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U.S. Shoots Down Three UFOs

UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) have been the subject of science fiction stories for decades. Men from Mars? Women from Venus? Robots from China? Who knows? In any event, after the U.S. shot down a Chinese balloon off the South Carolina coast last week, more UFOs have suddenly appeared. It's like a game of Whack-A-Mole: You shoot down one and another appears. This time, as opposed to waiting a few days to observe them, they were promptly shot down.

On Friday, a UFO was picked up on radar flying at 40,000 feet over the Beaufort Sea near Deadhorse, AK. It was the size of a small car. Fearing more bad PR, this time Joe Biden gave the order to shoot it down as soon as he was informed about it. What was it doing there? Good question. However Deadhorse is close to Prudhoe Bay, home to over 200 bird species. Maybe Chinese President Xi Jinping is a birder and wanted some good bird photos. Or maybe he is an oiler and wanted some good photos of all the oil rigs and pipelines there. Maybe the UFO wasn't Chinese. Maybe it was Russian. We don't know yet and may not for a while because recovering the debris over the frozen ocean 10 miles from land in the dead of the Arctic winter and near total darkness is no picnic. In case you haven't been there, here is the location of Deadhorse.

Map of Alaska showing Deadhorse

Mission accomplished? Maybe not. Saturday another UFO appeared up north, this time over northern Canada, also at 40,000 feet. Shortly after it was picked up, Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a little chat. Although the UFO was in Canada about 100 miles from the U.S.-Canadian border, they jointly decided to have a U.S. fighter jet shoot it down over the Yukon, in Canadian territory. Another F-22 with sidewinder missiles was called into action to do the job. Canadian forces are now collecting the debris.

Another day, another UFO. Sunday, one was spotted over Lake Huron, in Michigan. This time an F-16 was sent to take it down, again with a sidewinder missile. These sidewinders really come in handy sometimes. Of the four objects shot down in the past week, the one in Canada may be the easiest to recover since it was shot down over land.

So far nobody has claimed ownership of the last three UFOs and there has been no retaliation. Still, Biden has to be careful with his new "shoot first, ask questions later" policy. If the next UFO is a high-school field trip from a very advanced alien civilization and Biden orders it shot down, the owners may get miffed and decide to vaporize the entire earth in response. Hasn't he seen Independence Day? (V)

Two Major GOP Donor Groups Will Spend Big to Oppose Trump

Two well-funded Republican groups, Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth (CfG), are planning to spend millions of dollars in the 2024 Republican primaries with the stated goal of blocking Donald Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination. The upcoming battle will pit big-money donors against a populist voting base that hates them. It should be exciting.

These groups support free trade, changes to Social Security and Medicare, and open immigration. Trump vigorously opposes all of these things, which should result in some fireworks. Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by the Koch brothers in 2004, has said it will seek out a suitable candidate by the end of the summer and then support that candidate.

The Club for Growth may not coalesce around a single candidate. However, it is doing interviews now. It has invited six possible candidates to a donor summit in Florida in March. These are Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA). CfG is also commissioning polls to see how they stack up against Trump, who has not been invited to the summit. For the life of us, we cannot see any conceivable circumstances in which Scott would be the Republican nominee, but maybe they felt that it had to include a Black candidate to show how open-minded they are.

CfG's president, David McIntosh, has said: "The majority of people I talked to worry we lost in 2018, 2020 and 2022, and that it's time for a new standard bearer that believes and will fight for free-market principles." Donald Trump responded to this message on his boutique social media platform with: "The Club For NO Growth, an assemblage of political misfits, globalists, and losers, fought me incessantly and rather viciously during my presidential run in 2016. They said I couldn't win, I did, and won even bigger in 2020."

The Club spent heavily against Trump in 2016, but he won anyway. This shows the limits of money. An outside group can swoop in and spend many millions of dollars on negative ads, but if they are selling something that nobody wants (like free trade), it may not work. One possible strategy for the CfG may be to finance multiple candidates except DeSantis (who doesn't need any help). The idea would be to position them all as plausible nominees in the event that the current front runners, Trump and DeSantis, flame out partway through the process. In any event, having two groups with the ability to spend tens of millions of dollars opposing Trump, should enliven the primary season—except for people who live in the early-primary states and watch television. (V)

Florida Approves New Laws to Help DeSantis' Campaign

Once upon a time, the Florida state legislature viewed its function as passing laws to benefit the people of Florida. How quaint. Nowadays, it regards itself as part of the presidential campaign apparatus of the governor and POTUS-wannabe, Ron DeSantis. It sees its job (with some encouragement from the Governor) as slaying the woke dragon so the governor can take credit for it. Let's consider two recent bills the legislators have passed.

First, last fall, DeSantis arranged for a plane to take a group of migrants from Texas to Massachusetts. There was a very brief stopover in Florida to make it sorta, kinda, look like it was maybe, possibly legal. Florida had a law allowing the governor to ship undocumented immigrants who made it to Florida somewhere else, but not immigrants in Texas (hence the need for the stopover). To get the immigrants on the plane, DeSantis' agent lied to them about what was at the other end (jobs and housing). They are now suing him.

This whole stunt was very iffy and icky and probably illegal (before even getting into the question of why DeSantis gave a no-bid contract to a political ally who owns an air charter company at 10x the going rate). Consequently, the legislature has sprung into action and passed a new bill definitely making it legal for the governor to scoop up immigrants from anywhere in the country and ship them wherever the governor wants them shipped. The bill appropriates $10 million for the cause.

How this benefits the people of Florida is an interesting question. How it benefits DeSantis' presidential ambitions is crystal clear. It feeds so much red meat to the base that they are all going to have to get on statins to survive. But it feels so good to know your tax money is being well spent (in essence, being handed to the governor's political ally for some routine flights of people who have been duped into thinking they are going somewhere to get a job).

Second, the legislature has also been active on the woke front. DeSantis has been feuding with the Walt Disney Corporation, the state's largest private employer, ever since Disney executives make it clear they didn't like Florida's new "Don't say gay" law. First, the legislature revoked the tax status of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which effectively turned Disney World and the other Disney Parks into a self-governing municipality. But when the state's lawyers realized that terminating Reedy Creek meant the two counties it was in would then have to assume $1.2 billion debt and pay the interest on it, the legislature decided that wasn't such a great idea after all.

Now the legislature has passed a new bill restoring Reedy Creek's status as an independent entity (of which there are hundreds in Florida, including The Villages). But just to make it clear who's the boss here, the law gives the governor the power to appoint the people on the board that runs Reedy Creek. It also specifies that anyone with ties to Disney during the past 3 years is ineligible to serve on the board. If the board members do anything stupid or illegal (like repudiating the debt), they will certainly be sued, so they are unlikely to behave much differently from the old members. They will just deal with finances, policing, fire services, and the like, just like the old board. But virtually no voters understand what it does or why it is important. Nevertheless, DeSantis can spin this by saying: "Boy did I poke that woke corporation in the eye! I took over control of it. Now they will have to stop all this woke sh** and do what I tell them to do." That's not even vaguely true, but the whole thing is a big PR stunt to impress the base with how much DeSantis hates woke. Whatever that is.

Disney always ran Reedy Creek in a perfectly fine way and didn't cost the taxpayers anything, so there was no need for any change here, other than to burnish DeSantis' image as Mr. Anti-woke. The Florida legislature will remain in session until about May, so it has plenty of time to pass new laws to boost the governor's standing before he formally announces his presidential run. After all, that's what legislatures are for, right? (V)

Pompeo Hones His Campaign Message in a Book Tour

While we are on the subject of POTUS wannabes, Mike Pompeo doesn't have an obedient state legislature to help him, but he's not standing still either. He wrote a book and has been traveling around the country flogging it, meeting voters, and figuring out what they want to hear so he can tell that to them. He is very much in full campaign mode.

Pompeo has a long C.V.: a manager at a Baskin-Robbins store, Army officer, aerospace entrepreneur, Kansas congressman, director of the CIA, and secretary of state. But he wants to add one more item: 47th president of the United States.

David Urban, a Republican strategist who went to West Point with Pompeo, said: "It's important for each of these individual candidates to be able to craft a compelling narrative based upon their the life story that American people get excited about. It's a wide span of folks you're going to need to appeal to and how you how that narrative is crafted and how you choose to present yourself is pretty important if you want to try to capture the widest swath possible." In other words, campaigning is all about manufacturing your image, and that is what Pompeo is working on now."

Donald Trump's image is Mr. Anti-Establishment. Ron DeSantis' image is Mr. Anti-Woke. Pompeo is trying on Mr. Tough Guy for size, to see how it fits. His book is called Never Give an Inch and it talks all about his competitive nature and his fixation on winning. He loves the quotation attributed to many people "Winning isn't the best thing. It is the only thing." If winning is defined as polling above 0.5% (so it doesn't round to 0), he's winning. In recent polls he is at 1%.

Liz Mair, a Republican strategist who has worked on many failed presidential campaigns before (e.g., Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina) is not so optimistic about Pompeo. She said of him: "I don't know what the market is for this. I can't I can't ascertain one within the Republican primary electorate, or at least not one that gets above 1%."

Pompeo has visited all the early states, trying to drum up support, endorsements, and donors. One problem he will have is that in South Carolina, he will have to compete with former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. Making it worse in South Carolina is that his strength, foreign policy, is also her strength. This puts extra pressure on him to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. But in New Hampshire, he may have to compete with Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH). This means he has to make a huge splash in Iowa to get any traction. As far as funding goes, Charles Koch could provide nearly limitless money, but will do that only if he thinks Pompeo can win the nomination.

And against Trump, Pompeo's strength in foreign policy could be neutered in an instant when Trump yells: "Who cares about foreign policy? I'm for America First." Nevertheless, Pompeo is probably as qualified, if not more so, than any of the others in the mix. After all, do you know how tough it is to keep a Baskin-Robbins running smoothly? Now all he has to do is convince the voters. (V)

Scott Announces New Social Security Plan, McConnell Promptly Attacks Him for It

In 2021, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) put out his presidential campaign platform, which included having all federal laws auto-sunset in 5 years. Just about everyone lambasted him for that and he stopped talking about it for a while. Then, at last week's SOTU speech, Joe Biden pointed out that Republicans want to end Social Security and Medicare in 5 years and Scott took a lot of flak from all directions. In his speech in Tampa last week, Biden repeated Scott's plan to kill Social Security to a group of seniors. He even distributed copies of it to the attendees.

Scott, who is up for reelection in 2024, got worried. In an attempt to recover, he has announced a new bill to "save" Social Security from evil people—like, say Rick Scott. It would require cuts to the program to require a two-thirds majority, something that is probably not legal or even enforceable. This is transparent nonsense. Scott voluntarily drew up a plan that would sunset all federal laws after 5 years (unless Congress passed them again) that was his presidential platform. It got panned from left to right. Now he suddenly has a new plan to protect Social Security. Does he have any credibility at all?

Well, not with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell made it clear that the bill was Scott's and not that of the Republican Party. He also said: "I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own reelection in Florida, a state with more elderly people than any other state in America." It is unusual for McConnell to be so openly critical of another Republican senator, but McConnell clearly thinks Scott has gotten too big for his britches. He also blames Scott, then the chairman of the NRSC, for the poor results in the 2022 Senate races. He probably wouldn't mind a primary challenge to get rid of Scott.

Open feuds between a party leader and a member have happened before, but are very rare. Lyndon Johnson never got along with fellow Democratic senator from Texas Ralph Yarbough. Democratic leader Alben Barkley of Kentucky had such a frosty relation with Kenneth McKellar, Democrat from Tennessee, that McKellar took it upon himself to convince then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt not to nominate Barkley to the Supreme Court, something Barkley wanted. And every senator worth his salt has had a run-in with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Nevertheless, McConnell's clear and obvious distaste for Scott is quite unusual. (V)

Dozens of States Enter Court Fight over Abortion Pill

On Friday, dozens of state AGs filed amicus briefs in a court in Amarillo, TX, where a case is playing out in which a single Trump-appointed district judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, might ban the abortion pill, mifepristone, nationwide. The plaintiffs, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, claim that mifepristone is not safe, despite the FDA having approved it over 20 years ago and it having been used by millions of people with very few bad reactions. The ACLU said of the case: "In any rational universe it would be laughed out of court on multiple grounds." But Kacsmaryk's background is with anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ groups, so he was pleased to take the case. That is why it was filed in his district, where he conveniently happens to be the only sitting judge.

Mississippi AG Lynn Fitch (R), the first female AG in Mississippi history and the first Republican AG there since 1878, argued in her brief that the FDA exceeded its authority when it approved mifepristone and besides, it is unsafe. AGs from 21 other red states cosigned her brief. New York AG Letitia James (D) filed a brief, also with 21 cosigning AGs, argued that a decision to ban mifepristone would have devastating consequences.

Kacsmaryk could rule any time and is expected to do so within a few weeks. His decision will be appealed immediately to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, located in New Orleans. It is one of the most conservative circuit courts in the country. From there it is almost certain to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. That could set off an epic clash between the branches. with Joe Biden claiming that when Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it delegated the authority to approve or ban drugs to the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch has no business second-guessing its decisions. If Kacsmaryk bans the pill nationwide, what is to prevent a liberal district judge in San Francisco from ruling that the Second Amendment's right to bear arms applies only to the smooth-bore muzzle-loading muskets used at the time the Second Amendment was ratified and does not apply to any arms not yet invented then?

In the event that Kacsmaryk rules against mifepristone and refused to stay his ruling, women seeking an abortion could use misoprostol, which is used to treat stomach ulcers and is not as tightly regulated as mifepristone. However, it is less effective. (V)

Biden Will Visit Poland on the Anniversary of the Ukraine Invasion

On Feb. 20, Joe Biden will travel to Poland to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There he will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Poland was no doubt chosen because it was drifting toward authoritarian rule and away from NATO and the West. However, the invasion changed that instantly. The Poles clearly understand that if Russian President Vladimir Putin can gobble up Ukraine, then Moldova is next, followed by the three small Baltic countries and then Poland. Poland has some experience being dominated by the Soviet Union and is not keen on getting any more. Consequently, it has cooperated with the U.S. in every possible way in helping Ukraine fight off the Russian bear. Biden's planned trip there tacitly acknowledges this cooperation.

Will Biden also go to Ukraine? For security reasons, no one in the government is talking about his exact itinerary other than the stop in Poland. If he does go to Ukraine, that is likely to be announced only after he is safely back home. Alternatively, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could go to Poland and meet with Biden there.

This is not Biden's first visit to Poland. He was there in March 2022, one month after the war started. On that trip, he called for regime change in Moscow. That didn't sit well with Putin and Biden tried to unsay it. (V)

The Issues That Will Matter in 2024

The Hill has an article listing seven issues that will define the 2024 elections. We tend to agree with the list, although which is most important is hard to say, so we will present them in alphabetical order.

  • Abortion: Democrats believe that abortion was the issue that saved them in 2022 and they are going to push it for all it's worth in 2024. They might even try to have more ballot initiatives about it. In 2022, there were six of them and the pro-abortion forces won them all. If more state legislatures pass laws banning abortion in their states, that will keep the flame burning brightly.

  • Crime: Crime is a perennial issue. It never goes away. Crime is much lower than it used to be, but few voters know that and Republicans are very good at scaring people. Think Willie Horton and even earlier. This tends to be a bigger issue among Republicans than among Democrats, and if the GOP-ers running for office talk about it enough, it could motivate Republicans to vote.

  • Education: This issue got Glenn Youngkin elected and Ron DeSantis is clearly going to make it central to his presidential campaign. The Democrats will talk about how we need more teachers and pay them better. Republicans will say school should be about readin', writin' and 'rithmetic, and not about why little Johnny has two mommies and no daddy. And certainly not about anything touching on race. If it were up to the Republicans, American history would jump from 1840 to 1880 with nothing in between except a brief comment that the North and South disagreed about some things, but eventually it was worked out.

  • Foreign policy: "Foreign policy" is really too vague. What this really means is "How do we deal with Russia and China?" Very few politicians like or trust China, but when it gets down to specifics, differences emerge. Republicans tend to favor saber rattling. Democrats tend to look for ways to reduce America's dependence on China. The Democrats will certainly claim that Biden's CHIPS Act, which has already resulted in huge semiconductor factories being built in Ohio and Arizona, is the right start and Donald Trump's tariffs are useless and pointless.

  • Immigration: This is an old Republican standby. One or more House committees are sure to hold hearings on it and decry the Democrats' for supporting "open borders," which the Democrats don't actually support. Republicans would like to stop all immigration if they could. Democrats are more likely to focus on providing a path to citizenship for the dreamers.

  • LGBTQ+ issues: This is probably the second biggest item in the culture wars, after abortion. Republicans oppose transgirls (who are biologically boys) playing on girls sports teams. They also oppose giving puberty blockers to minors, even with the consent of their parents. Many Democrats (but not all) support these things. Same-sex marriage isn't so much of an issue since Congress passed a law effectively legalizing it nationwide. Still, there are related issues to be fought over, such as whether same-sex couple should be allowed to adopt children. This tends to be a bigger issue with couples consisting of two men than with couples consisting of two women, since in the latter case the couple can often use conventional technology to acquire a baby.

  • Social Security: Democrats are going to hammer Republicans with Rick Scott's plan to have all federal legislation automatically sunset after 5 years. Scott can hop up and down and holler all he wants to, but he published a plan to do that and Democrats aren't going to let go of it. Republicans will also claim that Social Security (and Medicare) will soon go bankrupt. Democrats will say: "Raise the cap" (the threshold above which salaries and wages are not subject to FICA deductions). This is a bit awkward for Biden since he said he wouldn't raise taxes for people making under $400,000. Currently the cap is $160,200. Biden could push for applying the Social Security tax to incomes from $400,000 to $1 million, thus creating a donut hole between $160,200 and $400,000. It is a dumb way to run a tax system, but it could be done.

As usual, these are only the "known unknowns." By 2024, there could be some "unknown unknowns" as well. By definition, we don't now what they might be. (V)

Biden Uses the "Trump Defense"

That's Hunter Biden, not Joe Biden. While House Republicans can't wait to investigate him, Hunter is pushing back very hard. That was inevitable when Biden hired Abbe Lowell as his lawyer. Lowell is a well-known, very aggressive, lawyer who has defended numerous politicians and high-profile figures. The House Oversight Committee has sent Biden subpoenas for all manner of information. Did Biden humbly comply and send Chairman James Comer everything he requested? No way. Instead Lowell sent back a letter citing a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that said Congress could not have Donald Trump's tax returns unless it had a valid legislative purpose for having them. Lowell asked what valid legislative purpose Congress has for requesting the information it is asking his client to provide. Lowell also said the Committee is like Alice in Wonderland, with Comer being the Queen of hearts, shouting "Sentence first, verdict afterwards." If Comer continues to demand the documents he wants, this case could potentially end up in the Supreme Court again and Congress could lose again. In the Trump case, federal law requires the IRS to audit the president every year and the valid legislative for getting Trump's tax returns could relate to seeing if the IRS was doing its job properly. It is harder to see what the valid legislative need for Biden's documents might be.

Just to rub it in, Lowell also cited Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), now chairman of the Weaponization Subcommittee who defended Trump's refusal to turn over his tax returns to Congress. In Trump's defense, Jordan wrote that the "Supreme Court has cautioned that Congress does not have 'general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress.'" [Insert here your favorite quote about geese, ganders, and sauce.]

Lowell has also demanded federal and state investigations into how some information from Biden's laptop began circulating in the media. He also sent letters to 14 prominent Republicans and media personalities, including Rudy Giuliani, telling them to preserve all evidence relating to his client in preparation for future lawsuits. Since the Republicans wanted a circus, they are going to get a circus, only they may not be the ones running it. (V)

Nobody Knows about Biden's Climate Win

Joe Biden actually got quite a bit done in his first 2 years, especially on dealing with climate change. Unfortunately for him, very few people know about it. In his SOTU speech, Biden talked about the $369 billion in "green incentives," designed to move the country away from fossil fuels. That, and much more, will be needed during his reelection campaign as a December 2022 poll showed that 62% of the country thinks he has achieved little or nothing at all. In reality, the subsidies for green energy in the Inflation Reduction Act are the biggest ones ever passed, but Biden won't get much credit if people don't even know about it. The poll showed that a third of registered voters have heard nothing about the climate "law." Another 24% have heard a little about it. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said: "I really feel sympathy with the president. You do really important things that might have an impact and there's a day or two of news coverage. If important political points are not getting out to the public, it's not just the politicians' fault."

Most Republicans oppose the bill, even those House members whose districts will get new jobs created by the bill. They claim that it has stoked inflation, burdening households with higher costs for gasoline, food, and home-heating. In reality, the bill hasn't even started to have any effect and gas prices has come way down recently. They are barely affected by the bill, if at all.

Biden is working on public awareness of his achievements. He is a self-professed "car guy" and has shown up at various public events featuring electric cars. He even made an appearance on Jay Leno's Garage, a web and TV series about cars.

Biden isn't the only one trying to make people aware of what he did. Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Spring Hill, TN, to champion a new domestic battery manufacturing company aided by the climate law. EPA Administrator Michael Regan went to Wabaunsee, KS, the same day to talk electric school buses. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm went to Nevada to show off another company that makes batteries and which will be able to expand and create more jobs as a result of the climate law. It seems the administration's pitch is not so much about getting rid of fossil fuels and the damage they cause but more about all the new factories that the law will fund and all the new jobs that will be created in those factories. It is a very conscious choice. In his reelection campaign, when people ask Biden "What have you done?" the answer is going to be "I created 5 million new jobs, many of them in modern industries that will last for decades." He will also emphasize that many of them are in manufacturing plants, pay very well, and do not require a college degree. No trees will be hugged on his trips.

The law, which Biden signed in August, is starting to have an effect. Since then, 94 new clean energy projects have sprouted up and drawn nearly $90 billion in new investment. Many of the jobs are in districts represented by Republicans who opposed the bill. Needless to say, in 2024, the Democrats running in those districts are going to make appearances at construction sites where new factories are under construction and say: "Fortunately, in 2022, the Democrats had a majority in the House so your representative's vote against this new factory, which will employ [X] highly paid workers, didn't kill it." (V)

Fetterman Leaves the Hospital

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) had a serious stroke last year. He is still feeling the effects of it. Since the Senate is controlled by the Democrats, accomodations have been made to help him. For example, he has a custom monitor on his Senate desk that provides closed captioning, so he can follow the proceedings more easily. It even can rise when he stands, no mean feat since he is 6' 9". The sergeant-at-arms has also arranged for live audio-to-test transcription for all the committees on which Fetterman serves. These are needed because the stroke affected his hearing and he is better at reading than listening. Despite these accommodations, his progress is slow. Normally, after someone has had a stroke, doctors tell the patient to take it easy. Being in the bitterly divided United States Senate, meeting with constituents, attending caucus meetings, and much more, is not normally considered taking it easy.

Then last week it got worse. He felt "lightheaded" and checked into George Washington University Hospital for a check up. The doctors there ran a battery of tests on him and didn't find anything, so they discharged him and told him to take it easy. Fat chance.

The effects of these medical issues could be long lasting, but not necessarily in a medical sense. As a senator, Fetterman can count on the best medical care in the country. He is only 53 and has a good chance of a full recovery in time. No, the effects could be political. His ability to win over large numbers of blue-collar workers who voted for Donald Trump could be the magic the Democrats need in the future. If Joe Biden decides at the last minute not to run for reelection, Fetterman would have instantly been one of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination. And even if Biden does run in 2024, Fetterman could have been a top contender in 2028. Unfortunately, these medical incidents are going to be a big problem. Opponents in both parties are going to say: "What if he has another stroke right in the middle of balloongate 264?" No matter how many statements he has from an untold number of medical specialists who have examined him, his health will be a big issue in a national run. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Feb12 Sunday Mailbag
Feb11 Saturday Q&A
Feb10 Smith Subpoenas Pence
Feb10 Democratic Governors Pledge to Protect Abortion
Feb10 DeSantis May Have an Achilles Heel: Social Security
Feb10 Republicans Get Specific about the Budget Cuts They Want
Feb09 The Bidens Hit the Trail
Feb09 Can Candidates Now Polling in Single Digits Get the GOP Nomination?
Feb09 Hunter Biden's Laptop Could Explode
Feb09 Twitter Executives Testify
Feb09 Reading the Tea Leaves
Feb09 Democrats Take Control of the Pennsylvania House--Again
Feb09 Ohio Restricts Voting Even More
Feb09 A Key State Supreme Court Race Is Coming Up in Wisconsin
Feb08 The State of the Union Is Strong
Feb08 State of the Union Takeaways
Feb08 Biden to Lose His First Cabinet Member
Feb08 Judiciary Might Clamp Down on Abortions...
Feb08 ...Or, They Might Restore the 1973-2022 Status Quo
Feb08 A Mexican Standoff in Florida?
Feb07 Biden to Make His Case Tonight
Feb07 Balloongate Stretches on for Another Day
Feb07 NYT: Blue Slips Must Go
Feb07 New Poll Affirms State of the GOP Field
Feb07 Raffensperger Endorses Early Primary... in 2028
Feb07 Setec Astronomy, Part II
Feb06 Balloongate Takes Off and Goes Down
Feb06 The DNC Announces the 2024 Primary Calendar It Would Like
Feb06 Biden Previews His Reelection Campaign
Feb06 Jordan Declares War
Feb06 The Koch Brother's Network Does Not Want Donald Trump to Be the GOP Nominee
Feb06 Arizona Republicans Want a Do-over
Feb06 Abortion Battles Are Looming in Reddish States
Feb06 No More Ticket Splitting
Feb06 Electronic Pollbook Security Will Be an Issue in 2024
Feb05 Sunday Mailbag
Feb04 Saturday Q&A
Feb03 Omar Is Ousted
Feb03 The Senate Can Play Committee Games, Too
Feb03 Chris Sununu Is Fu**ing Crazy
Feb03 The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen in Florida
Feb03 Sanders Will Give Republican SOTU Response
Feb03 Pelosi Conditionally Endorses Schiff
Feb03 This Week in Schadenfreude: The Pope Gives the World the Finger
Feb03 This Week in Freudenfreude: That Is Vote Enough
Feb02 Not at the Beach, Anyway
Feb02 Always Trumpers Won't Give Up
Feb02 Iowa Republicans Have Introduced a Bill Banning Mifepristone
Feb02 Could Arizona Republicans Blow It Again?
Feb02 NRSC May Play Favorites This Time