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      •  Sunday Mailbag

Sunday Mailbag

The mailbag is back! It's a bit on the long side, since it draws from 2 weeks' worth of submissions.

Politics: The 2024 Presidential Race

S.S. in West Hollywood, CA, writes: Back in February, I sent a comment that you were too quick to write off Nikki Haley and explained why she was the potential Republican nominee that worried me the most as a Democrat. I hate being right, because now I predict she will be the Republican nominee and our next President.

What I believe polls are not showing are the Trump supporters who, when it comes time to actually vote in the primary, will conclude that Trump can't win the general election and will want to vote for someone who can—that's going to be Nikki Haley. Then she wins the New Hampshire primary and turns the nomination into a two-person contest between her and TFG. There will be enough of those having second thoughts Trump supporters, along with never Trumpers/sane Republicans returning to the party, to give the nomination to Haley.

And then President Biden loses. Despite his accomplishments, he's perceived as MIA and tone-deaf to the food and gas prices that are driving economic anxiety for most Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans have been busy 24/7 blaming every problem, whether real or imagined, on President Biden and the Democrats. And, per usual, there is no Democratic messaging to counter and there won't be until a few months before the election. Frustratingly, it will be too little too late and hello President Haley. Praying I'm wrong, but I'm not. (Though there is that small consolation that democracy will probably survive her administration... maybe.)

L.S. in Greensboro, NC, writes: The tax case involving Hunter Biden is interesting, to say the least. A number of years ago someone in my orbit was found to have failed to pay taxes, and owed penalties and interest. The amount of unpaid taxes was not in the seven figures like Biden, but it was in the five figures, so was not insignificant. We called someone at the IRS and they agreed that if we paid the taxes, the penalties and interest would be waived. We did so, and that was the end of it. No hint of any charges. This despite the fact that in some sense the offense was more egregious, since in involved failure to pay the employer's share of FICA taxes for a small business.

So I think the claim by Hunter Biden's attorney that, if his name was anything other than Hunter Biden, there would be no charges at all is probably quite valid. Yet, as you wrote, the Republicans will all claim that he's getting off easily.

D.C. in Brentwood, CA, writes: The reason Dean Phillips isn't taken seriously is because he isn't taken seriously. That's the power of the media to establish and reinforce narratives.

I have no idea about his policies, and all that the media, including this site, covers about him is that he's running and it's a waste of time.

It's kind of annoying that nobody will take a break from the establishment-backing criticism to actually find out about other candidates' platforms, because, ultimately, that's all that matters. I don't care who the candidate is—I care about what they want to do, and how they plan to do it.

It's not like there are 20 candidates, like 2020, and even then, the candidates got some decent coverage, eventually (although it took a long time for the media, including this site, to properly cover Andrew Yang).

Politics: This Is Grim?

E.G. in New York City, NY, writes: In your writeup of Thomas Edsall's column about Stan Greenberg's poll, you quoted Will Marshall as stating that "young progressives have identified the party with stances on immigration, crime, gender, climate change and Palestinian resistance" that are far to the left of mainstream voter opinion.

As a longtime environmental reporter, I can tell you that Marshall gets it very wrong about Democrats and climate change, which leads me to question his overall analysis. Years of credible polling have shown that a majority of Democratic-oriented adults consider climate change a major priority.

According to Pew Research, the percentage of U.S. adults who are or lean Democratic, and who "view climate change as a major threat," has grown from 61% in 2009 to 78% in 2022, with a peak of 84% in 2019-2020.

Further, even though the partisan divide on climate change has widened, Pew has found that a majority of U.S. adults—58%—say state elected officials are doing too little about climate change.

Republicans set out a little over 20 years ago to transform the U.S. response to climate change from a science-informed policy issue into a wedge issue. They've been so successful (with occasional assists from Blue Dog Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV) that Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster responsible for this strategy, has since disavowed his work.

M.D. in Long Beach, CA, writes: Regarding the Stan Greenberg poll: No surprise here. The Democrats long ago abandoned presenting themselves as a working-class party and now come across as people who took too many sociology courses in college. Yes, white working-class support is largely gone and the Democrats let it happen, by both taking that support for granted and believing that support was no longer needed. After all, "demography is destiny," we were told. So, when changing demographics turn Texas blue, a new Democratic age will ensue and be lasting. How's that working out? This is ridiculous political millenarianism.

M.K. in Chicago, IL, writes: "Fundamentally, the expectations of many Democrats, especially ones who don't follow politics closely, are simply unrealistic. ... But low-information voters don't want to hear that."

I've been reading this site since 2007. I've seen a few bothersome comments lately but... this is just offensive. As atrocities and unrest continue to burn bright both at home and abroad, many of those who have supported the Democrats vision of change—the SELL—have felt completely used by the party to win power but no action. I think we are all well aware of the difficulties of the process; well aware of the opposition. But the leaders of the party are no longer fighting. They are also outright ignoring the issues. What are we supposed to do when it feels like no one is on our side? This isn't some fringe movement or group.

We all know the system is broken. Why are we still playing with it? Why can't the leaders propose solutions to change this. Who cares anymore how dirty it is? The GOP has shown their cards for AGES on how little they care for the system, but the Democrats are stuck trying to uphold some clearly antiquated set of values for a system that hasn't worked for decades. Why are we beholden to that? People are dying. People are losing their rights. People are losing their homes, livelihoods. The economy and the capitalists have left NOTHING for the rest of us. Now, the government, the leaders, the backstop to failure—also give us nothing. Unrealistic is trying to pretend this is ever going to be fixed or work like it did. We're out of options. It's time for something new.

A.T. in San Francisco, CA, writes: As a progressive, I can tell you that the Democratic Party is not viewed by progressives as being too far left, rather the opposite, they are too far to the center on social issues and weak on economic issues, including issues related to Labor power (UAW won't endorse Biden, as an example), student debt, a public option (forget Medicare for all, which Biden promised to veto), a watered-down infrastructure plan and a minimum wage among others.

And this is also why the party is doing so badly with young voters, who happen to be more socially and economically progressive. Young voters want them to be more progressive, not less. The idea that the party is too left is nonsense to progressives. They aren't following the will of progressives at all.

C.F. in Waltham, MA, writes: In "This is Grim," you again continue to tow the Republican talking point of how Democrats have moved so far left. This is exactly why Republicans win. On what planet is keeping minimum wage to $7.50/hour, trying to kill Obamacare, and exploding the deficit by giving tax breaks to the rich helpful to the middle class?

Yet, the perception is that Republicans will help the middle class more than the Democrats. This is just one example of the pure propaganda that Republicans can perpetuate via their vast network of communication tools, and carefully scripted short, simple talking points. They are constantly talking about the few random Democrats that talk about culture wars, yet never about their own. Fox does this constantly and profitably. The other news networks do nothing to refute it, and often also reinforce it.

You know the reality on all of the issues Democrats are losing on. Yet you keep claiming that its the movement to the left (Trumps "radical left" he never stops saying) that you believe is the issue. No matter where Democrats are on policy, the right-wing propaganda will paint them this way. So, trying to "fix" the problem by changing the Democrats is a losing proposition and falls right into the right-wingers' plan. It reinforces their talking points are correct, and it moves everyone closer to their position. Unless people can see what is actually going on, there is no way to even begin to counter the Republican megaphone (if it can be countered at all).

R.V. in Pittsburgh, PA, writes: While young voters may not be excited to vote for Uncle Joe, do they realize how truly AWFUL the likely GOP alternative is?

And why are young voters not on Team Biden? The Infrastructure bill, CHIPS bill, and Inflation Reduction Act will very likely help many of these young voters obtain a very good paying job upon graduation. The IRA also has one of, if not the largest, investments in ever in climate change initiatives, as many young voters view this as important issue.

Also, Joe Biden is trying to erase some student debt (Trump ain't going to do that for you). By the way, what is one thing that Trump would do for young voters other than to encourage hazing on campuses?

Biden is on the side of young voters on issues of abortion, gay marriage, minimum wage, climate. Vote for Trump and he'll put judges on the various courts who will rule the polar opposite of what young voters want on those four aforementioned issues.

And this benefits everybody, the Biden admin did terrific job with the COVID vaccine and subsequent booster rollouts. At this point, if you don't have the COVID vaccine, it's because you didn't want one.

So my message to young voters is: Don't be a bunch of ingrates. Old Uncle Joe has your back and is on your side on most major issues. Yeah, he stumbles and fumbles, and he is not very charismatic, but he is 3.14 million times better than the Orange Hitler.

S.N. in Charlotte, NC, writes: Read this in your piece "This Is Grim": "On China, climate change, women's rights, racial inequality, health care, protecting democracy, and not being an autocrat, voters preferred Biden to Trump. On making democracy more secure, it was a tie."

I don't know any other way to put it, other than this absolutely blows my fu**ing mind. One of THE most frustrating things about the Democrats, young and progressive ones at that, is how disconnected and possibly equally uneducated they are about how our system of government works at the federal (and probably any) level. As you put it, they didn't give Uncle Joe a majority in Congress and that is hugely important and yet they have no clue and want to hand the keys to the Republicans. It's not the first time (or eleventyth) I've heard or read it, but I just... can't... even.

Politics: Three Fantasies

S.P. in Cranston, RI, writes: In your summary of Stephen Pearlman's article about ideological fantasies, you report his claim that when Democrats run progressives for President, they lose. His list of examples of progressive candidates was, how do I put it... let's just say "strangely tortured." Hubert Humphrey? Once a liberal icon, by the time he ran for President in 1968 he had lost any progressive cred, through his slavish support of Lyndon Johnson's war in Vietnam, let alone his silence in the face of Mayor Richard Daley's monstrous antics at the '68 convention. Left-leaning Democrats supported Gene McCarthy and/or Bobby Kennedy.

Walter Mondale? In 1984, he didn't endorse a nuclear freeze, and he bought into Cold War policies towards Central America, while primary opponents Jesse Jackson and George McGovern stood with progressive movements of the era.

It is true that McGovern was an actual progressive and that he got clobbered on Election Day, 1972. That one election over 50 years ago has been hung around the necks of folks on the left ever since, despite that fact that "moderates" like Jimmy Carter (1980), Mondale, Al Gore (2000) and Hillary Clinton (2016) also lost bids for the Presidency. Contrast that with the GOP, where Barry Goldwater's crushing 1964 defeat didn't disqualify future conservatives like Ronald Reagan and that guy facing 91 criminal charges from winning the Republican nomination and then he Presidency.

M.S. in Canton, NY, writes: I have to challenge your inclusion of Hubert Humphrey's 1968 campaign as an example of the failure of progressives at the level of Presidential elections. Humphrey certainly was a progressive in 1948 when he made his famous speech calling on Democrats to "get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights." By 1968, however, he was mostly seen as an old-school politician and Johnson's (reluctant) apologist for the Vietnam War. In the run-up to the convention he was challenged from the left by Eugene McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy, and George McGovern; while he was not a conservative like the Republican nominee Nixon, he was no longer a progressive by the standards of the day. And despite the strong headwinds of the horrible political year of 1968, he still came within half a million votes (0.7%) of winning the popular vote. If anything, it was an example of how a moderately liberal Democrat almost won in the face of a rising conservative tide.

E.D. in Saddle Brook, NJ, writes: I mostly agree with the three fantasies theory you described, but I think the three realities you proposed are contradictory. Your second conclusion claims that progressives can't win while your third conclusion talks about how centrists lose to extremists. At best, I think you can argue that primaries favor extremists, but I think perspectives of that are skewed by our awareness of the most extreme examples. I think the final conclusion is ignoring a lot of the dynamics we've seen in play.

You mentioned the last three Democratic presidents being moderates. I wasn't old enough to know politics when Bill Clinton campaigned, so I can't comment on how he was perceived. Biden's campaign was more about the other guy being awful than it was about Biden's ideas, so I wouldn't draw conclusions from that. Obama is much more interesting to look at, though. Obama campaigned as being more progressive than he actually governed. The people voting for him certainly expected more. As president, Obama consistently watered down his ideas in the hopes of getting Republicans to vote for them, and it didn't work. He even based his healthcare policy on Republican plans because he thought that if he did, they would work with him. Instead, they fought just as hard as they would have if he had gone with an extreme left-wing idea. The fight had absolutely nothing to do with what Republicans thought was right or wrong—it was entirely about fighting the other side. Obama didn't learn that lesson until he nominated a moderate to the Supreme Court and got ignored.

Your conclusion is that each side is convinced that it's right and won't budge, but I think that's as far from the mark as can be. I think the left wing generally makes a compromise as part of their first proposal and is prepared to compromise more whenever a compromise is possible. Even if you offer the right wing everything they want, they will treat that as a starting point for negotiations and ask for more. The centrists believe that both proposals are wrong, and the correct answer is always somewhere in between. The actual ideas rarely matter at all. It's all about getting a win for your side.

S.C.-M. in Scottsdale, AZ, writes: Interesting piece by Perlstein. I think the centrist and left-wing fantasies are a bit overblown. For proof, Nancy Pelosi was very successful herding the cats when the Democrats had a razor thing majority. It seems the left wing of the Democratic Party and the centrist are at least willing to compromise when necessary, unlike the right wing of the Republican Party.

Politics: Trump v2.0

T.M.M. in Odessa, MO, writes: C.L. in Madison asked a question about Donald Trump trying to serve a third term.

Your answer assumed a coup. But there are two other slightly more plausible (but still improbable) options.

Option number one would be a constitutional amendment to remove the term limits. While Trump would love the ability to claim that those refusing to change the Constitution (by repealing an amendment for the second time in history) were depriving voters of their right to choose the mostest bestest person to ever serve as President for another term, this option is highly unlikely to succeed. It takes two-thirds of both houses to propose a constitutional amendment (assuming that Trump does not opt to go the "convention of the states" route), and there is no way that Republicans will have anywhere close to that majority in Congress in the foreseeable future. Further, regardless of how a constitutional amendment were proposed (again assuming that, unlike the prior convention of the states in 1787, this convention opted to keep the existing ratification rules in place), it takes three-quarters of the states to ratify a constitutional amendment. With the current number of states, that means that thirteen states can block a constitutional amendment, and I do not see California, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, New Mexico, Colorado, or Connecticut going along with President Trump on this idea.

Option Two (and the most likely scheme) would be President Trump trying to pull what Vladimir Putin did the first time that he hit the term limits that used to be in the Russian Constitution—finding somebody that he thought that he could control to be the next President. Step one in this option would be finding a willing partner to be the vice-presidential candidate (Kari Lake?). Assuming that the Republicans win the House and Senate, this VP would find the need to step down in the first part of the term and President Trump would have his doting slaves in Congress confirm one of his children as the new VP. President Trump would then step down in the second half of his term (to give the next President Trump almost ten years to serve and solidify the House of Trump as the new monarchs of the United Kingdom of America). While this technically would not be a third term, Trump would still be able to control things from behind the scenes, especially as he would be given some position like President Emeritus by his doting child.

I do have trouble seeing option two succeeding. While the spineless House Republicans might just go along, I think there are just enough turtles in the Senate who would retreat inside their shells and just refuse to consider this attempt to establish the Trump dynasty. But could I see President Trump considering such a scheme? Absolutely.

Politics: Making Sense of Trump

A.S. in Lenora Hills, CA, writes: Regarding Donald Trump's renewed interest in getting rid of Obamacare, I suspect that the only thing that really bothers him about it is that it's got Obama's name on it. The one business that Trump is arguably good at is branding—he's made a lot(?) of money selling the use of his name. Yet during his tenure as president, he failed to get his name on anything, not even his big beautiful wall. It probably really pisses him off that Barack Obama got his name on something that everyone knows and lots of people use (and like).

E.W. in Skaneateles, NY, writes: You wrote that there could only be one explanation for Trump's newfound obsession with Obamacare, namely that "this is unfinished business, in his mind, and it's a score he desperately wants to settle." I wanted to offer another explanation. Trump has been recently confusing Obama and Biden in a very high profile way. It is possible that he is using this Obamacare talking point as a way to cover up these cognitive errors. After all, he is the guy who took a Sharpie marker to a hurricane trajectory map rather than admit he made a tiny verbal slip-up.

J.E. in Gilbertsville, PA, writes: In "Trump Gets Gagged Again," you posit: "As to Trump, it's yet another case where we just don't understand his mindset. Is he simply unable to control himself? Or is he trying to get himself arrested so as to make himself into some sort of martyr?"

This is a question that's been asked a number of times, so I'll put forth my theory: Why WOULD Trump control himself? Why would he see any need for that? In his mind, he was the most popular U.S. President in history. He has a fawning fan base that counts in the millions. The fans will do anything for him. The courts, the politicians... everyone is afraid of what he and his followers will do and treats him accordingly, with kid gloves. He has yet to suffer a single negative consequence for his behavior (other than losing the 2020 election, but obviously he has yet to connect that consequence to his own choices). Why WOULDN'T he continue to push any and all buttons? I have to say, even to me it seems like a decent option for him. Go big or go home, that has always been his ethos.

J.L. in Albany, NY, writes: Regarding Trump's plan in attacking the judge's wife, clerk, and others. To the extent that he has a plan (I don't think he's the type to lay out each step meticulously but rather gets a general idea of what he wants to do and then does things he feels will further this), Trump appears to be hoping for two things.

The first is to anger Judge Arthur Engoron to the point that the judge does something prejudicial. Trump knows that he would lash out if anyone talked about him like this so he's assuming that the judge would do the same. And if the judge does, Trump's lawyers will appeal, claiming bias. Of course, Engoron has shown that he's a professional, is willing to restrain his temper, and takes actions that are well thought out. Trump's chances of succeeding here are tiny at best.

The second is to anger his base. He hopes that someone in his base will leap to his rescue and "take care of" the judge for him. He's not going to come out and tell his supporters to get violent. He's too good of a "mob boss" to be so plain in his language, but his followers understand what his attacks mean. He hopes that an attack on the court would leave him free to do whatever he wants. Again, though his chances of successfully convincing someone to attack people connected to the trial is too high for comfort, his chances of succeeding in escaping punishment by doing this is tiny.

There's a saying that if the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If neither are on your side, pound on the table. Trump's opting to pound on people connected to the case in the hopes that this frees him somehow. It won't.

A.F. in Boston, MA, writes: In response to your comments on Trump and antisemitic language, I can take a pretty good guess that Trump is failing to code-switch. He's lived in a world with that language for so long and his mind is certainly going to the point that the filter (mask!?) is coming off when it needs to stay firmly attached. It's not unlike when I, a Jewish American, drop words and phrases like "chutzpah," "happy holidays," and "if not now, when," in public. They are common enough that they wouldn't bat an eye in isolation, but put together, they paint a pretty blue and white picture of who I am, just as Trump's paint a solidly red and black picture of him.

K.R. in Austin, TX, writes: You mentioned that Trump voters are "fans." As further evidence of that, I believe Trump is the only president who has had widespread swag, especially between elections.

People have long had bumper stickers, small yard signs, and pins showing support for a candidate before and up to an election. However, I've never seen people wearing hat or raising flags to a candidate before, and if they have, it certainly wasn't anywhere near as prevalent and persistent as it is today.

Obama had fans, for sure, and some cool posters, but I can't recall widespread hats and flags for Obama.

All Politics Is Local

J.K. in Stanhope, NJ, writes: I know you're not too closely tied in to New Jersey politics, so I wanted to give you one local Democrat's perspective on the Senate race.

Tammy Murphy is the darling of the state Democratic machine. With no qualifications to be a Senator aside from being married to a popular governor, she declared her Senate candidacy and immediately picked up a bucket-load of endorsements.

Rank-and-file Democratic voters were baffled, and some of us are downright furious. Andy Kim is an experienced legislator who has shown that he is in touch with New Jersey Democrats. And there are plenty of other very popular and qualified people in the U.S. House of Representatives, the New Jersey state legislature, and even county and municipal offices across the state who would do an excellent job as our next Senator. What do all of them have in common that Tammy Murphy does not? They were elected to their offices. Murphy's audacity to run, and effortless pickup of the party organization's accolades, is nothing less than a slap in the face to the people who did the work of running campaigns for their offices, and to the voters who supported them. We deserve better than a millionaire political wife for our next Senator.

It goes without saying that Sen. Robert Menendez' (D-NJ) goose is cooked, but I just like saying it.

If Murphy wins the nomination, the Republicans might have a fighting chance to flip the seat, provided that they don't run one of the America-first loonies who've been the NJ GOP's most popular candidates lately. But why would we want to take that chance? I know I'm not the only Democrat who is angry and embarrassed at the party bosses for putting party over people.

L.E. in Putnam County, NY, writes: I was disappointed to see Liz Whitmer Gereghty (D) drop out of the running in NY-17. I fear that this may be similar to the Wisconsin Senate race, where more electable candidates withdrew in the face of efforts to clear the field for someone whose candidacy would make a more "woke" statement... which as you have noted, can alienate "middle Americans." Mondaire Jones (D) is the only candidate with Congressional experience, and was a somewhat surprise winner in his 2020 primary, but his carpetbagging never took him to Putnam before and he'll struggle for votes here.

Jones was the only male candidate, while Whitmer was the only white candidate. The third candidate, former Bedford Town Supervisor MaryAnn Carr—once one of the first non-white students allowed in her local elementary school in Mississippi—has a lower profile but spent a lot more time at the Putnam Democratic meeting where both spoke the day after Gereghty withdrew, after which a rather peremptory motion to endorse Jones was made and carried. Any of the three would be better for the district than Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), but those whose cockles are soothed by Jones being against the grain of historical privilege on areas of both race and sexual orientation need to face the fact that he will have a hard slog getting most floating voters and turnout in the Democratic areas (south of Putnam) will need to be high.

J.P.R. in Westminster, CO, writes: As a 5th generation Texan (admittedly in self-imposed diaspora for several years now), and a guy who at least tries to be a devout Christian, I was very refreshed by your item on state Rep. James Talarico (D). Having never heard of him before, I immediately looked up what district he represents—it's in the Austin area. This is hardly surprising, and it would have been much more breathtaking to learn that he represents... really, any other part of the state. Nonetheless, I wonder if this may not be the last we'll have heard of the representative.

R.H. in Corning, NY, writes: You've had several posts recently painting a rosy picture of the economy, one that's wildly optimistic compared to what I'm seeing. I work for a Fortune 500 company in upstate New York. We had a significant round of layoffs in the spring and several rounds of "quiet" layoffs over the summer. Salary increases were frozen for all of 2023, with comments from management as recently as this week saying that we shouldn't expect things to improve through at least the first half of 2024. Whatever inflation is, price increases have a profound impact on our budget, especially for a one-income family with six kids.

Incidentally, per your discussion of the cost of the specialty Big Mac—I recently ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, two hash browns and a small OJ at McDonalds. I paid over $12.50 for it, so it's not just the limited time, specialty items that are expensive at McDonalds.


D.M. in Orange, CA, writes: While I agree 100% with Michael Bader's analysis of Fox "News," it does miss one key component: The only "bad" wealthy people are celebrities and athletes (and if that person is any race other than white or is female, that wealthy person is really bad). In an era when a lot of rich white people who run businesses behave badly, there is seldom a peep about those stories on Fox. But as celebrities and athletes tend to have more leftward political views—and are willing to talk about them—the second any one of them does anything wrong, Fox pounces hard. At the very least, these celebrity/athlete stories are promoted near the top of the website, while the businesspeople stories are buried or completely ignored. Like a repackaging of Reagan's 11th Commandment, it plays into the class warfare angle at a deeper level than Bader acknowledges/recognizes. Granted, it took me about a year to see this on my end and Bader only gave himself a month. It's a sleight-of-hand that once you see it, you can't un-see it.

(V) & (Z) respond: (Z) has a lecture in which he puts the Fox website up on the screen, asks students to identify recurring themes in the coverage, and then asks them to speculate why they see those themes. It's always eye-opening.

J.C. in Shawnee, OK, writes: Why do people watch Fox "News"? Because it is easier to make people angry than it is to make them smart.

S.K. in Sunnyvale, CA, writes: Regarding your item, "Why Do People Watch Fox 'News'?":

And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, [Fox News] is not the least bit interested in solving it. [They're] interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.

            — President Andrew Shepherd (paraphrased), The American President (1995)

S.K. in Sunnyvale, CA, writes: You wrote: "Fox has a very low opinion of its viewers' intelligence."

I am... disconcerted to have something pointed out that Fox and I agree on.

D.D. in Hollywood, FL, writes: You wrote about the scammy advertising on Fox "News." One stand-out example was back in the days of Glenn Beck. He mentioned gold coins constantly on his show, and most commercials were about buying overpriced gold coins, nuggets, and bars. Gold always seemed a good match for the Fox viewers fed a constant stream of Chicken Little (a.k.a. "The Sky is Falling"). The scam, of course, wasn't just gold, but supplements, life insurance, reverse mortgages, and any other advertiser whose targeted demographic is suckers, to be blunt. Of course, Alex Jones has nothing over Fox regarding the target audience.

As a fan of old western TV shows (Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Laramie, etc.) I have taken to watching the religious-based INSP Channel (short for Inspired Channel) developed originally by PTL of the famed Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, which mainly shows old westerns with some religious shows mixed in, like Camp Meeting. It's the same type of advertisers looking for suckers. I was especially struck that ALL the ads are scams.

I can't put my figure on it, but I have a pretty good guess as to why these two attract the same type of audience.

A.G. in Scranton, PA, writes: I am somewhat confounded (not really) with the conservatives' preoccupation with owning gold. All of my co-workers (who use "liberal," "democrat," "Jew", and "LGBT" as insults where I work... making me sorta quiet a lot) are obsessed with the idea of owning gold, as though it will have some sort of great value to society when it collapses due to liberal excesses.

Trying to not get fired, I almost always pretend to be on their side and try to point out the following:

  1. If someone has something that he is convinced will only grow in value when society inevitably collapses, why would he be trying to convince you to buy it from him?
  2. Wouldn't you rather use your money to buy yet another assault rifle to throw on the pile you have at home or, I dunno, salt, canning equipment and supplies, other preservatives, a generator, a giant tank of gasoline or fuel, batteries, extra freezers, mountains of rice, beans, and canned soups?

It's kind of funny that these men, who all proclaim the genius of the capitalist system, don't know the first thing about their role, occupying the bottom-most rung of it. I am certain you gentlemen saw more than one gold commercial whilst watching the debate; I was reminded of the old line from P.T. Barnum (or was it D.J. Trump?): "There's a sucker born ever minute."

I also point out that by buying a massive cache of firearms, they have just allowed people who are listening to identify them as a great target. I always say to them, "Thanks, you just let me know you're my Harper's Ferry when I need another few firearms." The reference is lost on these men who "respect and study American history."

Them: "But I have all those guns. I'll kill whoever comes for them."

Me: "I have two and I was trained by the world's best marksmen to use them. Any gun more than two is wasted weight, right?"

Them: "The AR is so badass. MAGA!"

Sigh... wake me up when Newt Gingrich's never-ending toxic influence on our system ends, please.

A.H.-S. in Brier, WA, writes: You need to cut the East Cupcake Junior High School Morning Herald some slack. Their journalistic standards are absolutely impeccable compared with those of the Rupert Murdoch empire.

History Matters: With the Good Comes the Bad, the Bad Comes the Good

P.R. in Kirksville, MO, writes: Just to add on to the nomination of Norman Borlaug's wheat as an event that moved mankind forward, the ability to grow large quantities of any crop in the twentieth century also relied on the Haber-Bosch process developed in the early twentieth century, which allowed chemists to make ammonia, and thus fertilizers directly from atmospheric nitrogen, rather than relying on the limited natural sources of fertilizer.

As to the events that set mankind back the most I appreciate J.L.'s letter that corrects the widespread myth of a single library in Alexandria. This myth was the first thing I thought of when reading the question.

Further, S.B. retells the standard trope about the "Dark Ages." Historians of ancient and medieval science have continually and collectively sighed at these historical misrepresentations. The idea that the "progress" of antiquity was halted is common, as if modern science was just around the corner in the first half of the first millennium. The term and concept of the "Dark Ages" is a misnomer that historians don't use very much anymore, and is in fact a creation of Renaissance and Enlightenment scholars to depict the period between antiquity and their own time as backward and primitive in comparison with themselves. It reinforces the view that in the Middle Ages, nothing of any consequence happened. The story of the Middle Ages is far too great to detail here, but let me point out that the university and the hospital are creations of the medieval world, that it was Christian scholars who assimilated and adopted texts from the ancient Greek and Islamic worlds that led to modern science, in particular conceiving of the concept of "natural law" itself as necessary for understanding the context of miracles. Christianity did not impede or retard the study of the natural world (also a common incorrect trope), a claim perpetuated by C.D.'s letter. In fact, there are many detailed accounts of the Scientific Revolution that attribute its origin to explicitly Christian concepts.

Finally, K.H. writes that Aristotle "set back astronomy 1,900 years," another completely incorrect and presentist claim. Geocentric cosmology was the standard in ancient Greece. All the empirical evidence pointed to a stationary Earth, and Aristotle codified the arguments for an immobile spherical Earth at the center of the universe. His arguments are empirically based, simple to follow, and compelling enough that no one doubted them for 1,900 years. There were occasional suggestions that the earth moved (Aristarchus, for example), and these were perfectly acceptable on astronomical grounds, but everyday experience argued for a stationary Earth. Even the eventual arguments for a moving Earth given by Copernicus and Galileo had no empirical evidence in their favor. They gave purely aesthetic, metaphysical reasons for believing that the Earth moved. This is a fascinating story that undermines much of what we assume to be true about modern science.

S.K. in Sunnyvale, CA, writes: I feel the need to push back on two of the nominations for civilization's greatest setbacks: the Dark Ages and the Black Death. The Dark Ages were certainly a setback for Western civilization, but similar to the Lost Cause narrative of the Civil War, this has historically been overblown in U.S. history courses; the lights were largely still on in the East, near and far (there's a reason we use Arabic numerals). And the Black Death, far from setting civilization back, laid the groundwork for the end of the Dark Ages and the start of the Renaissance.

Also, perhaps contrary to popular wisdom, I had been expecting someone to nominate the Spanish Inquisition. But no one did. For shame!

(V) & (Z) respond: No one expects the Spanish Inquisition (to be nominated)

J.T. in Marietta, GA, writes: In answer to your question about what had the most negative impact on civilization, I was really struck (in a very negative way) by the responses of C.D. in Guernsey and S.B. in Los Angeles. C.D. blames everything on the Emperor Theodosius's making Christianity the "official" religion; S.B. actually refers to "the Dark Ages," as if that actually describes the medieval period.

One of the things I teach my students is that this era is FAR from a "dark age." The middle ages saw the European flourishing of Christianity and all that came with it. This term (and its accompanying denigration) derives from the outdated view of the Middle Ages as the negation of classical thought, which is seen as reigning supreme (see, for example, Edward Gibbon). S.B even seriously refers to "the progress of classical antiquity" as if that meant anything. In fact the Middle Ages saw great technical and social evolution. The spinning wheel, the military applications of the crossbow, the astrolabe, the western use of the compass, and many other achievements were part of the Middle Ages, as was the feudal system (at least innovative, if not democratic). This is not to mention the brilliance of scholasticism and other varieties of philosophical thought and learning (many of which involved Christianity).

C.D. blames this same Christianity for the ills of the West. While it is true (as with many religions) there were serious problems with oppression and censorship, Christianity also brought us the brilliant innovations of medieval architecture, stained glass, and magnificent objects, in addition to the achievements listed above. And don't forget the preservation of much ancient knowledge by monks and nuns, as well as translations from the Arabic. Theodosius was pretty irrelevant by his reign anyway, since Constantine's much earlier legitimization of Christianity did far more to promote the religion. Such a view of Christianity and the Middle Ages is also quite ethnocentric, since it ignores the brilliant achievements of other world civilizations in this period.

I'm not even a medievalist (just an art historian), but I thought that this historical view was so distorted that it deserved a rejoinder.

E.C. in Fair Oaks, CA, writes: I would like to respond to the issue of the historical importance of the Alexandrian Library compared to the other great libraries of the time in accordance to the issue brought up by other responders. There is no doubt that other libraries of the era contained far more scrolls, but the real importance is what those scrolls housed at the Alexandrian library are believed to have contained: important specific information, not only on unique scientific and mathematical insight, but also on unique information on the origins of Christianity and very possibly on the real teachings of Jesus.

Alexandrian Christians, who were led by bishop Cyril, sacked the library not only to end the tenure of Hypatia, a woman, a pagan, and a leading astronomer-intellectual at the library, but also to destroy any scrolls that may counter the church's own dogma about Jesus and who he was. All of that information was lost, whatever it may have revealed, or not revealed.

This information was unique to the library because, besides other factors, that of the presence of communities of Therapeuts (from which we got the word "therapy") living on the far side of Lake Mereotis opposite Alexandria. These Therapeuts are believed by some scholars to be the origins of the Essenes of the holy land and possibly of the Naaassene Sect that Jesus is sometimes associated with.

So, the point I am trying to make is that it is the content of the Alexandrian scrolls outweighs any claim that the number of scrolls is what matters.

M.B. in Cleveland Heights, OH, writes: Thanks for the compliments to my students from D.F. in Ann Arbor and D.C. in Kent. You are right: I teach at a very good school with many strong students. But I'm wholeheartedly with R.K. in Cambridge: There are many, many fabulous teenagers out there, and many, many dedicated educators and parents helping them become great citizens. My daughters and their friends have received a wonderful education in our public school district, despite the State of Ohio consistently rating it as "failing." R.K. is right on the money: If you need to feel optimistic about the future, talk to some young people.

(I usually sign "Cleveland" rather than "Cleveland Heights" because it's more identifiable, but I don't want to mis-identify the school district.)

History Matters: Danke Schoen

L.S. in Greensboro, NC, writes: I was disappointed that your list of the 10 most influential German immigrants didn't include any of my ancestors, all of whom emigrated from Germany, Prussia, or Bavaria. If they hadn't immigrated to the United States, I wouldn't exist, and given how many of my letters you've published, I must be pretty darn important, right?

(V) & (Z) respond: A fair point.

P.D. in Charlottesville, VA, writes: Surely Fredrich Wilhelm Von Steuben deserves at least an honorable mention? He emigrated from Prussia to serve as the Inspector General of the Continental Army and transformed General Washington's struggling army into a well trained and disciplined force. He also implemented practices to reduce fraud and graft in the army and later wrote the U.S. Army's drill manual. Without his contributions, the U.S. may have lost the Revolutionary War.

His influence was so great that several cities have named their annual German cultural days and parades in his honor (Chicago's was featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off).

D.H. in Boston, MA, writes: I don't think she's much known outside of mathematics, but Emmy Noether was a notable German immigrant to the U.S. in the 1930s. She made important contributions to the mathematical foundations of physics, and to other fundamental areas of mathematics. I don't know if she'd make your top ten list, but she definitely needs to be considered.

A.Z. in Uppsala, Sweden, writes: I was born in Landau in the Palatinate region of Germany, which today is a rather small and insignificant backwater, yet did constitute an important power center (or, more accurately, centers) back in its day. It's also got a complex history and for many hundred years was passed around the European powers like a particularly long-lasting joint.

You listed four people from the Palatinate region in your "most influential German immigrants" piece, and you could have just given their origin as being the current state of "Rhineland-Palatinate." Instead, you accurately credited the exact entity their place of birth belonged to at the time of their birth, which was different for each of them, not only demonstrating your phenomenal attention to detail, but also giving the local history buff in me the nerdiest of kicks. Thank you!

(V) & (Z) respond: This strikes us as a basic issue of respect, like getting the accent marks right on foreign words. So, we try our best. And please note that the subhead of this section is a reference to the Wayne Newton version of "Danke Schoen," which is featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and is rendered without umlauts.

Obituary Week (or Month)

P.M. in Port Angeles, WA, writes: Norman Lear's passing shall be mourned by a great many. His contribution to the educations of so many Americans cannot be overstated. Through his insight into entertainment as a vehicle to cultural enlightenment he achieved profound influence in a generation or two of voters in this country. The likes of him are a rare instance of genius in what he achieved.

In an aside, I'd like to offer that his choice of Carrol O'Connor as patriarch for All in the Family may have come from O'Connor's role in the Eastwood war-antiwar movie Kelly's Heroes. This was a thoroughly enjoyable exposition of what really could happen in the fog of war. O'Connor's role as a front-line general was a clear contrast to the portrayal of George S. Patton in the movie Patton. Although I have to note that George C. Scott's portrayal did win him an Oscar, which he refused to accept. That era was one of intense anti-war sentiment in our nation's history.

Perhaps Mr. Lear was trying to express those feelings in his works, as well.

Norman Lear, rest well knowing that you made lives better for many people through your efforts.

R.L. in Alameda, CA, writes: I was a child during the heyday of Norman Lear's shows. I saw All in the Family in syndicated reruns and recall watching The Jeffersons, Good Times, One Day at a Time and others in prime time. Since I was child, I didn't understand just how groundbreaking his shows were. I'm learning this now, in retrospect, just how edgy his shows were at the time. A successful Black family movin' on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Check. A poor Black family getting by on public assistance and loving life in spite of its challenges. Check. A divorced single mother raising two daughters. Check. All produced in the 1970s. (He rebooted One Day at a Time in 2017, centering the story around a Latino family). This is just a sampling off the top of my head.

Al Franken interviewed him 3 years ago for his podcast and reran the interview last week. Lear was masterful at finding comedic talent, as you mentioned in your write-up. Their conversation spanned Lear's lifetime, from serving in World War II to getting into writing and, later, producing TV. They talked about (and played the audio from) the "sock and a sock" bit. My link goes to a 2-minute-long clip of this scene. It is pure comedic gold and, if the comments are accurate, was completely ad libbed on set by Carroll O'Conner and Rob Reiner.

Without knowing it, my worldview was expanded by Lear's shows. There may never be another like him. He will be missed.

J.G. in Scarsdale, NY, writes: It's been about 20 years since I studied media at Syracuse University, but I do remember the topic of how All in the Family was able to successfully play to both conservatives and liberals. Most people understand the liberal appeal; laughing at a conservative struggle week after week was pure joy. However, at the same time, it wasn't hard for a conservative watching the show to empathize and identify with Archie Bunker's struggle. This pattern has been followed by many other shows since, some of these actually offer a better glimpse as to why All the Family worked.

Probably the most important one to look at is Murphy Brown. In this situation, our main character is a feminist member of the liberal media. Obviously, seeing Candice Bergen in the title role was hugely empowering for liberals and women. They could see her struggles, and they could relate. But a surprising number of Murphy Brown's viewers were conservative. Why? For the same reason All in the Family worked, they enjoyed laughing at a liberal feminist struggle in the world.

For years, I could never understand why my very liberal father liked Home Improvement, which starred Tim Allen, a bona fide conservative both on and off the air—unlike Carroll O'Connor, who was quite liberal when not in character as Archie Bunker. I finally asked him why. His response (and this is paraphrased), "Because of Jill [the wife on the series]. She's always right. Tim's a dope! He's such a screw up with tools and his outdated mindset! He's always wrong, and he's so wrong it's funny!"

And, as a final note on the matter, while Family Guy has an All in the Family homage in the opening credits, it is Seth MacFarlane's other show, American Dad, that he has stated more directly borrows the formula of conservative dad with a liberal daughter/son-in-law.

V.F. in Orlando, FL, writes: In response to the notion that Archie Bunker could not be shown as a character today, the creators of South Park loosely based the show's breakout character, Eric Cartman, on Archie Bunker, who was an overt bigot and antisemite who got people to laugh at the utter stupidity of his bigotry. (When the moral center of the show, Kyle and Stan, tricked Cartman into exposing the hypocrisy of his bigotry, by tricking him into thinking he was what he hated, it backfired spectacularly showing that people who hate will always find ways to hate.)

J.F. in Fort Worth, TX, writes: On Saturday, I was hoping that you'd mention my favorite anecdote about Sandra Day O'Connor, and maybe even use it for "This week in Schadenfreude."

In 1992, O'Connor took a leading role in deciding Planned Parenthood v. Casey in favor of a woman's right to an abortion. In her opinion, writing for the majority, she said that "women do not lose their constitutionally protected rights when they marry," referring to a provision in the original Pennsylvania law requiring a married woman to get her husband's permission before having an abortion. A radical right-wing judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals had argued strongly in favor of this provision, which O'Connor called "repugnant."

Then came her disastrous concurring opinion in 2000's Bush v. Gore (a decision which competes with Dred Scott for all-time worst SCOTUS decision) which essentially installed George W. Bush as president. Karma decided to have a little fun with O'Connor when she retired in 2006, because the president she helped install replaced her with... Samuel Alito, a man who first came to notoriety as the judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals who argued that married women needed permission to get an abortion.

If that isn't schadenfreude, I don't know what is.

M.S. in Phoenix, AZ, writes: A few years ago, I was an admitted law student at a number of fine institutions, including the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (say that five times fast). As part of the decision-making process, I attended a number of these schools' admitted students days. To be frank, ASU was at the bottom of my list. I was only considering it because of the scholarship—and only attended the event because, hey, free food. I had plans for a Top 14 Law School Experience, thank you very much.

That is, until they wheeled in Justice O'Connor to talk to the group. She was at the school for a separate event, heard about the admitted students, and insisted—absolutely demanded—the administration give her time for an intimate Q&A despite her busy schedule. It was a lovely experience, and she convinced me to matriculate at her namesake school.

I think this says a lot about her. She made donors and bigwigs wait so she could teach and mentor future students and lawyers. In my professional life before and after law school, I have interacted with hundreds of elected officials, politicos, and judges. Nearly all of them are bad people. Not Justice O'Connor, though. I will never forget her kindness.

May she rest in peace.

C.P. in Los Angeles, CA, writes: Still wiping away the tears after reading the Ginnie Smith obituary that was the focus of "This Week in Freudenfreude: Now That's an Obituary."

I have been reading for years (I think I found it during the John Kerry election) and have appreciated its evolution. However, the addition of the Freudenfreude to the Friday postings upped the value of the site. It is truly an amazing way to end the work week.

In Defense of... (V) and (Z)

S.M. in Pratt, KS, writes: I was catching up on the site, and came across "This Week in Schadenfreude: The Brain Drain Is Underway," and thought about commenting on it. Then I read the comments from J.B. in Waukee, so I went back and re-read the piece again. While I share J.B.'s frustrations, I didn't find any mocking in your comments. I read them as: elections have consequences, policies have consequences. And when the majority continue to elect bad people to enact bad policies then we all get bad results.

My comment initially was going to be that this isn't just an interstate problem, it's an intrastate problem. As J.B. points out, there are many deep red states with, sometimes, large blue counties. And consider that, even though Kansas is considered a "rural" state, the majority of our citizens live in the purple/blue urban counties. It's only the aggressive gerrymanders that keep the Republican supermajority legislature in place.

Even within states the Brain Drain takes place. Every census we find out that 80+ of our counties are losing population. "Rural Flight," they call this. It's been going on for decades (yet we citizens continue to send the same people to Topeka, to enact the same policies, that get the same results). These people go somewhere, and usually to other more successful counties within the state. It's often lamented that young people go off to college, and never come back to the small towns. Most of them used to settle in our urban counties, although now it appears that they are just leaving the state altogether.

I'm not sure what the answer to all of this is, but I know what it is not. Doing what we've always done will get us what we've always gotten. I hope that someday voters in the failing counties, and failing states, will realize that they are being left behind economically, and insist on the kinds of changes that will allow them to catch up.

S.K. in Bethesda, MD, writes: Since (V) and (Z) won't defend themselves, I'll offer a response to the complaint from M.L. in West Hartford about the mocking of young people for voting third party or rejecting Joe Biden.

One reason to focus on the choices and passions of young people rather than on older people is that older people are much more likely doing things to increase the likelihood of their preferences being represented by elected leaders. Put another way, you may not like who they vote for, but they vote, and they support the major party candidate most likely to pursue their preferences.

When young people do not vote (whether out of laziness or spite or cynicism) or vote for "protest" candidates in close elections (when the winner is clear, the logic is less straightforward), they increase the chances that someone who will damage their interests is elected. That is counterproductive, and arguably foolish. And however heartbreaking the deaths in Gaza may be, electing the wrong leaders could cost many multiples of the numbers of lives being lost there.

We only have to look to how COVID was handled to know that, but it is also true that a Trump administration is likely to encourage an Israeli government to further violence rather than attempt to constrain them. So again, criticizing Biden is fine if you think he should aggressively support a ceasefire. That's your right, and maybe even your obligation as an American. But not voting or voting third party because of this issue would be counterproductive and result in potentially catastrophic outcomes young people will have to live with longer than the older generations.

Gallimaufry: Angry Old Man Edition

A.B. in Torrington, CT, writes: I saw your critique of Bill Maher and I couldn't agree more. Bill Maher has made contrarianism into an artform and will do anything just to stay relevant. He's like that one edgy college student everyone has in a few of their pre-reqs. They say some sort of horrific thing, insist it's just being themselves and to "look at the real picture here, okay?", and then fall off the face of the earth after a year of nobody giving a crap about their edginess anymore.

Keep up the great work, all. Especially the Staff Late Night TV Binge Watcher!

(V) & (Z) respond: Saturday night-Sunday morning is a dead zone, so currently on the TV right now is the 12th consecutive episode of Antiques Roadshow. This has put both staff dachshunds to sleep.

B.C. in Walpole, ME, writes: I agreed with your comments about Bill Maher until you said "he's become a cranky old man whose primary avocation is to tell the kids to stay off his damn lawn." People your age do not adequately understand the importance of the "you kids get off my lawn" issue that this nation is facing. Also, I want to take this opportunity to condemn all of my fellow citizens who are failing to drive their cars according to my exact specifications.

A.H. in Newberg, OR, writes: You wrote: "Of course, 100% of Baby Boomers DO agree on one thing, namely that those damn kids should get off the lawn."

Unless, of course, the "Kid" is my great-grandson, then my wife believes that he can do no wrong. He can jump on the bed, have all the cookies he wants, and pull the cat's tail, because he walks on water in her estimation.

(V) & (Z) respond: And she would presumably know, since she is GAWD, after all.

P.B. in Gainesville, FL, writes: Err, what do you mean kids? It's the damn squirrels!!!

Final Words

R.B. in Cleveland, OH, writes: In keeping of your theme of last words and epitaphs as well as your tribute to Norman Lear, I was reminded of this excerpt from his memoir, which is titled Even This I Get To Experience:

Having heard that we'd fallen into such dire straits, my son-in-law phoned me from New York and asked how I was feeling. My answer was, "Terrible, of course," but then I added, "but I must be crazy, Jon, because despite all that's happened, I keep hearing this inner voice saying, 'Even this I get to experience."

Early the next morning my son-in-law was on the phone again. He'd heard me say once that I wished to be cremated when I died and he was calling to ask me to please, please change my mind. I asked why. In a voice that choked a bit at the finish, he answered, "Because someday I want to take my children, your grandchildren, to a gravestone that reads, 'Even this I get to experience.'"

Here's hoping his son-in-law follows through.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Dec09 Saturday Q&A
Dec08 Hunter Biden: Falling
Dec08 GOP Candidates' Debate; the Day After: We Used to Be Friends
Dec08 In the House, Part I: Good Ol' Boys
Dec08 In the House, Part II: Welcome Back
Dec08 In the House, Part III: Emergency!
Dec08 I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Love Is All Around
Dec08 Eric Adams: Way Down in the Hole
Dec08 A December to Rhymember, Part VI: Think!
Dec08 This Week in Schadenfreude: Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Dec08 This Week in Freudenfreude: Those Were the Days
Dec07 Republicans Debate Again
Dec07 Bye, Kev
Dec07 Trump Promises to Be a Dictator--for Just One Day
Dec07 The Nevada Fake Electors Have Been Indicted
Dec07 "This Is Grim"
Dec07 Jamaal Bowman Gets a Primary Challenger
Dec07 A December to Rhymember, Part V: Ripped from the Headlines
Dec06 Trump Legal News: Detroit Breakdown
Dec06 Tuberville Takes a Knee
Dec06 More Showboating News
Dec06 Johnson Says He Has the Votes for... an Impeachment Inquiry
Dec06 McHenry Will Not Seek Reelection
Dec06 Get Ready for another GOP Candidates' Debate
Dec06 Burgum Quits His Totally Pointless Campaign
Dec06 A December to Rhymember, Part IV: Outfoxed
Dec05 Republicans Are Worried about Another Term for "the Orange Jesus"
Dec05 Liz Cheney's Book Is Out Today
Dec05 Five Times Primaries Were Surprising
Dec05 Border Talks Are in Deep Trouble
Dec05 New York Could Determine Control of the House
Dec05 Lake Is Not Making Progress with Moderates
Dec05 Why Do People Watch Fox "News"?
Dec05 A December to Rhymember, Parts II and III: Potpourri
Dec04 DeSantis' Super PAC Is in Complete Meltdown
Dec04 Johnson's Job Just Got Tougher
Dec04 Senate Republicans Are Not Interested in Repealing the ACA
Dec04 Domestic Oil Production Is Up and It Could Be Good News for Environmentalists
Dec04 Chris Christie May Not Make the Stage at the Next Republican Debate
Dec04 Presidents Are Not Immune to All Lawsuits
Dec04 Trump's Former Lawyer Is Cooperating with Nevada Prosecutors in Fake Electors Case
Dec04 Georgia Republicans Unveil a New House Map...
Dec04 ...But a Florida Appeals Court Upholds the Old Map
Dec04 Florida Republican Party Faces a Crisis
Dec02 Bye, "George"
Dec02 Sandra Day O'Connor Is Dead at 93
Dec02 Saturday Q&A
Dec01 DeSantis, Newsom Debate
Dec01 The Missing Piece of the Trump-Obamacare Puzzle
Dec01 Trump Gets Gagged Again