Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Last Call For Bjorken Arrow

We have our first major political casualty of the Panama Papers: Iceland's PM, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson has resigned after large demonstrations calling for his ouster yesterday in the capital, Reykjavik.

Gunnlaugsson’s resignation follows street protests in Reykjavik in which thousands of Icelanders took part. 
Documents leaked on Monday allege that Gunnlaugsson and his wife set up a company in the British Virgin Islands that he then did not disclose to parliament. Critics say that the company’s reported holdings in Icelandic banks mean Gunnlaugsson has a conflict of interest. 
Gunnlaugsson has denied any wrongdoing. 
Writing in Newsweek, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, parliamentary chair of Iceland’s opposition Pirate Party said: “If this was a comedy it would be funny but this is actually our head of state. This is not what Icelanders are like and this is not what Iceland is.”

Three things Icelanders take seriously: fish, handball, and anything related to banking scandals. Tens of thousands protesting in the US wouldn't make a dent.  Tens of thousands protesting in Iceland is 7% of the country's entire population, so Gunnlaugson was going to have to go. (Imagine if 25 million people showed up in Washington to protest anything today.)

By the way Iceland, entirely awesome job with the "getting involved in local politics" thing.

The Paul-churian Ryan-didate

The efficacy of the plan is in massive doubt, but apparently the big Republican donors, frightened of Trump costing the GOP everything, are working to draft GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan as their nominee in July.

Charles Koch is confident House Speaker Paul Ryan could emerge from the Republican National Convention as the party’s nominee if Donald Trump comes up at least 100 delegates shy, he has told friends privately.

Koch believes Ryan would be a “shoo-in” at a contested convention, should the campaign get to that point. Though Koch’s wealth gives him significant influence within the Republican Party, it does not necessarily translate into skill in political prognostication. Still, he and his brother David are fond of Ryan. As a source close to the brothers told The Huffington Post, they appreciate the agenda he has pursued as speaker, including opposition to tax extenders and heightened warnings against corporate welfare — positions that contrast with the admittedly vague portfolio pushed by Donald Trump.

One source close to Ryan said he would only be interested in it if the party could unite behind him, a scenario he can’t envision. “I don’t know what to tell you? He doesn’t want the nomination. And can you imagine the backlash from the Trump forces if someone who didn’t run for president wins the nomination? It would be complete chaos,” he said.

A second source close to the Koch brothers said he wasn’t aware of a conversation about Ryan, but it didn’t surprise him.

Emails to Charles and David Koch were not returned.

Mark Holden, general counsel for Koch Industries, told HuffPost the claim was “completely false.”

“Let me be clear, we never have advocated for a specific candidate in a presidential primary, and we have no plans to do so now,” Holden said.

People close to Ryan continue to insist publicly that he has no interest in the nomination. And one associate of the speaker said he “guarantees” there has been no conversation with Charles Koch about the possibility, “because Paul has not had any conversation about it. He won’t engage any conversation about it.” 

It's not really wishful thinking when you have billions of dollars and massive political influence within the GOP.  Still, this all depends on Ryan, who once again went way out of his way Monday to deny he is running by sounding like someone running.

“I do believe people put my name in this thing, and I say, 'Get my name out of that,'” he said on“The Hugh Hewitt Show." "If you want to be president, you should go run for president. And that’s just the way I see it. 
“I’m not that person. I’d like to think my face is somewhat fresh, but I’m not for this conversation. I think you need to run for president if you’re going to run for president, and I’m not running for president. Period, end of story.”

Ryan also voiced uncertainty over the Republican National Convention in July, arguing it might have different rules than the 2012 version.

“I don’t know, that’s not my decision,” he said of Rule 40(b), which requires candidates to have the backing of at least eight state delegations.

That is going to be up to the delegates,” Ryan added. "I’m going to be an honest broker and make sure that the convention follows the rules as the delegates make the rules.

It should not be our decision as leaders. It is the delegates’ decision. So I’m not going to comment on what these rules look like or not."

He's not running, but he's not ruling out convention delegates "making the rules" either, and should those delegates decide to get behind Paul Ryan in July, well, it's the delegates' decision, right?

All I know is that July in Cleveland is going to be epic, which is basically the first time "July in Cleveland" and "epic" has ever been used together.

Dispatches From Bevinstan, Con't

GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is still trying to close one of Kentucky's last two remaining abortion clinics, demanding that the Kentucky Court of Appeals immediately issue an injunction to close the clinic in Lexington while the case is pending.

The Bevin administration asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Monday to overturn a lower court’s denial of the state’s request to temporarily close EMW Women’s Clinic on Burt Road.

The state said the appellate court should reverse a ruling last month by Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone and order a temporary injunction prohibiting the clinic from operating an abortion clinic until it receives a license from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services or until the lower court makes a final judgment in the case.

The state claims the lower court misinterpreted and misapplied relevant state laws and relied on unwarranted assumptions and facts that were not in the court record.

Scorsone said the state cabinet failed to present adequate evidence during a hearing last month that it will eventually prevail in the lawsuit or that allowing the clinic to remain open as the lawsuit proceeds would cause “irreparable injury.”

Scorsone also said closing the clinic would be against the public interest, since it is the only physician’s office that routinely provides abortion services in the eastern half of Kentucky.

The state sued the clinic in early March, alleging that it lacked a required state license. The clinic stopped performing abortions on March 9 pending a judge’s ruling, but said it would resume after Scorsone’s ruling.

Scott White, an attorney representing the clinic, said “we’re confident that Judge Scorsone’s well-reasoned decision will hold up on appeal.”

We'll see if that appeal holds up or not.  It's Kentucky after all, and if there's a reasonable chance that that the appellate court decides that Bevin's TRAP gambit will work, an injunction is very possible.
That would be awful, but then again, despite his protestations Bevin is nothing more than your standard right-wing GOP austerian, who has decided that the people of Kentucky must be punished until they are in line with "Christian values".

And so it goes in Bevinstan.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article69911827.html#storylink=cp


Related Posts with Thumbnails