Stories that would have rocked the political world in years past are now being met with yawns
WASHINGTON — If it’s Friday … Russian forces take control of Ukraine’s major nuclear power plant. … President Biden meets at the White House with the President of Finland. … Former AG Bill Barr tells NBC’s Lester Holt that Trump became furious when he was told there was no evidence the 2020 election results were fraudulent. … Senator Ben Ray Luján, DN.M., returns to work. … Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., seems retaliate to Mitch McConnell. … And Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey says no to the Arizona Senate bid.
But First: A Republican Congressman leave his re-election bid after he admitted to having an affair with a former “ISIS wife”.
A labor dispute is already interrupting Major League Baseball’s season.
And neither story got much national attention.
Friends, we are no longer in the 1990s, when sex scandals involving American politicians – big and small – rocked the political world, and when the President of the United States was speaker to save the baseball season during the 1994 strike.
Part of that is because the stakes are so high these days — pandemic, rising inflation, war in Europe — that sex scandals and work stoppages in professional sports don’t capture the public’s interest. At least not like they did decades ago.
Can you imagine President Biden, with everything going on right now, holding a press conference to try and save the MLB season?
But the other part, we think, is how desensitized we’ve become to these kinds of stories — and how we almost expect this kind of behavior. Another politician caught in a sex scandal? Ho-hum. (Although we must admit the details here raise their eyebrows.)
Wealthy sportsmen and greedy owners unable to get along? We have been here before.
Times have certainly changed.
Tweet of the day
Downloading data: The day number is … 35
This is the number of days between the stroke of Democratic New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján and the moment he back in the Senate yesterday under the cheers and hugs of his colleagues.
“It’s an absolute honor to be back,” Luján told his colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “To everyone who sent me notes, who sent me videos, all the prayers – it worked out and it’s good to be back.
Other numbers you need to know today:
$240,000: That’s the amount progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros has raised since it was clear Wednesday that she would be heading to a runoff against Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, according to a news release.
8: It’s the potential number Latino GOP congressional nominees in Texas, including six women, after Tuesday’s primaries, per Politico.
3.8%: That’s the latest unemployment rate, according to new Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday morning, up from 4% last month.
79,369,949: The number of confirmed Covid cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials.
929 004: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far.
The battle for Congress continues to escalate on the airwaves. Sen. Maggie Hassan, DN.H., plans to spend $13 million on TV ads for the general election, reports NBC’s Henry Gomez. And the American Bridge Democratic super PAC announced a $5 million investment in TV, digital and radio ads in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. The group expects to spend “eight figures” halfway through, according to a press release.
Silver also continues to flood the GOP primary airwaves. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s campaign announcement he plans to spend $4.2 million on a first TV ad buy for his primary against former senator David Perdue. The Club for Growth has earmarked nearly $1.5 million in airtime in North Carolina and $400,000 in Alabama to boost its favorite Senate candidates in each state: Representative Ted Budd, whose campaign has also booked $311,000 on ads, and rep Mo Brooks. An anti-Brooks group called Alabama’s Future earmarked $1.5 million in airtime.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail:
Governor Doug Ducey, R-Arizona, announced yesterday that he will not run for the Senate, becoming the third Republican governor to pass a Senate nomination. His decision comes after a campaign of pressure from top Republicans to take on Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.
NBC News’ Decision Desk forecast retired Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell to win the GOP primary in Texas’ dark red 8th District. Key allies of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who have backed Luttrell, have pitted against far-right lawmakers, including the House Freedom Caucus, which has backed conservative activist Christian Collins.
Facing criticism from Democrats and fellow Republicans for his 11-point policy plan, NRSC Chairman Rick Scott, R-Fla., write an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, writing, “If we have no greater plan than to be a speed bump on the road to socialism, we don’t deserve to govern.
Former Arizona GOP Rep. Matt Salmon, who is now running for governor, called on Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers to resign. Rogers, who was endorsed for re-election by former President Donald Trump and repeatedly echoed Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, spoke at that same white nationalist conference as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., spoke last weekend.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to pass Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ parliamentary and legislative redistricting maps, which will likely retain the GOP advantage.
Ad watch: Fetterman’s new TV ad
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman this week is with his first TV commercial in his campaign to become the state’s Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
“He’s a different type of character, I’ll tell you,” a voter says in the video before the narrator calls Fetterman, “A Democrat with a spine,” and points out that he “does what he does. must no matter what.”
Although the Democratic race for the U.S. Senate is competitive and includes Rep. Conor Lamb and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, Fetterman is yet to tackle opponents in his first announcement.
It’s very different from the GOP Senate primary, where TV personality Mehmet Oz and hedge fund manager David McCormick have been battling it out on the airwaves for months. Pennsylvania’s primary is scheduled for May 17.
ICYMI: What else is going on in the world?
The Florida Senate passed a 15-week abortion ban, which GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign. And the Idaho Senate passed a six-week abortion banwho will now head to the State House.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Kentucky’s attorney general can defend the state’s restrictive abortion law that the governor doesn’t want to defend. The court also rejected pressure from a terrorist detainee to find out more about his torture.
President Joe Biden has signed a bill to end the practice of forced arbitration for victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace.