Biden 303
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Trump 235
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Dem 51
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GOP 49
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270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2019 2015 2011
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Political Wire logo Iran Tells Hamas It Won’t Enter War with Israel
Biden Calls Xi a Dictator
House GOP Goes Off the Rails
Pro-Israel PAC to Fund Challengers to ‘The Squad’
Fani Willis Seeks to Revoke Bond of Trump Co-Defendant
Mike Johnson Has Ties to Fringe Christian Group

Note. Oops. We made a booboo yesterday. The story about the KKK endorsing Trump is true, but it is from 2016. Somehow we missed the date. Sorry about that. As soon as it was pointed out to us that it was an old story, we removed it.

Democrats Rescue Johnson

Late yesterday the House passed a bill to keep the government open until January. All but two Democrats voted for it. On the other side, it was a mixed reception with 127 Republicans voting "aye" and 93 voting "nay." Today all 336 members who voted for the bill will spend the day patting themselves on the head for a job well done. Imagine that you got a credit card bill at the end of October that you couldn't pay. You call up the credit card company and beg for mercy, asking if you could pay it in January and they grudgingly agree. This doesn't mean you are a financial wizard—unless you are a member of the House. Remember, no progress has been made at all on the actual bills; all that has happened is that the possible government shutdown has been pushed into next year.

The Freedom Caucusers did get one thing they wanted: The bill has no funding for Ukraine or Taiwan. It also has no funding for Israel or border security, which they do want, so it wasn't a big victory.

The bill funds veterans programs, military construction, agriculture, transportation, and HUD until Jan. 19. These are the least controversial departments, although Republicans would love to slash food stamps. The other departments are tougher, so they get extra time, until Feb. 2.

House conservatives largely voted against the bill. They want big cuts in government spending and they want them now. They don't want to give Speaker Mike Johnson time to negotiate deals with the Democrats that leave them out in the cold. On the other hand, Johnson is super proud of his achievement of kicking the can down the road. In a memo to his caucus, he said that the plan will "finally change the long-established, awful dynamics of government funding." Of course it won't. It just changes the date for the battle. The Freedom Caucus still wants to gut the budget and the Democratic Senate will never accept that. Fighting the fight in February instead of December, as usual, just means that nobody will be in a jovial holiday mood.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, said: "I don't understand this Jan. 19, and this February 2. That, in my view, doubles the opportunity for a shutdown. There's no allocation per subcommittee, which is the way we function."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the two-deadline approach "goofy," but said the Senate will pass it on time to avert a shutdown now. Joe Biden has said he will sign it. Problem solved—for a couple of months. Then it will come roaring back and bring its friends. (V)

Nobody Believes in Bidenomics

Joe Biden has a problem: The U.S. economy is getting much better but nobody outside the Bureau of Labor Statistics believes it. Here is the problem in one graph.

Inflation from 1965 to 2023

The horizontal red line indicates the current level of inflation in the data released by the BLS yesterday. For most of the period from 1967 to 1993, inflation was at the current 3.2% or higher. However, since 1993, it has been lower, except after 2021, mostly due to the combined effects of the pandemic and war in Ukraine. Most people don't know (or care) that by historical standards a 3.2% inflation rate would have been considered pretty good much of the time. They have been spoiled by the exceptionally low inflation rate from about 2012 to 2021 and think that is "normal." Their conclusion: Inflation is out of control and it's Biden's fault.

What people also don't see is that unemployment is almost at a 60-year low. Anyone who wants a job now can easily find something. Look.

Unemployment from 1965 to 2023

Despite extremely good news on the unemployment front and real progress on the inflation front, very few people are giving Biden credit for the economy. Instead poll after poll shows that people trust Republicans more than Democrats on the economy, despite the fact that during the Trump administration, the good economy was simply inherited from Barack Obama and Trump didn't have to do anything to keep it like that.

Weeks of private polling have shown that only 35% of Americans trust Democrats on the economy. In fact, 70% of Americans thought the economy was not getting better, despite being told that inflation was way down and unemployment was at a near-historic low. Furthermore, very few people were aware of what Biden has done to get drug prices down and create jobs, both in infrastructure and getting chip-making factories built in the U.S. It is terribly impolite to say it, but a lot of people are badly informed or misinformed. This is not a hopeless situation for Biden, but he really needs to get out there and inform people much better about economic reality. It's not hard. He needs to go to a bunch of sites where infrastructure construction is underway or a chip factory is being built, put on a hard hat, and make a video of him talking to happy workers about what they are doing. He also has to talk about how much he has brought inflation down. But he has to do something.(V)

Is Biden 2024 Like Obama 2012?

Jim Messina, who ran Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, has a magazine cover from Nov. 3, 2011 posted in his office. It shows polling-analysis guru Nate Silver declaring that Obama had a 17% chance of being reelected and was basically toast. Go get the jam. As you may recall, on Nov. 7, 2012, magazines and newspapers were running a different story.

Silver's prediction gave Messina a major headache. Not because he believed the polls a year out, but because media outlets, donors, elected officials, and his mom were freaking out. People wouldn't go to rallies because it was all over but the shoutin' (and countin'). People wanted him fired. Sound familiar? Messina says we are now officially in the bedwetting part of the cycle. His message (from someone who's been there): Don't panic. Here's why:

  • Early polls are unreliable: The percentage of people who are willing to be polled is low, something like 5-10%, and the earlier in the cycle it is, the worse it gets. Also, there is a differential effect. People who are very engaged, typically die-hard partisans, try to make a point. Swing voters are typically not paying attention a year in advance. But they are the ones who will determine the election outcome. Silver is not stupid. Far from it. But the polls he looked at didn't reflect the actual electorate a year later.

  • The unknown unknowns: Stuff happens. Every year. In 2008, the subprime bubble popped. Two weeks before the 2012 election, Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record then, hit. Obama showed his empathy and managerial skill and handled the aftermath brilliantly. In 2016, "But her emails" dominated the news. Nobody foresaw that in 2015. In 2020, we had a pandemic nobody was expecting. News happens. All the time. We have some known unknowns, like Donald Trump's trials, but we don't know how they will turn out or the reaction to the results. But there are always unknown unknowns. Some are really big.

  • Choice: Presidential elections are not like the Ohio referendum on abortion. There voters were asked to vote "yes" or "no." On Nov. 5, 2024, voters will not be asked: "Do you want to keep Joe Biden, yes or no?" They will probably be asked: "Who is better, Joe Biden or Donald Trump?" That is a different question. For a lot of voters, Biden is bad but Trump is worse. Polls about Biden's approval rating don't reflect that. You can be bad and win simply by being less bad than the other guy. Suppose Trump is a convicted criminal in a year? What if he has already been sentenced to prison?

  • The economy: One of the known unknowns is the economy. How will it be in a year? What will the price of gas be? How will voters perceive the economy after a year of Biden hammering on his many achievements? Messina notes that a year before the 2012 election, approval of Obama's handling of the economy was 35%, the same as Biden's now. On Election Day it was 48%. There is plenty of time for opinions to change. Biden needs to work at it, but Obama did it and there is no reason to think Biden can't.

  • Battleground states: Only about a half a dozen states are on the table. In all the others, we can predict the results with 95% accuracy right now. If Biden can hold the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, he wins. The Sun Belt states of Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina are the icing on the cake and all of them are in play. Georgia and North Carolina are still reddish-purple states but Arizona is changing. Biden won it last time and the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats. Both senators were elected as Democrats and a Democrat (Ruben Gallego) is leading in the 2024 Senate polls. It is becoming a bluish-purple state.

  • Biden has already beaten Trump: We have one data point on who wins a Biden-Trump matchup: 2020. Of course stuff has changed. Young voters seem to be drifting towards the Republicans. There could be a recession. But abortion could dominate everything. Trump could be in prison. There are many unknowns, but what we do know is that Biden is capable of beating Trump. He did it once. Sorry, Hillary, Gavin, and Gretchen, but no other Democrat can claim that.

The election will probably be close. They all are these days because 45% of the country will never vote for a Democrat and 45% will never vote for a Republican. Biden has been counted out before (like: February 2020) but he has proved pundits and pollsters wrong before. Sometimes the turtle (no, not that Turtle) beats the hair. (V)

Trump May Have a Legal Strategy: Fire the Lawyers

Most indictees think of only one thing: How to get an acquittal at the trial. Donald Trump is different from all other indictees. He doesn't seem to care much about being acquitted, at least not in federal trials. His strategy is to delay the trials until after the election and then delay the appeals until after Jan. 20, 2025. Also, win the election. Then he can pardon himself in the federal cases. The state cases are on the back burner now (and see below).

One way to try to delay the federal cases is to have his lawyers make motions. It hardly matters that all of them are swatted down by the judge and the lawyers probably charge Trump $10K per motion. But maybe one will stick. But if that doesn't work, he might go nuclear. What would nuclear look like? In Henry VI, Part 2, Wm. Shakespeare wrote: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Trump doesn't dare do that because murder is a state crime and presidents can't self-pardon state crimes.

Next best is fire all the lawyers. It's a desperate move but desperate times call for desperate moves. Trump treats lawyers like packets of ketchup: You squeeze out every drop, then throw them away. Suppose he fires his entire legal team just before the start of the first criminal trial, currently scheduled for March 4, 2024. Then what happens? Would the judge refuse to let him fire the lawyers? Would she say: "I will give you a choice. I can appoint a public defender to handle your case or you can represent yourself." What Trump wants is a l-o-o-o-o-ng delay, while he finds new lawyers and gets them up to speed. Given his toxic reputation, finding any member of the D.C. bar who is willing to represent him will be tough. Given his propensity to stiff his lawyers, any lawyer willing to take the case is likely to (1) demand $5 million upfront and (2) a clause in the contract stating: "The advance payment is not refundable under any conditions, including, but not limited to, gross negligence or even gross malfeasance on the part of the lawyer." The latter part is for a defense when Trump sues later to get his money back. It will be an interesting negotiation.

But if the judge allows Trump to switch lawyers, no matter how much time she gives him to find new ones, he will complain it is not enough. It would be a unique argument, but he could tell her: "You have no idea what a terrible client I am. I don't listen to my lawyers and I don't pay them. Believe me, it will take me months to find anyone desperate enough to take me on. Maybe in June I can look for a new law school graduate who has a huge student debt and is willing to work for me. Oh, and we have to wait until my new lawyer has passed the bar exam." Of course, if the judge gives him, say 90 days to find a new lawyer (or lawyers), on day 89 he will dump them and repeat the process.

What he might also do is trash his current team on the way out the door. That way if the judge tried to force the lawyers to continue on the case, they would protest loudly saying how can they work for a client who has said they are dumber than a box of rocks and probably flunked third grade, let alone law school. If Chutkan forced his old lawyers to continue working for him, Trump could later appeal on the grounds of the Sixth Amendment (the right to have a lawyer of your choosing).

Chutkan doesn't have to take this though. She also has a nuclear option. She can revoke Trump's bail and send him to prison until the trial starts. That will definitely focus his attention on getting a new lawyer fast. He might even make up with the dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks crew. It's like playing chess where the white pieces are made of dynamite and the black pieces are matches. (V)

Willis Doesn't Expect the RICO Trial to End before 2025

Fulton County DA Fani Willis has now said that she expects the RICO trial to begin sometime late next year and last several months. She expects it to be ongoing on Election Day but won't conclude before Inauguration Day 2025. Needless to say, if this happens and Donald Trump is elected, having him be on trial the day he is inaugurated—and for a state crime for which he can't pardon himself—would be something, uh, unpresidented.

Georgia law allows trials to be televised and Judge Scott McAfee has already said that he will allow television cameras in his courtroom during the trial. Having the trial be in progress and broadcast live on Election Day would be, let's just say, unusual. If Trump were to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2025, and then convicted in February, it would put us in uncharted waters, to say the least. It is a given that if he is convicted in federal court, he will pardon himself and the Supreme Court would probably uphold the pardon because the Constitution does not put many limits on the power of the pardon. In Georgia, pardons are up to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, not the governor.

Would he go to a Georgia prison? Could he be president from prison? Who knows? All we know now is that Willis does not expect a verdict before Election Day and probably not before Inauguration Day.

One thing that could speed up the process is if all the small and medium fish make plea bargains. It doesn't even matter if not everyone has valuable evidence, as long as some of them do. From Willis' point of view, getting 17 of the 19 indictees on her side so she only has to prosecute Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani makes for a much simpler case. Having to prosecute someone for something that happened off in Coffee County is a distraction. She indicted those people only to get them to squeal on the others. Once they have done that, she doesn't care about them. On that score, fake elector Cathy Latham is now at $22,166 of the $300,000 she needs for lawyers. The needle is not moving there. She will be very lucky to hit $25,000. She and the other bit players are sooner or later going to try to get a deal. Maybe she already has. She has 2,890 prayers so far. She didn't specify her prayer goal though. At this rate, she'll be lucky to hit 3,000 prayers. (V)

Trump's Boutique Social Media Site Has Lost $73 Million

A lot of Donald Trump's appeal is that he is a brilliant businessman who people can look up to. The civil trial in New York is all about how he made his money: by cheating, not by being brilliant. That is why he is so upset about the trial. But is he a brilliant businessman? Here's another data point. His boutique social media site has lost $73 million in less than 2 years. That's not Elon-Musk-level bad businessman. To achieve that level you have to lose about $40 billion in a year by buying something for $44 billion, mostly with borrowed money, then driving it into the ground so it is worth only $4 billion a year later.

This tidbit about Trump's boutique social media platform, Truth Social, comes from a filing from Digital World Acquisition Corp. This is a company that was formed with the goal of buying something valuable later on. What it decided to buy is Trump Media & Technology Group. Truth Social lost $50 million on sales of just $1.4 million in 2022 and another $23 million so far this year. The amended S-4 filing contains the sentence: "If TMTG is unable to complete its merger with DWAC and receive more funds, the company may not survive." In fact, absent more funds, neither of them will survive.

It is not known how much skin Trump personally has in the game. It may well be that he owns many shares in both companies but didn't actually invest much (or any) money in them, so bankruptcies would hurt only the investors, not himself. This is his usual method of operation. He might well own one or more "magic" shares that give him special rights but he could have gotten the magic share(s) for free, as a reward for allowing his hallowed name to be associated with the company.

Of course, if these companies go belly up and Truth Social shuts down, it does have consequences for Trump. First, he will lose his ability to address his supporters directly, unless he swallows his pride and goes back to Twitter (X). Second, can you imagine the lawsuits and negative publicity being associated with a couple of very high-profile bankruptcies? Especially if he is ordered to pay a fine of $250 million or $500 million to New York State for violating banking, insurance, and tax laws. His whole image could collapse in a week. Political cartoonists and late-night comics would have a field day. It would surely cost him some votes, and in a close election, even 1-2% in swing states could matter. (V)

Republicans [sic] in Disarray

The headline is not a typo and no, we didn't mean "Democrats in Disarray," at least not for this item. No, actually Republicans are (also) in disarray and are fighting with each other. In particular, while Ronna Romney McDaniel and the RNC get a lot of publicity, the real heavy lifting is done by the state parties, not the national parties. And many of the Republican state parties are being torn apart due to infighting between Trumpists and actual conservatives.

This situation didn't develop organically. No, Steve Bannon and others have developed the precinct strategy, which is focused on taking over the state parties by replacing all the officers with Trumpists. Well, the non-Trumpists didn't go gentle into that good night, so the factions are at war.

In Arizona, for example, the Arizona Republican Party is broke and begging the RNC for money, which the RNC doesn't seem to want to provide, at least not until the state party gets its act together. In January, Jeff DeWit was elected state chair after the disastrous reign of MAGA firebrand and fake elector Kelli Ward, who will soon be indicted fake elector Kelli Ward. Ward decamped to a boat in the Caribbean and DeWit is trying to clean up the mess she left behind. His main approach is to beg McDaniel for money, but she is adamant about not paying the state party's legal bills, which are a big part of the problem. Another hot issue is a lawsuit party treasurer Elijah Norton filed against Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) for defamation.

Even lower down there are problems. Maricopa County Republicans stripped Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost the 2022 gubernatorial primary to pretend-governor Kari Lake, of her position as precinct committee member. Robson's sin was not being Trumpy enough.

In Michigan, it's amateur hour, every hour. Chair Kristina Karamo, a MAGA champion who was a failed AG candidate in 2022, is fighting with the non-Trumpists. She said: "I'm not your milquetoast Republican. So people who want a stuffy, disconnected, elitist party, I'm not their girl, and I'm not going to ask them for anything." But she made a mess of the party's finances. Some people, even her own supporters, are calling for her ouster.

The pressure led Karamo to call an emergency meeting in late October. At the meeting she revealed that as of April, the Party had $265,000 in the bank and $640,000 in debts. Records show that as of August, the Party had only $35,000 in the bank and an unknown amount of debt. One of the members of the budget committee, Jessica Barefield, just resigned. Karamo said she hasn't taken a paycheck since July. When party members began questioning her leadership, she said: "I get stabbed in the back by a lot of opportunists."

Oh, then there is spreadsheetgate. The spreadsheet in question ranked attendees of a Republican conference on a four-point scale, ranging from "patriot" to "RINO." Nobody seems to be able to track down the person who did the rankings. Strange. Maybe some AI program?

Now Georgia. The Georgia Republican Party agreed to pay the legal bills for the 2020 fake electors. The bills are long overdue. The party held an auction to try to raise money to pay the bills. The guy running the auction said: "I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but our general has not lifted a finger to help the Georgia GOP." The "general" is Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), who fell out with the state party over the fake electors scheme. His response was to ask the state legislature to create a new type of political committee, with no contribution limits, so he can solicit donations and use the committee as a slush fund to bypass the official Georgia Republican Party, with which he is at war. Kemp is a conservative, but has fought with Trump and regards the state Party as being held hostage by extremists.

These are merely three states where the state parties are engaged in auto-immolation. Nevada and several others are just as bad. And remember, the state parties are the ones who arrange for boots on the ground in the months before the election. The RNC can provide money if it wants to, but the state parties do the actual work. (V)

Focus Groupies: No Labels Will Help Trump

Pollster Sarah Longwell has been running focus groups all year to put her hand on the pulse of the Republican Party. One of her conclusions from talking to hundreds of Republican voters is that the No Labels ticket will draw from only one demographic: Republican voters who hate Donald Trump and if forced to choose between Trump and Joe Biden, would hold their noses and grudgingly vote for Biden. No Labels offers them the option of dumping Trump but not voting for a Democrat. She is convinced that No Labels could siphon off enough disgruntled Republicans to hand Trump the presidency.

No one but the insiders know who is running No Labels and where the money is coming from. Suspicions are that the money is coming from Republican billionaires who already know what Longwell has recently discovered, and that is their goal: Elect Trump. Officially, No Labels has said that if polls show that No Labels will elect Trump, it will close up shop. So far there is not a whit of evidence that they mean it. In fact, the group is frantically trying to get on the ballot in as many states as possible.

One of the things Longwell learned from her focus groups is that support for No Labels is strongest among Trump-to-Biden voters. These are long-term Republicans for whom Trump has simply become too toxic, but who are greatly pained at having to vote for a Democrat. They would eat up voting for a moderate Republican, like Larry Hogan, even if he were coupled with a moderate Democrat as running mate. Veeps are unimportant even if they win and they are certainly unimportant if they are guaranteed to lose. Hell, these people would probably vote for a Larry Hogan/Hillary Clinton ticket since they know Clinton has no chance of getting anywhere near One Observatory Circle, unless Kamala Harris invites her for tea.

Interesting enough, no dyed-in-the-wool Democratic or Republican partisans have any interest in No Labels. The Republicans want Trump, and only Trump. Democrats are also not interested in No Labels. Of course, it might matter who No Labels gets to run. If Hogan comes to realize that he is helping Trump win, he might decline to be on the ticket. It is even conceivable that he might sabotage it. He could tell the folks running it that he is interested, get the nomination, and in September publicly endorse Joe Biden and start campaigning for him. What would the founders then do? Cut off the money supply? Sure, but there goes the party. At that point every TV station and every newspaper in the country would invite him for an interview. A few billionaires would be hopping mad, but that would be their problem. If they threatened him he could threaten to out them. (V)

Ilhan Omar Has Another Primary Opponent

Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN) has been a lightning rod for controversy ever since she made some remarks that many people considered anti-semitic. More than a few people in her district want to get rid of her. Former Minneapolis city councilman Don Samuels is one of them. In fact, he has filed to challenge her in the Democratic primary, something he did in 2022 as well. And he almost won.

But he is not alone. Now attorney Sarah Gad, a Muslim, has also filed to run in the primary. Gad has had an unusual career. After a car accident 10 years ago, she became addicted to opioids and ended up in jail. When she got out, she graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and became a defense attorney.

Gad is not exactly pro-Israel, but she is also not anti-Israel. She did say she will not cozy up to AIPAC (America Israel PAC) though. That doesn't mean AIPAC will stay out of the race. They could carpet-bomb the district with negative ads about Omar, without endorsing (or even mentioning) anyone else. The goal would be to drive down Omar's approval rating. Could a moderate Muslim take votes from Omar? Maybe. However, although Gad grew up in Minnesota, she only recently moved to the district after living out of state for many years. Omar is going to call her a carpetbagger.

Another issue is that Samuels and Gad might split the anti-Omar vote and let Omar win with a plurality. Gad has said that she and Samuels are meeting regularly to discuss the campaign to take Omar down. They have agreed that if one of them catches fire, the other will drop out. Of course, if they run even, neither will drop out and Omar will win. This is precisely the situation where ranked-choice voting works. It automatically causes the least popular candidate to drop out after round 1 of the counting, even if the candidate doesn't want to do so. But Minnesota doesn't use ranked-choice voting. Of course the state legislature could yet introduce it, but Omar would have a fit if they did. (V)

Supreme Court Decides to Be Ethical

Hold onto your hat, MAGA or otherwise. The Supreme Court has adopted a code of ethics. The heat from all the scandals apparently became too much and Chief Justice John Roberts managed to badger the other eight justices into accepting the code. It is written in turgid legalese with five canons (sections). Roughly summarized, they cover the following areas.

  1. A justice should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
  2. A justice should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.
  3. A Justice should perform the duties of office fairly, impartially, and diligently.
  4. A justice may engage in extrajudicial activities that are consistent with the obligations of the judicial office.
  5. A justice should refrain from political activity.

All well and good and there is some detail there, but there are also plenty of loopholes. First, the code is largely a repackaging of various previous statements the court has made. It doesn't really break new ground, like saying a justice can't accept expensive presents from people who have an interest, directly or indirectly, in Court decisions. Second, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and others note that there is no enforcement mechanism. On the other hand, many Republicans don't see the need for a code at all. Third, nothing is mentioned about a justice's spouse who engages in highly partisan activities. Probably they had to leave that out to get the vote of Ginni Thomas. Fourth, it bans leaks but allows members to make public statements. What's the difference? Fifth, this seems like a compromise between the position of Elena Kagan (we need a tough code of ethics) and Samuel Alito (we don't need any code of ethics). Now they have one but it doesn't really say much and can't be enforced.

The core of the code has a tone of defiance and defensiveness, beginning with a reference to nine misunderstood justices. After all, justices are entitled to have friends, just like everyone else. Even rich ones. The code also emphasizes the heavy workload the justices have, making it hard to find time to worry about ethics in addition.

Why did it take so long and why is it so mushy? Roberts gave the answer earlier this year: It was hard enough to get even a majority in favor of a code, let alone unanimity. This was the best he could do. If he had added a provision: "Don't take gifts worth more than $500 from anyone," he wouldn't have gotten nine votes. Small birthday presents are fine; quarter-million-dollar vehicles, fancy fishing trips in Alaska, and luxury yacht trips all over the world are not. This document is a start, but it won't be the last word. (V)

Destroying a Liberal College Ain't Cheap

New College of Florida used to be a small liberal bastion in an otherwise conservative state. It never had (or wanted) many students, and previous governors ignored it. It didn't cost much and didn't get in the way much, so it was left alone. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) saw it as a woke and helpless target he could shoot down to show how powerful he was. So he appointed a board of governors who would turn it into a conservative paradise. The board installed a new president, Richard Corcoran, an ally of the governor, to turn the school around and drive away all the hippies and replace them with Trumpists-in-training.

Corcoran is working hard to earn his $1.1 million annual salary. He has now drawn up a plan for redoing the school. It will cost the state $593 million, but what's money if you can turn out 200 MAGA-infected students a year, ready to go to war for the governor?

The state legislature is likely to take a good look at a plan that requires an investment per student many times what the other state universities are asking for and getting. The plan is unlikely to survive the scrutiny. The controversy is likely to drive away many students and faculty members. In the end, there may be nothing left and the governor will simply decide to shut it down. If it comes to that, he will no doubt claim that getting rid of this tiny (700 student) woke paradise will be a big improvement for the state's university system and save the taxpayers lots of money. The only losers will be the students of this once-special school. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov14 Romney Chickens Out
Nov14 More Detail in Georgia RICO Case Revealed
Nov14 House Rejects Motion to Impeach Mayorkas
Nov14 Sinema Left the Democrats and Her Donors Left Her
Nov14 More Republicans in Safe Districts Are Throwing in the Towel
Nov13 White House Prepares for Johnson to Fail
Nov13 Great, Scott? Not Even Good Scott
Nov13 Trump Goes Full Authoritarian for Veterans Day
Nov13 Right-Wing Tech Billionaires Are Souring on Trump
Nov13 Trump Asks Judge Tanya Chutkan to Televise His Trial
Nov13 Maybe Elise Stefanik Is Interested in Being Trump's Veep after All
Nov13 A Third Opinion on the 2024 Elections
Nov13 Jon Tester Is a Historically Strong Candidate
Nov13 New York Wants to See North Carolina and Raise It Three Seats
Nov13 Arizona AG Kris Mayes Is Investigating the 11 Fake Trump Electors
Nov13 Four More House Members Call It Quits (and a Fifth Hints at It)
Nov12 Sunday Mailbag
Nov11 It's Veterans Day
Nov11 Saturday Q&A
Nov10 Manchin Deals (Slight) Blow to Democratic Senate Hopes
Nov10 Stein Is a Presidential Candidate... and a Vegetarian?
Nov10 The Day After: The Third Republican Debate
Nov10 The Fallout Has Begun: Progressive Mayor Jumps Into Virginia Governor's Race
Nov10 I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Silver Threads Among the Gold
Nov10 This Week in Schadenfreude: Mark Meadows, Straight Talking American Government Official... Or Not
Nov10 This Week in Freudenfreude: Surprise!
Nov09 Takeaways from the Elections
Nov09 Republicans Debate in Florida's Arsht Hall
Nov09 Debates Were Not Always Modeled on Cranky Toddlers in a Nursery School
Nov09 Do Phillips and Tlaib Have Biden in a Pincer Attack?
Nov09 Ivanka Testifies That She Has a Bad Memory
Nov09 Could Trump Have a Secret Plan While Insulting the Judge?
Nov09 Trump Gets (a Smidgen of) Good Legal News for a Change
Nov09 Mike Johnson Could Be the Democrats' Secret Weapon
Nov09 House Is Considering Kicking the Can Down the Road
Nov09 Meta Is Starting to Deal with AI
Nov09 Tester Runs His First Ad
Nov09 Poll: People in China Are Less Hostile to U.S. Than They Were
Nov08 A Disastrous Night for the GOP
Nov08 Time for Another "Debate"
Nov08 The War in Israel, Part X: Genocide in Gaza?, Part I
Nov08 The War in Israel, Part XI: Genocide in Gaza?--Reader Responses, Part I
Nov08 Senate Races Are Getting Down and Dirty
Nov07 Today is Election Day
Nov07 Trump Legal News: Ramble On
Nov07 The Sky Is Usually Falling, Rinse and Repeat
Nov07 Johnson Is Gunning for Entitlements
Nov07 News From the Other Side of the Pond
Nov06 Poll: Trump Would Get over 300 Electoral Votes If Election Were Today
Nov06 Trump Is Planning to Really Lock Them Up