Elizabeth Olsen wants to stay in the MCU. But she still hasn’t seen ‘Doctor Strange’

‘I should come back, but I really don’t know,’ Elizabeth Olsen said when asked if she would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wanda.

…read more


Roundup: Sedan sought in fatal hit-and-run, brush fire near Ventura, Thousand Oaks stabbing

Roundup: Authorities ask public’s help finding sedan in fatal Thousand Oaks hit-and-run, brush fire above Ventura, stabbing in Thousand Oaks. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/roundup-sedan-sought-fatal-hit-015733110.html

‘It Was All Just a Show’: Confessions of a Republican Campaign Hit Man

The post-Trump era has produced a library’s worth of books from people who had access to the rooms where decisions were made but kept quiet about the rotten things they witnessed. The volumes mostly read as after-the-fact justifications for morally debatable behavior spiced up with a few damning anecdotes that feel too-little-too-late.

Tim Miller’s Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell is not one of those books.

Before he became a committed Never Trump contributor to The Bulwark and MSNBC, before he was even a top aide to Jeb Bush during the 2016 presidential campaign, Miller was a self-described GOP “hit man” for the Republican National Committee and an opposition research firm he helped start. Along the way he got quite comfortable operating within the trollish zero-sum norms of “the Game,” inflaming voters who weren’t in on the joke.

What distinguishes Miller’s book from many other insider accounts is his willingness to put his own behavior under the microscope, specifically how as a closeted gay man he was able to ignore the sometimes-explicit homophobia of his clients to help push the parts of their agenda he found more palatable. It made him, he says, a “championship-level” compartmentalizer. But this confessional tone gives the book its distinctive oomph and affords Miller the license to dissect with mordant wit the many varieties of rationalization that his colleagues in the GOP employed to justify their fealty, even servility, to Trump.

The dish he doles out about Lindsey Graham, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Josh Holmes, Elise Stefanik and more feels less like drive-by scuttlebutt and more face-to-face personal. Because in several cases he did get face-to-face personal. Miller is both confessor and priest, albeit one with an open bar tab. The meeting in Georgetown with Alyssa Farah — where the daughter of a longtime boss of a far-right website attempts to explain her evolution from not voting for Trump in 2016 to working in his administration to now vowing to do everything she can to make sure he doesn’t return to the White House — makes the book worth the read. So, definitely, does the tequila-fueled coda in Santa Monica with Caroline Wren, his good friend turned Trump fundraiser turned “VIP Advisor” for the rally on Jan. 6, 2021, that led to the ransacking at the Capitol.

“Caroline was one of me,” Miller told me. “I felt like we were the same. And for her to go full Trump to such a degree that she was organizing the rally on January 6, and for me to go where I went, I had to understand what happened.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Michael Kruse: “America never would’ve gotten into this mess if it weren’t for me and my friends.” That’s the first sentence. It’s a great first sentence. For those who have not yet read this book, what do you mean by that?

Tim Miller: I meant that the people in the Republican consulting class, the Republican establishment in the conservative media …read more


What to look for when hiring a growth marketing agency

If you search for “growth marketing” roles on LinkedIn these days, it’s likely you’ll get over 15,000 results. Contrast that with just a few years ago, when LinkedIn would have yielded a significantly lower number for the same role.

The rapid expansion of the growth marketing industry has created a significant problem for startups looking to hire: There is a massive undersupply of good growth marketers.

After all, every startup, whether it’s trying to find product-market fit or an efficient way to deploy recent funding, is ultimately searching for a growth marketer.

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Growth marketer archetypes

Before diving into how hiring a growth marketing agency can help your startup, it’s important to understand the type of marketers you’ll find there.

There are three main criteria that will help you find the best fit:

  • Stage
  • Focus
  • Vertical

When assessing the skills of a growth marketer purely based on their experience, examining the stage of the companies they’ve worked at, their previous growth focus areas and verticals all become key.

The beauty of growth marketing is that you’ll find experts in many disciplines and strategies.


As a startup founder, your growth team needs someone who has already experienced scaling a company from the ground up. This knowledge shows that your growth marketer is scrappy and knows how to go from zero to one.

Conversely, if you’re a Series E company, you will probably want someone who has experience squeezing out additional incremental volume from ongoing efforts.


It’s crucial to understand which growth channels and mediums a growth marketer has worked with. You don’t want a LinkedIn expert if you’re a B2C startup looking to acquire users on Facebook and TikTok.

…read more


Hochul administration moves to shut gas powered cryptocurrency plant

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration on Thursday denied a key permit for a gas powered cryptocurrency mining operation in the Finger Lakes, saying the facility spews too much planet-warming pollution to be allowed under the state’s climate law.

The decision by the state Department of Environmental Conservation on the Greenidge gas plant is the latest step in New York to curb the pollution from cryptocurrency mining facilities that have started to proliferate across upstate New York for the growing industry.

“We are applying a new law to a new operation which had significant increases in emissions — almost tripling emissions,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos told POLITICO in an interview Thursday. “The company itself was unable to demonstrate that it could come into compliance with the law.”

Hochul faced political pressure to deny the permit, but delayed it until after Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary that she convincingly won. She is also being pushed to sign a measure to put a moratorium on any other new fossil powered cryptocurrency mining projects in New York.

The 106 MW Greenidge gas plant hosts a large-scale Bitcoin mining facility, with about 17,000 miners. The plant has faced aggressive opposition from many local residents, lawmakers and winemakers in the region.

Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc., “,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://greenidge.com/”,”_id”:”00000181-b7b6-d066-a3bb-bfb714360000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-b7b6-d066-a3bb-bfb714360001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}’>Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc., the company running the plant that employs about 50 people, said they plan to appeal the decision and that it will keep operating as usual while the process plays out in a statement Thursday.

“We believe there is no credible legal basis whatsoever for a denial of this application because there is no actual threat to the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) from our renewed permit,” the company said in a statement.

“This is a standard air permit renewal governing emissions levels for a facility operating in full compliance with its existing permit today. It is not, and cannot be transformed into, a politically charged ‘cryptocurrency permit’.”

Environmental advocates and other opponents of the project argue the increased emissions from the cryptocurrency mining threaten achievement of New York’s sweeping Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The measure requires emissions to be slashed 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050.

DEC agreed in a letter explaining the decision to deny a renewal of the plant’s Title V emissions permit. The agency also said the company failed to provide any justification for a reliability or other need for the project given that it would interfere with the state’s climate goals, and that the purpose of the plant had changed significantly since the original permit was issued in 2016 for the plant.

“Any increase in emissions at this point makes it challenging for us to hit our targets which are very ambitious,” Seggos said. “As a slice of total emissions, this is but one …read more


Erdogan warns Sweden, Finland that NATO accession can still be blocked

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he can still block NATO accession for Sweden and Finland if they renege on an agreement involving the extradition of 73 people. …read more


Bill Gates’ purchase of North Dakota farmland complies with state law, AG says

North Dakota’s attorney general found the sale of a couple thousand acres of prime farmland to a group tied to Bill Gates complies with a Depression-era law meant to protect family farms because the land is being leased back to farmers. …read more


Tim Allen disses Chris Evans’ ‘Lightyear’ movie: ‘There’s no Buzz’

“It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy” that Allen portrayed in the first two films. …read more


Back-to-school spending expected to plunge from last year’s highs

The critical back-to-school shopping season will grow by 5.5% this year, compared to the torrid 13.1% growth in 2021, according to forecasting research. …read more


The Supreme Court Just Rolled Democracy Back. You Can Measure How Much.

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade will have immense consequences for the lives and healthcare of Americans. But if you’ve followed the shifts in how American democracy works over the past few decades, the decision also signals another big wave coming for the nation: It’s likely to turbocharge the trend toward greater polarization in state policies, with significant consequences for American democracy.

The Supreme Court on Friday pushed authority over one of the most controversial national issues from Washington back down to state government, a place where more and more of America’s contentious issues have been landing.

For the past 30 years, Democrats and Republicans have been increasingly fighting their national battles through subnational institutions — state governments — because with such dysfunction in Washington, that’s where they can make headway. State governments have become increasingly important policymakers, with liberal and conservative states implementing increasingly distinct policies.

One significant result is easy to see on maps: The United States is becoming more polarized, with a “red America” and “blue America” clearly emerging.

But my research also shows another, more worrisome dynamic beneath that split: This version of America is also becoming less democratic.

“Anti-democratic” is often in the eye of the beholder, a term used to label any outcome a critic happens to disagree with. But in political science, one important component of democracy is a measurable number: How many Americans are living under policies they believe in? In a working majoritarian democracy, the answer should be “most.” If citizens don’t like policies, they can, and should, be able to vote to change them.

With Roe v. Wade being overturned, however, we are heading into a world where that is no longer true.

After the Dobbs decision was first disclosed by POLITICO in May, I decided to look at how Americans view abortion, and how that lines up with their local policies. Following the polling data and analytical techniques of Devin Caughey and Chris Warshaw, I found that about 61 percent of Americans support continuing to make abortions legal. For context, the right to obtain a legal abortion is even more popular than same-sex marriage was when the Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

In the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson, state governments are likely to now have the discretion to fully ban abortion, and many are poised to do so. Thirteen states had trigger laws in place to ban abortion if Roe was overturned, a handful of which have already gone into effect. According to the Guttmacher Institute, another 13 states are likely to severely limit the availability of legal abortions in the coming months.

As a result, many Americans will find themselves out of step with the new abortion bans in their state.

The easy, and positive, way to think about state-by-state differences like this is that conservatives get …read more