Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, September 18, 2023

A loan shark who was freed from prison by Donald Trump in the last days of his presidency has been ordered to repay tens of millions of dollars to thousands of small businesses across the US. Jonathan Braun, who was serving a 10-year prison term on drug charges when Trump commuted his sentence in January 2021, is among four lenders who were ordered by a New York judge to cease all collection efforts, refund money to customers and provide a judge with a complete accounting of all funds collected over nearly a decade.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

BMW has decided to stop charging car owners a subscription fee to use their heated car seats, though the German automaker remains committed to paid on-demand services. read more

After a report called out Musk's union-busting, UAW's blue check got reinstated. read more

Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu has not been seen in public for more than two weeks. read more

The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is threatening to subpoena the Department of Veterans Affairs for detailed data on its year-old policy of providing abortions to veterans in certain cases. read more


More from the article...

... The 27-hour launch record is just the latest in a series of rapid-fire preparations that began less than a year ago, when SSC, the field command responsible for acquiring and launching space systems, awarded contracts to Millennium Space Systems and Firefly Aerospace. Millennium built the satellite, which will help the service's Space Domain Awareness mission, the manufacturer wrote in a press release, while Firefly built the launch vehicle.

In August, the two companies entered a hot standby phase' where they awaited an alert notification from Space Force that would give them 60 hours to transport the payload from the Millennium facility in El Segundo to Vandenberg 165 miles away, then test, fuel, and mate it to Firefly's Alpha launch vehicle.

That series of tasks usually takes weeks or months to complete, but the Victus Nox team completed it in just 58 hours before standing on alert as they awaited the call to launch. The previous record of 21 days was set in June 2021, when SSC launched a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket carried by a modified airliner. That mission was called Tactically Responsive Launch-2 (TacRL-2)"the general ability to rapidly launch satellites to respond to urgent operational needs is called Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS).

Now that it is deployed in low Earth orbit, the Victus Nox satellite has a deadline to begin operations within 48 hours.

The mission is a major accomplishment for SSC's Space Safari Program Office, which is charged with responding to urgent on-orbit needs, a capability space experts say needs to move faster. ...

Another view...

Iran Releases Americans in Deal Aimed at Easing Mideast Tensions

... As part of the swap, the Biden administration is releasing five Iranians held in US custody. But the most controversial element was the US move to allow Iran to access $6 billion in oil revenue that had been frozen in South Korean banks due to sanctions.

The US says that money can be used solely for food, medicine and other humanitarian purposes, but Iran has said it can spend the funds as it wishes. In any case, critics in Washington contend it will free up funds Iran can spend on what they call its malign activity in the region.

The moves follow months of mostly secret diplomacy between Tehran and Washington, with talks conducted via interlocutors such as Oman and Qatar.

Although US officials have said there's no bigger deal in the works, they've also said that freeing the prisoners removes at least one obstacle to broader diplomacy aimed at restoring limits on Iran's nuclear program. ...

How GOP pressured Texas senators over Paxton's impeachment trial

... Following a secret campaign coordinated by top Trump allies, Texas state senators yesterday acquitted Attorney General Ken Paxton of all impeachment charges, allowing him to return to his post.

- - - Why it matters: The allegations against Paxton, a close ally of former President Trump, bitterly divided the Texas GOP, Jay R. Jordan of Axios Houston and Nicole Cobler of Axios Austin report.

Behind the scenes: National Republicans organized an under-the-radar campaign of outside conservative pressure on the Texas senators designed to neutralize mainstream media coverage, top strategists tell me.

- - - This outside unofficial team operated independently of the Paxton legal operation " like "a super PAC without the money," a top GOP strategist said.

- - - Pro-Paxton forces also paid social media influencers to defend the attorney general.

The team had a "very well-defined target audience ... no different than a confirmation battle," the strategist said.

- - - After winning, Paxton tweeted his thanks to the conservative news outlet National Pulse, a valued player in the under-the-radar drive. ...

@#24 ... Semite also means of Arabic ancestry. There is actually not much difference between Jewish and Arabic people, genetically. ...


... Semitic describes a group of languages -- including Hebrew and Arabic -- as well as the people who traditionally speak them.

Semitic is rooted in the Biblical name Shem, the son of Noah, who is traditionally thought of as the direct ancestor of the Jews and Arabs. While the word is often thought of as another term for "Jewish," this is just one of a larger group of people who fall into the category. As well as Arabic and Hewbrew, Semitic languages also include dozens of ancient ones, including Phoenician and Aramic, and modern languages such as Maltese. ...


Starbucks and Turn Systems' reusable cup pilot aims for waste reduction (August 2023)

... This is the coffee giant's largest reusables test program so far, and findings could pave the way for a fully scaled, permanent program. ...

So... something real?

Or just another way to profit off of Starbuck's apparently caffeine-addicted customers?

imo, too soon to tel, but worth watching.


Another view...

GOP Rep. Buck condemns his party's impeachment effort against Biden

... Republicans "itching" to impeach President Biden are "relying on an imagined history," Rep. Ken Buck wrote in an op-ed criticizing his own party and the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, of which he is a member. ...

Lotsa links in the article, as usual with axios.com.

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