A Koch and A Smile

Nikki Haley has gas, and Gavin has a Nuisance. Here's the most important news from this week.

A Koch and A Smile
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Hey Friends,

For the last 20 years or so, my favorite Peter Gabriel song has been “In the House of Stone and Light” by Martin Page.

But Martin Page is not Peter Gabriel.

This is my apology to both of them.

Let's get to The News.

Hot Takes

Week 48 of 2023

Now We're Koching With Gas

Nikki Haley got a boost of support in word and in deed from the political group founded by the Koch brothers. The billionaires known for gasoline are giving Nikki's campaign some of her own, which means, at least for now, she'll be walking on higher heels than ever, and what's bad for her Achilles tendon is good for her campaign. Since the news, Haley has climbed in the headlines, but we haven't seen it in the polls yet. She stands at 10% in the average polls against Desantis, who has had a steady decline to get to 13%. Trump still sits at 60% while he awaits trial for something like 91 things.

For Nikki, this means all she has to do to win the nomination is multiply her polling numbers by roughly 600% and try not to be "nasty" (because we already know Donald will make a meme out of her if he has to do so to win.) My top recommendations are to stay out of jail and keep that palate hydrated, two things that may help to differentiate her from her two opponents. (more)

Ron, on the other hand, might want to sit back and have some free pizza on television because he's got a better chance of getting coal-fired endorsement deals than he does getting a chair in the Oval Office.

At 60% in the polls, it still seems possible that we could see our first president on house arrest, confined to the White House with an ankle monitor. For now, he's a free man with a collection of gag orders. (more)

Gavin's Nuisance

California Governor Gavin Newsome is not running for president, and you can tell because he's going on Fox News to defend his record. He even joined a prime-time debate against Florida Governor Ron Desantis, moderated by Sean Hannity. Sean already put Gavin to the test after the last Republican debate in an interview where he was grilled on topics ranging from California gas prices to building wildlife crossings, and I’d say Gavin handled Sean just fine. The debate, which aired last night, aimed to show voters who has better hair and a better state since, as it stands now, they aren't competing for anything else.

With Ron's polling challenges and his bout with chapped lips on the cold Iowa campaign trail, I can understand why he is running against someone who is not running for president instead of one of his actual opponents. The prime-time Fox News debate gives them both face time with countless retirees and conspiracy theorists across the US and people who will be voting for Trump come jail or high water. (more)

Cop Out 28

Biden won’t be going to the annual climate change summit, which is normally a presidential thing to do, but he sends his love. Instead, he’ll be focusing on breaking in some new slippers at the White House and keeping up with his regimented doses of Centrum Silver and Werther’s Originals.

Back in my day, we didn't have Cop28 conferences. We just burned coal, ate 16-ounce steaks, and had women do the dishes, but in today's new world, whole countries get together to make plans on how we're going to keep the Earth from going to hell (which is at the center of the Earth, according to Google Maps). This seems like a good idea, but if you ask most experts, you'll find that the one thing the conference has not been able to accomplish is "anything" but specifically, reducing the greatest cause of climate change: carbon emissions from energy. This time around, on the first day, world leaders created a fund to help poor countries address climate disasters, which is a big win.

The conference, hosted in Dubai, started yesterday and will last for two weeks. The event will host heavy hitters like British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, King Charles, and the pope. I'm not going to say that Biden was "big leaguing" these guys, but his team says he's "too busy," and the demands of the war in Israel and the upcoming election have required his time. Personally, I understand. I know Father President needs his naps. (more)


Several hostages have been released in a truce deal that started with a four-day pause last weekend and has since been extended multiple times, including yet again attempts to extend it into this weekend. It's a perfect time to exchange hostages, bring much-needed aid, and say see, I told you so. The good news is that many "very liberal" Palestinian activists and Harvard Students have gotten the ceasefire they asked for.

We've been dealing with the same issue for something like 3,000 years, but this particular ceasefire has been more successful than the many past ceasefires between Palestinian and Israeli powers. Israel has said that it would continue to agree to a ceasefire as long as Hamas continues to release hostages and Ivy League students let them do their jobs. (more)

Hey! Musk Be the Money!

Elon Musk went to Israel to meet with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu this week, perhaps to combat accusations of antisemitism after responding to a tweet that led to several advertisers ending their spending with his social media site X (formerly known as "X, formerly known as Twitter").

Musk posted that "actions speak louder than words" on X just as he broadcasted a brief interview with Netanyahu talking about the war and the country's approach to it. According to those familiar with the matter, Musk claims no advertisers pressured him to conduct his trip to Israel and also said to drink Coca-Cola and enjoy the crisp taste you love with the Coca-Cola® Value Collection. Discover the collection today online and use the discount code "musk." (more)

Given the Finger

A woman is suing the Chop't salad chain because she was chewing on a portion of a human finger mixed into her arugula, causing the guest “severe and serious personal injuries, including shock, panic attacks, migraine and the exacerbation of migraine, cognitive impairment, traumatic stress and anxiety, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and neck and shoulder pain.” Clearly, that’s a lot of finger-pointing, but the employee that chop’t one off is probably having a slightly worse day than her. And seriously, some Takes write themselves. (more)

The Kiss of Death

Henry Kissinger, the diplomat and political consultant who advised 12 US presidents, died at 100 years old. Some thought he was brilliant for his cunning way of advancing US interests, while others are dancing on his grave because of his reputation of forsaking human rights to do so. (more)

That's it for this week.

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