Thursday, April 14, 2022

Last Call For Ad-Vance Notice

 It looks like Donald Trump will be endorsing J.D. Vance in Ohio's Senate Primary after all, and now the question is this late in the game, with the primary less than 3 weeks away, will it be enough to get Vance out of his single-digit poll showing?

Former President Trump is planning to endorse J.D. Vance in Ohio's crowded senate GOP primary, according to three sources with knowledge of his decision.

In recent days, Trump began calling donors and advisers to get their opinion endorsing on the “Hillbilly Elegy” author, but he held off under intense pressure from the rival Republican campaigns of Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, the sources said.

"The Mandel people hit the roof," one Republican with knowledge of the discussions told NBC News, noting that Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan tried to dissuade Trump on behalf of Mandel, whom the congressman supports.

The May 3 primary is winner take all — meaning the candidate with the plurality wins.

Though Trump's press shop had already written up an endorsement of Vance, a source close to Mandel’s campaign said Thursday that it threw up a last-minute obstacle for the former president to consider: an internal Republican poll conducted by his campaign showing Mandel in front with 33 percent of the vote, followed by Matt Dolan and Mike Gibbons tied at 15 percent. Vance and Jane Timken were tied at 9 percent in the Mandel poll.

The poll showed that, even with Trump's endorsement, Vance rose to 15 percent support but was still in a three-way tie for second with Mandel marginally in the lead at 19 percent — a sign that Trump's endorsement had weight but was not determinative.
Trump will be in Ohio on April 23, in which case it's now no longer a mystery as to who he is going to endorse.

So yeah, it's going to be fun times in Ohio.



Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself, Con't

 After buying a decent-sized chunk of Twitter last month, megabillionaire Elon Musk discovered that being the largest shareholder of a social media company that you're already in trouble for using to your advantage to manipulate your company stocks with has headaches of its own. Offered a seat on Twitter's board of directors, Musk walked away from a background check and the fine print of realizing he couldn't use Twitter to play stock games if he was bound to the company like that.

Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in a filing published Thursday, saying the social media company needs to be transformed privately, a little over a week after first revealing a 9.2% stake in the company. Musk’s offer values Twitter at about $43 billion.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and disclosed in a securities filing.

According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” he wrote. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

Twitter shares jumped more than 6% in premarket trading after closing at $45.85 a share on Wednesday. Musk tapped Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor, according to the filing.

“The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders,” the company said in a statement Thursday in response to the offer. CNBC’s David Faber reported on “Squawk on the Street” that Twitter’s board will meet at 10 a.m. to evaluate the bid, per people familiar.

The news comes just days after Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal warned investors of “distractions ahead.”

Musk first disclosed his stake in the social media giant on April 4. He later landed a seat on the company’s board of directors before reversing those plans.

The Tesla CEO has previously criticized the social media giant publicly, polling people on Twitter last month about whether the company abides by free speech principles. He also said he was considering building a new social media platform.

Shares of Twitter have seesawed in recent weeks amid the news from Musk, but are up 6% this year and 18.5% since the start of the month.
Understand that while I said that thought Musk was getting a deal with his 10% of the company and a seat on the board to manipulate the social media platform, Musk is clearly willing to buy the whole platform, take it private, and make it answerable to nobody but Elon Musk himself. Doing that with a global social media platform is wildly disturbing and unethical considering Musk's behavior on Twitter over the years, using it to goose stock prices where he makes billions and pays "wipe my ass" chicken feed in SEC fines.
With the entire structure of Twitter at his command, he could make it do whatever he wanted.
You know, like bring Donald Trump back and ban anyone he didn't like. The terms and conditions of Twitter usage would be "Screw you, I'm Elon Musk." Accountability would be zero, he could start charging all users instead of just Twitter Blue accounts, he could rename the service "Musktown" and more importantly, he'd have full control over every word on the platform.

If you're like me and believe that no one person should have that kind of power, well, we'll see what Twitter's board says.

The Highway To Gilead Starts Here In Kentucky

Kentucky Republicans have beaten all other states to the punch in ending abortion, overriding Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's veto (reminder that KY only requires simple majorities to override, so anything that passes the KY House and Senate can become law) and the law takes effect immediately. The road to Gilead has just become a highway to hell.

Kentucky's Republican-controlled General Assembly on Wednesday voted to override Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of an "omnibus" abortion bill that opponents say is so broad it will shut down access in the state.

And because it contains an emergency provision, House Bill 3 will become law as soon as it gets the signature of Senate President Robert Stivers, expected later Wednesday.

Opponents said Wednesday they would immediately head to federal court asking a judge to block House Bill 3.

Final passage of HB 3 makes Kentucky the first state to end all access to abortion, opponents said.

"Make no mistake, the Kentucky legislature's sole goal with this law is to shut down health centers and completely eliminate abortion access in this state," leaders with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

Supporters of HB 3, including Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, have said it's to protect women's health and expand rights of parents of minors who get abortions.

Lawyers for opponents said they would ask a judge in U.S. District Court in Louisville to block enforcement of the law while their challenge is pending.

But in the meantime, HB 3 likely would mean at least a temporary disruption in abortion services, they said.

Kentucky has two abortion providers, EMW Women's Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, both in Louisville.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing EMW, said its lawyers would file a lawsuit challenging the law Wednesday evening. Planned Parenthood said it would file its challenge early Thursday morning.

Opponents of the bill spent most of the day at the Capitol Wednesday protesting and could be heard shouting "Bans off our bodies!" as the House first voted to override the veto, followed several hours later by the Senate.
Reminder as to what the law now does:

HB 3 includes multiple new restrictions on abortion including:
  • A ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
  • A ban on medication by mail used to terminate early pregnancies.
  • New restrictions for girls under 18 seeking abortions, including those asking a judge's permission for the procedure when a parent is not available or unlikely to approve because of abuse or neglect.
  • A requirement that fetal remains be disposed of by burial or cremation, which could add hundreds of dollars of costs to the procedure.
  • A requirement that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services create an extensive system to certify and oversee anyone who manufactures, ships or dispenses the two-drug regimen to end a pregnancy.
  • A requirement that the state set up a complaint portal online and list all health workers who provide abortions or abortion medication. It would allow anonymous complaints and require the state to investigate all of them.
In other words, the law is specifically designed to drive the last two abortion clinics out of business with massive regulatory burdens, including making costs of the procedure run into the thousands of dollars with no medical insurance coverage (that's already illegal here), a brand new state regulatory authority created by the Health Cabinet to track and catalog every abortion for a 7-year period and a convenient state-run website to allow people to openly target every abortion clinic health worker in the state. And that's not including the criminal penalties for any health worker who violates any of this.

In other words, since precisely none of that structure has been set up by the state yet or by the clinics, all legal abortion procedures have to basically stop as of right now in Kentucky.

We'll see what a federal judge says, but as of right now, abortion is de facto illegal in the state.

Welcome to Gilead.

I told you.
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