Joe Biden’s 2024 Menu: The Rich.

President Joe Biden on Thursday rolled out his proposed budget for fiscal 2024, an ambitious plan that would raise taxes on the rich and on corporations while expanding the social safety net. It would cut nearly $3 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade by imposing a 25 percent minimum tax on the richest Americans. If you want to read the entire 185-page document, have at it!

Of course, it also won’t do a single bit of that, because Republicans won’t pass any of the major parts of the plan, particularly not the tax increases, but also not the social safety net parts like paid family leave, childcare, or Biden’s plan to rescue the Medicare trust fund for at least 25 years.

Not a bit of it will become law except the most routine keep-things-as-they-are parts, which will no doubt end up in yet another omnibus spending bill passed barely in time to avoid a government shutdown. If then. Oh, also, the part that increases defense spending by about 3.2 percent, to over $835 billion, will probably do just fine. But whatever defense budget eventually passes in the fall won’t be accompanied by the tax increases that would make the expenditures slightly less odious.

So why even offer a budget that’s not going to get passed by Congress? For starters, presidents have to submit a budget request in early February (traditionally by the first Monday, but everything moves slow these days) to get the process rolling, and the budget reflects the administration’s priorities, even if the opposition is able to block them. Also, let’s remember that Donald Trump’s budgets, which zeroed out entire federal agencies, were entirely exercises in rightwing fantasy. And yet somehow we still have the National Endowment for the Arts.

So sure, a federal budget is mostly aspirational, and this year, Biden’s budget serves two practical purposes: It sets out markers for where he wants his government to go in a second term (you know, if he runs), and it’s also an opening bid in the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. Republicans say they want to cut federal spending because the deficits are too high, and Biden’s budget is over here saying “Yeah? You show me how you’d reduce the deficit by $3 trillion in 10 years, ya mooks.”

Former Obama administration official Kenneth Baer, who served in the Office of Management and Budget, explained to the Washington Post,

“As one of the people who has spent many a long night writing and editing a budget, I take umbrage at the people who say it’s a meaningless document. It’s not a meaningless document. […] It sets the terms of the debate. It shows what’s important to you, your commitments and what you really want.”

So let’s take a look at what’s in this thing and what that says about what Joe Biden wants.

The Rich Still Need To Be Eaten

Speaking at a union hall in Philadelphia yesterday, Biden emphasized that his third budget proposal is aimed at “investing in America and all of America,” because “Too many people have been left behind and treated like they’re invisible. Not anymore. I promise I see you.”

To that end, the $6.8 trillion budget plan (over 10 years) includes about $5 trillion in tax increases on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, most of which will go to cover new programs that Biden has previously put forward but that haven’t yet been enacted.

Some specific tax increase proposals may sound familiar because some of them were in the original version of Build Back Better, but were removed after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Donald Trump’s 2017 Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads couldn’t be reversed, not even a little.

  • Raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which would still be lower than the 35 percent rate prior to Trump’s 2017 cuts. It would also raise the tax rate on foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent, to reduce the incentive for companies to move operations out of the USA.
  • Repeal Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans by returning the top marginal tax rate to 39.7 percent from the current 37 percent. This would affect taxpayers making $400,000 a year for individuals, or $450,000 married filing jointly.
  • Tax capital gains the same as income for people making over $1 million, and close the carried interest loopholefor chrissakes finally.
  • Increase the surtax on corporate stock buybacks from one percent to four percent
  • A new minimum tax on billionaires, assessing a 25 percent minimum tax on all income of the wealthiest tenth of one percent of Americans. That’s a follow-up to the minimum corporate tax that was included in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Raise Medicare taxes on those making more than $400,000 a year, and make more types of income eligible for Medicare taxation. We detailed that plan right here. Medicare would also be able to negotiate prices on more prescription drugs sooner, creating additional savings that would go to the Medicare trust fund.

Nice Things We Need

The budget also includes some domestic programs that were good ideas when they were proposed in Build Back Better, and were still good ideas when Joe Manchin demanded they be removed from Build Back Better. A few have been downsized for the budget plan, which also adds some items that weren’t in BBB.

  • Restore the enhanced child tax credit and make it permanent. Hell yes. It markedly reduced child poverty in the US, and it’s damn near criminal that it was allowed to lapse. Also way better for America’s children than allowing them to work in meatpacking plants.
  • College affordability. The budget calls for higher maximum awards for Pell grants and for a $500 million grant program to make two years of community college free — not quite the full free community college program Biden originally ran on.
  • Universal Pre-K and affordable child care. Not quite the full programs proposed in Build Back Better, but as CNN summarizes, this would fund “a new federal-state partnership program that would provide universal, free preschool. The spending plan would also increase funding for existing federal early care and education programs.”
  • Paid family and medical leave — another big priority that still needs doing. 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; for fuckssake let’s get this done. Yeah, in 2025 after we retake the House and expand the Senate majority.
  • More free school meals. During the pandemic, we gave every kid eat. The Biden budget would provide $15 billion to enable wider free lunches, though hey, since it’s a wish list, why not just say we want universal free school lunch? Kids learn better if they’re not hungry.
  • Make the IRA’s Obamacare subsidies permanent. The enhanced premium subsidies, which started out as part of the American Rescue Plan, have helped reduce the percentage of Americans without healthcare coverage to record lows. But they’re set to expire in 2025.
  • Reduce maternal mortality. It’s still a crisis, with far greater rates of maternal mortality for Black women than for white women. The budget calls for $471 million in funding to expand maternal health care, particularly in rural areas. It would also require all states to provide Medicaid postpartum care for 12 months instead of the current 60 days.
  • $35 per month insulin for all Americans. It was included in the IRA for folks on Social Security, so let’s make that the standard for those on private insurance or who have no insurance at all. It’s literally a matter of life or death.
  • Lower prescription drug prices for seniors. The IRA put a $2000 cap annual on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries (going into effect in 2025). Biden wants to further limit copays for generic prescription drugs for chronic conditions to $2.

Yes, We Still Need Climate Spending

While the Inflation Reduction Act was the biggest American investment ever in fighting the climate emergency, Biden’s budget proposal also recognizes that there’s a lot more that needs doing, so it calls for still more funding to move America closer to reaching our Paris climate agreement goals. We want to wrap this sucker up, but take a look at this CNBC piece for more details on how the budget would expand our transition to clean power and cutting carbon emissions. Among the basics:

$24 billion for climate resilience and conservation

$16.5 billion for climate science and clean energy innovation

$6.5 billion for energy storage and transmission projects

$4.5 billion for jobs building clean energy infrastructure

$3 billion for advancing adaptation finance

$1.8 billion for environmental justice initiatives

$1.2 billion for the Energy Department’s industrial decarbonization activities

Want even more info? I’m leaving a tab open with the White House fact sheet on the budget’s climate priorities, because this is what the agenda for keeping the planet habitable should look like.

So those are some darn good priorities — and a blueprint for the 2024 campaign, too.

And now, back to two years of hearings on Twitter and Hunter’s laptop. Total waste of time, but they may help make a very strong case for not letting Republicans anywhere near power again.

[2024 Budget of the US Government / WaPo / CNBC / NYT / CNBC]

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Gosh, Wonder Why Arizona’s Republican AG Sat On Report Showing No Vote Fraud?

As yet another regular reminder that you should never trust Republicans when their lips are moving (or at any other time), the Washington Post reports (free gift linky) that former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ordered his staff to do a comprehensive investigation back in 2021 of claims of fraud and irregularities and shenanigans and HOOPLA in Arizona’s administration of the 2020 election. So how did that turn out, exactly?

Investigators prepared a report in March 2022 stating that virtually all claims of error and malfeasance were unfounded, according to internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post. Brnovich, a Republican, kept it private.

Instead of releasing the full report that debunked the Big Lie many Arizona Republicans fervently believed in, and ran on in the midterms, Brnovich issued a bogus “Interim Report” that just plain lied about the investigation, claiming it turned up “serious vulnerabilities” in Arizona’s election processes.

Oh, yes, it gets worse, too: not only did that “interim” report leave out “edits from his own investigators refuting his assertions,” Brnovich then sat on a second report from his investigators in September last year, an “Election Review Summary” that once again “systematically refuted accusations of widespread fraud and made clear that none of the complaining parties — from state lawmakers to self-styled ‘election integrity’ groups — had presented any evidence to support their claims.”

Brnovich never released it. It only came to light after Arizona voters elected Democrat Kris Mayes to replace Brnovich. Mayes released the documents to the Post this week in response to a request from the paper. The Post notes that Mayes “said she considered the taxpayer-funded investigation closed[.]” Hooray for sunshine!

The story also says Mayes has let leaders in Maricopa County know the state is no longer investigating the county’s election processes. Wingnut World has focused much of its rage on Maricopa, since it’s the state’s most populous, and is where all those liberal RINO city slickers who think they’re better than you obviously rigged the election for Biden. How could a large, diverse metro area possibly have voted blue without cheating?

Trump-endorsed dipshit Kari Lake has also accused Maricopa County officials of cheating her out of a win in the governor’s race last fall, either by incompetence or outright theft.

The Post explains that Brnovich advanced bullshit claims about the 2020 vote in Maricopa “that his own staff considered inaccurate.” As the story puts it as delicately as possible, the documents also “suggest” that Brnovich and his team “privately disregarded fact checks provided by state investigators while publicly promoting incomplete accounts of the office’s work.”

The story paints Brnovich as a wishy-washy mainstreamish Republican who immediately after the election said Trump lost, and even stood up to Trump’s attempts to get the vote thrown out. But in the run-up to last year’s GOP primary for US Senate, which he lost to eventual nominee Blake Masters, Brnovich tried playing in the MAGA sandbox.

On wingnut radio, Brnovich promoted his bullshit “interim report” — the one prepared after the real report found no evidence of fraud — and hinted that “It’s frustrating for all of us, because I think we all know what happened in 2020.”

That interim report was red meat to election deniers, who were certain it was proof of rampant cheating. Delivering it to then-state Senate President Karen Fann (R), Brnovich wrote in a cover letter that investigators had found “problematic system-wide issues that relate to early ballot handling and verification.”

No they hadn’t. They wrote on a draft of the letter that “We did not uncover any criminality or fraud having been committed in this area during the 2020 general election.”

For some dark depressing larffs, see the full draft of the “interim report” (no paywall) with portions of Brnovich’s text highlighted in yellow and the investigators’ NO WE DID NOT, FUCKSTICK replies in blue. For instance, Brnovich suggests maybe Maricopa County didn’t do a very good job of verifying signatures on mail-in ballots. There’s a note politely pointing out that the county hired a handwriting expert to train staff, and that they had a process to escalate iffy cases for further review. Brnovich claimed Maricopa County didn’t always reply to requests for records. The staff said YEAH THEY DID, YOU PUKE (a loose paraphrase).

Surprise, surprise: hardly any of their notes made it into the revision.

In September last year, a bit more than a month after Brnovich lost the Senate primary to Masters, Brnovich’s investigators wrote up an eight-page memo titled “Election Review Summary” that explained they received 638 complaints about the 2020 election, of which 430 were worth investigating. (The memo doesn’t say what sort of complaints they rejected; we’ll just speculate that any claims Maricopa County was infested with communists, demons, and pedophiles weren’t given too much credence. But there we go making up excuses for the cover-up.)

Out of the 430 investigations, just 22 cases went to prosecutors, and a whopping two cases of felons who voted illegally ended in convictions. The investigators also noted that “high profile allegations” of widespread fraud by groups like Cyber Ninjas, True the Vote, and from various politicians didn’t amount to a hill of beans. Cyber Ninjas, the outfit that did the months-long fraudit of Maricopa ballots, claimed to have turned up a long list of allegedly dead voters whose votes were counted, but “no one on the list of dead voters was dead, nor had they voted.”

And so on.

Mark Finchem, the Trump-endorsed election denier who lost his bid for secretary of state, claimed an unnamed “source” tipped him off to 30,000 fake votes in Pima County, home to Tucson, but he curiously didn’t tell the investigators this, “specifically stating he did not have any evidence of fraud and he did not wish to take up our time.” Finchem did provide four absentee ballots that had been sent to people who had moved from the addresses where they were sent, but the memo notes that the Postal Service doesn’t forward ballots, the envelopes weren’t opened, and Maricopa County hadn’t received any change of address information from the voters who’d moved. Fraud!

Again, Brnovich never made public any of these findings, even though the real report was ready in plenty of time for the midterms, in which virtually all the statewide Republican candidates promoted lies about massive fraud in 2020. Might have been useful information for voters, as Mayes, the new AG, pointed out:

“The people of Arizona had a right to know this information before the 2022 election,” Mayes said in an interview. “Maricopa County election officials had a right to know that they were cleared of wrongdoing. And every American had a right to know that the 2020 election in Arizona, which in part decided the presidency, was conducted accurately and fairly.”

Mayes has pledged to refocus the AG office’s “election integrity” task force. Under Brnovich, it had been sent to look for election fraud, and found practically none. Mayes thinks it would be a much better use of taxpayer funds for her office to ensure people are all able to vote, so the task force will now be weeding out illegal barriers to voting.

God damn, we love a happy ending.

[WaPo (gift link) / Photo (cropped): Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Checks & Imbalances: Trump’s Tower Of Lies, Pompeo’s Book Sales

Today we look at two Republicans who have announced they are running for president, as well as a third who is expected to do the same.

This is the web edition of the free Checks & Imbalances newsletter, sent to inboxes on Fridays. You can subscribe here. Please support this work, if you can, by subscribing to Forbes.

Donald Trump Has Been Lying About Trump Tower For Decades

“As the former president tries to fend off authorities, new revelations about Trump Tower suggest that the building is—and always was—something of a fraud,” reports Dan Alexander.

Our latest look at Trump Tower uncovered three new revelations:

– Property records show that Trump has been lying about the financial performance of the building since it first opened in 1983.

– Tax and lending documents indicate that Trump lied about the square footage of the office and retail space at the base of the property (not to be confused with his lying about size of the penthouse atop the building, which Forbes previously exposed).

– Portions of a 2015 audio recording, released here for the first time, prove that Trump was personally involved in the efforts to lie about the value of Trump Tower’s commercial space.

Watch: Senior editor Dan Alexander joins Brittany Lewis to discuss this story.

Tip Me

Any tips or suggestions? Email me at [email protected], call/SMS/Signal 202.804.2744, use Forbes’ SecureDrop or send us a letter. Follow me on Mastodon at @[email protected]. Thanks!

Mike Pompeo’s PAC Spent $42,000 On Books The Day His Memoir Was Published. It Became A Bestseller.

Mike Pompeo’s political action committee shelled out $42,000 on books the day his memoir hit bookshelves, according to a filing submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

“Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” came out on Jan. 24. That same day, Champion American Values, a PAC that Pompeo chairs, paid $42,000 for “mementos—books,” according to the filing.

Pompeo’s memoir debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction. Three weeks later, it remains in the rankings at No. 10. The Times notes that retailers reported bulk orders of “Never Give An Inch.”

Pompeo is not a candidate for federal office, so he is allowed to personally profit when his PAC buys his book with donors’ funds, according to Brett Kappel, an attorney specializing in campaign finance at Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg.

Spokespeople for Champion American Values did not immediately respond to inquiries.

In addition to paying back an advance or earning royalties, politicians can benefit in other ways when their political committees buy their books. Publishers might be more likely to strike deals with politicians in the first place, knowing they have donor funds they can tap into for a bulk purchase. And purchases from retailers, even in bulk, can help a book reach the best-seller list, a marketing coup.

Pompeo’s PAC used the Times’ ranking to emphasize his book’s appeal. “Even the New York Times admits that my new book is a must-read!,” Pompeo says in a $400 Facebook ad campaign that started on Feb. 14. The Times did not review Pompeo’s book, suggesting that Pompeo was referring to its position on the best-seller list.

Other politicians have used their PAC funds to buy their own memoirs. In November, former Vice President Mike Pence’s Great America Committee spent $91,000 on his book at a New York City retailer. Unlike Pompeo though, when Pence’s memoir hit the best-seller list, the Times did not indicate any bulk orders.

Bankman-Fried Hit With Four New Criminal Charges Alleging Illegal Political Donations And Bank Fraud

“Former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of befallen crypto exchange FTX, has been charged with four new criminal counts including allegations of illegal political donations and bank fraud, an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court revealed on Thursday—tacking on to the eight charges already facing the former wunderkind as he gears up for trial later this year,” reports Jonathan Ponciano.

In a superseding indictment unveiled Thursday, prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried used billions of dollars in customer funds to fund speculative venture investments and try to purchase influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington, D.C. by steering tens of millions of dollars of illegal campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans.

The new counts include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, operate an unlicensed money transmitter, make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission.

Republican Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Sells $32 Million Of Biotech Firm’s Stock

“On Wednesday GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy sold 4 million shares in biotech firm Roivant Sciences at a price of $7.95 per share for a total of $32 million, netting him an estimated $24.2 million in after-tax proceeds,” reports John Hyatt.

The stock sale, reported in a regulatory filing, came one day after Ramaswamy announced his longshot bid for the Republican presidential candidacy with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal and an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show…

Ramaswamy’s stock sale proceeds may go towards funding his presidential campaign. (He could not be reached for comment as of press time.) In recent days the biotech entrepreneur has been barnstorming across New Hampshire speaking about climate change, China and other campaign themes.

Not that Ramaswamy wants to make a habit of self funding. The filing reporting his Roivant stock sale came with a footnote that says, “The reporting person does not expect to sell additional shares of the Issuer [Roivant] for the foreseeable future.”

Tracking Trump

“Two pregnant women, a heart attack sufferer and a woman who needed airlifting to a hospital after a stroke were amongst hundreds victims of an alleged $4 million fraud perpetrated by a Christian ministry offering an Obamacare alternative, according to the FBI,” reports Thomas Brewster.

Members of the Medical Cost Sharing (MCS) ministry had been promised their medical bills would be covered in return for a monthly contribution. Those membership fees were to be “shared” with a network of “like-minded” Christians, in what appeared to be a legitimate faith-based nonprofit, effectively crowdfunding insurance and charitably disbursing money when claimants required aid. But clients claimed they were denied coverage for reasons they couldn’t grasp and left with thousands in unpaid medical bills, according to an FBI search warrant. The feds claim it was part of a fraud, one that saw the business owners—Missouri-based Craig Reynolds and James McGinnis—pocket $4 million of $7.5 million in membership payments, of which only $250,000 (3.2%) went on medical expenses. The feds say the organization has become even stingier in recent years, distributing no money whatsoever to members since 2021…

Meanwhile, according to investigators, Reynolds and McGinnis have enjoyed the fruits of their illicit labor, taking money out of MCS accounts to the point where the nonprofit didn’t have enough funds to cover claimants, the DOJ said in a complaint. Feds claimed the membership fees were used, among other things, to pay for a holiday to Mexico, various vehicles and a $300 gift to a Donald Trump political action committee.


“Take a wild guess as to who’s providing ‘Trump Water’ to residents of East Palestine, Ohio. And take a wild guess as to who’s told everyone about it. Well, you probably don’t need 45 guesses. The answer to both of these questions was the 45th U.S. President and current Mar-a-Lago resident Donald Trump,” reports Bruce Y. Lee.


Kari Lake, an Arizona Republican who lost her gubernatorial run, returned to Mar-a-Lago last week, according to an Instagram post.


Steve Wynn, a casino mogul who resigned from his company after accusations of sexual misconduct (he denied the allegations), appeared at a second Trump property in the past month.


Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares will headline the 6th Annual Loudoun Conservative Gala on April 29 at Trump’s Virginia golf club. Tickets are $150.


The Hispanic Police Officers Association of Dade County commemorated President’s Day by sharing a photograph of the group’s president at Trump’s Miami resort.


Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed at Mar-a-Lago last weekend during the wedding reception of major Republican donor Adam Kidan. Trump attended the event.

Across Forbes

In Closing

It’s all right, it’s okay

And you may look the other way

We can try to understand

The New York Times’ effect on man

— Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive”

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If this thread about why America is REALLY helping Ukraine is true at ALL it’s HUGE (back to Obama?!)

Every once in a while we come across a thread that while we can neither confirm nor deny if it’s true, we feel like our readers might want to take a look and decide for themselves. This thread from user Clandestine (who has 150k followers) is one of those threads.

Again, we can’t tell you if this is what’s happened or what is happening for sure but you guys … woof.

Take a gander.

Get some popcorn.

Trust us.

Nearly 20 years ago.

Keep going.

Seems they always change their tune when it might prove Republicans were right about something.

But wait, there’s more.

In Ukraine.


You guys remember all of this, right?

Good times.

Now, THIS we remember because Biden has bragged about it on numerous occasions.

*adjusts tinfoil hat, twice*

This just gets worse and worse.

Still there?

Sounds crazy, right? But if true? Yikes.

There’s a numbering thing here but we think this is in order.

Could this be true?


Could parts of it be true?


Could it be false? Eh … truth is usually stranger than fiction so we shall see.



It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Chinese spy balloon and LOL there’s something written on the side

AOC brings a knife to a gun-fight with Marjorie Taylor Greene and it like goes SOOO wrong for her

Pfizer dir. who lost it when confronted by James O’Keefe admits #Pfertility issues with vaccine (watch)


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Will Britain become a republic, or keep the royal family?

When the Sex Pistols released ‘God Save the Queen’ in 1977 it certainly ruffled a few feathers.

The anti-establishment anthem — which blasted the “fascist regime” of Elizabeth II — was banned by the BBC, while the tabloid press accused the punks of treason, calling for them to be hung.

But Britain is a different place than it was when the single came out.

This year marks a watershed for the country, as a new monarch will be crowned for the first time in 70 years.

King Charles III will ascend to the throne amid a weekend of pomp and pageantry; ancient religious rites and a concert featuring today’s global music stars.

Support for the monarchy stayed fairly constant in the months before the Queen’s death last year, and in the months since, according to YouGov: with around 60% of people in favour of keeping the monarchy, and 25% in favour of abolishing it.

There may well be a “coronation boost” for the institution of the monarchy in springtime, but the long term trends show a clear loss of support for the royals over the years among members of the public, with increased numbers of people wanting the ancient institution swept aside and replaced with a republic.

In 1983, some 86% of Britons believed the monarchy was “very” or “quite” important. By 2021, this had slumped to 55%, with 25% saying it was “not at all important” or should be abolished, according to the British Social Attitudes survey.

A string of scandals have fuelled these republican rumblings, including Prince Andrew’s alleged sexual relations with minors, then Prince Charles accepting “bags of cash” for honours and the ongoing public spat between Harry, Meghan, and the rest of the family.

‘Ingrained deference’

While even the most ardent anti-royals would perhaps concede a grudging respect for the late Queen Elizabeth and her life of service to the country and Commonwealth; but for most republicans, it does not matter who the head of state is.

“Republicanism about the type of society we want to have in Britain,” Ken Ritchie from Labour for Republic told Euronews. “The monarchy represents elitism. A society in which rank and status are important and where your position is entirely dependent on the circumstances of your birth.”

“Surely in the 21st century, this ought to be wrong”, he said.

The overall wealth of Britain’s royal family is hard to gauge due to the opaque nature of its finances. In 2015, a Reuters analysis suggested it had nominal assets worth almost 23 billion pounds at the time.

However, republican criticism of the monarchy’s riches goes further, drawing attention to its relationship to the British Empire.

“A lot of their wealth was extracted through colonialism and indeed slavery,” said Ritchie. “This is no longer the sort of country we want to be.”

“The monarchy is much grander, much more extravagant, much more expensive than the others in Europe,” he added. “I suspect that stems back to the idea that Britain was the centre of an empire spanning the world.”

While the monarchy is symbolic of British history, others question how much the royal family directly profited from colonialism.

What’s the situation like in other European countries?

Britain is not the only European country with an active discussion about the role of the royal family.

In the Netherlands, a poll carried out for King’s Day in April 2022 showed 71% support for the monarchy and 29% support for a republic — a few percentage points more support for republicanism than in the UK, but a much stronger support support for the royals.

Meanwhile in Denmark — where Queen Margrethe is Europe’s longest-reigning monarch, and recently celebrated 50 years on the throne — a February 2022 poll showed almost 77% of people supported a Danish monarchy, while just 14.6% of people wanted the Nordic nation to become a republic.

And in Spain, where a series of financial and personal scandals has rocked the House of Bourbon in recent years, an October 2020 poll found that 40.9% of Spaniards favoured replacing King Felipe and Queen Letizia in favour of a republic; while 34.9% of people said they supported keeping the royal family.

The sprawling fortunes of Britain’s royals are not the only gripe of anti-monarchists. It’s also what they call the “inequality of power” that comes with it.

Professor Richard Toye, a historian at Exeter University, criticised the “democratic deficit” of having such “an important public position which is hereditary”, calling it “surprising and problematic” in a country styling itself as a democracy.

This shadowy power fuels “worries about the ways in which monarchs, although they’re supposed to be neutral, actually end up wielding influence over politics”, he added.

In 2021, the late Queen was accused of lobbying government to protect her private wealth from new transparency laws, while other members of her family have allegedly applied pressure to get financial advantages.

“They are simply preserving their own power”, said Richtie. “We want to see a monarch that is much more transparent.”

When Charles took over the Crown Estate, the 15 billion pound portfolio of land and assets held by his mother, it was not subjected to inheritance tax, prompting widespread criticism in the UK.

‘We are entering new territory’

By any measure, the British monarchy does not seem like it is going anywhere – even if republican feeling grows stronger.

All of Britain’s major political parties are pro-monarchist, and in a country grappling with strikes, inflation and the fallout from Brexit, the issue remains a low priority.

“The very existence of the monarchy is dependent on publicity and public opinion,” says Ken Ritchie from Labour for Republic.

“If it wasn’t for that, it would simply be irrelevant and ignored … they’re going to do their best to try and to win back public support.”

Despite the “very chequered past” of King Charles and the recent controversies to rock the Royal Family, Dr Joe Powell, a republican campaigner, was dismayed that public criticism of the was not turning even more against the monarchy.

“You would think that the high level of scandals would make people question what they’re doing and why they’re doing it on our behalf,” he said.

“But that doesn’t really seem to happen.”

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The Mistake That Still Haunts Kim Kardashian. Tabs, Tues., Nov. 29, 2022

Republican donors are bailing on Donald Trump … for now. (The Economist)

Meanwhile, elected Republicans are willing to ignore blatant white supremacy and anti-semitism in their ranks if it gains them power. No, this isn’t an article from 1992. (Popular Info)

United Furniture Industries fired thousands over text and email just before Thanksgiving. Pre-reformed Scrooge was a better boss. (The Daily Beast)

A record number of fir trees in Oregon and Washington are dying in what researchers have called a “Firmaggedon.” Yeah, I know that sounds goofy AF. They’re scientists not branding experts. (Oregonian)

Killer whales in the Columbia River! (Also the Oregonian)

Have Americans finally realized the only good billionaires are fictional superheroes with Bat Caves or armored suits? (Salon)

Rick Caruso spent $104 million on his failed campaign for Los Angeles mayor. Put in perspective, that is about 366 times the annual salary of the job he tried to buy. Columnist Gustavo Arellano notes that Caruso’s $104 million is also “a year’s rent for 1,375 people at the most affordable apartment at his luxury 8500 Burton development. The $6,300 a month for those units is way above L.A.’s $1,532 median rent. If Caruso wanted to stretch out his cash, he could put up 5,690 people for a year at that median price — not the 30,000 people he promised to house in 30 days, but something.” (Los Angeles Times)

The outdoor dining shed is a lingering reminder of the pandemic that is likely to endure. Have you eaten in one of those things? I feel as if I missed that whole scene. (Curbed)

Washington state spends millions sending children with disabilities to an “obscure network of private schools.” The results are horrible. (Seattle Times)

What’s next for two-time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? We wouldn’t mind an album of holiday standards. (The Nation)

When women venture capitalists fund women entrepreneurs, future male investors keep their distance. Grrr. (Forbes)

Good news regarding my dream of self-driving cars. (Forbes)

Model Ireland Baldwin fell in love with the Oregon coast. Who can blame her? (Eater)

Some fun background from Adam Ragusea on my favorite holiday drink. I look forward to trying the recipe from the video, but I can’t wait three weeks, though. I’m drinking it tonight.

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Wonkette Weekend Chat: How Freaking Scary Are Republicans?

A QAnon MAGA conspiracy theorist wanted to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but settled for beating her elderly husband with a hammer. This is today’s GOP and it’s freaking scary. Robyn and I will do our best to make sense of this garbage fire. But fascism is coming for us and we’re all hiding in the spooky abandoned house.

This week’s Wonkette chat is live at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. Like, share, subscribe, pitch us some dollars for doughnuts on Patreon.

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