A Spending Cap in Name Only

Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“Today was supposed to be the actual X-date, upon which the federal government would run out of money. Instead, Congress passed and the president signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), suspending the debt ceiling for two years. So we’re using today to round out our series on this absurd few weeks in American politics. We hope to never again have to create a pop-up newsletter to cover the threat of a catastrophic deliberate default on the nation’s [sic] debt, but since this deal did nothing to extinguish that possibility, we will save the X-Date logo for 2025. We have discussed in detail what the FRA will mean for public policy …. But since the centerpiece of this deal is a spending cap, we’ll close X-Date by explaining how it is not likely to be a cap at all.” (06/05/23)


NY: Adams floats idea of New Yorkers housing migrants in “private residences”

Source: New York Post

“Mayor Eric Adams wants regular New Yorkers to literally welcome migrants flooding the Big Apple by revealing his latest idea to potentially put thousands of asylum seekers into private dwellings while paying local homeowners and landlords. ‘It is my vision to take the next step to this faith-based locales and then move to a private residence’ Hizzoner said Monday during a City Hall press conference. ‘We can take that $4.2 billion — $4.3 [billion] maybe now — that we anticipate we have to spend and we can put it back in the pockets of everyday, everyday houses of worship instead of putting it in the pockets of corporations.’ … Adams said moving migrants into private homes is the next step in the administration’s blueprint to house the crush of homeless individuals, after unveiling a new plan to house single migrant men in 50 churches, mosques and other houses of worship across the five boroughs.” (06/05/23)


Kamala Harris can’t be trusted with AI regulation

Source: Fox News
by Sid Mohasseb

“Recently, the White House decided that appointing an unqualified, politicized leader is perfect for tackling the complex issue of AI regulation. Kamala Harris, who has now become the AI czar, will likely lead America into a very gloomy future. The nation must correct this blunder before it’s too late. We can only solve a problem by asking the right questions and Harris and the polarized Congress are clearly unable to do so. The United States must replace her with an unbiased committee of experts who can protect and fully develop effective AI regulations.” [editor’s note: Allowing the government to be involved with AI in any way, shape, manner, or form is just asking for disaster, faster – TLK] (06/05/23)


OK: Whistleblowers file lawsuits against education boss, top aide

Source: SFGate

“Two former employees at the State Department of Education filed separate federal lawsuits Tuesday against Republican State Superintendent Ryan Walters and his top aide, alleging they were wrongfully fired last week. Cheryl McGee, the agency’s former executive director of school-based mental health, claims in her lawsuit she was fired after being accused of sharing an email with the media. Matthew Colwell, who was a program manager of school success, says he was fired for sharing information with a state representative and the attorney general’s office that Walters'[s] proposed teacher pay plan violated federal and state laws and could end up costing the state $18 million. Both lawsuits claim Matt Langston, Walters'[s] chief policy advisor, sent an email last week to all employees at the agency threatening to terminate anyone who leaked internal documents to the press.” (06/05/23)


Gannett Journalists Walk Out, Accusing CEO of Decimating [sic] Local Newsrooms

Source: Common Dreams

“As shareholders gathered at the annual meeting of Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the United States following a 2019 merger, hundreds of unionized employees from across the country walked off the job on Monday to demand investors take action against what the journalists say is corporate greed at the top of the organization. The journalists, who are represented by the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America (CWA), say CEO and chairman Mike Reed has overseen the gutting of local newsrooms across the country at Gannett’s more than 300 publications, jeopardizing readers’ access to local news and threatening the livelihoods of reporters while Reed collects a multi-million-dollar salary. With the walkout, the unionized employees are calling on shareholders to hold a no-confidence vote against Reed.” (06/05/23)


How Land Swaps Turn Public [sic] Lands into Private Playgrounds

Source: In These Times
by Erica Rosenberg & Writers on the Range

“In 2017, the public [sic] lost 1,470 acres of wilderness-quality land at the base of Mount Sopris near Aspen, Colorado. For decades, people had hiked and hunted on the Sopris land, yet the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) handed it over to Leslie Wexner, former CEO of Victoria’s Secret and other corporations, at his request. The so-called ​’equivalent terrain’ he offered in return was no match for access to trails at the base of the 13,000-foot mountain. This ill-considered trade reveals how land management agencies pander to wealthy interests, do not properly value public [sic] land, and restrict opportunities for public [sic] involvement. It’s an ongoing scandal in Colorado that receives little attention. This management tool has been usurped by powerful players who aim to turn valuable public [sic] lands into private playgrounds.” (06/05/23)


NH: Sununu rules out 2024 vanity campaign

Source: KKTV 11 News

“New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2024, arguing that Republican candidates with ‘no path to victory must have the courage to get out’ of their party’s increasingly crowded primary to stop former President Donald Trump. The 48-year-old governor, who has emerged as a frequent Trump critic, made the announcement on CNN and followed up with a social media post and an op-ed in the Washington Post. ‘I will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024,’ Sununu tweeted. ‘The stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote, and I will help to ensure this does not happen.’ Sununu was among a small group of Republican officials still openly contemplating a presidential bid. Even with his decision, the 2024 GOP White House field will be large.” (06/05/23)


Head in the clouds

Source: The Pamphleteer
by Davis Hunt

“In a speech given at this year’s New Criterion gala, Peter Thiel addresses the effects today’s diversity discourse has on addressing political and social issues. ‘… in worshiping diversity, in making it the highest value, what is it that we are missing?’ Thiel conjectures. Thiel goes on to compare debates over diversity to those about homelessness: ‘When homelessness is forced into every policy conversation, it leads to circuitous, dead-end reasoning: We’re never going to fix homelessness until we fix the schools, but we’re never going to fix the schools, the police, or even the roads until we fix homelessness. It becomes an all-purpose excuse for ignoring what’s really going on.’ Most of us are familiar with how these sorts of debates play out.” (06/05/23)


Comer says he’ll try to hold Wray in contempt of Congress over Biden document

Source: Fox News

“House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said he will begin the process of holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress, despite viewing and being briefed by bureau officials on the subpoenaed document alleging Joe Biden was involved in a criminal bribery scheme …. The FBI brought the document in question — an FBI-generated FD-1023 form that allegedly describes a $5 million criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions — to Capitol Hill Monday for Comer, R-Ky., and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., to review in a secure SCIF Monday after a back-and-forth between committee Republicans and the bureau over whether it was in compliance of his subpoena.” (06/05/23)


Germany: “Very last warning” for 82-year-old convicted of unauthorized botanical sales

Source: SFGate

“A German court says it is giving an 82-year-old man a ‘last warning’ to avoid jail after he was found guilty of drug dealing, despite 24 previous convictions. The retired seaman, who said he wanted to improve his meagre 800-euro ($855) monthly pension by selling marijuana, was handed a suspended sentence by a court in the northern town of Aurich on Monday. German news agency dpa reported that prosecutors had asked the court to impose a prison term of 34 months in view of the man’s lengthy criminal record and an existing suspended sentence. But judges said they would make an exception and classify the latest crimes as ‘less serious offenses’ due to the man’s particular circumstances and recent health problems. Dpa quoted the presiding judge telling the defendant that it was his ‘very last warning.'” (06/05/23)