
- Surgeon General Warns Social Media is Bad for Kids Dr. Vivek Murthy “profound risk of harm” to adolescent mental health and called for more government to set safety standards. via the New York Times.
- Nazi Flag Recovered from UHaul that Rammed Fence Near White House The driver was a 19-yea-old from Missouri that had made threats about the White House before being arrested. via NBC News.
That’s how much Argentina’s largest banknote of 2,000 pesos is worth in U.S. currency. The South American country has a 109 percent inflation rate year-over-year. via Semafor.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
5/24: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma host economist Nathan Tankus, proprietor of the Notes on the Crises newsletter, to discuss the debt ceiling negotiations. Then, they're joined by Jessica Valenti, author of the Abortion, Every Day newsletter on SubStack, to discuss the recent anti-aborton laws being passed in state legislatures across the country.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Lizzo, who by all accounts is a lovely person and a talented artist, draws the most deranged criticism by right-wing men. I wonder why that is...
“There is no questioning the facts of the report — until 2018 when the investigation began, hierarchs in every Illinois diocese kept known abusers under wraps, declined to include them on their accused lists, and refused to acknowledge the truth that survivors of abuse who came forward to make a report shared with them. It is to us, in a word, disgusting that these supposed shepherds would lie so blatantly.”
-- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests speaking about a report from the Illinois attorney general’s office that found 451 Catholic clergy sexually abused nearly 2,000 children in the state. via NBC News.
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