Patterico's Pontifications

12/22/2023

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:25 am



[guest post by Dana]

This is going to be a brief open thread because what should have been a trip involving 5 hours of flying and layovers ended up being 18 hours instead! Don’t ask why because I really don’t know. Something about a flooded airplane bathroom floor, technical issues, and i guess the need to give passengers an hour long tour of the tarmac. . .

Let’s go (*yawn*). . .

First news item

He did what?! Eh, I can’t even pretend to be surprised that Trump “personally pressured two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers not to sign the certification of the 2020 presidential election. . .”

Second news item

Jake Tapper asks *the* double-standard question that Harvard very carefully avoids answering:

“Is Harvard University really holding its president, Dr. Claudine Gay to the same standards when it comes to plagiarism that they would assail for students committing the same offense?”

Charles C.W. Cooke explains plainly why Congress has a responsibility to be involved in this brouhaha:

Why are members of Congress “probing Harvard”? Because Harvard receives hundreds of millions of dollars from Congress, that’s why. Per Harvard’s own financial reports, the college was given $625 million by the federal government in 2021 — a number that “accounted for approximately 67 percent of total sponsored revenue.” Between 2018 and 2022, records show, Harvard was handed more than three billion federal dollars. If Harvard wishes to be completely “independent” of Congress — as, say, Hillsdale is — then it must also become completely independent of Congress’s wallet. It cannot pick and choose. With subsidy comes oversight. That isn’t a threat to “our democracy”; that is our democracy.

Third news item

Not good news for DeSantis:

Never Back Down, the pro-Ron DeSantis Super PAC that’s become embroiled in infighting and big-name resignations, pulled all of its 2024 advertisement reservations in New Hampshire and Iowa on Friday, the ad tracking company AdImpact reported. It’s the latest sign of turmoil at the PAC, which has crumbled from being a so-called political “death star” with $100 million in the bank to being what a political insider told The Daily Beast this week is the “maybe the worst-orchestrated effort in modern presidential history”—a clear distraction on top of the Florida governor’s faltering campaign.

Fourth news item

This needs to happen:

G7 officials have intensified talks in recent weeks on spending some of the roughly $300bn in immobilised Russian sovereign assets, a radical step that would open a new chapter in the west’s financial warfare against Moscow

The push comes as two crucial financial aid packages for Ukraine worth more than $100bn faltered this week, as Republicans in the US Congress and Viktor Orbán of EU member Hungary took a stand against funding Kyiv.

Seizing Russian assets could provide an alternative stream of funding for Kyiv, especially given the expected huge costs of postwar reconstruction.

Have a great weekend!

—Dana


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