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10 Things in Politics: JD Vance is no Rust Belt savior

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Here’s what we’re talking about:

With Phil Rosen.


Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, and Donald Trump inside a red state shape of Ohio on a light yellow background



John Lamparski/Getty Images; Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider


1. INSIDER INVESTIGATION: JD Vance is running for the Senate as the savior of the Rust Belt. Vance nurtured the image while writing and later promoting “Hillbilly Elegy,” his best-selling memoir. But a detailed look beyond Vance’s book reveals significant questions about his experience.

An Insider investigation found it’s not clear what, if anything, Vance has achieved through his charity or his company.

A spokeswoman for Ohio’s largest anti-opioid coalition said she never heard of the charity: Vance and his best friend from Yale founded Our Ohio Renewal in 2017 to help fight the epidemic. 

  • More details: In its first year, ​​Our Ohio Renewal’s principal officer earned more in management fees than the company spent on programming. Someone familiar with its operations said the group was used to lobby state lawmakers to better direct services and support to relatives known as “kinship guardians.”
  • The organization’s problem wasn’t even its spending: The nonprofit raised so little in each of the last three years — less than $50,000 a year — that it wasn’t even required by the IRS to disclose its activities and finances. 

Vance’s time as a VC draws mixed reviews: The Marine vet and Yale law grad has launched his own firm and spent two years working for a VC fund founded by former AOL chairman and CEO Steve Case. But he doesn’t appear to have made much of an impact at Mithril, where he started just two months before “Hillbilly Elegy” was published.

  • Former coworkers said he didn’t close a single deal: “It never seemed like he was even working,” one said. “It felt like his full-time job was the book.” 

Read more about how Vance’s record and how his relationship with Peter Thiel continues to pay off.


2. Hurricane Ida hammers Louisana: New Orleans lost nearly all of its power due to the Category 4 storm that struck Lousiana on the 16th-anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck the area. The city is using generators to drain stormwater and pump drinking water.

  • Latest on the storm: Today, Ida is projected to continue inland over portions of Louisiana and western Mississippi. Follow our live updates.

A man takes pictures of high waves along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans.

A man takes pictures of high waves along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans.


AP Photo/Gerald Herbert



Ida is so powerful that made the Mississippi flow backward: Supervising hydrologist Scott Perrien told CNN that flow reversals are “extremely uncommon.”


3. US forces struck an ISIS-K linked suicide bomber: Officials said they thwarted another potential attack on the Kabul airport from the same group that claimed responsibility for killing 13 Americans and an estimated 169 Afghans. More on the strike.

The dead includes 11 Marines, one soldier, and one sailor, The Washington Post reports: Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, a Wyoming Marine, was expecting his first child in just a few weeks. Sgt. Nicole Gee, a California Marine, was photographed just a few days ago holding an Afghan child.


Emergency call box with one button labeled "mental health crisis" and another button labeled "crime"; both buttons have wires directed towards one phone labeled "police" on a yellow background



Samantha Lee/Insider


4. Progressives want to deploy unarmed mental health response teams. Data say they won’t help reduce police violence. Despite high-profile politicians vying for new response teams, Insider found that such units likely won’t be dispatched in most crisis calls. That’s because they are used only in situations deemed nonviolent, and the vast majority of calls that lead to police killings involve a person with a weapon. Read the entire report, including what other approaches are showing promise.


5. There could be another 100,000 COVID deaths by December: Experts told the Associated Press the prediction can fluctuate based on how people behaving, with some saying it could be cut in half if people wear masks in public spaces. More on the grim forecast. 


5. Israelis and Palestinians hold biggest talks in years: Israeli Defense minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, signaling a possible shift just days after Biden urged Israel to do more to help Palestinians, the Associated Press reports. Gantz’s said Israel will do more to help strengthen the Palestinian economy. This is believed to be the highest-level public meeting between the two sides since 2014.


7. Evictions loom following Supreme Court decision: In the Atlanta area, evictions filings are already piling up following the court’s decision to throw out the Biden administration’s ban on evictions during the pandemic, ruling that congressional action is necessary. While in New York, renters are running out of time waiting for long-delayed financial aid. More on how the situation is playing out throughout the country.


8. Wildfires continue to scorch California: The Chaparral Fire ignited on Saturday afternoon in San Diego County and has burned more than 1,400 acres in both San Diego and Riverside counties, according to Cal Fire. Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned more than 1.7 million acres in the state.


Ed Asner



Getty Images


9. Remembering Ed Asner: Asner, the iconic actor who starred as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died. He gained a new generation of fans with his turn as Santa Claus in “Elf” and the voice of the loveable curmudgeon Carl Fredricksen in Disney’s “Up.” He was 91. 


cow wisconsin drive-thru

Facebook user Jessica Nelson spotted the odd sight of a cow looking out of a backseat window at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Wisconsin.


Screengrab/Facebook



10. Super-sized Moo: You have to see this hilarious video of a cow peering out of the backseat of a car at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Wisconsin.


Today’s trivia question: Thousands marched in DC over the weekend to push for voting rights and to mark the anniversary of the March on Washington. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his copy of his “I Have a Dream” speech to a security volunteer after delivering the now-iconic close to the march. What did that volunteer later become? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

  • Friday’s answer: Future President Ronald Reagan broke into the entertainment industry by covering the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa sports in the 1930s. Reagan waited in Des Moines before receiving the news that it was time to move to Hollywood to shot his first movie. Fittingly, his first screen credit was playing a radio reporter.



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