Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Last Call For The Manchin On The Hill, Con't

With WV GOP Gov. Jim Justice expected to announce his bid to take WV Dem Sen. Joe Manchin's job in 2024 this week, Manchin needed some quick political theater to knock the wind out of Justice's announcement sails, and the absence of California's Dianne Feinstein presented the perfect opportunity for some truck-kun kabuki

The Senate voted Wednesday to rescind a Biden administration emissions regulation for heavy-duty trucks that Republicans decry as too burdensome, warning it will hurt the trucking industry and have negative ripple effects through the economy.

The vote was 50-49, with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia the only Democrat to vote with Republicans.

Republicans utilized the Congressional Review Act, which allows them to bypass Democrats who control the chamber and force a floor vote to revoke the rule at a majority threshold, not the 60 votes often needed to pass legislation.

The Republican-led House is expected to pass the measure as well, although it’s unlikely either chamber would be able to override an expected veto by President Joe Biden. The Office of Management and Budget issued a veto threat ahead of the vote.

The final rule, which was adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency in December, sets “new emission standards that are significantly more stringent and that cover a wider range of heavy-duty engine operating conditions compared to today’s standards,” according to the EPA, which said the change is needed because emissions from those trucks are “important contributors to concentrations of ozone and particulate matter and their resulting threat to public health.”
Of course Biden will veto it should it make it to his desk, so all of this was as fake as pro wrestling. Manchin gets to say he stood up to Biden for WV truckers, and nothing is actually going to happen.

Why Manchin would take his shot on this lets you know just how much of a problem Jim Justice is going to be for Manchin...if Justice can make it through the primary.

Ron's Gone Wrong, Con't

We're at the point where we're headed for the ugly, multi-billion dollar court battle between Disney and Florida GOP GOv. Ron DeSantis, and I'm betting (as I always have) that Disney has better lawyers.

Walt Disney Co. sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, alleging the Republican governor has waged a “relentless campaign to weaponize government power” against the company amid a protracted fight over a controversial classroom bill.

The federal lawsuit alleges that DeSantis “orchestrated at every step” a campaign to punish Disney that now threatens the company’s business.

The move dramatically escalates the drawn-out feud between DeSantis, who is expected to become a top Republican contender for the 2024 presidential race, and Disney, which is among Florida’s largest employers.

The fight began last year, Disney came out against a Florida bill limiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics. Soon after, the governor and his allies targeted the special tax district that has allowed Disney to essentially self-govern its Florida operations since the 1960s.

The lawsuit was filed on the same day that the district’s board of supervisors, which DeSantis had picked to take control over Disney’s Orlando-area parks, moved to undo a development deal that it says Disney struck to thwart its power.

The panel unanimously voted to declare “void and unenforceable” that development deal, which was approved shortly before DeSantis replaced the Disney-approved board with his preferred supervisors.

The lawsuit called that action the “latest strike,” saying the development contracts “laid the foundation for billions of Disney’s investment dollars and thousands of jobs.”

“The government action was patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional,” Disney alleged in the civil complaint in U.S. District Court in northern Florida.
Two things, one, this is a federal lawsuit, meaning this is going to be appealed to SCOTUS at some point. There's too much at stake for it not to.
Second, DeSantis is now welded to the outcome of this trial. He's either the Man Who Destroyed Disney, or the Man Who Was Destroyed By Disney, and there's not much middle ground here.
We'll see who wins, but I'm betting it's not going to be DeSantis.

Cruzin' For A Bruisin', Con't

It turns out one of the conversations that former FOX News producer Abby Grossberg has in her collection of evidence in her harassment suit against the network (and now former host Tucker Carlson) involves Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz advising the network on how Senate Republicans could help Trump steal the 2020 election.

Sen. Ted Cruz advocated the creation of a congressionally appointed electoral commission ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to make a credible assessment of unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, according to a recording made by Abby Grossberg, a former producer at Fox News.

The Jan. 2, 2021, recording, provided to The Washington Post by Grossberg’s attorney, largely mirrors previous reports and public statements made by Cruz about efforts to overturn the election results. But the tape featuring a previously private conversation among Cruz, Grossberg and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on the push to deny the certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, sheds new light on the scope of Cruz’s scheming to assist Donald Trump in overturning Biden’s victory.

Cruz says in the recorded conversation that he successfully organized 11 senators to object to the electoral certification as the mechanism to establish a commission. Cruz was the first senator to object to the electoral college results, joining Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) in challenging Arizona’s electoral certification. The Post has previously reported on Cruz’s proposal of delaying the certification of the electoral college results to spark a 10-day “audit” that could enable GOP state legislatures to overturn the election results.

“You need an adjudicatory body with fact-finding and investigative authority to consider the facts to examine the record and to make determinations — that’s how they did it in 1877,” Cruz told Grossberg and Bartiromo, referencing the commission created to investigate voter fraud in the 1876 Hayes-Tilden election.

Cruz added that he would have rather seen “these facts developed in a court of law” but goes on to cast doubt on the Supreme Court’s ultimate determination to reject the lawsuits filed to challenge the election Trump had lost. “Unfortunately the courts that heard these cases — we did not have a full and thorough consideration,” Cruz said.

Cruz tweeted on Tuesday night in response to the tape, first reported by MSNBC host Ari Melber: “This @msnbc [clown] is breathlessly reporting that I ‘secretly’ said in a phone call … the EXACT same thing I said on national television the next morning! And then said again on the Senate floor four days later.”

In the plan Cruz laid out to the Fox News host and her producer, if a majority of the House and the Senate objected to electoral certification on Jan. 6, 2021, then an electoral commission would be stood up immediately, commencing a 10-day review period to be completed before the inauguration.

If the commission found “credible evidence of fraud that undermines confidence in the electoral results in any given state,” then the state would then call a special session and recertify results, according to Cruz.

“Is there any chance you can overturn this?” Bartiromo asked Cruz.

“I hope so,” he responded.
Cruz's defense is that he publicly announced he was trying to help Trump steal the election through the creation of election fraud that didn't actually exist, so I'm not sure why everyone's so upset, other than reminding everyone that Ted Cruz should probably be in prison for seditious insurrection. That was true in January 2021, and it remains true now.
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