Levin Report: Disney Pulls $1 Billion Investment From Florida, Asks Ron DeSantis If He’s Thirsty for More
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Disney Pulls $1 Billion Investment From Florida, Asks Ron DeSantis If He’s Thirsty for More
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When Ron DeSantis went after Disney for having the temerity to speak out against his bigoted “Don’t Say Gay” law, stripping the theme park of its self-governing status and installing his own hand-selected board of conservatives to run its oversight board, he clearly thought, as many a petty tyrant in his position would, that he was going to crush the company, and prevent it from ever crossing him again. But as Disney has made incredibly clear, ole Ronny-boy thought wrong!
Less than a month after suing the Florida governor and accusing him of waging a “targeted campaign of government retaliation,” Disney on Thursday pulled out of a roughly $1 billion investment in the state. It had been set to build an office complex in Orlando, which“would have brought more than 2,000 Disney jobs to the region, with $120,000 as the average salary,” TheNew York Times reported, citing an estimate from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. That’s the sort of thing most local politicians love, but apparently, for DeSantis, making sure teachers can’t say the word gay in front of students was more important. In an email to employees seen by the Times,Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park and consumer products chairman, said, “changing business conditions” was the reason the project was being cancelled, adding, “I remain optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business.” He also noted that the company still plans to spend $17 billion on construction at Disney World over the next decade—and create an estimated $13,000 jobs— but caveated it with “I hope we’re able to.” Which, it would seem, was a clear message to the governor that some or all of it could go away if he doesn’t stop f–king around.
Last month, after DeSantis publicly mused about building a prison complex next to the Orlando theme park, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie opined: “Where are we headed here now, that if you express disagreement in this country, the government is allowed to punish you? To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did.” (Christie obviously did not mention his own alleged brush with retaliating against people who have differing opinions.) In its lawsuit, Disney wrote: “In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.”
A spokesman for DeSantis told the Times in an email: “Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project, and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition. Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.”
Should DeSantis elaborate further, we presume it will be to say something DeSantis-esque like, “There are plenty of other companies who want to do business in Florida who don’t support indoctrinating children.”
George Santos’s (Now Ex) Comms Director Also Thinks He Should Be Kicked Out of Congress
Meanwhile, the lawmaker has doubled down on his refusal to resign, despite that 13-count indictment.
Report: The National Archives is set to hand over some pretty damning evidence in the Trump classified-docs case
When we last checked in on the government’s criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office, things did not appear to be going great for the former guy. For one, we learned last month that the Justice Department had uncovered “significant” evidence that Trump may have obstructed justice, which the ghost of Richard Nixon will tell you is never a good thing. For another, “nearly everyone” who works at Mar-a-Lago—the place where he was stashing the majority of the classified docs—has been subpoenaed by prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith. And now, according to a new report, the shit has continued to hit the fan.
The National Archives and Records Administration, according to multiple sources who spoke to CNN, is “set to hand over to special counsel Jack Smith 16 records that show Trump and his top advisers had knowledge of the correct declassification process while he was president.” In a letter sent to Trump on Tuesday, NARA’s acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall wrote, “The 16 records in question all reflect communications involving close presidential advisers, some of them directed to you personally, concerning whether, why, and how you should declassify certain classified records.”
Why is this bad news for the former POTUS? Because ever since the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago last year—and found more than 100 classified documents that were not supposed to be there, and which Team Trump had falsely claimed in a certification had been turned over—Trump has claimed that he had the power to declassify them without going through the proper protocols or even mentioning anything to anyone. He’s said this on numerous occasions, but most notably when he told Sean Hannity he could declassify classified documents…with his mind. (Actual quote: “There doesn’t have to be a process [to declassify], as I understand it…if you’re the president of the United States you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it…. There can be a process but there doesn’t have to be.”)
More recently, at last week’s disastrous CNN town hall, he falsely claimed to moderator Kaitlan Collins that government procedure allowed him to take whatever he wanted from the White House—and in doing so, the items in question were automatically declassified.
“I had every right to under the Presidential Records Act,” Trump told Collins when she asked him why he took documents after he left office. “You have the Presidential Records Act. I was there and I took what I took and it gets declassified.” (To be clear, that is not how any of this works.) Last year, following the raid, Trump also took to claiming that he had a “standing order” to declassify documents—but more than a dozen administration officials said they knew nothing of said standing order, and that such a notion was “ludicrous,” “ridiculous,” and a “complete fiction.”
Anyway, as CNN notes, the 16 records NARA is preparing for Smith “may provide critical evidence establishing the former president’s awareness of the declassification process, a key part of the criminal investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents.” The records could also help reveal “whether he willfully disregarded what he knew to be clearly established protocols,” according to an individual “familiar with recent testimony provided to the grand jury by former top Trump officials.” Which is probably why, per Wall’s letter, Trump previously tried to block the special counsel from accessing the 16 documents in question. (In her letter, Wall informed the ex-president that Smith’s office has said it “is prepared to demonstrate with specificity to a court, why it is likely that the 16 records contain evidence that would be important to the grand jury’s investigation.”)
The records are set to be handed over on May 24, unless Trump gets a court to block them. And if we know the former guy—and we think we do—he’s quite obviously going to try.
Marjorie Taylor Greene simultaneously insists she’s not a white supremacist while claiming to feel threatened by a Black man (whom she was smiling at and laughing with yesterday)
Jamaal Bowman’s response to her “reckless” and “dangerous” remarks: “She knows what she’s doing”
Ted Cruz says a trans person in a beer commercial is as dangerous to kids as cigarettes
Lots of questions here, including: WTF is Ted Cruz on?
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