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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  U.N. Adopts Biden-Backed Ceasefire Resolution for Israel
      •  Hunter Biden's Fate Now in Jury's Hands
      •  Another Day, Another Supreme Court Scandal
      •  Texas Keeps Doing Its Best to Inflame the Abortion Issue
      •  Who Infiltrates the Infiltrators?
      •  Today's Presidential Polls

U.N. Adopts Biden-Backed Ceasefire Resolution for Israel

There were two big pieces of news out of Israel this weekend. The second (chronologically), which we wrote about yesterday, was the resignation of Benny Gantz from the Israeli war cabinet. The first, which actually caused Gantz to delay his resignation by a day, was the Israeli rescue operation that extracted four hostages from the clutches of Hamas.

As we have written previously, most events that take place during a war exist in shades of gray. That is to say, everyone's hands end up a little (or a lot) dirty. So it is with the hostage rescue. On one hand, four innocents were saved from a terrible situation that might well have ended with their execution. On the other hand, the Gaza Health Ministry reported that, in order to save those four innocents, 274 Gazans were killed. Authorities in Gaza have been known to inflate casualty figures, and they also do not distinguish between civilians and combatants. However, video footage from the moments after the Israeli operations showed at least one dead infant and several dead children. So, even if you hold all adults in Gaza responsible for Hamas, it is certainly the case that to save four innocents, the Israeli Defense Forces killed more (and probably considerably more) than four innocents. On top of that, the future is murky. Hamas could execute some of the remaining hostages, or could raise the bar in terms of what is necessary to secure the remaining hostages' freedom.

So was it worth it? Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu certainly thinks so. If you heard a sonic boom in Tel Aviv on Saturday, it wasn't a military plane, it was the PM hightailing it to the hospital for photo-ops with the four hostages. There is little question that the right-wing and far-right-wing elements that are keeping him in power were delighted, as well. To be blunt, many of them see hundreds of dead Gazans as a bonus, not as collateral damage. And just about everyone loves tales of military exploits like this. How many movies have been made about [military force X] launching a successful, if deadly, assault against [imposing target Y]. In this weekend's Q&A and mailbag, we even had an extended discussion of one of the more recent examples, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

The morally ambiguous nature of the operation is indicated by, among other evidence, the response of the Biden administration. The U.S. did provide some intelligence as to the location of the four hostages. But beyond that, there was no participation by Americans and no use of American resources. And while Biden congratulated the Israeli government on the rescue, he's otherwise spent the 3 days since the operation working independently of Netanyahu.

We actually mean two things by that. The first, and probably less significant, is that the White House is now talking about working directly with Hamas to free hostages, cutting the Israeli government right out of the loop. This is the Biden administration saying "We don't approve of your approach" without directly saying "We don't approve of your approach."

Second, the President is pushing his ceasefire proposal hard, and as of yesterday, he has the backing of the U.N. Security Council. In a vote, 14 of the 15 members voted to approve the measure, with Russia abstaining. According to the text of the resolution, Israel has already agreed to the terms of the measure, and so all that is needed is buy-in from Hamas. As is usually the case, though, the devil is in the details here. It is likely that Hamas will demand further guarantees than the current proposal offers; if and when such demands are made, Israel is likely to balk. Netanyahu has been around this particular block more than a few times, so it's not crazy to suspect he tentatively agreed to the Biden proposal to be able to say "we're willing to be reasonable" and "we're trying to work with you, Mr. Biden," knowing that there would eventually be a backdoor through which Israel could exit. At very least, the Israeli government announced that it would keep up operations in Gaza, despite the U.N. vote, and despite having ostensibly accepted the Biden proposal.

In short, the last several days' big news have basically left us with the status quo intact. To wit: (1) The fighting is still raging in Gaza, (2) the international community is largely unhappy, (3) Biden is trying to do something to bring about peace, and (4) peace does not appear to be imminent. We would be thrilled to be proven wrong on that last point but, unfortunately, we think we're on pretty strong ground.

And now, a (temporary) non sequitur. As you may have heard, the U.S. economy was expected to add about 180,000 jobs in the month of May. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the actual total was 272,000. While this is a tentative number, and the BLS will eventually issue updates, 272,000 is nonetheless way more than 180,000, and so the report was greeted with much surprise.

One might think that adding roughly 50% more jobs than expected would be a feather in the cap of the Biden administration. And yet, according to a solid majority of the headlines after the BLS' report was released, one would be wrong. Here are just a few examples:

  • The New York Times: Biden Has a Historically Strong Job Market. It May Not Be Enough.
  • CNN: Here's the 'bad news' in the 'good' jobs report
  • Politico: Joe Biden's labor market may be too hot to handle
  • yahoo!finance: Was the May jobs report too good for Biden?
  • The Hill: Biden's Jobs Problem

We do not dispute that a good jobs report may not be the be-all and end-all. We also recognize that adding lots of jobs when unemployment is low could have some deleterious effects. And we know that jobs numbers are fungible, and that "full-time $100,000/year with benefits" and "part-time $10,000/year with no benefits" are both "one job." That said, we could not help but notice how negative the coverage was, on the whole. If the U.S. had added, say, only 90,000 jobs, would there have been a bunch of pieces laudatory of the administration? "Biden doing a great job of making sure employers don't add too many jobs!" We tend to doubt it.

And now, back to Israel. With the jobs stories fresh in our mind, we could not help but notice how negative most of the Biden-Israel coverage was this weekend. Here's a longer list of examples, drawn from across the spectrum:

  • CNN: Hostage rescue operation and Israeli political turmoil sharpen Biden's damaging dilemma
  • The Washington Post: Despite Biden's urging, cease-fire deal shows no progress
  • The Wall Street Journal: Blinken Pushes Peace Plan on Middle East Tour Despite Skepticism From Israel and Hamas
  • Politico: Only a lasting cease-fire in Gaza will let Biden off the hook
  • NBC News: Thousands gather outside White House to protest war in Gaza
  • The Jerusalem Post: Dangerous times: Biden makes allowances for Iran while scolding Israel
  • The Hill: Biden's abiding support for Israel will lose him the election
  • The Washington Free Beacon: Israelis on Front Lines Say Biden's Peace Plan Is Forcing Them To Fight Forever War
  • Newsweek: Jewish Voters Abandon Biden for New Candidates, Poll Shows

Let us make clear that we know that when you are the president, the buck stops with you. So some, and maybe all, of this coverage may be warranted. That said, in a world where many outlets are committed to "telling both sides," to the point of making it a fetish, we very rarely see stories or op-eds that comment on what Biden has done right. He can't be batting .000, can he? We also rarely see stories or op-eds that speak to what is really the most important truth at all: Biden might be president, but in the end, there are significant limits to his power.

In any event, that leads us to a question (or, really, series of questions) we were pondering: Imagine that Donald Trump had won the election of 2020. How would things be different vis-à-vis the situation in the Middle East? What would be different in terms of the actual war? In terms of the media coverage? In terms of the protests on campus and elsewhere? We thought about these questions, and... decided we would like to open them up to the readers. So, if you have comments on the broad question, or on one of these sub questions, please send them to, ideally with subject line "Alternative History." Depending on how much news there is, we'll run some responses within the next week. (Z)

Hunter Biden's Fate Now in Jury's Hands

After taking the weekend to think about it, the Hunter Biden defense team made the same decision as the Trump defense team: We're not going to have our client testify. The official reason, in both cases, is "the prosecution did not make their case, so testimony from the defendant is not necessary." The real reason, in both cases, is "letting our client take the stand would open several cans of worms we prefer not to open."

Unlike Trump, Biden did not put up other witnesses to testify on his behalf. And so, when the trial resumed yesterday, closing statements were the order of the day. The prosecution said exactly what you think they said, namely that nobody is above the law (even sons of presidents) and that the evidence of guilt, while often uncomfortable, was overwhelming. The defense also said exactly what you think they said, namely that there are inconsistencies in the testimony of the various witnesses, and that while the prosecution may have proven that Biden abused/was addicted to drugs, it did not prove that he was an abuser/addict during the 11 days in which he purchased and owned the gun before disposing of it.

Thereafter, the jury received instructions, and then undertook deliberations for about an hour. Obviously, they did not reach a verdict, as this item would have a very different headline if they had. Biden faces three counts, which are very much connected to each other: that he lied on his gun purchase form, that he lied to the gun seller, and that he possessed the gun despite knowing that he was an addict. Last we checked, 3 counts is roughly 90% fewer counts than 34. So, if the jurors agree on the facts of the case, they should reach a verdict today, either a little or a lot faster than the Trump jury did (11 hours of deliberations, in that case). On the other hand, if they don't reach a verdict today, then you have to figure a hung jury is a real possibility.

And now, let us note that we dislike writing about the Biden trial, even more than we disliked writing about the Trump trial. We're not lawyers and, TV procedurals notwithstanding, the legal process is kinda long and boring. That said, both trials figure to be a big part of the discourse during this election cycle. It's obvious why that would be true of the Trump trial, since he's a candidate for president. And while the Hunter Biden trial has absolutely nothing to do with Joe Biden, in that the President had nothing to do with the alleged crimes, the Trumpers are going to use the Biden trial as the foundation of their "whataboutism" arguments as they try to excuse The Donald's behavior.

That said, it's going to be somewhere between "tough" and "nearly impossible" to turn the Biden prosecution into political ammunition. If he's found guilty, then that really guts the claim that the Democrats/the White House are secretly running the justice system. And even if the First Son is exonerated, or he gets a hung jury, the fact is that he still went through the meat grinder, with his "corrupt" father not getting involved. There's no doubt the die-hard Trumpers can overcome whatever amount of cognitive dissonance they need to overcome, but they don't matter, since they are voting Trump anyhow. It's the fence-sitters that matter. And regardless of what happens with Hunter Biden (who, after all, will never be president), it's going to be hard to use him to erase the black mark that is now on Trump's résumé. Indeed, bringing up Hunter Biden might serve only to underscore Trump's own legal problems. Perhaps the best evidence here is this: Although Trump once made frequent references to the "Biden crime family," he has pointedly avoided the subject while Hunter Biden was actually on trial. Why do you think that might be? We have a pretty good idea as to the answer, and it's not "Trump respects the sanctity of the process."

And as long as we are on that subject, Trump completed his mandatory pre-sentencing interview on Monday, meeting online with a probation officer for about half an hour. The big question is if the probation officer sensed any remorse or accountability from the former president. On one hand, Trump is not someone who admits fault easily, and he also doesn't want to give the base the slightest indication that he might just be guilty. On the other hand, showing some contrition is the very best way to minimize the punishment, and it's possible that Trump might have a bit more humility in private than is possible with his public persona. We tend to assume he was still defiant, but we're at least open to the possibility that he toned it down a little. In any case, the sentence he receives in exactly 1 month will give us a clue as to how he comported himself. (Z)

Another Day, Another Supreme Court Scandal

Let's start here with some context. Every year, the Supreme Court Historical Society hosts a dinner, largely with the purpose of allowing right-wing activists to rub elbows with conservative Supreme Court justices. Lauren Windsor is a dues-paying member of the society, and attended this year's dinner (on June 3) under her real name, using a ticket she paid for.

And now, the dishonest parts. Although Windsor identifies as a progressive, she presented herself as a conservative Catholic during the dinner. Further, she did not reveal that she had a tape recorder in her pocket that was capturing her conversations. Note that neither of these things is illegal; you are free to tell people you're a conservative Catholic when you are not (unless this is done in service of some sort of fraud), while Washington, DC, is one-party consent when it comes to electronic recordings.

Anyhow, during the dinner, Windsor talked to both members of the Alito household. She first chatted with Justice Samuel Alito, who agreed with Windsor (in her character as a right-wing Catholic) that "people in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that—to return our country to a place of Godliness." He also added:

On one side or the other—one side or the other is going to win. I don't know. I mean, there can be a way of working, a way of living together peacefully, but it's difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can't be compromised. They really can't be compromised. So, it's not like you are going to split the difference.

This is actually the exact same thing that Abraham Lincoln argued in 1858, although he was talking about slavery vs. anti-slavery, and not Christian vs. non-Christian.

Meanwhile, when Windsor talked to Martha-Ann Alito, the main topic of conversation was, of course, flags. As it turns out, Mr. Alito appears to have been telling the truth that Mrs. Alito was behind the flag displays, even if they fudged the timeline and the backstory a bit. Martha-Ann further told Windsor that she really wants to fly a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag in response to an LGBTQ flag in their neighborhood. The Sacred Heart flag is often used by far-right Christians to push back against LGBTQ people since, as we all know, Jesus was a big advocate of casting the first stone. Or, at least, the first flag. Alito also said she's holding off on the Sacred Heart flag for now, because the heat is on, but she's definitely going to get it up before Pride Month is over. She also warned that she will eventually get revenge on her critics. "There will be a way, it doesn't have to be now, but there will be a way they know," she said.

By our count, we are two days into the week, and we've thus far got two different Supreme Court scandals, between the Alitos' loose lips and Clarence Thomas' tendency to extend his hand, palm up. Will it have any impact, however? For obvious reasons, we are not optimistic. Pressure may eventually build for Congress to make changes to the Court, be that a retirement age, or term limits, or changing its jurisdiction, or expanding the number of justices, or something else. But that's not going to happen anytime soon, and it's not going to happen at all unless Democrats get the trifecta and kill the filibuster.

Term limits or a retirement age would require a constitutional amendment ratified by at least 38 states. That's exceedingly unlikely. However, Congress could pass a law stating that after, say, 18 years, a justice would be demoted to being on the circuit court of his or her choosing. Would that be constitutional? If Congress said "yes" and SCOTUS said "no," we'd be in a real pickle. One thing that is absolutely constitutional is Congress limiting the Court's jurisdiction. For example, a law forbidding the Court from hearing appeals on cases relating to reproductive rights would certainly be constitutional because the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the authority to limit the Court's jurisdiction on appellate cases. All that is needed is a law, not an amendment.

There is one other possibility, which we will pass along, just for completeness' sake. A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), wrote an op-ed for The New York Times (sorry: paywall) in which he argues that the other seven justices have the power to disqualify Thomas and Alito from any cases where one or the other (or both) might have a conflict of interest. The Representative bases his argument on the Constitution and on 28 U.S. Code Section 455, which reads, in part:

Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

Raskin observes that only members of the Supreme Court are called "justice," so the statute clearly applies to them. And he reviews jurisprudence from both the lower courts and the Supreme Court itself to make the case that, if a justice does not recuse voluntarily, then their colleagues have both a right and a duty to recuse them non-voluntarily.

We think it very, very unlikely that five of the seven non-Alito/non-Thomas justices on the court will agree with Raskin's thinking, and will be willing to flex their muscles in this particular way. That said, if the not-so-dynamic duo keeps embarrassing the Court, and undermining its integrity, you never know. (Z)

Texas Keeps Doing Its Best to Inflame the Abortion Issue

By their nature, True Believers tend to be impolitic. They have their eye on the prize, and prefer to take the shortest path forward, even if winning the battle puts them at risk of losing the war. There have been a couple of stories on that front out of Texas in the past few weeks.

First up, the Lone Star State has created "rules" for medically necessary abortions that are both pretty strict and pretty imprecise, and that carry harsh penalties for medical professionals if they are violated. The calculus here could not be clearer; the legislators writing the rules are trying to block as many abortions as is possible without getting their legislation struck down by state courts. And they seem to have triangulated fairly well (admittedly, not too tough to do, given the judges who sit in most Texas courts). A group of 20 women and 2 doctors filed a lawsuit, Zurawski v. Texas, arguing that the rules governing exceptions are too harsh and too arbitrary, and are keeping women (including 20 of the 22 plaintiffs) from getting medically necessary procedures. The nine Republicans on the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously to reject that argument, and declared that the rules governing exceptions are fine and dandy.

Second is a case that is just getting started, although this one is a federal and not a state case. To start, the Biden administration issued an executive order a couple of years ago implementing its interpretation of Title IX, the famous anti-gender-discrimination legislation passed in the 1970s. Specifically, the administration advised that Title IX applies to LGBTQ students, that it protects victims of sexual assault, and that students cannot be discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy-related conditions, including termination of a pregnancy.

There was already an ongoing case aimed at overturning the White House's Title IX guidance. That case was brought by the usual suspects, namely fundamentalist lawyer and crusader Jonathan Mitchell, former Trump White House senior adviser and budding fascist Stephen Miller and Texas AG Ken Paxton. And last week, the case was joined by a pair of professors from the University of Texas at Austin, John Hatfield (Business) and Daniel Bonevac (Philosophy). They hate every part of the new Title IX interpretation, especially the pregnancy/abortion stuff, and they are pretty fanatical about it. They have an openly stated policy that they will not hire teaching assistants who might obtain abortifacients, since doing so is a felony and they don't want to be in the position of harboring criminals. And they do not want to be required to excuse absences occasioned by travel for an abortion.

Exactly how these professors can possibly know who might, and might not, obtain abortifacient pills, or who might, or might not, travel to obtain an abortion is an excellent question. One possible way is to make "educated guesses." For example, they might assume that male TAs are less likely to get abortifacient pills than female TAs. That's hardly a certainty, though, and it's pretty hard to follow that line of thinking without engaging in pretty obvious gender discrimination. Similarly, they might assume that if a student appeared to be pregnant on Monday, missed class on Wednesday, and then appeared to not be pregnant on Friday, that an abortion was obtained. Also not a certainty, however, and to require students to "prove" they did not have an abortion (as opposed to, say, a miscarriage) would run afoul of quite a few laws, not the least of which is HIPAA.

That leads to a second, apparent, element of the professors' plan. While they might have their suppositions, they will need at least some evidence to take action. And the best (and possibly only) way to get evidence is from... other students. So, the plan would seem to be to turn the classroom into a surveillance state—a microcosm of what the state of Texas has become on the issue of abortion. The negative impact on students' educational experience should be obvious. Meanwhile, the professors apparently don't care that this potentially incentivizes dishonesty on the part of their students. Let's imagine that Joe Smith is right on the border between a passing and not passing grade, and without that pass, he doesn't graduate. It won't be too hard for him to figure out that a little intel about Susie Johnson will probably give him the "extra credit" he needs to get that diploma.

In short, these two men should be thrown out of the profession yesterday. We both flatter ourselves that our lectures are valuable to students, but we most certainly do not flatter ourselves that they are more valuable than proper medical treatment. It does not matter what the treatment is, or whether we agree with it. In fact, we don't even want to know the details. If the student feels they need to see a doctor during class time, then they are adults and that is their judgment. And that's before considering that the real goal here is not to protect the integrity of the educational process, but instead to impose these men's views almost exclusively on their female students.

Anyhow, the Mitchell/Miller/Paxton lawsuit now has a face (well, two faces). You get three guesses as to what judge will hear the case, and the first two guesses don't count. That's right, everyone's favorite anti-choice, only-judge-in-the-division jurist, Matthew Kacsmaryk. So, you already know what the initial ruling is going to be, and that it's surely to be declared, by fiat, to apply to all of the nation's universities. Then we'll see if that offends the sensibilities of the Fifth Circuit and/or the Supreme Court. Whatever happens, it will take until well after this year's elections to be resolved.

And that brings us back to politics. We continue to believe that this hot potato is going to be somewhere between "difficult" and "impossible" for Donald Trump to handle as he tries to reclaim the White House. To the extent that he has a stated position on abortion access, it's "leave it to the states." But there are three problems with that. First, he doesn't really believe that, and we suspect many moderate voters are going to figure that out. Second, there are some issues that aren't as simple as "states' rights" (like, say, mailing mifepristone from California to Texas). Third, every time a state does something fanatical, as Texas is wont to do (and Louisiana, and Alabama, and South Carolina, etc.), Trump has to own that. That is to say, if Texas is OK with, say, subjecting female college students to the third degree, or with women nearly dying because they can't abort a deceased and gangrenous fetus, then those are outcomes that are in line with the Trump policy.

Trump's difficulties in threading the needle here were on full display yesterday, when he delivered a "speech" to the Danbury Institute's Life & Liberty Forum. As you might guess, this is a one-issue group, and that one issue is a total ban on all abortions, regardless of circumstances, and regardless of whether they are surgical or medical. The reason we describe Trump's appearance as a "speech" is that it was pre-recorded. Maybe he didn't want to travel to Indianapolis (since he had to sit for his sentencing interview; see above). But, even so, he could easily have spoken live via video link. That he did not suggests strongly that his handlers wanted to be able to carefully control what was said, so that the former president did not make headlines by saying something too pro-choice, or too anti-choice.

What he did say in the pre-recorded address is this:

These are difficult times for our nation, and your work is so important. We can't afford to have anyone sit on the sidelines. Now is the time for us all to pull together and to stand up for our values and for our freedoms. And you just can't vote Democrat. They're against religion. They're against your religion in particular. You cannot vote for Democrats... I know what's happening. I know where you're coming from and where you're going. And I'll be with you, side by side.

This is what is known as "trying to have it both ways." On one hand, Trump pledges that he will "be with" this fanatically anti-choice group. On the other hand, the careful reader will note that he never used the word "abortion," or any other word or phrase adjacent to that. If we hadn't told you who the audience for the speech was, you could easily have guessed he was addressing the NRA, or AIPAC, or maybe even the NAACP.

According to numerous stories, the audience was... unimpressed by Trump's lack of conviction. They are not ever going to be Biden voters, but they could vote third-party or they could stay home on Election Day, particularly if they are persuaded that the Republicans need a reminder that the war is not yet over. Meanwhile, Trump is not going to be able to make it through the next 5 months with mealymouthed statements on abortion. There's the Republican Convention, there are the debates, there are going to be interviews with non-fawning media, etc. He's going to have to be more specific, otherwise he will risk alienating voters from both the middle AND the far-right end of the spectrum. (Z)

Who Infiltrates the Infiltrators?

Perhaps the 'Nades were spending so much time and energy on plans to infiltrate their neighbors to the south, they neglected to properly close the door of their own henhouse. In any case, there is a major scandal underway in the Great White North right now, thanks to a new report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP). To translate that into American terms, that is the Canadian equivalent of a Joint Committee on Intelligence, if Congress HAD a Joint Committee on Intelligence (it does not; it has the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence). What the NSICOP report reveals is that some Canadian MPs have been working (or, if you prefer, collaborating) with agents working for the governments of India and China. Allegedly, those MPs have traded inside information gained from their official position in exchange for financial and other support for their electoral campaigns, along with (possibly) outright cash payments.

We recognize that paragraph is rather unspecific when it comes to exactly what happened and who was involved. That is because the report itself is unspecific. In particular, while noting that China and India were the foreign actors, it does not "name names" when it comes to their Canadian accomplices. It's also very unspecific on exactly what information was shared and exactly when it was shared.

At the moment, the matter is in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). If the RCMP decides to file charges, then the names of the allegedly guilty parties will become publicly known. However, there is no guarantee that the RCMP will pursue that course of action. Canadian law is not particularly well set up to charge, or prosecute, this particular constellation of crimes. And, as readers of this site know well, prosecutors around the globe generally don't pursue criminal charges unless the case is a slam dunk.

If there are no charges, then it is possible that the names of the allegedly guilty parties will never be publicly known. For security reasons, the Canadian government is not eager to share that information, since that would effectively be providing a list to foreign adversaries of the very best targets in Parliament for any shenanigans they might want to undertake. On the other hand, revealing the chicanery would help to get these folks voted out of office, so... maybe the names will be released. It's a tricky enough question that the various party leaders in the Canadian Parliament are wrestling with an offer to be granted the proper security clearance and to be advised of the names. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party co-leader Elizabeth May, for example, have said, "Yes, please." On the other hand, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is thus far not interested, saying he does not want to be constrained in his public remarks on the matter. It may also be that he doesn't want to know if some of his members have been implicated.

Bringing this back to American politics, all joking aside, the U.S. has been dealing with these sorts of problems for generations, which is why the U.S. has pretty clear laws on the books, and why it's possible to prosecute someone like Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). American laws and institutions are hardly perfect here, which is why Donald Trump has not come close to paying, and will presumably never pay, a price for his dalliances with Russia and Ukraine. But still, from ABSCAM to Michael Flynn, it's much harder for an American to get away with acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Vigilance is one of the prices of being a superpower.

Canada is not a superpower, but now, even they are being targeted. And if that is the case, then it is clear that, with apologies to Tip O'Neill, all elections are now international. If China and India are mucking around in Canada's elections, then we find it hard to believe they didn't try to muck around in the recent Mexican elections. And they'll probably take a shot when Britons head to the polls on July 4, and when the French head to the polls on June 30/July 7. And certainly, we do not imagine that China and India are the only dirty tricksters in the world. There's Russia, of course, and we would be stunned if the CIA, along with other U.S. agencies, is not tinkering around in at least a few nations' elections. Probably more than a few. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, North Korea and the U.K. are also obvious candidates for a bit of monkeying around. That's life in the 21st century, it would seem. (Z)

Today's Presidential Polls

For what it's worth, the four "northern" states that Joe Biden needs—Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—generally tend to be within a couple of points of each other once all the votes are counted. So, a 4-point win in Minnesota somewhat implies a close win in the Electoral College for the President. That said, to actually predict a presidential election based on one state-level poll in June is insanity, so we wouldn't recommend it. (Z)

State Joe Biden Donald Trump Start End Pollster
Minnesota 45% 41% Jun 03 Jun 05 Mason Dixon

Click on a state name for a graph of its polling history.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun10 Trump Is Running a Base-only Campaign--Again
Jun10 Could It Be Doug Burgum?
Jun10 Trump Holds His First Post-Conviction Rally--in Nevada, in 100-Degree Weather
Jun10 Welcome to the Post-Constitutional Era
Jun10 Clarence Thomas Is Forced to 'Fess Up
Jun10 AIPAC Is Getting Republicans to Donate to Democrats
Jun10 Witness: I Gave Menendez' Wife a Mercedes
Jun10 Prosecution in Hunter Biden Case Rests
Jun10 Europe Moves to the Right in E.U. Election
Jun10 Benny Gantz Quits Netanyahu's War Cabinet
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