Biden 224
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Ties 13
Trump 301
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Dem 51
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GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (166)
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270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2020 2016 2012
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the Dem pickups vs. 2020: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2020: AZ GA ME NV PA WI
Political Wire logo Leaders in U.S., U.K. and France Get Aggressive
Bannon Tells Ex-FBI Directors to Leave the Country
Trump Is Making a Lot of Promises
Trump Mostly Complained at First Rally Since Conviction
Gaza Chief Bets Civilian Bloodshed Will Help Hamas
Justice Alito’s Wife Complained About Pride Flag

Trump Is Running a Base-only Campaign--Again

Has Donald Trump adjusted his campaign, post-conviction? In a way, yes, but in a way, no. He has decided to just ignore moderates and independents and focus on juicing turnout of his base. He was always base-focused, but now it is more than ever. He is doubling down on how the 2020 election was stolen and how the courts are rigged against him. Running a campaign based on these selling points is not going to fly with many independents and moderates, but he thinks that if he can get every marginal Trump supporter to the polls, that will do the job. Polls have shown that a fair number of people who rarely vote do indeed support him, so getting them worked up into a frenzy such that they vote this time is a plausible strategy. Whether alienating moderates is a good idea is something we won't know for a while.

This is probably the first presidential election in history in which the parties are not offering their competing visions for the future. Instead, they are offering competing visions of the past.

Recently, Trump said that if his verdict is not overturned on appeal, "We are not going to have a country." He also said that revenge is justified, something that probably many of his supporters believe. After all, if you were cheated out of the presidency, can't you get even? John Watson, a former chair of the Georgia Republican Party, said: "The former president is never going to get away from those components of his rhetoric. He has made a decision that this is how he wants to litigate this election." Polling so far hasn't been very clear one way or another. Siena College did a national poll before and after the trial and Joe Biden picked up 2 points. That doesn't mean anything. It's just statistical noise. However, 56% of adults believe the trial was fair, so Trump's constant harping on how it was rigged may not go over well with them. It takes time for these things to settle.

Sarah Longwell, publisher of The Bulwark, said: "Trump has not figured out how to appeal to more center-right voters, and I think he doesn't think he has to. I think he thinks that frustration with Biden and the economy is enough to sort of drive these college-educated suburban swing voters back to him." However, Longwell ran a focus group with nine two-time Trump voters the day after Trump's conviction. All of them were now open to voting against him (which could mean voting for a third-party candidate).

One thing Trump has clearly noticed is that his give-the-base-enough-red-meat-for-them-to-have-a massive-heart-attack strategy prompts the base to shower him with money. The Trump campaign claims it raised a staggering $141 million in the days following the verdict. There is no reason to doubt that, if the official total filed for Q2 in July comes in at, say, $70 million, no one will believe interim figures at all going forward. The money is surely all coming from true-blue supporters, but it can be spent in swing states to try to either get doubters off the fence or goose turnout of marginal voters who support Trump. (V)

Could It Be Doug Burgum?

Yesterday, The New York Times had a long article about Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) and the small boomlet relating to his chance of becoming Donald Trump's running mate. He ran against Trump initially, but once he dropped out, he became a solid Trump supporter, possibly because he saw the #2 spot this time leading to the #1 spot in 2028, assuming there will be an election in 2028.

Burgum is not well known, but he comes with a list of positives and negatives. First the positives. Because he is not well known, he would get lots of media attention. That is generally good for a candidate. He is intelligent and can handle interviews. Sarah Palin he is not. Second, he has run for office in North Dakota twice and won both times, so he has a rough idea of how things work. Third, he has executive experience and would be a plausible president if it came to that. No one will panic if he suddenly became president. In fact, many people would be relieved. Fourth, he is a pleasant person and no one's idea of a firebrand. Fifth, he is a billionaire and could pour serious money into the campaign, although with fundraising going through the roof post-Trump-conviction, that is less of an issue. Still, more money is always welcome. Sixth, he has close ties to the oil, gas, and coal industries. He might be able to cajole them into ponying up even more money with promises of a pro-fossil fuel administration. He was the one who orchestrated the infamous dinner at Mar-a-Lago where Trump asked the fossil-fuel executives to contribute $1 billion to his campaign.

Seventh, and very controversial, is that he could run as an environmentalist. He supports a plan to build a $5 billion pipeline in North Dakota to collect emissions from 57 ethanol plants in four states and store them in a cavern in North Dakota. Since the emissions would have to stay there forever for the plan to help, no serious scientists support the plan. Earthquakes or other geologic activity could allow the emissions to seep out eventually. "Forever" is a long time. Many people say that the plan is a $5 billion giveaway to the pipeline companies, potentially in addition to government benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Of course, there are negatives, too. First, Burgum is a billionaire (due to selling his software company to Microsoft for $1 billion). Just imagine the Democratic ads talking about one ticket with two billionaires and one ticket with two ordinary Americans. Whose taxes do you think they will cut? Economic issues often hit home. Second, Burgum's connections to the fossil-fuel industries are not going to go over well with young voters who see climate change as their top priority, even more than abortion or Gaza. Third, Burgum's pipeline scheme will come under more attacks than anything since Ronald Reagan's Star Wars anti-missile program. It will be ridiculed as a massive corporate giveaway and won't even work if built. Fourth, Burgum hasn't really been tested on the national stage yet. His campaign went nowhere. Even someone as experienced and well-positioned as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) blew it entirely when the big microscope focused on him. Fifth, the veep is supposed to be the attack dog. Burgum probably doesn't have that in him the way Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) does. But, of course, Trump is totally unpredictable, and the boomlet could be an intentional diversionary tactic orchestrated by his campaign to heighten the excitement. (V)

Trump Holds His First Post-Conviction Rally--in Nevada, in 100-Degree Weather

Yesterday, Donald Trump held his first post-conviction rally. It was outdoors in Las Vegas, in 100° F weather at noon. The rally was in a park not far from the airport and there was little shade there. In the previous days, he was in California doing closed fundraisers. The campaign said he raised $28 million at four fundraisers.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) was the warm-up act (not that anyone needed to be warmed up in the scorching desert heat).

Trump understood that holding a rally in such extreme conditions could be a problem, so his team passed out fans and water bottles and allowed supporters to carry umbrellas. Food trucks sold shaved ice and ice-cold drinks. Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald was handed a lemon and turned it into lemonade. He said: "We will walk through hell to elect Donald Trump." McDonald has been indicted for being a fake elector in 2020, but his trial has been pushed into next year.

It was classic Trump: He complained about everything, including the fact that the teleprompters apparently couldn't take the heat and weren't working. He has given the same speech dozens, maybe hundreds, of times now. It is surprising that he needs a teleprompter. One would think a couple of index cards with simple phrases like "stolen election," "rigged trial," "immigrant invasion," and "sleepy Joe," would do the job. Maybe the cheese is slipping off the cracker. He did make a "joke" though. He said that the Secret Service was worried about the safety of the crowds and not about him. It's always about him. Then he said: "They never mentioned me. I'm up here sweating like a dog. This is hard work." Oops. There goes the dog-lovers vote. Dogs don't sweat through their fur, just a bit through their paw pads and their noses.

He returned to the teleprompter theme several times, in the middle of his speech saying: "I pay all this money to the teleprompter people, and I'd say 20% of the time they don't work." Surely some people in the audience must have been thinking: Why does he need them?

Trump did add one new thing to his standard speech though. He proposed eliminating federal income tax on tips. Given the large number of (tipped) service workers in Las Vegas, that might have gotten him some votes. Except for the fact that the large and powerful Culinary Union immediately slammed it as "wild campaign promises from a convicted felon." Also, the president can't eliminate taxes on tips. Only Congress can do that.

As usual, immigration was a main topic of Trump's speech. He said that Joe Biden's XO to shut down the border after 2,500 people had crossed it illegally in any day was a "little plan" that was pro-invasion, pro-child trafficking, pro-women trafficking, pro-human trafficking, and pro-drug dealer. It is interesting that he listed women and human trafficking as separate categories. Doesn't human trafficking also cover women trafficking? Aren't women humans? In any case, Biden's plan doesn't address trafficking at all. It just closes the border after a certain number of people have crossed it in a day.

During the speech Trump launched a new group, "Latino Americans for Trump." This is serious. He will make a big pitch to Latinos during the campaign, especially young men. Nevada has a large Latino population so Las Vegas is an excellent place to make the announcement. Joe Biden won the state by only 2 points in 2020, so it is definitely in play.

Nevada also has a competitive Senate race, with Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) running for reelection. During his speech, Trump briefly mentioned the Senate race and one of the Republicans running for the nomination, Army veteran Sam Brown. But Trump didn't fully endorse him until after the rally by posting his endorsement on his boutique social media site. Seems like an unforced error to us. Why not have Brown get up on stage with Trump to introduce him to the crowd? Twelve people are running for the Republican nomination and having Brown on stage would have helped him, especially since the primary is tomorrow. The NRSC supports Brown, but Trump's former ambassador to Iceland, Jeff Gunter, also has a chance. (V)

Welcome to the Post-Constitutional Era

Nowadays, everything has a timeout. If you leave your electronic device on the table too long, it turns itself off. If the bank sends you an SMS code to log in and you don't use it within 10 minutes, it becomes invalid. Donald Trump thinks that ought to apply to the Constitution. It has been around for 235 years and should have timed out at the 200 mark.

Christian Nationalist Russ Vought, who is a possible chief-of-staff in a new Trump administration, is working on plans for destroying constitutional guardrails. In an influential 2022 essay, he wrote: "We are in a post-constitutional moment in our country." He doesn't like the direction the country is headed and means to fix it by burning it all down. He is making plans for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and use the military to stamp out protests, to use the DoJ to prosecute Trump's rivals, and to refuse to spend money Congress has appropriated for programs Trump doesn't like. In short, he intends to greatly expand the powers of the presidency, knowing that Republicans in Congress won't stop him and neither will the Supreme Court, so de facto, there is no one to stop Trump from doing whatever he wants. Then the sky is the limit. His powers will make Vladimir Putin jealous.

Vought is the policy director for the 2024 platform committee, so the RNC is apparently going to have a platform this time. Last time, the RNC basically said: "We want whatever Donald Trump wants." Vought is also an important contributor to Project 2025's 920-page blueprint for Trump v2.0 and is developing a playbook for Trump's first 180 days in office. In addition, he is a strong supporter of Schedule F, which would fire 50,000 civil servants and replace them all with Trump flunkies. He wants hard-core disciples who will wage culture wars on abortion, immigration, and anything he deems woke. Vought's goal is to get the entire Republican Party behind these plans.

Many of Vought's plans are clearly unconstitutional (or, as he would say, post-constitutional). During Trump's term, the former president was impeached for refusing to give Ukraine weapons Congress had approved. However, Vought maintains that impounding funds Congress has appropriated is a legitimate part of the president's authority, even though the federal courts ruled that it was definitely not when Richard Nixon tried it. But that was before post-constitutionalism kicked in. If Trump wins but the Democrats control the House, we see more impeachments ahead. Maybe one a month.

Vought clearly means what he is saying. As director of OMB at the end of Trump's term, he worked to impede the transition to the Biden administration. He said he was not going to help dismantle the Trump administration's good work. There is something of a marriage of convenience between Vought and Trump. Vought has been an ideological warrior for decades. He sees a second Trump term as the way to achieve his goals. He is not involved (much) in winning the election but wants to make sure that if Trump wins, he can hit the ground running and start carrying out Vought's pet projects starting on Day 1.

Some of what Vought wants requires redefining terms—the opposite of what originalists on the Supreme Court want. For example, he wants to define the millions of people crossing the border illegally as an "invasion" and treat it the same way as if the Mexican army crossed the border in full battle gear and armed for a war. He also has argued for a "Christian immigration ethic" to filter the types of immigrants allowed. He is perhaps not aware that about 78% of Mexicans identify as Catholic and another 10% identify as Protestant. Is his true goal to block the (microscopic) flow of Mexican Jews into the U.S.?

Some Republicans may rue what they are saying now. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said: "I think all too often already the Biden administration is showing they're not following the law as we put it down, and they're taking regulatory fiat and executive orders to a level that is very problematic and increasing the deficit. So no, I am not interested in giving them more power. I'm more interested in giving them less power." If Trump tries a power grab by either not spending money that Congress has appropriated or spending money on things Congress has not authorized, we will be interested in watching Hoeven squirm when reporters read back this quote to him. (V)

Clarence Thomas Is Forced to 'Fess Up

The watchdog group Fix the Court has released a report stating that the current Supreme Court justices have accepted 445 gifts valued at $4.7 million in the past 20 years. If now-retired justices are included, the tally comes to 672 gifts valued at $6.6 million. Justice Clarence Thomas is the biggest recipient, with 193 gifts totaling $4 million. There are also another 126 suspected, but not confirmed, gifts. Thomas has reported only 27 of them on his financial disclosure forms. The research is based on investigative reporting by ProPublica, several newspapers, the congressional record, annual disclosures, and Fix the Court's own investigative reporting.

The value of the gifts is not 100% certain since it is hard to value what a trip in a private jet followed by a stay in an exclusive hunting lodge is really worth. Still, Fix the Court's Gabe Roth said: "Supreme Court justices should not be accepting gifts, let alone the hundreds of freebies worth millions of dollars they've received over the years. Public servants who make four times the median local salary, and who can make millions writing books on any topic they like, can afford to pay for their own vacations, vehicles, hunting excursions and club memberships."

The second biggest recipient of gifts was the late Justice Antonin Scalia at $210,164. The winner of the bronze medal for corruption is Justice Samuel Alito, who raked in $170,095. Why do they do this? Because they can. Who's to say no?

Thomas is clearly feeling uncomfortable with all this publicity, so on Friday he acknowledged that he had accepted some luxury travel from billionaire Republican MAGAdonor Harlan Crow that he somehow had forgotten to put on his disclosure form for 2019, so he amended the form. Lying on a disclosure form is a federal crime. Theoretically he could be indicted for it, but don't count on it. If Thomas had correctly reported all the gifts, everything would have been perfectly legal as there is no law banning anyone from giving Supreme Court justices nice (birthday) presents. However, some of them report them and some don't. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson reported getting four concert tickets worth $3,700 from Beyoncé, for example. She also reported getting almost $900K as an advance for her forthcoming memoir. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have also reported big book advances. It is perfectly legal for justices to write books and get advances and royalties from them. However, this is qualitatively different from getting expensive vacations together with billionaires who have a clear interest in how the Court decides matters of interest to them, even if they are not litigants in the cases (think: interpretations of tax law). (V)

AIPAC Is Getting Republicans to Donate to Democrats

Getting solid Republicans to donate to pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, pro-labor, anti-gun Democrats is a tall hill to climb, but AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is pulling it off. Most of those Republicans are one-issue voters: They support Israel's right to exist and are willing to donate to Democrats who support Israel. AIPAC is already unusual in that it is one of the few lobbying groups that gets money from both Democrats and Republicans, but getting Republicans to support a liberal Democrat is quite a feat. In doing so, AIPAC has enraged progressives, which AIPAC is fine with.

The race that has attracted the most outrage from progressives is the Democratic primary in NY-16, which covers the lower half of Westchester County and a smidgen of the upper Bronx. It is also (V)'s former home district. It used to be as red as Idaho, where a Democrat couldn't be elected deputy assistant dogcatcher, even if he had a 30-year sterling history of catching dogs somewhere else. Now it is D+20, so whoever wins the Democratic primary will win the general election in a landslide.

The current representative is Squad member Jamaal Bowman, no friend of Israel. Bowman mostly grew up in NYC and New Jersey—not in the district, but not far from it, although the issues in Harlem are very different from the issues in leafy, affluent, college-educated Westchester. Bowman was first elected to public office in 2020 when he ran in NY-16 and won the primary and general election. He was easily reelected in 2022.

He is being challenged by George Latimer, who was born in the county and grew up there. After working in the hospitality industry for some years, he ran for the Rye town council and won. Then he was elected to the state Assembly four times and the state Senate once. He is now serving his second term as Westchester County executive. He is clearly a local and has never lost an election.

But the big issue here is not carpetbaggery, it's Israel. That is the only issue where the candidates are far apart. Both candidates are pro-choice, pro-gay rights, etc. So this is a clear test of how Israel will play as a campaign issue when a classic liberal Democrat is running against a progressive Democrat in a suburban district that is in no danger of going Republican. The primary is on June 25.

AIPAC traditionally gave more money to Democrats than to Republicans, although there were some exceptions, especially for Republicans who are especially outspokenly pro-Israel. This cycle, AIPAC is getting involved in primaries more than in the past. It is also giving more money to Republicans this time because so many Democrats have abandoned Israel on account of Gaza. Here are the top 20 AIPAC beneficiaries this cycle:

Candidate Donation Candidate type Race
George Latimer $1.61M Democratic challenger NY-16
Jacky Rosen $1.19M Democratic incumbent NV Senate
Bob Menendez* $1.07M Democratic incumbent NJ Senate
Wesley Bell $869.3K Democratic challenger MO-01
Hakeem Jeffries $768.3K Democratic incumbent NY-08
Josh Gottheimer $604.6K Democratic incumbent NJ-05
Ritchie Torres $572.9K Democratic incumbent NY-15
Pete Aguilar $521.4K Democratic incumbent CA-33
John Barrasso $419.8K Republican incumbent WY Senate
Jon Tester $418.8K Democratic incumbent MT Senate
Mario Diaz-Balart $328.2K Republican incumbent FL-26
Deb Fischer $326.6K Republican incumbent NE Senate
Don Bacon $323.0K Republican incumbent NE-02
Ted Cruz $322.3K Republican incumbent TX Senate
Mike Johnson $315.1K Republican incumbent LA-04
Jake Auchincloss $306.9K Democratic incumbent MA-04
Kevin Cramer $302.2K Republican incumbent ND Senate
Maria Cantwell $299.0K Democratic incumbent WA Senate
Marsha Blackburn $298.2K Republican incumbent TN Senate
Mark Messmer $297.9K Republican open primary IN-08

* AIPAC stopped supporting Sen. Bob Menendez after he was indicted.

There are many more who get smaller amounts. But remember, in many House races, even $100K is serious money. (V)

Witness: I Gave Menendez' Wife a Mercedes

We've been covering Donald Trump's trial for weeks. Now it is time to cover some trials of Democrats. Let's start with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), since he is a sitting member of the Senate and has filed to run in November as an independent. Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is charged with taking cars, gold bars, cash, and all kinds of other good stuff in return for helping the Egyptian government on matters his committee had jurisdiction over and for his help in other matters.

On Friday, Jose Uribe, who took a plea deal in March and is now a cooperating witness, testified. He said that he bribed Menendez by buying a Mercedes for Menendez' wife, Nadine Menendez, and she accepted it. If she were a true patriot, she would have said: "I don't want a foreign car. I want a good old American Cadillac," but she didn't. She gratefully accepted the Mercedes. It is perhaps noteworthy that she needed a new car because she crashed her previous one after striking and killing a pedestrian. She was not charged for that. Uribe also said he thought he had a deal which included at least $200,000 in cash. Shortly thereafter, Menendez called the NJ AG, Gurbir Grewal, to discuss the matter of the prosecution of a friend Uribe wanted dropped.

Grewal testified and confirmed that Menendez called him about the case. He told Menendez to buzz off. Grewal refused to meet the Senator. He said interference in a prosecution from a sitting senator was unprecedented and he wanted to keep it that way.

Nadine Menendez has also been indicted. If she took a car in return for lobbying her husband to interfere in the New Jersey prosecution, she could also be convicted. Her trial has been postponed until at least July because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. (V)

Prosecution in Hunter Biden Case Rests

Now on to Hunter Biden. As you probably recall, he is accused of checking a box on a form when he bought a gun saying that he was not a drug addict when he certainly used to be and most likely was when he filled out the form. Lying on a federal gun form is a felony. Last week, the prosecution presented its case.

Jill Biden, whom Hunter calls his mother, was in the first row every day for the trial last week. She didn't show any emotion, but did talk to her son during breaks. Sometimes she hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Dad couldn't show up because he was in France honoring the veterans who fell on D-Day. In case you missed it, Melania Trump never showed up at her hubby's trial. Neither did Darling Daughter Ivanka. Eric and Junior did show up occasionally to score points, though. What did you expect from the party of family values. Loyalty?

Hunter may end up being hanged by his own words. In his memoir, Beautiful Things, he talked about his cocaine habit, rehab, and struggles with addiction. After hearing this, it is hard to imagine the jury not believing he was a drug addict. In addition, one time he rented a car and left his wallet and drug paraphernalia in the car. The rental company called the police, who called the Secret Service, who called Joe Biden. However, no charges were brought in that case.

Three of the witnesses were Biden's first wife, Kathleen Buhle, and two of his former girlfriends. One of them was his late brother's wife, Hallie. All of them testified about Biden's drug addiction. It will be almost impossible for anyone on the jury to say that he or she has any doubt that he was once a drug addict. One open question, however, is: "When does a drug addict stop being a drug addict?" If he stopped before he bought the gun, he might get away with it, but that is a long shot.

The defense strategy is probably going right there. All that matters in this case was whether Biden was a drug addict on the day he bought the gun. Day before and day after don't count. Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell is probably going to argue that there is proof he was a drug addict long before he bought the gun and proof that he relapsed afterwards, but there is no specific proof he was an addict the day he bought the gun, and that is all that matters. Lowell will also deal with the fact that bank records show Biden withdrew $151,000 in cash from ATMs prior to the gun purchase. He will say the prosecution failed to do any kind of financial forensic analysis to see where the money went. It could have been for many legal things. Some people like to pay for stuff in cash. That is perfectly legal.

On Friday, the defense called Biden's daughter, Naomi Biden, to the witness stand. She testified that she visited him at a rehab facility months before the gun purchase. She said she was so proud that he kicked his drug habit. This could make some jurors have doubts that he was an addict the day he bought the gun. That's the only day that matters. However, prosecutors read some very personal texts Biden exchanged with his daughter after the gun purchase that could suggest he had relapsed. Again, how do you prove someone was an addict on a specific date unless there is an eyewitness to seeing him use drugs on that date? As with the Trump trial, the defense is aiming for a hung jury, not an acquittal.

The trial will continue today. A key question is whether the defense will call the First Son as a witness. That is always a dangerous thing to do. The defense will make its announcement today. If Biden chooses not to testify, both sides will make their summaries today or tomorrow. If he does testify, the cross-examination could last several days. Also, in that case, the prosecution could call more witnesses.

Although he didn't attend the trial—because he died of cancer in 2015—Biden's brother Beau plays a major role in the case. Hunter has said that after his beloved brother died, he spiraled into drug use. Naomi confirmed this. This could get some pity from the jury as some members could understand why he wanted to escape from reality. Hunter's taking Beau's wife as a girlfriend seems almost Biblical, but its effect on the jury is hard to guess. (V)

Europe Moves to the Right in E.U. Election

The European Parliament has 720 seats, making it even bigger than the New Hampshire House (400 seats) and the British House of Commons (650 seats). All of the EU Parliament seats were up for election during the past 4 days. Each country gets a specific number of seats to fill. The algorithm for allocating seats is based on population, but members from small countries get more seats than their population would require. This was necessary to get them to sign up. Sound familiar? Each country can use any election method its own laws provide for. Usually candidates run as members of one of their national parties. The election ran for 4 days. Each country had to choose one of those days for its election.

There are eight major blocs in the Parliament and individual members can attach themselves to whichever they want. The blocs are (roughly) as follows, sorted somewhat on ideology.

  • Left: Some Communists, Greens, and even eurosceptics belong to this far left-wing group.
  • Socialists & Democrats: Most of the traditional social democratic parties' members join up here.
  • Greens: These members are very concerned about the environment; some regional parties are also here.
  • Renew: These are liberal, pro-European Union members. Emmanuel Macron supports this group.
  • European People's Party: This center-right group is somewhat conservative. Donald Tusk goes here.
  • Conservatives and Reformists: These are true conservatives who are critical of the EU.
  • Identity and Democracy: Extreme right-winger Marine Le Pen goes here. Need we say more?
  • Nonaligned: Members who don't want to join one of the other groups end up here; Viktor Orbán is here.

The latest projections are as follows. Note that the new Parliament has 15 more seats than the current one:

Projection of the European Parliament election

Members tend to shift around. Nonaligned is a somewhat vague category, so it is hard to pin down who is a "member." But on the whole, the EUP moved to the right, making governing even more difficult than it already is with 27 countries having a veto over everything.

Center-right and right-wing parties are set to be the largest groups in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. In France, Marine Le Pen's party got twice as many votes as Emmanuel Macron's party. As a result, he decided to dissolve the French parliament and call for new elections on June 30. This gives the parties 3 weeks to campaign. That ought to be enough. The result could be brutal, though. Immigration is a huge issue in almost every country in the E.U. No one wants immigrants (except employers who want to exploit them). But they keep coming. It is rumored that the E.U. is paying some North African countries tens of millions of euros to allow it to dump immigrants in the Sahara and keep it quiet. At least when Dwight Eisenhower dumped immigrants in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico in Operation Wetback, he took full ownership and was proud of it. Over 1 million immigrants "took part" in the program, none of them voluntarily.

In Germany, the fascist AfD came in second, but still beat Prime Minister Olaf Scholz' party. On a continent that has tried for 80 years to exorcise its past, the past seems to be making a comeback.

The first job of the new parliament will be to elect a president of the European Commission, basically the president of Europe. The current occupant of the job is Ursula von der Leyen (EPP). She is personally quite popular but it is not clear if the votes are there. She will spend the next few days (weeks?) lobbying the Socialists and one or more other blocs for their support. (V)

Benny Gantz Quits Netanyahu's War Cabinet

Former general and defense minister Benny Gantz, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's War Cabinet, resigned yesterday. He is furious that Netanyahu has no plans about what to do about Gaza after the war there is over. He said that his top priority is getting the remaining hostages back and getting a ceasefire.

Gantz is a centrist who had threatened to resign unless Netanyahu came up with a post-war plan by June 8. True to his word, Gantz quit. While the move will weaken Netanyahu, it will not force him from office as long as the four small right-wing parties in his coalition continue to support him. Netanyahu exhorted Gantz to stay, but to no effect.

In the short run, this will limit Gantz' ability to influence the war, but in the long run will show Israelis that he stood up to Bibi. If the cabinet falls soon and there are new elections, his move could help Gantz. It may also embolden the small right-wing parties since they now have Netanyahu firmly by the [insert body part]. But Netanyahu is a master politician and has survived many crises before. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun09 Sunday Mailbag
Jun08 Saturday Q&A
Jun08 Reader Question of the Week: Poll Position
Jun07 Biden Speaks at Normandy
Jun07 Legal News: Hunter Is from Venus, Donald Is from Mars
Jun07 This Week's Polls: Voters' Reaction to Verdict Is Surprisingly Swift
Jun07 The Price of Loyalty: Gosar's New Green Deal
Jun07 The Price of Disloyalty: Black Balled
Jun07 Fascism Alert: DeSantis Still Trying to Woo Right-Wing Voters
Jun07 Wheel of Fortune: Time to Turn the Page
Jun07 Foreign Elections: India's Voters Ding Modi
Jun07 I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Day and Fortnight
Jun07 This Week in Schadenfreude: Jones, Bannon Learn that Actions Have Consequences
Jun07 This Week in Freudenfreude: Bill Walton... Motormouth
Jun07 Today's Presidential Polls
Jun06 Trump Wants the Gag Order Lifted before the Debate
Jun06 Democrats Are Telling Biden That He Needs to Tell Voters He is Feeling Their Pain
Jun06 Hunter Biden's Trial Got Personal
Jun06 Trump Begins Vetting the Veepables
Jun06 Trump Has a Plan: Jail His Opponents
Jun06 Democrats Are Going to Try to Flip State Chambers in Five States
Jun06 House Republicans Are Trying to Defund Election Security
Jun06 The Washington Post CEO Has Fired the Executive Editor, Sally Buzbee
Jun06 Is Gary Hart Responsible for Trump?
Jun06 Today's Presidential Polls
Jun05 Voters in Five States, DC Head to the Polls
Jun05 Biden Issues Executive Order, Fallout Promptly Commences
Jun05 Trump Legal News: Smooth Criminal
Jun05 The Trump Prosecution Was Not Politically Motivated
Jun05 She's Got the Money
Jun05 Today's Presidential Polls
Jun04 Biden to Issue Executive Order on Mexican Border
Jun04 Biden Lays Out Ceasefire Plan for Israel
Jun04 Senate to Vote on Contraception on Wednesday
Jun04 Newton's Third Law of Ballot Access?
Jun04 First Hunter Biden Trial Begins...
Jun04 ...While Trump's Trials Continue to Idle in Neutral
Jun04 Trump Claims $53 Million Haul after Verdict
Jun04 Trump Allegedly Used THAT Racial Slur on "The Apprentice"
Jun03 Let the Monday Morning Quarterbacking Begin
Jun03 Opinions from Various Experts
Jun03 Let the Grandstanding Also Begin
Jun03 It's Not about Addition, It's about Subtraction
Jun03 Republicans Have an Election Strategy: Try to Win after Election Day
Jun03 We Might Learn Something Tomorrow
Jun03 Manchin Has Registered as an Independent
Jun03 Poll on Verdict Shows Country is Still Badly Split
Jun03 Polling Is Tough
Jun03 Mexico Elects a Woman as President
Jun02 Sunday Mailbag