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‘Making up numbers now?’: Chuck Grassley scorched for saying moving All-Star game out of Atlanta cost ‘100 million jobs’
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is claiming Major League Baseball's decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta will cost the city "100 million jobs." There are just over 150 million Americans who are currently employed, so the Iowa Republicans Senator is claiming that effectively, two-thirds of working Americans will lose their jobs because of the move, which is false.
Major League Baseball pulled the game out of Atlanta in response to Republican Governor Brian Kemp signing what has been called "one of the most restrictive and dangerous anti-voter bills in the country."
But the game is moving to Colorado, so there would be no jobs lost.
Senator Grassley is wrong. He might have been listening to an April 5 Fox News report, which claimed pulling out of Atlanta cost the city $100 million, but actual experts disagree, with one saying the amount is "a whole lot closer to zero than the $100m number Atlanta was throwing."
The Guardian reports "Georgia's $100m figure surely makes for a juicy cable-news chyron, the consensus among sports economists is these estimates are routinely exaggerated."
“The rule of thumb that I always tell everyone," economics professor Victor Matheson told The Guardian, "is just take whatever number the boosters are telling you, move the decimal one place to the left and you've probably got a pretty good guess."
Chuck Grassley claims MLB moving the All-Star Game from Georgia cost the state "100 million jobs" pic.twitter.com/bEHQvTEK25
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) April 20, 2021
Grassley is getting scorched.
Gaffe aside couldn't the state have gotten the All-Star Game back by - just spitballing here - repealing the law MLB complained about https://t.co/gXxz3JfQUc
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 20, 2021
The concession employees if someone asked for a soda at the Atlanta MLB All-Star Game pic.twitter.com/kz3GeHZhbm
— Ryan (@ryanhide) April 20, 2021
The year is 2050. Everyone in the US works for either Major League Baseball, the National Football League, or SBNation. https://t.co/JcD4X2wbb7
— Eshaan Vakil 🌹 (@hornetvtol) April 20, 2021
That's 9.5 times the total population of Georgia https://t.co/6yPfjF4gf0
— *you're (@RKJ65) April 20, 2021
What cost “100 million jobs" was not moving the game, it was implementing stupid and racist voting restrictions.
— Fritznkappler (@Fritznkappler1) April 20, 2021
It's true. To this day, Toronto's largest employer remains the 1991 All-Star Game. https://t.co/akCKZHYRrK
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) April 20, 2021
If this were true, it would mean that one person buying one ticket to the Major League Baseball ASG would have created 2,439 jobs. Call me crazy, but I don't think that's how the economy works? https://t.co/Xvyz2NLcEK
— J.D. Smith⭐⭐ (@DegenerateTBone) April 20, 2021
One-third of the United States will be employed by the MLB All-Star Game. Guess my offer letter just got lost in the mail. https://t.co/hzBFj102LU
— Pat_Garofalo (@Pat_Garofalo) April 20, 2021
Big if true (it's not) https://t.co/mwXa3UMpLq
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) April 20, 2021
im gonna have to assume that Chuck Grassley has not watched a baseball game in a while. 100 million jobs????? how big does he think the All-Star game is? theres like maybe 100 kids catches balls in the Outfield during the HR Derby https://t.co/1KuJI16qMT
— Gibby (@bgilbertson10) April 20, 2021
The Czech Republic accused on Saturday the GRU – Russia's military intelligence agency – of being behind a deadly explosion at an ammunition depot in 2014. They pointed the finger at a specific section of the organisation – Unit 29155 – which has attracted an increasing amount of notoriety over recent years.
If it was remembered at all abroad, the explosion of a Czech ammunition depot in 2014 was hitherto thought of as a nasty accident that cost two people their lives. But it took centre stage in EU-Russia tensions on April 17, when Prague announced it was expelling 18 Russian diplomats over suspicions that GRU Unit 29155 had been responsible.
Russia disputed the charges the following day; in recompense it sent packing 20 staff at the Czech embassy in Moscow. All 27 EU member states risked being drawn into this dispute ahead of Prague presenting evidence to the other countries' foreign ministers.
The Czech Republic claims that the Russian spies who were at work on its territory were the same ones involved in the poisoning and attempted assassination of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018 – a scandal that further poisoned relations between Russia on the one hand and the UK and its Western allies on the other.
Since the Skripal affair put the GRU in the world's headlines, Western intelligence agencies and media such as the British open-source investigation outlet Bellingcat and the German weekly Der Spiegel have linked several events to unit 29155.
This section is suspected of organising a political destabilisation campaign in Moldova in 2016, of participating in a pro-Serbian coup attempt in Montenegro the same year, and of trying to poison an arms dealer twice in Bulgaria in 2015. Spanish intelligence agencies even spotted unit 29155 agents during the 2017 Catalonian independence demonstrations.
They even established a "rear base" in France's rural Alpine Savoie region, according to a 2019 Le Monde investigation.
All this gives the impression of a highly mobile special forces cell, capable of striking at any place or time on Moscow's command. The New York Times described them in 2019 as an "elite force".
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference the same year, then MI6 chief Sir Alex Younger said that "you can see there is a concerted program of activity – and, yes, it does often involve the same people", pointing to the Skripal assassination attempt and Montenegro attempted coup. "We assess there is a standing threat from the GRU and the other Russian intelligence services and that very little is off limits," Younger continued.
Nevertheless, it has since emerged that this spectre of an all-powerful Russian unit lurking in Europe's shadows to hunt down the country's enemies could well overestimate the threat. The GRU's most illustrious moments were during the Chechen Wars and the 2014 invasion of parts of Ukraine.
"They are of course very well-trained special force fighters who've all gone through the famous Spetsnaz training," said Mark Galeotti, a British expert on Russian intelligence agencies and director of Mayak Intelligence, a consulting firm on security issues relating to Russia.
Unit 29155 is very small. "Ever since it was founded in 2018 it's probably only had around 20 agents," said Gerhard Mangott, a specialist in Russian security issues at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. Galeotti made the same assessment: "They don't have many people compared to the other branches of Russian intelligence."
"They're not these super-agents who can do anything – as some have suggested," Galeotti continued. A better way of thinking about Unit 29155, he continued, is as a team "specialising in sabotage and assassination – the dirty work".
Consequently, Moscow only deploys them when "the ends matter more than the means", Galeotti said. Unlike agents in the FSB – the internal agency and main successor to the KGB – or the SVR – the external intelligence organisation – who are renowned for their discretion, unit 29155 members "don't show the same degree of finesse; they'll do everything it takes to achieve their objectives, even if it means using an unsubtle modus operandi", Galeotti explained.
That's why their failures – including their failure to kill Skripal and the abortive coup attempt in Montenegro – "can appear unprofessional, leaving traces that allow us to trace the perpetrators".
But in the end, these failures mean little to Moscow. Firstly because we "don't know how many other missions have been completed successfully", Mangott said. Furthermore, even if these missions fail they allow Russia to send a signal to other European powers. "It's a way of showing that they can act on their soil," Galeotti said.
This article was translated from the original in French.
Steve Scalise: Maxine Waters encouraging protests is worse than Trump 'peacefully' inciting an insurrection
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Tuesday blasted Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) after she said that protesters in Minnesota should become more "confrontational" if former police officer Derek Chauvin is not found guilty of the death of George Floyd.
At a Republican House Leadership press conference, a reporter suggested that the Republican effort to expel or censure Waters was hypocritical because they refused to support a similar effort against Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who encouraged pro-Trump protesters minutes before they violently stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
For his part, Scalise sidestepped the question about Brooks and used the opportunity to attack Waters.
"I've been very clear in speaking out against any kind of political rhetoric that incites violence," he said. "The fact that Speaker Pelosi covered for her -- she was trying to incite violence and, in fact, there is violence going on right now in Minnesota because of her actions."
"I would like to see Maxine Water apologize for the inflammatory comments that she's made inciting violence," he continued. "It's a powder keg down there. The last thing you want to do is make it worse."
Scalise declined to say whether Brooks should also apologize for his role in the failed insurrection.
A reporter then asked Scalise if Waters' remarks are "on par with the comments of former President Trump made prior to Jan. 6."
"No!" Scalise said emphatically. "In fact, President Trump used the words peaceful when he talked about the statements that he made. I haven't heard Maxine saying anything about peacefully protesting. She's talked about violence, she's talked about -- I think the word is, 'Get more confrontational in the streets' if the verdict goes the wrong way. There's nothing peaceful about that."
Scalise did not address Trump's more incendiary remarks -- like "fight like hell" -- at the Jan. 6 rally that prompted his followers to storm the Capitol.
Watch the video below from C-SPAN.
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