🇺🇸 Santos's Shady Sham
Plus, mini moon.
Good morning, and happy Monday. An Iowa teen decided to become the change she wanted to see, and after receiving a half-acre of land from her parents, she grew 7,000 pounds of produce with a market value of around $15,000 and gave it all away to food banks and non-profits in the Quad Cities area.
Plus, The little asteroid visited by NASA’s Lucy spacecraft found that the asteroid Dinkinesh has a dinky sidekick — a mini-moon.
Also, forget the doom scrolling and use your time on your phone to improve your cognitive fitness.
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Santos’s Shady Sham
Last Thursday, the House Ethics Committee accused Rep. George Santos (R-NY) of “uncharged and unlawful conduct,” leading Santos to announce he will not seek reelection.
Reporting from the Right: George Santos faces third expulsion push in the House (Washington Examiner)
Reporting from the Left: George Santos faces third expulsion resolution after scathing House Ethics report (USA Today)
From The Flag: The committee stated that Santos’ campaign committee submitted false or incomplete forms to the Federal Election Commission, used campaign funds for personal purposes, engaged in fraudulent conduct, and violated the Ethics in Government Act. Santos also faces federal charges filed in May. Here’s what both sides are saying.
To Expel, or Not to Expel?
It may seem as if the ethics committee is letting Santos off the hook by not providing any recommendations, but it’s likely that he will be going to jail regardless of whether Congress expels him or not.
“It would break precedent to oust him without a conviction.”
“…lying Long Island Rep. George Santos splashed his campaign’s money on dubious pleasures — including OnlyFans subscriptions, Botox, and spa treatments...”
George Santos, Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya Where the Good Lord Split Ya Jim Geraghty, National Review: “..,.ou might think that the House Ethics Committee was letting George Santos off the hook. In fact, the panel did the opposite, issuing a scathing and damning report that declared, ‘Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit. He blatantly stole from his campaign.’ … Your mileage may vary, but I read the subtext as, ‘Formal punishment by us would be moot, since this guy’s going to jail soon.’ … Yes, Santos argues that his critics should be ashamed. It’s always everyone else’s fault. … Apparently the Ethics Committee report is adding new fuel to another effort to expel Santos from the House. It would require a two-thirds majority to dismiss Santos. While House Republicans would have a slightly smaller majority until a special election is held, I think it’s worth it to be rid of the perpetual embarrassment of Santos. Running a GOP House majority with 220 Republicans and three vacancies is only a smidgen more difficult than the current circumstance of 221 Republicans and two vacancies.
George Santos’s Day in Court The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: “The heat is on Rep. George Santos again after a House committee documented a long list of his alleged offenses. His days in the chamber are numbered, but that doesn’t mean he should be expelled before he gets his day in court. … The House has expelled only two of its members since the Civil War, and both were first convicted on criminal charges. The violations the Ethics Committee has attached to Mr. Santos are on the same order as the bribery and fraud that ended the careers of Michael Myers in 1980 and Jim Traficant in 2002. Yet each was granted the privilege of a trial to vet the charges against them. … Many of Mr. Santos’s critics suggest that he waived his presumption of innocence by refusing to defend himself before the Ethics Committee. A defendant who fails to show up and make his case in court faces a summary conviction, but a political inquiry doesn’t have the same force, even when the panel includes Members of both parties.”
One more opinion piece from the Right: From Botox to OnlyFans, how George Santos spent his campaign cash Ryan King, New York Post
Also: To Expel, or Not to Expel?
Republicans are caught in a difficult situation of deciding to hold Santos accountable or risk losing their slim majority in the House.
Santos is only a symptom of a larger problem within the Republican Party, and expelling him isn’t going to solve that problem.
“Santos’ Thursday morning announcement, no matter how ham-fisted, may actually be enough to get him out of trouble in the House.“
The GOP’s pickle on expelling George Santos Aaron Blake, The Washington Post: “The situation is particularly fraught for Republicans who have spent the better part of a year punting on hard decisions about Santos’s fate. The ethics report greatly expands on what’s known about Santos’s documented and alleged misdeeds. What was initially a story about Santos’s serial lies soon came to be about alleged campaign finance violations and other crimes. The report goes even further than that, painting a picture of a man bent on misusing his political career at the expense of real people. … The next big question is whether this marks the end of Santos’s political career. Democrats and Republicans quickly said they plan to push privileged resolutions forcing a vote on his expulsion. … some Republicans have set the bar higher, signaling that Santos’s criminal trial — currently set for September — should be allowed to play out. And the very dynamic that has prolonged Santos’s career before still looms: The Republicans have a very narrow House majority. As things stand, they can lose only three of their own votes if Democrats are united against something. And Democrats would most likely be favored to win a special election in his blue-leaning Long Island district.
Expelling Santos wouldn’t solve the problem Julian Zelizer, CNN: “While this seemingly interminable drama has at last come to a head, the hard truth here is that at this point, Santos’ exit hardly matters, at least when weighed against the reality of the party he’s leaving behind. … At the same time that he announced he would not run for reelection for a second term, since ‘my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time,’ Santos made sure to tell supporters on X (formerly Twitter) that the report was a ‘disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk. Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves.’ … Santos seems to have learned from former President Donald Trump that when in trouble, the response is to try to discredit everyone who has exposed the problem. … In an age where lying and misinformation has become a normalized part of national politics, many observers rightly wondered if there would be any accountability. Given that Republicans can’t afford to lose any seats because of their slim hold on power, a number of House Republicans determined that protecting Santos took priority over any kind of punishment…”
One more opinion piece from the Left: The trick behind George Santos’ pledge not to run for re-election Marisa Kabas, MSNBC
Santos’s Grim Prospects
Following the release of a revealing House Ethics Committee report, a growing number of lawmakers are publicly saying will vote to expel him from Congress.
Earlier in May, a survey conducted around Santos’s favorability rating among Americans sat at 23%. Within that figure, only 7% viewed him “very favorably.” On the other hand, 53% hold him unfavorably, with 40% of respondents viewing him “very unfavorably” (Statista).
Based on the revelations of the Ethics Committee investigation, should lawmakers vote to expel Santos?
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On This Day in 1947: In a lavish wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, Princess Elizabeth marries her distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, a dashing former prince of Greece and Denmark who renounced his titles in order to marry the English princess.
Today I learned that Tootsie Rolls have been made with the same recipe since its invention in 1896, which requires the previous day's candy batch to be incorporated into each new batch. Theoretically, this means that there's a bit of the first Tootsie Roll in each piece of newly produced Tootsie Rolls every day.