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Senators Behaving Badly

The Triple Crises, Part I: Funding the Government

If Congress doesn't provide funding for the federal government by Friday, there will be a partial shutdown of government services. That would make many people angry and would hurt the economy. It would also interrupt public health services in the middle of a pandemic.

The obvious thing for Congress to do is what it usually does: kick the can a bit further down the road by funding the government for a few more months. But the Democrats have added a provision to the funding bill that suspends the limit on the federal debt for the time being. Republicans are refusing to vote for that because they want to blame the Democrats for raising the debt limit. If Republicans fold and vote for the bill to fund the government with this provision, they will be as responsible for increasing the debt as the Democrats, thus losing a campaign issue in 2022. If the Democrats fold and remove the provision, Republicans will probably vote to fund the government for a few months and avert a shutdown this week. If nobody folds, the shutdown could begin this weekend.

Among the things that could happen during a shutdown are these:

  • Many government employees would be sent home without pay
  • Law enforcement, the military, TSA personnel, and air traffic controllers would have to work without pay
  • Government tasks like processing SBA loans, issuing passports, and mailing Social Security checks would stop
  • Food safety inspections could halt
  • National Parks would close

Also, much of the government's efforts to contain the pandemic might stop, even though 140,000 people are getting infected every day and 2,000 are dying every day. (V)

The Triple Crises, Part II: The Federal Debt

If the Democrats remove the debt provision from the funding bill, they will have to deal with the debt ceiling in some other way. The famous and acerbic columnist H.L. Mencken once wrote: "No one in this world ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to be ready to bet the tobacco plantation on it. Unless Congress does something within a couple of weeks, or maybe a month at most (unless Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suddenly discovers a stray trillion-dollar coin in her purse), the U.S. government will default on its debt for the first time in history, with catastrophic results. The reason for this potential default is that the Treasury does not have the money to pay the bills for spending Congress authorized years ago. It has nothing to do with potential future spending. But McConnell is channeling his inner Mencken and betting that most Americans are too dumb to realize this and will think that the debt limit has something to do with the reconciliation bill that the Democrats are working on (but see below).

If we get to the brink, Joe Biden can try to educate the public by explaining that it is like your getting a credit card bill. Writing a check is needed to pay for spending you already did. It is not for new spending you might do in the future. McConnell knows that Biden has the bully pulpit, but he is gambling that 40% of the country won't believe whatever Biden says. In fact, most of the 40% won't even bother tuning in when he addresses the nation.

McConnell knows perfectly well what the actual situation is, but he is hoping to force the Democrats to make some concessions in return for not causing the economy to tank. If this were a game, it might be called something like "Ultimate Chicken." It is a huge gamble and big business might be really, really angry with McConnell if he follows through and really does it, taking the markets and the economy down. (V)

The Triple Crises, Part III: Infrastructure

Margaret Thatcher once said: "First you win the argument, then you win the vote." By that she meant that until a leader has convinced her own party that she is right and the party has convinced the public that it is right, you don't take any votes. The Democrats are about to ignore her advice at their own peril. Joe Biden won a majority in the Electoral College, but if 44,000 votes in three states (Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin) had gone the other way (out of 7 million there), Donald Trump would be in the White House now. Democrats lost a dozen seats in the House and managed to capture exactly half the Senate. This really isn't a mandate for change as sweeping as the New Deal or the Great Society. Democrats didn't win the argument, at least not a slam-dunk win, but they are going to hold the vote anyway.

Here is the problem: Weeks ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised the moderates in her caucus that she would hold an up-or-down vote on the bipartisan hard infrastructure bill on Sept. 27. That's today. We don't know what is going to happen, but here are a few of the possibilities.

  • Pelosi postpones the vote: The passage of the bill is anything but assured, so she could postpone the vote. This is guaranteed to piss off the moderates in her caucus because she promised them the vote would be today. If she cancels the vote indefinitely, her credibility with them goes to zero. That will hurt her as long as she is speaker.

  • The moderates ask to postpone the vote: Pelosi could tell the moderates: "I promised to hold a vote today and if you want me to, I will. But I know it will fail. How will your wonderful bipartisanship look then if the bill fails by 100 votes, which it will?" This could force the moderates to agree to tell her to delay the vote. Then there will be no vote but it won't be her fault. Her credibility will survive.

  • The bill fails: If the moderates insist on a vote, Pelosi could keep her promise. Then most of the Republicans and 100 progressive Democrats vote it down. Pelosi can then say to the moderates: "I gave you the option of delaying the vote, but you insisted, so I scheduled it. You should have convinced your colleagues to vote for it. Not my fault. I warned you, but I kept my promise to you."

  • She makes a deal: If she pulls this off, this will make her the greatest speaker since maybe Sam Rayburn. Basically, she has to get all the moderates to promise to vote for the reconciliation bill when it comes up, no matter how offensive it is to them. She has to make it clear to them that breaking that promise will have dire consequences for them and she will never trust them again. Maybe she could even insist that they turn over the entire contents of their campaign account to the DCCC for safekeeping, to be returned as soon as they vote yes on the reconciliation bill. Otherwise, the DCCC gets to keep it and spend it on electing more progressives who will vote like Democrats. Based on her word alone, the progressives then vote for the bill and it passes.

  • She uses reconciliation The last option is for her to fold on her promise not to put the debt ceiling in the reconciliation bill and do it anyway, daring the moderates to vote against it and tank the country. This is really high-stakes poker, but she could do it if nothing else seems reasonable to her.

On ABC News yesterday, Pelosi said that she doesn't want to bring up a bill that will fail. But she also doesn't want to break her promise to the moderates. If she delays the vote for a few days with the moderates' permission, then when it comes up on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday, all of the above scenarios are still on the table. She also conceded that the final reconciliation bill will be for less than its current $3.5-trillion price tag.

Pelosi wasn't the only one who had something to say about the infrastructure bills yesterday. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said that she didn't expect a vote on Monday because she knows Pelosi doesn't bring up bills unless the votes are there. But if they aren't there today, will they be there later this week? The thing holding the entire process up is the lack of a reconciliation bill to vote on at the same time as the hard infrastructure bill. But the reconciliation bill is not likely to be forthcoming, because Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are not prepared to vote for it. So even if the scheduled vote is delayed for a few days, nothing really changes and the above scenarios are all still possible.

Fundamentally, the Democrats are badly divided. Where is Lyndon Johnson when you need him? Part of the problem is that the Democrats want many, many changes—on climate, on free college, on free pre-K, on immigration, on inequality, on gun control, on health care, on the minimum wage, and on so much more. Getting all the noses pointed in the same direction is like herding cats. All the Republicans want is lowering taxes on rich people and corporations, appointing right-wing judges, and aggressively enforcing existing immigration law. It's much easier to pull off that agenda when #1 can be done by reconciliation, #2 can be done with any Republican president and 50 seats in the Senate, and #3 doesn't require new laws. (V)

Arizona Audit Just Fuels More Conspiracy Theories

It looks like the Arizona audit is going out with a whimper. The official count was more than 99.9% accurate. Has that silenced the folks who claim that Trump won Arizona? Absolutely not. Far from it. Many voices on the right just ignored the conclusions and said that the report makes it clear that there was widespread fraud and more restrictions on voting are needed, despite the report not concluding that at all. Donald Trump himself led the charge by lying, his specialty, saying: "There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated!"

Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for the open secretary of state position, said: "Now that the audit of Maricopa is wrapping up, we need to audit Pima County—the 2nd largest county in AZ." He is not technically lying here, but the message is pretty clear to Trump's base: "If I am elected, you can count on my putting my thumb, hand, or maybe boot, on the scales to help Trump and Republicans in the future." It used to be that Democrats and Republicans differed on taxes, spending, immigration, etc., but now the big divide is whether to have honest elections or not. This debate is not terribly good for democracy.

State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) and others made up a new slogan: "Canvass Maricopa." They didn't define what that means, but it sure sounds like they think the count is ongoing and not over yet. Former Missouri governor Eric Greitens (R), who blackmailed his mistress after photographing her nude and was nearly impeached for it, but still wants to be a U.S. Senator, said: "Arizona must decertify. We must have forensic audits across the country." He failed to note that the one in Arizona didn't change anything. But a belief that the election was stolen has become the most important plank in just about every Republican's platform.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who is running for governor, noted that the audit has not changed any minds, saying: "I wish I could tell you that I'm excited to put all this to rest, but I'm not naive. I know far-right Republicans and conspiracy theorists will continue to come after me regardless of the results."

At this point, most Republicans know there is no mechanism to decertify the election. What all this noise is about is to make the public disbelieve election results, that is, to end the public's faith in democracy. In other words, the right has become the left. Republicans are carrying out Russian President Vladimir Putin's program for him, for free, and without any danger of Putin getting caught. On a practical level, having almost half the country not believe in election results sets the stage for any Republican who loses in 2022 or 2024 to claim the election was stolen and have almost half the country believe it. We are not in a good place. (V)

Democrats Want to Limit Presidential Power

Democrats have introduced a bill (Protecting Our Democracy Act) that curbs presidential power. While they have a future Trump presidency in mind, it is possible that some Republicans will vote for the bill because its first effect will be to limit what Joe Biden can do on his own right now—and especially what he can do on his own if Democrats lose one or both chambers of Congress in 2022. The lead sponsor is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), which probably doesn't give most Republicans a warm and fuzzy feeling, but the possibility of restricting Biden in 2023 might win over enough converts to get it passed. Here are some of the provisions:

  • Pardons: Trump pardoned many of his cronies during his term as president. There is no way to take back the president's pardon power short of a constitutional amendment, but the bill calls for the attorney general to provide information to Congress about pardons, specifically in cases where the recipient is under investigation or is a relative of the president. It also says that if the president offers any form of clemency in return for something (e.g., keeping silent when subpoenaed), that is bribery and a federal crime. The pardon would still be valid, but the president could be prosecuted for offering a bribe.

  • Prosecuting the president: It is Justice Dept. policy not to indict sitting presidents. If a president commits a crime before taking office or early in his presidency, and he serves long enough, the statute of limitations could run out, meaning the president couldn't be prosecuted even after leaving office. The bill stops the clock while a president is in office. So if the statute of limitations is, say, 5 years, and the president committed a crime a year before taking office, he could still be prosecuted during the first 4 years after leaving office, no matter how long he served.

  • Emoluments: The Constitution's foreign emoluments clause is a bit vague. The bill clarifies it to define receiving money from a foreign government in an at-market-rate commercial transaction as an emolument. For example, if you happen to own a big hotel and a foreign government wants to rent the entire hotel and all the ballrooms for a glorious 3-day party to celebrate its national holiday, that counts as an emolument, and thus is forbidden by the Constitution.

  • Foreign interference in elections: The bill would penalize campaigns for obtaining information or help from foreign governments, even if the campaign didn't actively solicit the help.

  • Firing critics: Inspectors general are federal officials whose job is to keep watch on their departments and look for corruption. Clearly they cannot do their work if the president can fire them whenever they discover one of his cronies with his hand in the cookie jar. That power has to go. The same provision limits the president's power to fire whistleblowers.

  • Tax returns: If the bill passes, future presidential and vice presidential candidates would be required to turn over their most recent 10 years of tax returns to the FEC, which would be required to make them public.

  • Congress' subpoena power: This provision sets fines for people who do not comply with congressional subpoenas. However, it doesn't resolve the issue of whether officials and aides to the president can claim executive privilege. The Supreme Court is going to have to resolve that.

  • The Hatch Act: Currently only the president can discipline people for violating the Hatch Act, which forbids government employees from using federal property and resources for campaign purposes. The bill would move that authority to a different entity. During Trump's presidency, adviser Kellyanne Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act and Trump did nothing about it.

  • The power of the purse: Trump repeatedly redirected funds Congress had appropriated for some purpose to an entirely different purpose. For example, he redirected $3.6 billion in DoD money to build his wall. The bill bans this, puts time limits on declarations of national emergencies, and creates penalties for flouting the rules set forth in law. In short, it tries to reassert Congress' power of the purse somewhat.

The bill is a modest start on curbing a rogue president. Still, there are many areas it does not address. For example, even though the Constitution gives Congress alone the power to impose tariffs, Trump did it and this bill doesn't reclaim that power. Also, the bill does nothing to deal with using acting appointments to avoid having nominees have to go before the Senate for confirmation. It could have said that when a cabinet post is vacant, the highest ranking Senate-confirmed official in the department becomes the acting secretary, with no exceptions. This would make it impossible to have anyone run a department without Senate confirmation, thus strengthening the power of the Senate.

Since Democrats control the House, they can probably pass it easily, with or without Republican help. The Senate could be a tougher lift, especially if Trump takes it personally (which he should) and commands them to vote no. It is possible that the Democrats might then chop it into pieces and put bits of it in various other must-pass bills. (V)

McConnell Finally Accepts Reality

Not actual reality, of course, but simply the reality that Donald Trump is not going away any time soon. So great is Trump's power that Mitch McConnell is now forced to say things he absolutely knows are not true. In particular, he has now "warmed" to Trump's endorsement of Herschel Walker (R) in the Georgia Senate race. About Trump's Senate picks, McConnell said: "I don't believe they are troubling."

The Minority Leader is lying through his teeth. He knows very well that Walker is about the weakest candidate the Republicans could put up in Georgia. Not only has Walker never run a campaign before, but he has a history of threatening to kill people (including his ex-wife), has lied about his finances, and suffers from a potentially debilitating mental disorder. The fact that McConnell has been forced—very much against his will and better judgment—to agree that up is down and war is peace, shows that Trump is going to play a huge role in 2022. He may well hurt the Republicans in multiple states, but there apparently isn't anything McConnell can do about it. After saying that Walker is not troubling, he would have a hard time using his PAC to support a different candidate in the GOP primary in Georgia, which very likely means that the race there will be Walker vs. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

It's hard to see McConnell even getting involved there. We don't see him making TV ads saying: "Vote for Walker because Trump says so." That might goose the Republican vote but it will goose the Democratic vote even more. Maybe he has resigned himself to losing in Georgia and will spend all his money in other states where Trump's choice happens to be the strongest candidate (by accident). Sure, he could support Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in Alabama, but that hardly matters since any of the GOP candidates there can win the general election and be a loyal Republican vote in the Senate.

One state that will really test McConnell is Alaska. Trump has endorsed Kelly Tshibaka (R) there. While Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) sometimes expresses her own opinions and doesn't always toe the party line on everything, she is an incumbent senator. For McConnell to try to defeat one of his own incumbents would be a huge risk, even for him. It might even be enough to get her to become an independent and promise to caucus with the Democrats, like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). He might also just stay out of that one and let the chips fall where they may. (V)

Walker Is Running -- from the Voters and the Media

Mitch McConnell may now be saying that he is OK with Herschel Walker running for the Senate, but privately he no doubt already regrets it, as Walker is running a very strange campaign. Walker seems to think the best way to get elected is to avoid talking to the voters and the media. It is an unusual strategy. On Saturday, he made his first campaign appearance. It lasted 10 minutes and was mostly meaningless platitudes. He said: "People always ask me what qualifies me to run for this office. And you know what qualified me to run, is because I love America, and I'm going to fight for America." If loving America is a sufficient qualification for the Senate, then there are probably upwards of 100 million other people who also qualify, so why rank Walker above all of them?

CNN reporters talked to half a dozen Republican operatives about how Walker should campaign: The consensus is that he should lie low and avoid being heard and seen, lest he say something that could sink him. Call it the William Henry Harrison playbook. They, and many other Republicans, fear that he is unprepared to answer questions from voters and reporters, so he is best off ignoring both. They also worry that he is too closely tied to Donald Trump, which could energize Democratic voters.

All the consultants see the same problem: How do you handle an untested novice with a volatile personal history in a must-win seat? One strategist gave as the answer: "To the extent the candidate will let you, lock his ass in a closet and raise money. You can't hide forever, but you can absolutely limit his exposure." A strategy of hiding the candidate speaks volumes of why Republicans are nervous about him.

One factor that could play a role in the race is the filing deadline. It is March 2022. This gives another high-profile Republican, like former senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, time to jump in. Having Republicans talking about hiding the candidate and the possibility of someone better jumping in doesn't exactly exude optimism. And what is going to happen if Warnock challenges Walker to multiple debates? As a pastor, Warnock has decades of experience speaking in public to large groups. Walker has no experience with public speaking. Will Walker be willing to accept? If he doesn't, Warnock is going to have a field day saying that he is afraid of the voters. If the start of the campaign is any indication of what is to come, McConnell has every reason to be afraid, even if he is unwilling to say so in public. (V)

Trump Drops Another Hint about a 2024 Run

Donald Trump dropped another "hint" on Friday when he said that only a "bad call from a doctor" would keep him from running in 2024. We presume he means something like: "Donald, I hate to tell you this, but you have stage IV cancer and there is a 90% chance that you won't make it to Election Day." That might stop him from running. A message like: "There is an excellent chance you will live past Election Day but almost certainly will not live to complete your term" probably wouldn't stop him because all he wants is vindication (i.e., winning) for the record books. He doesn't actually like governing.

We would like to humbly suggest there are two other things that might stop him from running other than recalcitrant doctors. First, internal polls showing him losing Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina badly, plus all the other states he lost in 2020. He really doesn't want to go down in history as a two-time loser. Or, if we just consider the popular vote, a three-time loser. That's William Jennings Bryan territory. Second, convictions for crimes in Georgia (interfering with an election) and/or New York (financial crimes) would probably put the brakes on a reelection campaign. That would be an especially potent reason if he had already lost in the Court of Appeals by Jan. 2024 and his only hope was the Supreme Court saving his bacon. His aides might tell him that turning down the cases as being too "ordinary" would make Democrats happier with Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, so they might just do that for "balance" and to show they weren't in the bag for him.

We strongly suspect that all this hint-dropping has a very small target audience, namely Govs. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Greg Abbott (R-TX), and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), and maybe a couple of other presidential wannabes. If the base thinks that Trump will run again, it will be very hard for rivals to start building up a campaign apparatus, hiring the right consultants, etc. The ones up in 2022 can try to mask their 2024 ambitions a bit, but preparing a national campaign is different from preparing a statewide campaign. For example, if Abbott hired a Miami-based consultant who knew everything about Florida elections and nothing about Texas elections, Trump would be onto that in a jiffy and start going after Abbott as a possible threat. This inhibits Abbott from doing something like this. Ditto the other ones. And Cruz and Cotton aren't up in 2022, so they have no cover for raising money, hiring consultants, etc. now. So we think Trump probably hasn't actually decided yet if he is going to run again, but he keeps making these kinds of statements to keep potential competitors from getting started.

Does Trump fear someone like DeSantis? It depends on the circumstances in a year or two. If Trump has been formally convicted of a crime but isn't in prison yet, someone like DeSantis could make the case that sooner or later Trump will end up in prison so the base should latch onto someone who offers Trumpism but is not on the verge of going to prison. It might work, which is why Trump wants to make sure potential rivals don't have big staffs and war chests built up, ready to pounce if the opportunity presents itself. (V)

Can the Democrats Win Back White Working-Class Men?

There have been plenty of articles in the past year(s) about the political realignment currently in progress, with affluent suburbanites becoming Democrats and working-class white men becoming Republicans. But the topic is so important, a few more won't hurt, especially because Democrats have no chance to get back blue-collar workers (especially men) if they don't really understand why they are fleeing a party that was their home for more than half a century. Alan Abramowitz has a good analysis of the situation based on data from the 2020 election, plus what he has learned since then. Here is a summary of his points:

In the 2020 election, non-college whites went for Donald Trump by almost 2 to 1. In contrast, white college graduates went for Biden by a margin of 3 to 2. FDR is probably rolling over in his grave. But it is even stronger than that. The working-class voters not only voted for Trump, they strongly identify as Republicans. White college grads are evenly split between the parties, so some of them are just Trump-hating Republicans. The $64,000 question is: "Why has the white working class become Republican?"

Put bluntly, there are two possible answers:

  • It's the economy, stupid.
  • It's the racism, stupid.

For the Democrats, their approach next year and in 2024 depends on getting this one right. Digging down in the data gives some perspective. Abramowitz looked at six areas that separate the left from the right: social welfare, racial justice, immigration, gun control, climate change, and cultural issues. The noncollege voters leaned to the right on all of them. The college grads leaned to left on all of them except social welfare and racial justice, where they were right in the middle. The most striking differences were on immigration, racial justice, and cultural issues, where the working-class voters were far to the right of the college grads.

Abramowitz also looked at economic insecurity as an issue. Racial resentment and party identification are the strongest predictors of conservative ideology. Surprisingly, family income plays no role and economic insecurity is anti-correlated with being a conservative. That is, the more people are worried about where their next meal is coming from, the less likely they are to be conservative. Or to put it differently, the reason the white noncollege voters dislike immigrants is not because they are worried the immigrants will take their jobs. It is because they are mostly brown or black and they think there are enough brown and black people in the country already. In short, Democrats are losing ground with noncollege voters because these voters think that minorities have unfair advantages and the Democrats are the reason for their advantages.

What can the Democrats do to win these voters back? Going full-bore racist is out of the question since—moral issues aside—doing so would antagonize nearly the entire Democratic base. Pushing for more jobs and better wages probably can't hurt, but won't get them very far because the voters they want back aren't fleeing to the Republicans because the Republicans are offering more and better jobs. They are offering more and better racism. So what should the Democrats do? Abramowitz doesn't have an answer.

One possibility is going full Stacey Abrams and putting a huge effort into registering new voters and getting them to vote, rather than making ads about what Democrats want and don't want. Getting turnout up also has to deal with educating voters about the new voting laws and helping people get IDs where needed. Another approach is to work on pushing more college grads into the Democratic Party. One way that is likely to resonate with them is to harp on the Republicans' attempts to destroy democracy. The Democrats could also adopt their own "Southern strategy," focusing on Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Also, some policy issues will work with the college types, including racial justice and the environment, if that is formulated well and not too scary. Subsidies for electric cars and solar panels, and better trains and mass transit might go over well. But the message here is that winning back noncollege voters won't be easy, and may very well not be possible, so the Democrats need a Plan B. (V)

Grassley Is in

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has served the people of his state for seven terms, and now, at 88, he wants an eighth one. He has been hemming and hawing, but as of this weekend, he is officially in. If his health holds out, he will be tough to beat.

If Grassley is elected, he will start his eighth term at the age of 89. The life expectancy of an 89-year-old man is 4.45 years, so statistically, he will probably be dead at the end of another term. But senators have good health care, so maybe he will beat the odds. And if he dies in office, the governor of Iowa gets to appoint a new senator who serves until the next House election. The current governor of Iowa is Kim Reynolds (R).

In any event, the Democrats' chances of holding the Senate just got a little bit weaker. Grassley is very popular in Iowa and Iowa is pretty red these days, so he is the odds-on favorite to at least start an eighth term, even if they are against his finishing it. Note, however, that the only way Iowa would really have been in play was if Grassley stood down, the Republicans nominated a stinker of a candidate, and former representative Abby Finkenauer (D) ran a heckuva campaign. Since the odds of all three coming to pass were long, the road to control of the Senate still runs through Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, just as it did last week. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Sep26 Sunday Mailbag
Sep25 Saturday Q&A
Sep24 Biden Wins Arizona
Sep24 Pelosi, Schumer Announce Infrastructure Funding "Framework"
Sep24 And Here Come the 1/6 Subpoenas
Sep24 Grift, for Lack of a Better Word, Is Good
Sep24 This Week's 2022 Candidacy News
Sep24 This Week in Schadenfreude
Sep24 Though the News Was Rather Sad...Well, I Just Had to Laugh
Sep23 Biden Will Have to Referee Democrats' Internal War
Sep23 Jan. 6 Panel May Go Straight to Subpoenas
Sep23 Corporate America Chimes in on the Debt Issue
Sep23 Florida May Not Follow Texas on Abortion
Sep23 Bush Likes Cheney
Sep23 Indiana Republicans Play it Safe
Sep23 Sarah Palin Was Right
Sep23 The Real Winner in California: Partisanship
Sep23 Huge Hack Reveals Details of Many Extreme Right-Wing Websites
Sep22 Debt Ceiling Maneuvering Heats Up
Sep22 Another Biden Headache: The Border
Sep22 Biden Gets a Very Bad Poll
Sep22 Trump Sues His Niece, The New York Times, and Three Times Reporters
Sep22 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part IX: The Economy
Sep21 Norma McCorvey (a.k.a. "Jane Roe"), Meet Alan Braid
Sep21 The Hard Truth about "Stop the Steal," Part I
Sep21 The Hard Truth about "Stop the Steal," Part II
Sep21 Weisselberg Says He's Only the Beginning
Sep21 Status Quo Ant-eh Electio
Sep21 The Merkel Coalition Is Crumbling
Sep21 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part VIII: The Pandemic
Sep20 MacDonough: Reconciliation Bill Cannot Rewrite Immigration Law
Sep20 Meager Turnout at Rally for Capitol Rioters
Sep20 Senate Republicans Will Allow the United States to Default on Its Debts
Sep20 Treasury Is Enmeshed in Battle about Climate Change
Sep20 Trump's Endorsarama May Not Help the Party
Sep20 Is Gonzalez' Retirement an Omen?
Sep20 Biden Cares about the Quad, Not the Squad
Sep20 The Midterm Electorate Shift May Not Hurt the Democrats This Time
Sep20 Voting Begins in Close Virginia Gubernatorial Race
Sep20 Beto's Back
Sep19 Sunday Mailbag
Sep18 Saturday Q&A
Sep17 "Justice for J6" Quickly Turning into a Fiasco
Sep17 And Then There Were Five
Sep17 This Week's 2022 Candidacy News
Sep17 This Week in Schadenfreude
Sep17 Election Day, Eh
Sep17 (Back to the) Back to the Future: Reader Predictions, Part VII--Congress, the People
Sep16 Takeaways from the California Recall
Sep16 Boston Will Soon Get Its First Elected Female Mayor