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Political Wire logo Democrats Plan to Make Trump’s Trial Painful for GOP
Trumpworld Thrilled at His Standing Ahead of Trial
Democrats Have Back Up Plan If Trump Not Convicted
Trump-Appointed U.S. Attorneys Asked to Resign
Trump’s DC Hotel Hikes Prices for March 4
Trump Lawyer Says Trial Can Continue on Sabbath

Key Questions about Trump's Trial

The impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump will begin tomorrow. It could be a real humdinger or a nothing burger. Here are some key questions about the trial:

  • Will Trump be convicted?: This is obviously the most important question and probably the easiest to answer. Unless the impeachment managers come up with some pretty convincing stuff, it is unlikely that there will be 67 votes for conviction. When asked to explain their vote, many Republicans will finesse the question of whether Trump is guilty or not by saying that the trial itself is unconstitutional—even though Trump was president when he was impeached and the Constitution clearly calls for a trial, even giving some of the details about it. The House votes last week on Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) are illustrative here. In the vote on Cheney, which was by secret ballot, most members of her caucus supported her even though she voted to impeach Trump. In the vote on Greene, most Republicans supported her because she is one of the Trumpiest members of Congress and the vote was public. Such is the power of Trump that in a secret ballot, Republicans support impeachment but in a public vote they don't dare cross anyone who supports him. The legal term for this is "cowardice" and it affects senators as much as it does representatives. It is probably a safe bet that if the vote in the Senate were secret, Trump would be convicted, but it is not so he won't be.

  • What will Trump's lawyers say?: In their brief filed last week, Trump's lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, suggested that their case will not rest on whether Trump did or did not incite an insurrection, but on whether the trial itself is constitutional. That is probably the best argument, since the evidence clearly shows that Trump did incite an insurrection and the defense "that doesn't matter because the trial is not legitimate" avoids having to deal with the insurrection itself. They may also argue "process," saying that the lack of hearings in the House was mean because without them Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Trump) couldn't furiously defend his Dear Leader. Nevertheless, the lawyers are likely going to have to address the insurrection at some point because the impeachment managers are going to put it front and center. The defense's case, when and if they have to make it, will be that the rioters are responsible for the riot, and no one else.

  • How do the managers break through to skeptical senators?: The managers can't simply rely on the facts. The senators already know the facts. The managers have to make a pitch to the country—not the senators—based on emotion. If they can convince Americans that five people died on account of Trump's words and many senators and representatives would have died but for the bravery of the Capitol police, the senators will be between a rock and a hard place. They will have to choose between what Trump wants and what the voters want. That is the managers' only real hope.

  • Will Trump show up?: The impeachment managers have asked Trump to show up and defend himself. Will he come? His gut is probably telling him to do it so he can make the case that he won the election and the rioters were patriots trying to defend the Constitution. However, his lawyers are telling him in no uncertain terms not to do it. The Senate could issue a subpoena, but that would take 2 years to resolve in the courts, so the Democrats aren't going to do it. If Trump were to surprise everyone and show up, he might incriminate himself so much that 17 Republican senators feel forced to vote for conviction.

  • What happens if Trump is acquitted?: If 45 or so senators vote for acquittal, is Trump home free? Maybe not. There is a possibility that he could be censured by both chambers of Congress. Or worse yet, by majority vote of both chambers, Congress could, in one way or another, invoke the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits people who have engaged in an insurrection from holding public office. This provision was initially aimed at people who were officers in the Confederate government or army, but it isn't restricted to them.

Chief Justice John Roberts apparently has other things on his agenda for tomorrow, so he won't preside at the trial. President of the Senate Kamala Harris could have insisted on presiding herself, but decided not to, probably to avoid enraging Trump's supporters. Fortunately, the Democrats have a kindly old white man available to preside, in the form of President Pro Tem of the Senate Pat Leahy (D-VT). Having Leahy in charge makes it impossible for Trump supporters to maintain that he was railroaded by a Black woman hell-bent on destroying him.

There may be dueling videos. The impeachment managers are likely to show a video of Trump encouraging the rioters and telling them to fight like hell followed by a clip of them forcing their way into the Capitol, invading the Senate chamber, and opening senators' desks to rifle through their private papers and other things, like this one:

That might just jog some of their memories and make them feel a bit queasy knowing what could have happened had Capitol security not whisked them all off to a secret hiding place.

However, Trump's lawyer's might fight back with videos of civil unrest last spring and summer, with people rioting in the streets and attacking courthouses. Intermixed with clips of Democrats encouraging protests after the killing of George Floyd, the defense could try to make it look like everyone does it, so no big deal.

The senators would like to wrap the trial up in a week, but that may not happen. For starters, one of Trump's lawyers, David Schoen, is an orthodox Jew, so no Saturday trial. Of course, Leahy could overrule him and say that Castor could handle the defense on Saturday and then he could take over on Sunday to let Castor go to church, but then Trump would complain that he didn't have adequate legal representation. So, the trial will stop Friday evening before sundown if it is still underway then. On top of that, next Monday is Presidents' Day, a federal holiday, not to mention Susan B. Anthony's birthday. Then Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, and Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, so the trial can't take too long or the Supreme Court will rule that it is interfering with too many religions.

While the senators probably aren't going to pay too much attention to the actual evidence, they do tend to follow the polls. A new ABC News/Washington Post/Ipsos poll shows that 56% of Americans want Trump convicted and barred from ever holding office again while 43% don't want him convicted. That margin is probably too small to sway many (if any) Republican votes. (V)

The Trial Could Be a Public Relations Disaster for the Republicans

While Republican senators can vote to acquit Trump, that doesn't mean they (and Trump) are off the hook. While Trump could win in the Senate, he could lose in the court of public opinion. If the public hears the evidence and watches the videos the impeachment managers show, many people could come to believe that Trump is guilty of sedition and Republican senators are cowards (and maybe even traitors) for voting "not guilty." If such a view becomes widespread, it could hurt Republican senators in 2022 and Trump in 2024 if he tries to run again. Even Steve Bannon, who is not exactly a #nevertrumper, said: "The Democrats have a very emotional and compelling case. They're going to try to convict him in the eyes of the American people and smear him forever."

Trump's allies see the trial primarily as a potential PR disaster, with Trump's role in the riot being front and center, no matter how much his lawyers try to make it about the constitutionality of the trial itself. When the impeachment managers say: "Trump encouraged people to riot, which resulted in the Capitol being breached and five people dying" and his lawyers say "the trial is unconstitutional," Trump's allies fear that people will remember only the former. After all, as they say, a trial is about assigning blame, and Team Trump is not really offering an alternative answer to that question beyond "The Donald."

One potential approach to the PR problem is for the defense not to be entirely about "process" but to try to focus on "the big lie" vs. "the big steal." After all, many Republican voters believe the election was stolen and talking about that might counter the videos of people rioting. Of course, people who get their news from sources other than Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax know otherwise, and may be angered if Trump's lawyers try to use "He won!" as their defense. Given that, absent some shocking news, an actual conviction seems unlikely, the major effect of the trial will be how it affects public opinion, Republican prospects in 2022 (especially for Republican senators up then), and Trump's public image and thus his chances in 2024. (V)

No More Dog Whistles

Once upon a time, the Republican Party relied on dog whistles, like "Remember Dred Scott." Most people scratched their heads about that, but anti-abortion zealots knew it referred to a case that the Supreme Court botched (declaring slaves to be property) and implicitly suggesting that the Court also botched Roe v. Wade. The idea of dog whistles is that it is a way to send a message to your core supporters in broad daylight without offending any voters who are not in the loop and who might be offended by more direct messaging. It's a great deal if you can get it, but Marjorie Taylor Greene ruined it for the Republicans by saying the quiet part out loud.

The problem for them is not the hateful lies she spews. Fundamentally, that is all right with them. The difficulty is that she doesn't use dog whistles. She says everything on camera so Democrats and those much-desired suburban housewives hear it as well—and recoil from it. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) doesn't want her to go away because she is very useful to the GOP. He just wants her to have a lower profile—that is, learn to use dog whistles to avoid enraging Democrats. But she is not cooperating.

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY), who chairs the DCCC, summed up McCarthy's problem by saying: "You can do QAnon and you can do swing districts, but you can't do both." His point is that unless McCarthy can get Greene to raise her voice to about 24 kHz, so only dogs and QAnon zealots can hear it, Democrats are going to run against Greene in 2022, the same way Republicans ran against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for years. And such a campaign could have devastating effects because while Republicans could claim Pelosi was a socialist who wants to destroy America, there are no recordings of her saying anything even remotely like that. In contrast, there are plenty of recordings of Greene telling horrendous and vicious lies.

The only parallel that even comes close is the tea party in 2010. But people prancing around wearing tricorn hats and Revolutionary War garb is a far cry from people breaking into the Capitol and trying to assassinate members of Congress. The Republican leadership really doesn't want Maloney to make Greene and her ilk the face of the Republican Party in every swing district, but unless they can teach her to do dog whistles, they may not have a choice. (V)

Biden Doesn't Think the $15/hr Minimum Wage Will Be Allowed in the COVID Bill

Although Joe Biden is in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, he believes it will not survive the Byrd bath and end up in the final COVID-19 relief bill. The bill will be passed using the budget reconciliation process and only items that have a substantial impact on the federal budget are allowed in reconciliation bills. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough gets to make the call on this and she is a pretty straight shooter. Biden knows this.

Pretty much all Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage that much, and so do some Democrats. Consequently, even if the filibuster is abolished, the $15/hr minimum wage could probably not pass as a stand-alone bill. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is on record saying that he doesn't support an increase to $15/hr but he is OK with a smaller increase—say, to $11/hr. Polls show that 67% of Americans support an increase to $15/hr, but until such time as 60% of the Senate supports it, such a big increase is not going to happen and maybe not even a smaller one. As former secretary of labor Robert Reich tweeted Saturday: "The Senate is broken."

Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hasn't given up hope. Yesterday he told CNN's Jake Tapper that he has a roomful of lawyers trying to think up ways to get the $15/hr minimum wage included. Sanders was asked whether he thinks President of the Senate Kamala Harris should overrule Elizabeth MacDonough if the latter scotches the provision. Sanders didn't answer the question. (V)

Trump Won't Get Intelligence Briefings

Traditionally, former presidents have gotten intelligence briefings to keep them up to speed on world affairs in case the current president needed a quick opinion on some hotspot. In January, Joe Biden tried to finesse the issue of whether Donald Trump would get any briefings by saying it would be up to the intelligence community. However, after Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) said Trump would sell the reports to the highest bidder, Biden changed his mind and made a decision not to give Trump any briefings.

When asked by reporters why not, Biden said it was due to Trump's "erratic behavior." When pressed and asked what his biggest concern was, Biden refused to say. He just noted there was no reason for Trump to get briefings. Implicitly, that says that if there were a crisis somewhere in the world, he wouldn't be interested in even hearing what Trump thought he should do. It's actually a pretty big put down for a president to say that a former president's opinion isn't worth anything at all. After all, when Barack Obama took over, George W. Bush continued to get briefings. (V)

Fox Is Worried

For months, Fox News was broadcasting one lie after another about the election and the Capitol riot. It went swimmingly. The viewers just lapped it up. Now it may be time to pay the piper. Last Thursday, Smartmatic sued Fox for $2.7 billion for defamation. The suit specifically named Lou Dobbs as one of the defamers. On Friday, Dobbs' show was very abruptly canceled with no warning and no explanation, even though it is the top-rated show on Fox Business. The cancellation was so quick that the guy who filled in for Dobbs, David Asman, didn't even know on Friday that the show had been canceled. As he was signing off, Asman said: "Lou will be back on Monday." No, he won't.

Might there be a connection between being sued for $2.7 billion and the instant firing of one of the perpetrators of the Big Lie? To win a suit for defamation (either slander or libel), the plaintiff must prove four things:

  • The defendant made a false statement purporting to be true
  • The statement was published or communicated to third parties
  • The defendant knew it was false, or acted with reckless disregard for the truth
  • The plaintiff was harmed by the statement

Fox's lawyers know this very well and also know that Dobbs checks all four boxes. He (and the network) are in an extremely weak position. They could easily lose the suit and get a huge judgment against them.

Fox and Dobbs could defend themselves by showing that his statements were true. For example, Dobbs said that Hugo Chávez, the former president of Venezuela (who died in 2013) had a hand in creating Smartmatic's technology, building it in such a way that it could change votes without detection. The small problem with this defense is that none of this is true and Fox is not going to be able to prove that it is true. There is a small connection between Smartmatic and Chávez, though: Venezuela was a former Smartmatic customer and bought some of its machines years ago, as did many countries. That's a whole different story than what Dobbs propagated though.

Fox's management is no doubt already thinking about the defense they might use in court: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: We never watch Dobbs' show. It's rather boring, with all those numbers. We had no idea he was saying the stuff you heard him say on the videos Smartmatic's lawyer played for you. We are as surprised as you are so as soon as we got the lawsuit and read what he had been saying, we took him off the air immediately. We didn't fire him outright because then he would have sued us for breach of contract. Let's let bygones be bygones."

It probably won't work. The judge will almost certainly instruct the jury to ignore any actions Fox took after the defamation took place and just focus on whether there was defamation. Still, Fox management probably is praying that a couple of jurors believe their pitch and resist finding for Smartmatic. In addition, getting Dobbs off the air instantly at least prevents him from commenting on the case and digging the hole deeper.

And the problem is not over yet. Other people named in the suit, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, are still on the air. They have no doubt been instructed to tone it down. Furthermore, Dominion Voting Systems has sued Donald Trump's one-time lawyer, Sidney Powell, but said that more suits will be forthcoming, presumably including Fox. "MyPillow Guy" Mike Lindell is also going to be hit with a suit; you can take that to the bank (and so can the plaintiffs, once judgment is rendered).

Fox will argue that the high bar for defamation claims has not been cleared, very possibly making the case that Dobbs is an entertainer rather than a journalist (they defended Tucker Carlson in the past with a similar argument). If Fox loses initially, which is likely, it will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, which will be stuck with a case it probably doesn't want. (V)

"You Probably Haven't Heard of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson"

That's the headline in a Washington Post op-ed. Of course, if you are a loyal reader of this site, you know exactly who she is and why she is important. Now the Post has caught up. Nevertheless, given her importance, a short refresher course is possibly in order.

Here are a handful of facts (real ones, not Fox News-style ones):

  • Merrick Garland's seat on the D.C. Court of Appeals will become vacant as soon as he is confirmed as AG.
  • The D.C. Court of Appeals is often a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.
  • Joe Biden promised to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court.
  • Federal District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (50), a Harvard Law School graduate, is a Black woman.
  • Jackson also happened to clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer (82), whose retirement may be imminent.

Get the drift here? Oh, we should also point out that there are only four Black women on the appeals courts now, and all are over 65. If Jackson is nominated and confirmed to the D.C. Court of Appeals, she will be the only Black female appeals judge under 65. To say this is a done deal is a bit premature, but only a bit.

Of course, Biden could look outside the appeals courts for a Supreme Court justice, should Breyer decide to retire. He could pick Leondra Kruger (44), a Yale Law School graduate who clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens, served as principal deputy solicitor general during the Obama administration, and is now on the California Supreme Court. Or he could find a Black female professor of constitutional law. Still, Jackson is currently seen as the favorite, with Kruger a possible replacement for Jackson on the D.C. Court if Jackson is first moved to the D.C. Court and later to the Supreme Court. But even if Jackson doesn't crack the highest judicial glass ceiling, being on the D.C. Court of Appeals is important in itself, since that court is widely regarded as the second most important court in the country due to its handling so many cases involving the government.

Jackson also brings a different kind of diversity to whichever court she lands on. She is a former public defender who defended indigent clients. That is a very different background from that of many judges, who are former prosecutors. So her background is trying to keep poor people out of prison, rather than trying to lock them up. That might just give her a different perspective in criminal cases involving poor people. She is also aware that her uncle was convicted on a minor drug charge when she was a senior in high school and sentenced to life in prison for it because he had two minor convictions for other crimes already.

Her best known opinion as a judge is one in which she ruled that then-White House counsel Don McGahn had to obey a subpoena. She wrote: "The primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings." While that doesn't guarantee how she would rule on cases in which the president was trying to act like a king, it certainly gives a hint. If she makes it to the Supreme Court, she and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who also comes from a modest background, are likely to become best buddies. (V)

Report: Shelby Won't Run in 2022

The AP is reporting that Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) won't run for reelection in 2022. Shelby would be 94 at the end of a new term, and that is surely the reason he is calling it quits. He won two elections to the Senate as a Democrat, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Then he switched sides in 1998 and was elected four more times as a Republican. He is enough of a fixture in Alabama politics that he could easily win in 2022, even if he ran as a Democratic Socialist.

Unless Roy Moore or some other child molester runs in the GOP primary and wins, the Democrats have virtually no chance to pick up the seat. Shelby went to college at the University of Alabama and is probably smarting from the fact that the junior senator from Alabama, Tommy Tuberville (R), was formerly the football coach at Alabama's big rival, Auburn University. Maybe Shelby will talk to Nick Saban, head coach at Alabama for the past 13 years, and try to talk him into running in the Republican primary. A big problem, however, is that senators make a measly $174,000 per year. Saban makes $9.3 million as a coach. Getting him to take a pay cut of over $9 million may require a bit of smooth talking. So maybe Shelby should focus on one of the former 'Bama coaches, although he would have to go back to the legendary Bear Bryant to find one who was coach as long as Saban. And Bryant is dead. That might be an obstacle, but in Alabama, maybe not. (V)

Boebert Has Three Democratic Opponents Already

If it weren't for the antics of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) could have been the Republicans' star first-termer. As a gun-toting high school dropout who had a child out of wedlock as a teenager and whose mother was on welfare when she was a child, Boebert is a paragon of virtue, as Republicans have framed that concept (except maybe for her arrest for underage drinking, disorderly conduct, failure to appear in court, and operating an unsafe motor vehicle). Her unlicensed food stand at a county fair in 2017, which gave 80 people food poisoning, demonstrates her love of capitalism. So does her May 2020 refusal to close the restaurant she and her husband operate in Rifle, CO, even though the governor ordered all restaurants to shut down in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Her biggest claim to fame so far in Congress is her claim to a constitutional right to bring her Glock onto the floor of the House. What's not to like? Here is a photo of her, armed, in her restaurant, where all the servers are women packing heat.

Lauren Boebert with gun

Boebert's district, CO-03, covers the western half of Colorado, with some gerrymandering on its eastern border. Although the state is basically a rectangle, none of the 29 counties in CO-03 are rectangles. The district is mostly rural and Republican, but also includes some Democratic hotspots in Aspen, Vail, and Pueblo. Donald Trump carried it in 2020 52% to 46%. Boebert carried it 51% to 45%. The PVI is R+6.

Given Boebert's in-your-face style and her district's only moderate Republican lean, Colorado Democrats are itching to make the first-term congresswoman a one-term congresswoman. Three Democrats have already signed up to challenge her in 2022. Gregg Smith, a rancher, and Colin Wilhelm, a lawyer, were already in the race, but they are complete unknowns. Now, term-limited state Sen. Kerry Donovan (D) has jumped in. Donovan, a rancher from just outside Vail, represents seven of the counties in the middle of Boebert's district. She won her races easily and could pose a real threat to Boebert, especially if Kevin McCarthy gets Marjorie Taylor Greene to tone it down and Boebert becomes the Republicans' biggest loose cannon (or loose howitzer or loose mortar or loose Glock).

However, there is one possible catch here. Colorado is expected to get an eighth House seat this year. This means that the sprawling CO-03 district is going to be reduced in size by a nonpartisan commission later this year. Depending on what the new map looks like, Donovan's home and the seven counties she now represents may or may not be part of Boebert's district. On the other hand, Boebert's home, in Rifle, CO (pop. 9,172), may or may not be in her district, either. So Boebert's future and that of Donovan lie substantially in the hands of the 12 nonpartisan mapmakers.

As an aside, Greene and Boebert are merely the most recent Republican women who are widely considered completely nutty or worse. They were preceded by quite a few others, including Michele Bachman, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Helen Chenoweth, Sue Myrick, and Sarah Palin. They all had to win Republican primaries to get elected, and sometimes the key for a woman to win a Republican primary is to demonstrate that she is crazier than all the men. Interestingly enough, the only one who didn't act crazy in her primary was Palin, who ran for governor on a good-government platform and won both the primary and the general election. (V)

Judge Says Tenney Won

The last uncalled House race moved closer to a conclusion Friday when a New York judge ruled that Claudia Tenney (R) beat Anthony Brindisi (D) by 109 votes in NY-22. Tenney occupied the seat from Jan. 2017 to Jan. 2019 and Brindisi occupied it from Jan. 2019 to Jan. 2021. Now it's Tenney's turn again. Brindisi will appeal the decision.

The battle is over hundreds of ballots that have been excluded on technicalities, even though they substantially comply with the law. For example, some voters filled in a correct ballot but brought it to the wrong polling place. Others sent in an invalid ballot and were given the opportunity to "cure" it, but the cured ballot took too long to arrive. Other voters were incorrectly purged from the voting rolls. There were also battles over provisional ballots. In a few cases, multiple precincts voted in the same building. If a voter who belonged to precinct "A" got in the line for precinct "B" he or she was given an affidavit (provisional) ballot and be told it would be counted, although that is not true. Brindisi's lawyers argued that voters should not be disenfranchised because poll workers gave the wrong instructions. However, the judge said that what matters is the law as written, not whether the law is reasonable or whether poll workers did their jobs correctly.

This race isn't even the closest one. In IA-02, Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) beat Rita Hart (D) by just 6 votes. Hart is still fighting, but Miller-Meeks has been seated already.

If the judge's ruling stands, Democrats will have 222 seats in the House to Republicans' 213. There are two vacancies but one is in a very deep red district and the other is in a very deep blue district, so neither has any chance of flipping. In the end, 13 sitting Democrats were unseated. These were T.J. Cox, Gil Cisneros, Harley Rouda, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, Abby Finkenauer, Collin Peterson, Xochitl Torres Small, Max Rose, Kendra Horn, Joe Cunningham, and Ben McAdams, in addition to Brindisi. Not a single incumbent Republican was defeated although Democrats picked up open Republican seats in GA-07 (Carolyn Bourdeaux), NC-02 (Deborah Ross), and NC-06 (Kathy Manning). (V)

What Is the Defense Production Act?

Joe Biden has repeatedly talked about invoking the Defense Production Act. Now he has done it. What does that mean, actually?

The law was passed in 1950 to allow the government to order companies to produce materials needed for the Korean War. It hasn't been used much and its powers and limits are rather vague. The Act has three sections:

  • The president can order companies to accept and prioritize orders for materials needed for the national defense.
  • The president can create incentives for industry to produce critical services and materials absent direct orders.
  • It gives the government broad powers to make agreements with private companies in the national interest.

In short, it gives the president more power than he would normally have to boss private companies around. For example, he could order Pfizer to fulfill all domestic orders before shipping any COVID-19 vaccine abroad. Or he could ask a company making vials, syringes, or needles to run its factories 24 hours a day 7 days a week and guarantee that the federal government will buy all the products they are unable to sell, so they run no risk by ramping up production. He could also give the company a fast loan if it needed that to build a new factory. Biden would also have the authority to block the sale of critical companies to foreign buyers. For example, if a French company tried to buy Pfizer to get first access to its COVID-19 vaccine, Biden could block the sale.

Vaccine production is not the only thing Biden wants to boost using the DPA. He wants 60 million at-home coronavirus tests produced by the summer. Government orders will allow start-up companies to get financing to build new factories. When a startup goes to a bank for a loan and can show that the government has placed a hard order for its full capacity for 6 months, the bank is much more likely to grant the loan quickly than if there are no orders yet. Biden also wants to increase production of other medical supplies that currently come entirely from overseas sources, such as surgical gloves and some personal protective equipment used in hospitals, like N95 masks. Specifically, by the end of the year, U.S. companies should be able to produce 1 billion surgical gloves per month, which is about half of the demand (up from the 0% of demand that U.S. companies satisfy right now). Biden also wants to ramp up the manufacturing of the raw materials used in many essential medical products, like nitrile butadiene rubber, from which surgical gloves are made.

Biden isn't the only president since Harry Truman to use the DPA. In fact, Donald Trump invoked it 18 times last year. However, Biden has said he will make a much more aggressive use of it now. Having the power to do these things is one thing. Having the knowledge of how to use it is something else. Did Trump or any of his cronies even know what nitrile butadiene rubber is, let alone that there is a shortage of it, or how to get companies to make more of it? This is where staffing your administration with competent people makes a difference. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Feb07 Sunday Mailbag
Feb06 Saturday Q&A
Feb05 America First Couldn't Last
Feb05 Greene's New Deal
Feb05 Trump Refuses to Testify
Feb05 The Day AFTRA
Feb05 Double Trouble for Fox News
Feb05 Pence Makes His Move
Feb05 Judy, Judy, Judy...
Feb04 Schumer and McConnell Have a Deal
Feb04 Biden Is Willing to Compromise a Little on the Stimulus Checks
Feb04 The Future of the Republican Party Is Here Now
Feb04 Warren Will Join the Senate Finance Committee
Feb04 Ocasio-Cortez Is Threatening to Primary Schumer
Feb04 Senate Won't Vote on Merrick Garland's Nomination
Feb04 Bills about Voting Are All the Rage in State Legislatures
Feb04 You, Too, Can Gerrymander
Feb04 Could Ivanka Trump Beat Marco Rubio in a Primary?
Feb03 The Case of the Two Impeachment Cases
Feb03 Buttigieg and Mayorkas Confirmed
Feb03 Sanders Takes His Best Shot at $15/Hour
Feb03 Schiff Wants to be California AG
Feb03 Biden Has a Mini-Scandal
Feb03 Newsmax Boots Mike Lindell
Feb03 Lin Wood Under Investigation for Illegal Voting
Feb02 Senate Republicans Unveil COVID-19 Relief Plan, Meet with Biden
Feb02 Graham Refuses to Schedule Garland Hearing
Feb02 The GOP Civil War Is Out in the Open
Feb02 Trump Has a New Defense Team
Feb02 Why Trump Lost, According to His Own Pollster
Feb02 Donald Trump, Russian Asset
Feb02 Jockeying for the 2022 Senate Elections Is Well Underway
Feb01 Biden's First Actions Are Popular
Feb01 Republican Senators Offer Biden a "Compromise" on COVID-19 Relief
Feb01 Trump's Impeachment Lawyers Quit
Feb01 Why Did Democrats Win in Georgia and Lose in North Carolina?
Feb01 Trump Raised $255 Million after the Election
Feb01 Democrats Also Have Some Cash in the Bank
Feb01 Beware of the Gerrymander
Feb01 McDaniel Is in a Bind
Feb01 Town of Palm Beach Is Reviewing the Legality of Trump's Living at Mar-a-Lago
Feb01 Democrats Are More Popular Than Republicans in Georgia
Jan31 Sunday Mailbag
Jan30 Saturday Q&A
Jan29 McCarthy Goes to Florida to Kiss the Ring
Jan29 A House Divided against Itself Cannot Stand
Jan29 Senate News, Part I: Jordan Out
Jan29 Senate News, Part II: Rubio May Be Bulletproof
Jan29 Question Answered: It Was Trump
Jan29 Another Question Answered: It Was a Hacky Decision