Today’s Failure News Roundup

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket, the most powerful ever built, blew up about four minutes after launch this morning. This event set the tone for the rest of the day.

Mike Lindell is out some money. CNN:

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell has been ordered to shell out $5 million to an expert who debunked his data related to the 2020 election, according to a decision by the arbitration panel obtained by CNN.

Lindell, a purveyor of election conspiracies, vowed to award the multimillion-dollar sum to any cyber security expert who could disprove his data. An arbitration panel awarded Robert Zeidman, who has decades in software development experience, a $5 million payout on Wednesday after he sued Lindell over the sum.

CNN has obtained arbitration documents and video depositions, including a deposition of Lindell, related to the dispute.

I have said already that if Lindell’s adult children had any sense they already would have gone to probate court and relieved Dad of control of the family assets. If Lindell really does have to pay this, they’re probably too late.

E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump is still scheduled to start on April 25. Robert Katzberg at Slate explains all the ways this trial could be a nightmare for Trump.

A Tennessee state legislator who voted to expel the Tennessee Three has been found guilty of sexually harassing interns. When this news became public, he resigned. Other Republicans in the legislature have known about this for some time but didn’t move to expel the guy.

The Forced Birth movement is letting it be known they will not be satisfied with a “let the states decide” policy on abortion. They want a national ban. This is going to massively complicate the 2024 elections for Republicans. Heh.

Interesting read: Michael Tomasky, The (Republican) Party’s Over, at The New Republic.

Kevin McCarthy has produced a debt ceiling proposal.

The legislation, which is expected to receive a vote next week, is a 320-page House Republican wish list that has no chance of becoming law, given that Democrats control the Senate and White House. It would raise the debt ceiling until March 2024 while tying that to a host of conservative priorities, including slashing government spending to 2022 levels, capping further spending, and repealing much of the Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden’s landmark social spending bill.

The House GOP bill comes as a potential default could happen sometime over the summer. Democrats have long insisted that they will only support a “clean” debt ceiling increase, without any preconditions or spending cuts, while Republicans have long viewed the debt ceiling as the best leverage to pressure the Biden administration into making broader concessions.

Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, McCarthy insisted that both President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now need to come to the table: “They need to sit down, negotiate, and address the crisis, now that we’ve introduced a clear plan for debt limit increase.” The Republican proposal targets a number of longtime GOP bugaboos including Biden’s executive action on student loan forgiveness, tax credits for green energy investments, and increased funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s my understanding that this bill is still short on specifics as to exactly how much money will be cut from where, except that it’s not touching defense, Social Security, Medicare, or veterans’ benefits. I haven’t heard that it’s been submitted to the CBO for scoring. President Biden has already dismissed it. ,

14 thoughts on “Today’s Failure News Roundup

  1. Biden even negotiating with McCarthy to raise the debt ceiling is like going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street with the brake lines cut.

    Only Denmark and the United States have a debt ceiling that is set at an absolute amount rather than a percentage of GDP.  It is a meaningless construct that should have been eliminated decades ago when the GQP started thinking defaulting on the national debt was a good bargaining tool.


  2. I followed the Slate link. He lays out a good description of how things may play out in NY. The one thing he left out, pure speculation on my part, is how the trial will play out with Mrs, Trump in FL. I don't know if she will follow testimony – I do not know if evidence or descriptions will convince her that Donald cheated on her when she was home with an infant. Maybe she does not care but other incidents suggest to me that she does. Things in S. Florida may get very chilly for Donald.

    For Musk, objectively, it's not unusual for a new design to blow up. Subjectively, I hope they keep blowing up to humiliate that smirk SOB. Also love seeing Lindell get screwed. 

    IMO, there are two "real" issues shaping the DC political future. One is the Trump criminal trials. I think there will be two in NY, two in DC, and one in GA. Allin full swing by 2024. The other is the budget – the crisis there is real. Biden's proposed budget addresses it entirely with tax increases on the rich only. The GOP wants to solve the deficit by cutting benefits to people – only. If this is actually negotiated by both sides, there will be some spending cuts and some tax increases. The GOP and their donor class are adamantly opposed to having the upper class pay more. They can't let this process evolve into a negotiation between equals. That's why they are trying to "negotiate" under the threat of a debt ceiling default. They hope that if the default is unthinkable for Democrats, they will cave to the ransom demands. If they had kidnapped a child, they'd be sending an ear about now. 

    McCarthy HAS to get Biden to negotiate at a disadvantage, not as an equal. Biden is refusing to engage, exactly correct. Biden is asking the GOP to come up with a complete, detailed, CBO scorable starting point to negotiations, which the new bill does not seem to be. But it's also a proposed bill, not something McCarthy has the votes to pass. (You will know that's true when McCarthy keeps moving the date of a vote into the future.) The proposed bill is intended to force Biden to negotiate.

    Eventually, someone will blink. I think it's the GOP, possibly after one or two devastating downgrades of the national credit rating. After that's resolved, I think Biden will want to negotiate openly and (hopefully) publicly.  If the GOP refuses to consider tax increases on the rich, they come off as the bigger assholes. The choices become all the more clear for voters.

  3. Is Elon going to be responsible for cleaning up the mess his "dong" rocket has almost certainly left in the Gulf of Mexico? Fortunately the craft was unmanned or I wouldn't be so gleeful at it's complete failure!

    "Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly" Aw that's too bad!

    • Speaking of dongs, I wonder if Clarence Thomas has moved on from robo-watching his favorite porn video, Long Dong Silver. I would suspect that after 30+ years he's amended his appetite for some of the newer stuff that's out there. Maybe his financial benefactor, Mr Crow, has introducted him and Ginni to a better selection from private collections. Who knows?

       It's a funny thing. When we were kids we used to sing a little ditty that went,,, Picking up paw paws, put 'em in your pocket. Now Harlan Crow is probably singing a similar ditty that goes like this…Picking up Justices, put 'em in your pocket.

  4. I don't think Moscow Mitch is much of a fan of Charlie McCarthy's* much dumber bother, Kevin.

    McConnell is many things – including being a hypocrite and an asshole – but he's no fool.

    If he still has his eyes on being the Senate Majority Leader again – and he does – then he won't want his Senators and wannabe Senators to be tethered to the "RepubliKKKLAN House Political Suicide Caucus" as it jumps off the bungee tower without tying the bungee-cord to it!

    I think Chuck Schumer will work with Mitch on something Biden can at least begin to negotiate from.

    The Dems hope here is that when the Senate proposal is put forward, that there will be at least enough new GQP House members from Biden-majority districts to kill Kev's, and pass the Senate’s bill.

    That's my take, for what it's worth…

    *Google Charlie McCarthy, kids.

  5. My fear is that the debt ceiling will be hit, and it will both sink "Charlie" McCarthy, and enable Trump or someone like him to promise order in 2024, returning to power. Trump is behind all of this, giving instructions to his minions. He's telling Jim Jordan to rough up Alvin Bragg.

    Because McCarthy is stupid yet power-mad he does whatever the Boss tells him. Trump doesn't care about trashing the USA, nor about trashing McCarthy. His purpose is to create maximum chaos so he can step in.

    Now much of this is my own opinion, I would love to see an expose in the WaPo for example laying out all of this communication.

    My hope is that the Dems can cut a deal with enough sane Republicans, going around McCarthy and the extremists, to save our country.

  6. Irony of ironies; WaPo reports that the guy who is now owed $5 million by Lindell is a Trump supporter.

    Apologies if that was already mentioned above and I missed it.

  7. Going OT to speculate about GA…. The most recent development we know about is that the prosecutor asked the judge to disqualify the attorney for ten of the potential defendants. These are known targets in the investigation because they signed the fake electors' document.  

    According to the filing at least two of the potential targets were NOT told by their lawyer of an offer of immunity by the prosecutor. If true, it's likely she will be removed and possibly disbarred. It's a serious offense. Again, no response yet from the judge, but if it pans out, ten people will have to find new representation and it won't be the same single attorney. Up to ten new lawyers will have to be brought up to speed. It seems likely that since the failure is not the fault of the defendants, a fair amount of leeway will be granted. In other words, delay.

    There is a silver lining. If some of the targets realize that their lawyer was working for the GOP in the interests of protecting Trump, they might be inclined to flip. Their legal risk was increased from zero (with immunity if they testify honestly) to several years in jail. (Take the fall to protect Trump.)  I'd be pissed.  The lawyer was paid by the GOP of GA, I understand. One wonders if Trump is underwriting the cost, but I have no information there.

    Bottom line: Expect nothing this month or (IMO) next month. BUT, the case may be much stronger because of it.

  8. I read at The (Republican) Party's Over but I could not finish it.  Maybe the truth is too much to take.  I am thinking a different truth is possible.  Trump could have dealt a fatal blow to the party when he opened the door to open racially based elitism.  Sarah Palin could have done it when she opened the door for elitism without sanity or political competence.  Both made the party a 'bigger tent' party but made it a party with no principles bound on any values associated with one who rightfully deserves ruling power and status.  The Hoi Polloi will now again control most of the Party's primaries and nominate incompetents and charlatans who can't govern.  Only a huge rejection they cannot deny away will end their folly.  With the path they are on this outcome appears inevitable.

  9. As an afterthought, consider DeSantis's war on Disney.  Since when has any Republican gone to war against a very successful American business?  This is not the traditional Republican Party. 

  10. And this, a comment from Will from Minnesota to a Michelle Goldberg piece:

    Yearn all you want for a Republican challenger to debase and defeat Trump, and you’ve totally missed the point: Republicans no longer want challenges, from within or without, because they can’t handle them. As Michelle observes, Republicans don’t want to debate, they want to dominate. All the Republicans I know are like this, and they all have college degrees from top schools. They didn’t used to be like this, but Trump, George Floyd and COVID profoundly changed them. They became paranoid, angry and scared. They deeply hate Trump but donate to his campaign and will unconditionally vote for him. Modern Republicanism is post-ideology, it’s neo-barbarism.





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