Newsom Warns Democrats Not to Be Timid on Pandemic
Another Woodward Bestseller
Colorado’s Governor Marries His Longtime Partner
Biden to Host Boris Johnson at White House
Durham Will Seek Indictment of Democratic Lawyer
The Trump Coup Is Still Raging
• House Ways and Means Committee Has Decided on Means
• Yang Apparently Has a New Gang
• Woodward to Give Trump the Dick Treatment
• When The News Breaks--Today's News Media, Part III: Meghan McCain
• Nassib Has Three Tackles, One Sack in Raiders Win
• (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part VI--Congress, the Legislation
Again, to our Jewish readers: G'mar chatima tova!
You Win Some, and You Newsom
Well, that was quite anticlimactic. Only about two-thirds of the California recall votes have been counted as of 5:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, but it's clear that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) is going to keep his job, and with plenty of breathing room to spare.
The current count is 5,805,372 votes (64.3%) to keep the Governor and 3,227,265 votes (35.7%) to recall him. That may get a bit closer, since the uncounted votes are mostly in-person votes, but it's probably not going to get that much closer. A lot of Democrats voted in-person yesterday, and some portion of the outstanding votes are mail-in ballots that have yet to reach election officials. It would be quite a surprise if he does not win by 20%, and 25% is probably more likely. Newsom becomes the second state governor in U.S. history (after Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker) to defeat a recall.
The "who should replace Newsom?" vote, which is now moot, was interesting. Radio firebrand Larry Elder did indeed lead the field with 2,328,681 votes (so far), 46.6% of the total collected by alternate candidates. In total, Republican candidates accrued 3,369,150 votes, which, as a percentage, is pretty much in line with what the polls predicted. The leading "Democrat," to the extent that he is one, is Kevin Paffrath, with 495,215 votes, 10% of the alternate candidates' total. In total, Democratic candidates collected 1,405,371 votes. The leading non-major-party vote-getter is Dan Kapelovitz of the Green Party; he got 44,655 votes, 0.9% of the alternate candidates' total. Non-major-party candidates collected 201,441 votes in total.
If you add all the votes for non-Newsom candidates up, the total checks in at 4,975,962. The total vote on the first question, by contrast, is 9,032,637. That means that 4,056,675 voters seem to have taken the Governor's advice and left the second question blank. We didn't think much of that strategy, or of the Democrats failing to put a viable alternative on the second part of the ballot. Clearly, the pros were right, and we were wrong. Oh well, we're certain that it happens all the time. A baseball player who bats .400 is a legend, so if we bat .700 or .850 in our guesses and projections, that's pretty good.
That said, we're not so sure that Newsom's tactical insight is what actually carried the day here. Nor his pandemic management, nor that he campaigned with a little help from his friends Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Kamala Harris. No, the recall was a nail-biter right up until Larry Elder became the clear Republican frontrunner. He is way out of step with most California voters, and if pandemic management was what folks were really upset about, well "no masks, no mandates, no anything" isn't exactly a stellar alternative.
If you click through the link above and look at the map, you can see that "Recall" and Elder did well in the very red parts of the state (mostly inland, and along the Nevada border), but were a disaster almost everywhere else. One wants to be careful about drawing too many conclusions from extremely wonky elections like this one, but there was huge turnout. So, we can at least suggest that Trumpism remains quite toxic in most places, and that there's a bit more reason for Republicans to worry about swing districts that end up with Trumpy candidates as the nominee. This, by the way, was the basic theme of Newsom's victory speech, in which he declared "We may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead."
On the whole, the recall was a colossally stupid move by the Republican Party. It was primarily the work of the California GOP, which failed to recruit a viable candidate or to throw its weight behind one of the candidates who jumped in. Maybe Newsom's victory was inevitable, but it's also possible that if it had been him against a more moderate Republican with actual political experience, like Kevin Faulconer, it could have been much, much closer.
Instead, the Republicans not only lost in a blowout, they allowed Newsom to get a running start on his reelection next year: building a battle-tested campaign apparatus and ground game, gathering invaluable polling data, and putting himself in a position to make the argument that Californians are pretty happy with his leadership (he's likely to end up with more votes, and a higher percentage of the vote, in the recall than he got in his initial election). Perhaps worst of all for the GOP, though, is they have now slammed shut their one back door into the governor's mansion. Californians weren't so upset when the moderate Arnold Schwarzenegger booted the unpopular Gray Davis in 2003; it seemed like the system had basically worked. But this was a naked power grab, and a clear abuse of the process. You can bet your bottom dollar that change is coming.
What kind of change? Well, let's start with the observation that the current California system is about the worst option imaginable. It was designed over 100 years ago by progressives, who were sick of the often-corrupt leadership of California's business tycoons. The progressives knew that they had a very loyal cadre of supporters, but that it was a relatively small minority of the total populace. So, they managed to put in place a system where entrenched officeholders could potentially be upended by a small-but-dedicated cadre of opponents. It turned out to be unnecessary; by the time the recall laws were on the California books, the progressive movement was ascendant, and able to win elections without end runs around the system. Hence the ascension of progressive Hiram Johnson to the governorship in 1911.
It is going to take a ballot initiative, but there are three pretty obvious ways California can close this loophole:
- No More Recalls: This probably won't happen, because people tend to think recall laws keep
leaders accountable. However, it is not possible to recall federal officeholders, nor governors in 30 states. Clearly,
quite a few people feel (and felt) that the threat of impeachment (or of expulsion from Congress) is enough to keep
the politicians basically in line.
- Change the Line of Succession: This is the option we've written about the most, and is
the likeliest of these three to be adopted by the Golden State. If recalls were a straight up-or-down vote, and the law
called for a recalled governor to be succeeded by their lieutenant governor (which is what the LG is supposed to be for),
then there would no longer be a way to game the system so as to potentially elect a governor with a minority (and possibly
a small minority) of the vote. A Republican candidate would have to win statewide, either as governor, or as LG, to
take over the governor's mansion.
- Uncouple the Elections: The laws of about half a dozen states, most notably Illinois, make a recall and the choice of a replacement two separate elections, with the latter only taking place if the former is successful. It would be very expensive to hold two elections in a big, populous state like California. However, this approach would eliminate the gaming encouraged by the current approach, and would likely also make it implausible for a candidate with far-less-than-majority support to steal a win.
Whether it's one of these or some other option, this loophole is going to be closed in short order, presumably at the next election.
At this point, the only real storyline remaining is whether or not the Republicans will try to challenge the results, either rhetorically or in court. Elder spent much of the day on Tuesday proclaiming that he had discovered patterns of fraud in the vote tallies, despite the fact that the tallies...had not yet been released. Tuesday night, he and the California GOP both conceded, so maybe they will just let this go. If they don't, that would be another error; you can only cry "wolf" so many times before it starts to fall on deaf ears. (Z)
House Ways and Means Committee Has Decided on Means
Sometimes, we get questions about the Senate's presumption in originating spending bills, given that such things are supposed to originate in the House. This is a bit of a complicated area of constitutional law, so what we're about to say is the simplified version. Thanks to several court precedents, as well as the plain language of the Constitution, the only thing that has to originate in the House is bills that raise revenue (i.e., impose new taxes). Even that is not universally true; it's possible for some new taxes to originate in the Senate, if those taxes are based on bills that have already passed Congress.
Still, for our purposes, the simplified explanation is good enough. When it comes to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, there's a lot of leeway for various committees and individual members in both chambers to insinuate themselves into the process. However, the one thing where there's no flexibility is changes in the corporate tax rate. That's gonna have to come from the House. And, more specifically, it's gonna have to come from the House Ways and Means Committee.
Ways and Means rolled up its sleeves a couple of weeks ago, and has now come up with their plan to pay for the big reconciliation bill. Here are the key elements:
- No wealth tax: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and other progressives, would like to tax
wealthy individuals each year on their assets, the way that some European countries do. This is a non-starter for many
moderate Democrats in the House, so it's not going to happen this year (or anytime soon, we would guess).
It is also doubtful that the Supreme Court would allow a wealth tax since the Fifth Amendment prohibits the taking of
private property without just compensation. After all, enacting an income tax required a constitutional amendment, so a wealth
tax would probably also require one.
- Corporations pony up: This is not the U.K. or Eisenhower-era America. The American taxman
can't tell the corporate types that there's one for you, nineteen for me. Indeed, the legacy of the Reagan era is that
corporate taxes will probably never again reach a number that starts in 3, much less something higher. Still, a bit of a
nudge is possible. And so, Ways and Means wants to increase the rate from 21% to 26.5%, and also to close a bunch of
- Others get a break: At the same time that corporations would be paying more, House
Democrats hope to set it up so families pay less by making permanent some of the pandemic-influenced changes, like the
expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. They also want to incentivize investment in and use of green energy, and they
want to give small breaks to some other folks, like allowing union members to write off $250 in union dues.
- Punt on SALT: The $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deductions imposed by Republicans in 2017 is not exactly a partisan issue. It's more of a big blue state issue vs. the rest of the country issue, since it is big blue states that tend to have high tax bills for citizens. Since the Democrats are quite divided on this issue, Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) decided to kick it to a more agile politician, namely Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). She can figure out what to do.
As a rule, we aren't writing too many items about the infrastructure bill wangling, because a lot of it is just moves and countermoves, posturing and counterposturing. In particular, we struggle to find much value in writing about whatever position Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has adopted today, since he is clearly putting on a show for the benefit of his constituents, and since he could easily be on an entirely new position by next week, or by tomorrow, or by 4:00 p.m. today. However, the Ways and Means proposal is pretty big news, because it means a pretty big piece of the puzzle now has some dimension to it. There will be haggling for sure, but now at least there's something concrete to haggle about.
Further, the bill would raise a net total of about $2 trillion in revenue. Couple that with a few other maneuvers, like stricter IRS enforcement, and add in the various economic gains that would be realized as a result of the bill, and the blue team now has a proposal that can legitimately be said to pay for itself. That may be enough to get Manchin on board long enough for him to cast a vote, which is exactly the amount of time the Democrats need him for. That said, we're not going to learn much more this week, since Congress is recessing so that Jewish members can return home for Yom Kippur. (Z)
Yang Apparently Has a New Gang
Andrew Yang loves his math; you can tell from his lapel pin. As a result, he's taken note that one and one and one is three. And so, because he is not a Republican, and he's not happy with the Democrats, he announced last week that he has decided to start a third party.
We will see how serious about this he really is. Conveniently, Yang has a new book coming out entitled Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy. According to the publisher's blurb, it is:
A lively and bold blueprint for moving beyond the "era of institutional failure" by transforming our outmoded political and economic systems to be resilient to twenty-first-century problems, from the popular entrepreneur, bestselling author, and political truth-teller
To us, those words sound both impressive and empty. And at this point, it's kind of becoming Yang's calling card to articulate bold goals without clearly explaining the specific benefits he foresees in achieving those goals or, more importantly, how he's going to reach the finish line. All the great ideas in the world don't mean much if you have no real plan for how to make them a reality.
And, at this point, we would remind everyone that the American system has an overwhelming orientation toward exactly two viable political parties. This is a byproduct of tribalism, in part, but is mostly due to there being so many elections where claiming a majority of the vote is either required, or is essentially necessary. If the whole country were to adopt ranked-choice voting, then there might just be a place for viable third parties. But the whole country isn't New York City.
If Yang is serious, well, billionaire Ross Perot tapped into serious resentment with the two major parties, and he still couldn't make a third party work. Theodore Roosevelt was a rock star with a near-fanatical base of support and national name recognition, and he couldn't make it work. Yang finished a distant fourth in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary and did worse than Tulsi Gabbard in the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination. In other words, he's got quite the hill to climb. We kind of suspect he'll lose interest a few weeks after the paperback version of his book comes out.
All of that said, this is as good a time as any to share this link from The New York Times. You answer 20 questions, and then it tells you which small party would make the most sense for you if the U.S. was a multi-party system, like the U.K. or France or Israel or the folks up north.
As an aside, Friday will mark the 6-month anniversary of the March 17, 2021, Dutch parliamentary election. No government has been formed yet and no government is in sight. Here is an article in English about the formation of a new cabinet. Fundamentally, there are 17 parties in the 150-seat parliament and none of them are keen on giving up their fundamental principles to join a coalition. Imagine that the U.S. had a multiparty system and the Elizabeth Warren Party (EWP) and the Joe Manchin Party (JMP) together had 215 seats in the House. Since none of the right-wing parties were interested in joining them, they needed the support of either the Defund the Police Party (DPP) with 3 seats, the End Capitalism Now Party (ECNP) with 5 seats, or some other fanatical fringe party that insisted on having its entire party platform enacted into law the first year. And the JMP had zero interest in having any of these fellows on board. Stomaching the EWP was bad enough. It might take a while to form a government or it might fail altogether, potentially forcing a new election. In Israel, there were four elections between April 2019 and March 2021, and the current government is a mish-mash of parties that have nothing in common except a dislike of Benjamin Netanyahu. That is not a formula for long-term stability. (Z)
Woodward to Give Trump the Dick Treatment
Bob Woodward, aided by co-author Robert Costa, has yet another book about Donald Trump coming out. This one is called Peril, and it promises shocking revelations about the final days of the Trump administration. This is not the first time Woodward has written this same basic book—The Final Days is the same thing, except replace "Donald Trump" with "Richard Nixon."
As a rule, we don't particularly enjoy writing about the latest Trump porn. He's out of office, and lurid details about his nuttiness and his lack of competence aren't going to change much of anything. Approximately 51.3% of Americans know Trump is nutty and incompetent, while roughly 46.9% either don't know, or don't care, or see his behavior as a feature, not a bug. Still, it's Bob Woodward, the dean of American political journalists. And everyone either has an item about the book, or will have something this week, in advance of its publication next Tuesday. So, we're going to run down the main "shocking revelations," and then we can be done with it:
- When You Talk about Destruction: Most people know that Nixon's underlings, in his final
days, warned the Pentagon not to execute any nuclear launches without strictly following the chain of command. That order came specifically from
Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, who said that either he or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger should be asked
before any bombs were sent flying. To nobody's surprise, the same thing happened with Trump. In the case of #45, it was
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, who told his staff that they were "not to take orders from
anyone unless he [Milley] was involved."
- Carrying Pictures of Chairman Mao: Apparently, Milley was concerned, in particular, with
China. He did not want them to fear American aggression, and to respond preemptively, thus starting World War III. To
that end, Milley was on the phone regularly with his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation
Army, assuring him that the U.S. was stable and that level-headed people were still in control. Milley is still Chair of
the Joint Chiefs, incidentally, and Republicans are already calling for his head, or his resignation, or both.
- You Say You'll Change the Constitution: Like the gay cowboys in "Brokeback Mountain" (and
see below for an item about gay pirates), Donald Trump just can't quit Steve Bannon. After being banished
from the White House, Bannon worked himself back into Trump's good graces. And it would seem that Bannon was the person
who persuaded Trump, et al., that he had a constitutional right to overturn the 2020 election.
- People with Minds that Hate: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spent years kissing the ring. Then, sensing that the winds might be blowing in a new direction following the 1/6 insurrection, McCarthy became a Trump critic. After realizing he was wrong, McCarthy went back to kissing...the ring. Trump has certain talents, and one of those is his ability to identify a phony (kind of like how pots know things about kettles). Although the former president is currently playing nice in public, he reportedly loathes the Minority Leader. "This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fu**ed me. He's not a good guy...Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back."
If you want this item to be politically relevant, instead of just relaying juicy gossip, then that last item is where the important stuff is. If the relationship between Trump and McCarthy is strained, or non-existent, then that could certainly have implications in 2022, particularly as House races come into focus. If McCarthy is on one horse and Trump is on another in a bunch of races, it could get ugly quickly. (Z)
When The News Breaks--Today's News Media, Part III: Meghan McCain
At the end of August, Meghan McCain quit her job as the resident conservative on the talk show "The View." And last week, she announced what her new gig will be. Yep, the daughter of Sen. John McCain is working for the Daily Mail. It's a steady job, but she wants to be a paperback writer. Ok, we're just speculating about that last part, because the Daily Mail is just about the worst newspaper in the world, and is not even American. For a Yank to take a job like that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
We bring this up because it speaks to how few media jobs there are for someone like McCain. The great majority of the conservative media establishment is made up of fire-breathing members of the Trump cult. And many of them aren't really cultists; they're just playing one on TV. For example, Politico just published an essay by reporter Erin Aubry Kaplan in which she compared on-the-air Larry Elder with the off-the-air version; the latter admitted that he faked ignorance of her work and pretended to be disagreeable, because that is what attracts listeners. Similarly, Tucker Carlson was all over the news this week because he said that while he prefers to tell the truth on his show, he's more than willing to tell a lie if he feels it's necessary.
If you are a conservative and you can't, or won't work for Fox, OANN, Newsmax, The Daily Wire, Breitbart, Infowars, or any of those other sites, then there are also "token conservative" jobs, like the one that McCain just left, on many shows, and at many newspapers. However, even those folks are encouraged to be over-the-top, so that their employer can claim "balance." And even if they don't want to be over-the-top, they are often maneuvered into that position by their fellow panelists (on TV), or by the headline writers (in print media).
It would appear that some of these folks, like McCain, also feel a lot of pressure as the sole representative of their side of the political aisle. "I try to just remind myself that I'm representing 50% of the country," she explained, in reference to her old job. That number is way high; there's no way that 50% of the country is Republican, much less anti-Trump Republican. Still, McCain clearly perceived that burden, and it contributed to her exit from "The View."
There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Some people were well established in their current jobs before Trumpism began, like The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, or Fox's Chris Wallace. Others, like the entire staff of The Bulwark, can apparently afford to work for free, or for very little money. But overall, there just isn't a lot of paying media work for someone who isn't far right and Trumpy (or whose media persona isn't far right and Trumpy, at least). And that's why McCain finds herself working for an awful British bird-cage liner. (Z)
Nassib Has Three Tackles, One Sack in Raiders Win
The Las Vegas Raiders got their season off to a good start on Monday night, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in overtime. Defensive End Carl Nassib had a good night, helping to anchor the Raiders' defensive line, and making a key, game-turning play in overtime. Even if you're a fan of a more beloved and successful NFL team—the Green Bay Packers, to take just one example at random—it was a heck of a game.
So, why are we writing about this? No, we haven't suddenly switched to being a sports site. And this isn't April 1, if that is what you are thinking. No, you see, Nassib is openly gay. And not only is he openly gay, he's the first openly gay player ever to take the field for an NFL team. Make no mistake, there have been more than a dozen LGBTQ+ football players in the past, but all of them were closeted during their playing days.
Where's the political angle? Well, for quite a while, gay athletes—and, in particular, gay football players—were the culture wars issue. This was before the culture warriors got all fancy with critical race theory, the war on Christmas, Dr. Seuss' alleged First Amendment rights, etc. Last night, however, Nassib's debut barely got any mention at all, from any part of the political spectrum. OutSports and other LGBTQ+-centric sites mentioned it, of course, and basketball analyst Charles Barkley made a point of wearing a Nassib replica jersey on TV yesterday, but that was pretty much it. We even held off on writing this item for a day (we could have done it Monday night) so we could double-check the right-wing sites. But we found nothing.
The biggest story, actually, was not Nassib's debut, per se. It was that when he made that key play in overtime (a sack of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson where Nassib was barely even touched), TV analyst and former player Ryan Clark wondered "Why is Nassib running butt-booty naked?" Viewers are unclear as to exactly what that means, whether it's a gay reference, and whether it's a gay slur. There is a play called a naked bootleg, but it's an offensive play, and has nothing to do with a defensive player like Nassib. Clark has yet to explain himself. Maybe there will be an answer, or maybe Clark will just let it be.
Anyhow, the point is, all culture wars issues have an expiration date. Which is why, of course, a culture wars-centric political party, like the modern-day Republican Party, has to keep coming up with new ones. (Z)
(Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part VI--Congress, the Legislation
Some of the predictions are quite good. Others...well, maybe this exercise will help you learn how to play the game, and you'll be back to hit a home run next year. Anyhow, here are the lists so far:
- Part I: Donald Trump
- Part II: Trump's Family and Supporters
- Part III: Right-wing Politicians and Media
- Part IV: The Biden Administration
- Part V: The Supreme Court
And now, some thoughts about what Congress will, or won't, do:
- A.H. in Linwood, NJ: Puerto Rico and D.C. (Douglass Commonwealth) will be added as states
before the end of the year.
- P.S. in Bellevue, NE: D.C. will not become a state during the Biden Administration, if
- A.H. in Midland, GA: Politicians and lawmakers will use the attack on the Capitol to try
and pass, unjustly in my opinion, censorious laws in regards to online social media platforms, forums, blogs, comment
- E.P. in Gunma, Japan: The Democrats will be able to pass significant legislation to
address elections, labor, the environment, and/or healthcare despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) objections.
- E.L. in Dallas, TX: The filibuster will stay in place. Therefore, Congress will mostly be
non-functional and will only pass a few relief bills, regulations to rein in presidential powers (especially on the ability
to spend appropriated money), and rename some government buildings that were named after traitors.
- E.N.A. in Olalla, MA: My bold prediction is that the Republicans and Democrats, sometime
prior to the 2022 election, will find a way to pass legislation, possibly a Constitutional Amendment, to rein in the
unfettered power of the president. The Democrats because they remember Donald Trump and the Republicans because they
fear a Democratic "Donald Trump."
- J.A. in Redwood City, CA: In the Senate, the filibuster will fall to the Democrats, or at
least become much more difficult to execute. Later, Democrats will regret making that change, as early as 2022.
- J.C. in Monteverde, FL: Joe Manchin won't be so tough, and many progressive policies will get
through. The filibuster will fall when an egregious Supreme Court decision happens and gives him cover to support it.
- J.F. in Houston, TX: A climate bill which establishes a well-funded National Center for
Climate Research and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia, is sponsored in the Senate by Joe Manchin, Mitch McConnell,
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), among others.
- L.R.H. in Oakland, CA: The John Lewis Civil Rights Act will be passed this year.
- M.C.G. in Madison, WI: Congress will fail to take any major steps like healthcare for all,
statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico, comprehensive immigration reform, major infrastructure/energy overhaul or major action
on the environment.
- S.J.S. in Toms River, NJ: Within 24 hours of Biden's inauguration, one or more GOP members of the House will introduce, or attempt to introduce, articles of impeachment against the new president.
Tomorrow, the list will be about the members of Congress. (Z)
Ok, this time, we knew it was coming in advance. Over the weekend, when planning out a couple of
the stories above, we knew Beatles lyrics would be involved. In fact, one of those two stories we did in part
because we wanted to make the obvious Beatles reference. And once the Beatles were set to appear twice, it was
easy enough to extend it to all seven items. So, each item contains phrases at least five words in length from
the lyrics of a notable Beatles song. Some contain more than one phrase from that song, but the phrases are each at
least five words, and they are the exact words from the song. No fair noticing, for example, that the Yang item
has the words "make it" included, and the song "Hey Jude" has the lyric "Take a sad song and make it better," and then
arguing that the Yang bit is a "Hey Jude" reference. It's not. Nope, gotta be at least five words. And again, from a
notable song in the band's catalog; nothing that was a B-side appearing only on the Japanese release of "She
Loves You," or that was a cover of some other band's song performed for the "Live at the BBC" recordings.
Anyhow, if you care to try your hand at it (though, we're sorry, we don't want to hold your hand), send the songs and the five-word phrase that appears (or one of them, if there's more than one) to the comments e-mail address. We'll print the initials and location of everyone who swept the list on Friday (so, make sure to include your name/initials and location, if they're not already clear from your e-mail header/footer.)
If you wish to contact us, please use one of these addresses. For the first two, please include your initials and city.
- email@example.com For questions about politics, civics, history, etc. to be answered on a Saturday
- firstname.lastname@example.org For "letters to the editor" for possible publication on a Sunday
- email@example.com To tell us about typos or factual errors we should fix
- firstname.lastname@example.org For general suggestions, ideas, etc.
To download a poster about the site to hang up, please click here.
Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Sep14 Blinken Doesn't Blink
Sep14 Money for Nothing
Sep14 Back in the Saddle Again
Sep14 This Is What Bad Optics Looks Like
Sep14 Chris Christie's Customers Aren't Buying What He Is Selling
Sep14 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part V--The Supreme Court
Sep13 Unity for a Day, Then More Divisions
Sep13 Bush Calls Out Domestic Terrorism
Sep13 Christie Attacks Trump Directly
Sep13 Poll: Republicans Evenly Split on 2024 Trump Candidacy
Sep13 Lexico-Political Battles, Part I: What's a Woman?
Sep13 Lexico-Political Battles, Part II: What's a Religion?
Sep13 Redistricting Will Help the Republicans
Sep13 Breyer: Politics Could Factor into When I Retire
Sep13 New Poll: Newsom in Strong Position for Tuesday's Recall Election
Sep12 Sunday Mailbag
Sep11 Saturday Q&A
Sep10 Biden Lays Down the Law
Sep10 Garland Picks His Angle
Sep10 Boxer Has Some Advice for Feinstein
Sep10 This Week's 2022 Candidacy News
Sep10 This Week in Schadenfreude
Sep10 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part IV--The Biden Administration
Sep09 Schumer Calls Manchin's Bluff
Sep09 Raising the Debt Ceiling Will Not Be in the Reconciliation Bill
Sep09 Florida Judge Rules against DeSantis
Sep09 Trump Picks a Horse in Wyoming
Sep09 Harris Campaigns for Newsom
Sep09 Pennsylvania Wants to Copy Arizona's Election "Audit"
Sep09 When The News Breaks--Today's News Media, Part II: Politico Has Itself Become Political News
Sep09 School Boards Are the New Battlegrounds
Sep09 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part III--Right-wing Politicians and Media
Sep08 Time for Some Answers on Afghanistan
Sep08 Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better
Sep08 America's Next National Nightmare May Come Right on Schedule
Sep08 Well, That Pretty Much Settles That
Sep08 Let's Run the Newsom Numbers
Sep08 The South Will Fall Again
Sep08 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part II--Donald Trump's Family and Supporters
Sep07 For Every Action...
Sep07 Unemployment Benefits End for Millions
Sep07 Abbott Is Sinking
Sep07 One Week to Go for Newsom Recall
Sep07 Proposed Colorado Map Is...Interesting
Sep07 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part I--Donald Trump
Sep07 Happy Labor Day! (Answers)
Sep06 Manchine Politics
Sep06 A Tale of Two Afghanistans
Sep06 And The Grift Goes On