Friday, March 19, 2021

Last Call For Immigration Nation, Con't

Lindsey Graham introduced a bipartisan immigration bill 43 days ago. But if it came up on the Senate floor today, he wouldn’t support it. 
“God, no,” the South Carolina Republican senator scoffed in an interview. “I’m not in support of legalizing one person until you’re in control of the border.”
That's it.
Lindsey Graham is scrapping his own bipartisan immigration bill from last month because he's mad at Joe Biden

Republicans are useless, and they keep getting elected by people who specifically don't want government to work.



Mitch Better Have My Money, Con't

"Moscow" Mitch McConnell is of little use to his Russian masters anymore, and should the filibuster get nuked, his utility drops to zero. No wonder then that the planned Russian aluminum plant here in Kentucky that was Mitch's gift from his owners has now run into sudden "funding issues" and is on permanent hold.

The Russian company backing an aluminum project in Kentucky said it’s suspending investments as it waits for U.S. partners to raise funds, dealing a new setback to the billion-dollar-plus mill that was supposed to be completed last year.

United Co. Rusal International PJSC announced the move on Unity Aluminum, formerly known as Braidy Industries, in a call on Wednesday. Rusal has so far poured $65 million into the venture, which local officials have been counting on to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the region.

The funding freeze is the latest in a series of twists, including a battle for control of the mill that led to the ousting last year of Braidy’s chief executive officer, and questions over the timing when the U.S. lifted sanctions on Rusal. The plan announced in 2017 was for a $1.3 billion rolling mill to meet growing demand for the metal from the automotive, packaging and aerospace markets.

“Unfortunately, our partner failed to contribute necessary equity from their side, so then it was a substantial change of the management and shareholder structure of Braidy Industries,” Oleg Mukhamedshin, Rusal’s deputy CEO, said on a call. “We put on hold any further investments of the project as per our agreement, and we still expect our partners to raise necessary financing after the Covid pandemic gets better.”

Mukhamedshin said Rusal’s “Plan B” is to convert the investment into a debt instrument with certain securities if Unity Aluminum isn’t successful in securing the necessary funding.

In 2019, Rusal announced its commitment to invest $200 million in the plant, which stirred up criticism as the decision came shortly after the U.S. Treasury Department lifted sanctions on Rusal and its parent company. A spokesman for Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, then majority leader, told the Washington Post that the lawmaker didn’t know at the time that Braidy had hopes of a deal with Rusal when he backed the effort to lift sanctions on the Russian company.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is improving dramatically under Biden, but suddenly that's the excuse to freeze funding for building the plant.  And without Mitch in charge of the Senate to stop votes harmful to Russian interests, new sanctions, and sweetheart trade deals helped by his corrupt wife Elaine Chao, McConnell's just another hick from the sticks.

That aluminum plant will never be built, and the people of Kentucky will pay the price.

I hope we pay that one forward.

NASA Gets The Full Nelson

Longtime NASA proponent and former Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is reportedly being tapped to fill the space agency's head honcho position by the Biden administration.

President Biden has tapped former Democratic Senator Bill Nelson for NASA administrator, according to three people familiar with the decision. Nelson, a politically experienced ally of the administration, would command the space agency as it races to return humans to the Moon, bolsters climate research, and expands its reliance on a flourishing commercial space industry.

A former congressman and three-term US senator from Florida, Nelson would succeed former President Trump’s NASA chief, Jim Bridenstine, whose past experience in Congress proved key in rallying support for the Artemis program, an ambitious campaign to use the Moon as a stepping stone for future astronaut missions to Mars.

Senate and NASA staffers who were informally briefed this week on Biden’s decision were told that a formal announcement on Nelson’s nomination would come later this week, three sources said, speaking under anonymity to discuss private conversations before the announcement is made. Former astronaut Pam Melroy is being considered for Nelson’s deputy, one of the sources said.

Rumors that Biden was considering Nelson to lead NASA had been swirling openly among space industry circles for roughly a month, but it wasn’t until this week that the White House and NASA cemented the choice. The decision comes nearly two months after Biden took office and as the White House remains silent on rolling out any space policy agenda while it focuses instead on more pressing issues, like vaccinating Americans from the coronavirus. In the past, new presidents have spent several months mulling their NASA nomination.

Nelson represented Florida’s Space Coast as a state legislator in the 1970s and championed NASA through his time in Congress. In 1986, he became the second sitting member of Congress to fly to space, riding aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist. The centrist Democrat served three terms in the Senate until losing his bid for reelection in 2018 to former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees NASA, Nelson laid into then-nominee Bridenstine during his confirmation hearings, criticizing his record on climate change and stressing that a politician shouldn’t run NASA. “This committee has heard me say many times: NASA is not political,” Nelson said. “The leader of NASA should not be political.” Bridenstine was eventually confirmed on a party-line vote, and he used his political savvy to win bipartisan support for the Artemis program.

Biden’s choice to tap Nelson has prompted mixed reactions in the space industry, with both optimism and dismay over the former senator’s past space policy stances. Some had hoped Biden would pick a woman to lead NASA, which has only been led by men in the past. Other people considered for the role included Melroy and Ellen Stofan, the director of the National Air and Space Museum, two people familiar with internal personnel discussions said. Stofan accepted a different position earlier this month as the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science and Research.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who was Nelson’s Republican colleague from Florida, was pleased to hear Biden’s decision for NASA administrator, saying in a statement “I cannot think of anyone better to lead NASA than Bill Nelson.”

“His nomination gives me confidence that the Biden Administration finally understands the importance of the Artemis program, and the necessity of winning the 21st century space race. I look forward to supporting Bill’s swift confirmation, and working with him in the years to come,” Sen. Rubio said.
Not even Rubio is going to try to clown show Bill Nelson. 

I expect this nomination will sail through.

Related Posts with Thumbnails