Tensions reach a breaking point in Tennessee

Plus, Vivek's farcical fossil fuel fustian.


Following Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) public health scare, former South Carolina Gov. and 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley calls for term limits and “mental competency tests” for anyone in office over the age of 75.

"The Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country," she told Fox News.

Voters in Warren County, Iowa removed an auditor who claimed the 2020 election was rigged and shared bizarre conspiracy theories on social media. David Whipple (R), who had been appointed as an interim auditor for the county after his predecessor resigned, was defeated resoundingly by Kim Sheets (D) by a two-to-one margin.

“When the county supervisors tried to take away the voice of the people, the people of Warren County stood up for our democracy and said with one voice: We trust competence over conspiracies,” Sheets said in a statement. “Today, I stood for an election in the county I’ve served for over 20 years. Tomorrow, I’m going back to work for the people.”

After the Tennessee Legislature ended their special session without passing meaningful gun reform legislation, state Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) were involved in a minor, yet physical altercation. As chants of “throw them out” rained down on lawmakers from the gallery, Sexton bumped Pearson while attempting to avoid conversing with the Memphis representative. They soon became engaged in a brief, but heated argument on the floor of the state capitol before security separated them.

Ramaswamy’s climate denial is a calculated investment

“I'm the only candidate on stage who isn't bought and paid for, so I can say this: The climate change agenda is a hoax,” entrepreneur and 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy announced at the first GOP primary debate last week.

Ramaswamy’s comments were met with boos, but this appeared to be in opposition to his divisive rhetoric — not his denial of concrete science that has demonstrated the existential threat of global warming.

But there’s another problem with Ramaswamy’s comment: He’s absolutely bought and paid for.

The 38-year-old has spent the past few years becoming one of the most prominent opponents of what is called environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), a style of investment that stresses corporate responsibility on key issues like climate change and racial inequity. It’s also become a huge bugbear for the right. According to a New Yorker profile of Ramaswamy published last December, “he calls this kind of socially conscious investing — not political corruption or dark money, not election denialism, not disinformation — the gravest danger that American democracy faces today.”

To be fair to Ramaswamy, he’s at least been proactive about this perceived threat. Before announcing his presidential run, he launched Strive Asset Management with the help of right-wing tech mogul Peter Thiel. Ramaswamy branded it as an “anti-woke” alternative to the supposedly pinko-communists over at BlackRock. But Strive’s main source of revenue has come from managing the assets of fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Per Semafor, the goal of the fund is to encourage energy providers “to keep drilling for oil so long as it’s profitable.”

Thus, Ramaswamy’s $50 million in Strive holdings means he’s entirely indebted to the slogan (and industrial policy) of “drill, baby, drill.” As long as more fossil fuels are extracted from the earth, he’ll get a nice slice of the pie. And that’s exactly why he’s engaging in this sort of rhetoric: Because he’s just as compromised as every other weirdo that was on stage in Milwaukee.

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Jamie Larson