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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Trump Legal News: The Trial (Day 11)
      •  I Am Not a Crook?, Part I: Trump's Accountants
      •  I Am Not a Crook?, Part II: Rep. Henry Cuellar
      •  Saturday Q&A

Trump Legal News: The Trial (Day 11)

The second week of Donald Trump's criminal fraud trial has come to an end. Who knows how many weeks remain?

There was one big storyline and one small storyline yesterday. The big one was that former Trump ultra-insider Hope Hicks testified. And the main things that she testified to were that the Access Hollywood tape was a major crisis for the Trump campaign, and that she was broadly aware of efforts to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, though she could not speak to specifics.

There were two notable features of Hicks' testimony, one favorable to Trump, one unfavorable. The former was that she said Trump was concerned about Melania Trump's response if the Daniels/McDougal stories were to come out. The crux of the case, at least the felony criminal elements, is that he made the payment to Daniels to protect his political prospects. If the former president's lawyers can convince at least one juror it was really done to spare Melania, then no felony conviction.

The unfavorable feature is that Hicks very clearly did not want to be there and, during the time she was giving her most-unfavorable-to-Trump testimony, she was overcome by emotion and burst into tears. It would be hard to do more to convince a jury that you are speaking truth, truth you would rather not speak. And so, nearly every lawyer-pundit declared that her testimony was ultimately much more damaging to Trump than it was helpful.

The small storyline, meanwhile, involves the gag order. Trump has paid the first $9,000 he owes, in the form of two cashier's checks, one for $7,000 and one for $2,000. We can find nobody who knows why he split it up like that. And while Judge Juan Merchan has yet to rule on the second group of gag order violations, he did take time in court yesterday to tell Trump that the gag order does not prohibit him from testifying in the case, and that he better stop claiming otherwise.

On the whole, a relatively uneventful day. The party resumes on Monday at 9:00 a.m. (Z)

I Am Not a Crook?, Part I: Trump's Accountants

There were a couple of pretty big news stories on the corruption front yesterday. In the first, BF Borgers, which is the accountant for Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), was charged by the SEC with fraud and with running a "sham audit" operation. The firm will no longer be allowed to represent clients before the agency, which means that TMTG and many other companies will be required to find a new accountant.

There is no indication, at this point, that TMTG played any role in the illegal behavior. That's actually kind of surprising. It also boggles the mind the extent to which Trump is a walking corruption magnet. It's like flies to... well, you know. For any normal company, this sort of misstep would rattle shareholders, and would lead to a decline in share price. But, thus far, TMTG continues to operate by rules outside the realm of mortal man (closing price Friday: $47.93, despite a report that "Truth" Social's user base continues to shrink). (Z)

I Am Not a Crook?, Part II: Rep. Henry Cuellar

As Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has taught everyone, Republicans do not have a monopoly on (alleged) corruption. And yesterday, another Democratic member of Congress joined the list, namely Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The Representative and his wife have been indicted, accused of accepting $600,000 in bribes from petroleum interests in Azerbaijan and Mexico. The duo have already appeared in court, and have been released on $100,000 bail.

Everyone in the U.S. is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but we will point out three things:

  1. As always, the feds don't go after someone, particularly a sitting member of Congress, unless they think the case is a slam dunk.

  2. Cuellar is not disputing the facts of the case, per se, he's just disputing the government's interpretation of his actions.

  3. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal standard, not something that voters adhere to.

Various Republican organs have called on Cuellar to step down, but he is refusing to do so. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) issued a statement of support for Cuellar, but it was... restrained. And while the Representative will remain in Congress, at least for now, he's stepping down from House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Cuellar is possibly the most conservative Democrat in the House, and is far and away the most outspoken opponent of abortion access among members of the Blue Team. His district is D+3, so the Democrats would have an excellent chance of holding it if Cuellar stepped aside and some other Democratic candidate had time to get up to speed. But if he digs his heels in, the seat could well be lost. It depends on how much tolerance his voters have for shenanigans (or alleged shenanigans), and how quickly his court case proceeds. (Z)

Saturday Q&A

Aaaaaaand, we're back. Because we are answering a larger number of questions this week, and because there was some news, this posting is around 12,000 words. That is a lot, so we will hold the reader question about Donald Trump songs for next week.

Also, if you need another hint for this week's headline theme, we've got one word for you: Rosebud.

Current Events

R.M.S. in Lebanon, CT, asks: Why did UCLA allow the pro-Palestinian encampment to stay for so long? It should have been obvious after the first night it was an illegal protest and should have been removed. Universities are not campgrounds and they did not have permission to camp there. I was not surprised to see violence break out on campus because the illegal encampment created an atmosphere of chaos and irresponsibility. If you are not disturbed by the violent scenes on campus... you should be. They created a hostile work environment for students and staff.

I graduated from college 20 years ago this May and I opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. I protested against it but never did so illegally. I participated in a march from the campus to the downtown area and back, I wrote a few letters to the school administration in opposition to the war, emailed my senators and representative, and even called a local right-wing radio program to challenge their support for the war.

Doing things like camping at school never crossed my mind. And I think sitting in the middle of a highway to protest something is recklessly dangerous. Why are these schools tolerating so much bad behavior?

(V) & (Z) answer: There are two primary answers to your question. First, at most universities, there isn't exactly a rule against the encampments. Students are entitled to be on campus, of course, and they are also entitled to protest. So, as long as they are in one of the university's public spaces (and not in, say, a building), and as long as they are not doing anything dangerous or overtly threatening, then the students are pretty much in the clear. Once they start to do dangerous things, or to become violent or threatening, or to occupy non-public spaces, that is when the universities tend to crack down.

In the case of UCLA specifically, even if the chancellor CAN find a rule that prohibits this kind of assembly, there is also precedent that is not on the side of the university. For example, when (Z) was an undergraduate there, a sizable population of Chicano and Chicana students held a similar camp-in demonstration in order to (successfully) demand that the university create a Chicano Studies Center. If the university were to crack down preemptively on the pro-Palestine protesters when it did not crack down on the Chicanos, that could create all kinds of legal troubles.

The second reason that UCLA and other universities are reluctant to crack down is that introducing the police (or any other armed force) dramatically increases tensions and also tends to be disastrous from a PR perspective. Columbia's president, Minouche Shafik, pulled that move too quickly, and it may well lead to her termination.

This is also another area where UCLA has precedent that has to give the administration pause, at least a little. The current-day protesters are set up in Royce Quad, which is essentially the center of the school, and is formed by the fronts of four buildings: Royce Hall (northwest corner), Powell Library (southwest corner), Kaplan Hall (southeast corner) and Haines Hall (northeast corner). Directly behind Haines Hall, and thus just a few hundred feet from the protests, is Campbell Hall, which is (and has for a long time been) the building that houses various ethnic and cultural studies departments. Back in the late 1960s, the building was occupied by Black Power activists, the FBI got involved, violence ensued, and two student protesters died. Needless to say, if something like that were to happen today, it would be a disaster for the university.

A.S. in Black Mountain, NC, asks: The occupation of the quads, removal of student tent cities and building occupation has to have an impact on the election. Especially if it grinds on. I wondering if you have any insight into if and how much of the discontent is being started or fed by foreign influence? If I had to guess there has to be some but I do not have the expertise to determine how much. Do you know if there is any evidence of such interference? And what impact it might have on the election?

(V) & (Z) answer: When the politicians (both Democratic and Republican) talk about "outside influences" or "outside instigators," they seem to be referring to non-university people (i.e., people who are not faculty, staff or students) who are coming onto campus to help organize the protesters (on both sides), and sometimes to rile people up.

There is certainly some of this—and again, it's on both the pro-Israel and pro-Palestine sides. However, the main source of outside influence is social media. To take a very obvious example, from the first day of the current conflict, TikTok was chock full of videos claiming that Israel is guilty of genocide (see here, here, here and here for coverage of this subject). It is worth asking who might benefit from this. China owns TikTok, of course, and has much motivation to create tensions among Americans. Similarly, there is no question that certain conservative TikTok users, most obviously "Libs of TikTok," have been deliberately stirring the pot in this way. There are also other answers to this question.

S.P. in Harrisburg, PA, asks: What is the fundamental reason for the college student support for the Palestinians? How is that issue so significant that it is driving the demonstrations that have been occurring recently?

(V) & (Z) answer: We do not presume to be experts, so take this with a grain of salt, but we think that when it comes to students and Israel, there are a couple of key dynamics. The first is the influence of outsiders, particularly outsiders on social media, as we describe above. The second is proximity to 1948. Anyone who can remember the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s is much more likely to be sympathetic to Israel because of the various ways that nation and its people were victimized in those decades, even if that person also has concerns about Israeli governance of Gaza. By contrast, today's students are far removed from those decades. The average student in college today was born in 2001. For them, Israel has been the king of the hill in the Middle East for their entire lives. And so, it is rather easier for them to see things in black and white, rather than shades of gray.

We also suspect—and note that this is virtually impossible to prove—that some of the fuel for the protests has nothing to do with Israel/Gaza. Modern university students are often under enormous pressure because of grades, finances, etc., and at the same time are often treated as cattle by university administration. There was some resentment bubbling under the surface there, we suspect, and any opportunity to lash out at the administration might have been seized upon. Similarly, we have to wonder if there are some pent up frustrations from the pandemic being released here.

P.R. in Arvada, CO, asks: Being very close to the student protests that are happening at the moment I was wondering if you have any insight into something that really confuses me. I get their desire to do something no matter how little impact they will have in reality, but why the hatred towards Jewish students?

Hatred may or may not be too strong a word, but I don't get the attitude towards them. How many Jewish students are out there advocating for the killing of civilians in Gaza? If your philosophy is to love and accept everyone for who they are, then why do they try and block Jewish students from going to class or make them feel unsafe on campus? If they can't distinguish between the Israeli government and the Israeli people and Jewish people, then why on earth would anyone take them seriously? So, do you have any idea why there is such hate directed towards Jewish students and why don't the people in charge of the universities make it very clear that they will not engage with the protesters unless they stop this behavior and embrace the core values?

(V) & (Z) answer: One of the main reasons that Japanese Americans were interned was because they were within reach and Japan was not. One of the main reasons that some American Muslims/Arabs were targeted for violence or discrimination after 9/11 was because they were within reach and Osama bin Laden was not. One of the main reasons that Asian Americans were targeted for violence or discrimination during the pandemic is that they were within reach and China/the COVID virus were not. There are many examples of this dynamic in American history.

On top of that, as has often been observed, people get way more emotional and way more reckless when they are in groups, and are channeling a herd mentality. So, if you have a bunch of people angry at Israel all in the same place, and some Jews pass by that bunch of angry people, then it's predictable (though certainly not justifiable) that the Jewish people are going to end up getting scapegoated. It can happen, and has happened, in the other direction as well, although the great majority of the vitriol appears to be directed at Jewish students.

And generally, once the protesters become actively threatening (say, blocking access to classrooms), then the universities do take action. However, in the absence of physical confrontation, it can be very difficult to determine when the line between "free speech" and "hostile learning environment" has been unacceptably breached.

M.O. in Sacramento, CA, asks: What's with your anti-Israel stance?

Report on things you know, but your added vitriol to your commentary on anything Israel just shows your antisemitism and demonstrates that (Z) has been living the college life a little too long. Funny how you missed the whole Columbia clean-up too, after writing about it enough. Seems like you can't admit to lost and pointless battles. Anyways you've become unreadable yet again.

(V) & (Z) answer: Hm, (Z) wrote only two items this week that touched on Israel. The first, "House Passes Anti-Antisemitism Bill," was about how the bill passed by the House is unlikely to have much impact on the current protests. The second, "Biden Is in a No-Win Situation," was about how there is no current course of action available to the President that won't leave lots of people unhappy. Reviewing these pieces, we struggle to see how either of them triggered your message. So, we conclude that the primary driver of your anger is what we did NOT cover, namely the further developments at Columbia.

Recall that we are not a news site. We are a politics site, focused particularly on presidential and federal politics. The primary political angles to the protests, as we see it, are: (1) that a lot of politicians appear to be grandstanding, as per the first item above, and (2) Biden really has to hope this situation improves, as per the second item above. Addressing developments that do not have a politics angle is outside the scope of this site.

W.R. in Tysons Corner, VA, asks: In the unlikely event that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) succeeds in removing Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) from his post, who would take over as Speaker Pro Tempore? Is it still Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-VA) or has Johnson named someone else? If so, is this person's identity known?

(V) & (Z) answer: They keep the list secret, reportedly for security reasons. But it is unlikely that McHenry remains next in line. Kevin McCarthy chose McHenry because McHenry was a key McCarthy ally. By contrast, McHenry is a Johnson critic. So, it is likely that the Speaker Pro Tempore is now someone in Johnson's orbit.

G.W. in Oxnard, CA, asks: You wrote: "It's not exactly clear how many Democrats would vote in support of Johnson [in the event of a motion to vacate]." I don't understand why any Democrat would need to vote to retain Johnson. Can some Democrats vote "present" or not show up for the vote such that the motion to vacate fails by one vote?

(V) & (Z) answer: Yes, but that does less to save him than a vote in favor. Undoubtedly, the arrangements were made as part of the Ukraine/Israel funding negotiations. And equally undoubtedly, the process will be carefully managed so that the Democrats do just enough to save Johnson without needlessly exposing members to blowback. But exactly how Hakeem Jeffries does it is very dependent on how many Democrats are willing to help Johnson. If it's only half a dozen, they may have to vote affirmatively.

T.W. in Colorado Springs, CO, asks: In "Arizona Abortion Law Is Headed to the Dustbin of History," you wrote: "That means that at such point as the Republicans regain the governor's mansion, it wouldn't take too much of a shift in the composition of the state house for the 1864 ban to be re-implemented, or for a new ban to be put in place. If you're pro-choice, it's a situation that argues for a permanent resolution, while the opportunity exists."

Can there ever be a permanent solution? Can't anything that's done now be undone just as the 1864 law was, whether it's 2 years from now or 20?

(V) & (Z) answer: No, there cannot be a true permanent resolution. However, the abortion initiative would change the state Constitution to protect abortion access. And reversing that is much harder than reversing a decision made by a previous iteration of the legislature.

M.L. in Carol Stream, IL, asks: First of all, thank you for your continued efforts on this site. I think I first stumbled your way when Obama was first running for president, and have since appreciated your ability to parse down the sensational news of the day into a grounded and accessible analysis. And the occasional snark has the ability to make me chortle, which is much needed when reading the news can make the world feel so glum. Sure, you can't please everyone, but I would like to think that there are more avid readers who welcome your perspective than those who read to find a fault.

I mean, honestly, if you don't find joy in the term "whackadoodlery", what're you even doing here anyway? So, again, thank you.

And now, my question: If the Supreme Court sides with Trump on immunity, would they be opening up a whole world of mischief for the president to engage in uninhibited? It seems odd to me that the conservatives on the court could justify Trump's actions knowing that the same ruling would apply to Biden for... anything and everything, really. In granting Trump a victory on immunity, the loudest mouths on the right would no longer be able to argue the legality of Democratic president's actions. Are they really that laser-focused on Trump that they can't imagine the possibility of the shoe being on the other foot?

(V) & (Z) answer: We normally excise any complimentary verbiage from questions, but we liked yours, and left it to balance out the letter from M.O. in Sacramento above.

In any event, there is much reason to believe that the Court (at least, most of it) isn't actually looking to protect Trump. After all, they haven't been willing to tote his water in the past (e.g., the election cases). It is more likely they have looked down the road, and anticipated the possibility of another Trump presidency, and want to make very clear what he can and cannot do should he take office again. Or, for that matter, if any other fascist/fascist-adjacent president should take office.

Put another way, it looks like the Court is less concerned about this particular question, and more about the precedent that their ruling will set.

E.S. in Atlanta, GA, asks: You often say that if the courts find that the president is immune from prosecution that he could order the Navy Seals to assassinate a political rival. Aren't service members subject to prosecution if they carry out unlawful orders? Aren't they obliged to refuse to carry out such orders? While I don't support presidential immunity, it seems that the assassination example is a straw man argument and not a realistic scenario.

(V) & (Z) answer: First of all, if the presidential immunity argument is sustained, then an order to assassinate a rival would, by definition, not be illegal. Second, if there is concern about an immoral order, Biden could explain himself in some way, like explaining that he has reason to believe Trump might try to overthrow the government. That isn't even a lie.

So no, we don't think it's a straw man argument. It only takes one soldier to carry out an assassination order, and we think Trump, in particular, would not have too much difficulty finding that one soldier.

S.S. in West Hollywood, CA, asks: If Donald Trump is found guilty in any or all of the four criminal trials, realistically, what can we expect the punishment to be? What are the options for the four judges who make that decision?

(V) & (Z) answer: There are so many wildcards here, it's virtually impossible to answer your question.

What we can tell you is the counts he's charged with carry a maximum of 600+ years incarceration. There's no way he's going to get that much, given that they rarely give out the maximum, especially to a first-time offender, and especially to someone for whom even 10 years could be a life sentence. We will also go further and say that if Trump loses the New York case, he will spend little to no time behind bars because it's a white-collar offense, and because, again, he would be a first-time offender.

As to the other cases, however, the things he's charged with are very serious criminal offenses, and almost invariably result in some prison time. So, if he loses in any of the other three venues, he's likely to spend at least a couple of years in the crowbar hotel, and very possibly more than that.

E.L. in Richmond, VA, asks: Could you help me, please? I was speaking with my younger brother—he is smart and we get along. He has, however, worked for one of the alphabet organizations for many years. I live near D.C., and it seems many people that work for defense get a mindset that Democrats want to cut back on military spending and so they end up afraid of all things Democratic (now mind you, we do need to cut back on the military, but no one is going to cut anything in half in one fell swoop).

Anyway, my little brother is convinced that the Democrats intentionally held Trump's trial until now, campaign season. So my question. Is there a convincing way I could try to demonstrate that Joe Biden did not arrange for Trump to be trapped in a courtroom right now?

(V) & (Z) answer: To start, we will say that once people engage in conspiracy theorizing, it's somewhere between "incredibly difficult" and "impossible" to talk them down.

However... the first thing to observe is that the charging decisions were made by three entirely different entities, namely the Manhattan DA's office, the Fulton County DA's office and the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith. If there is evidence that Biden is coordinating with any of them, much less all of them, then let's have it. "I'm suspicious" is not evidence.

Second, the fact that it's taken this long in four different venues to reach the courtroom stage, both with Trump and with his co-defendants, is pretty good evidence that this is just how long it takes. The wheels of justice turn slowly, after all. And remember, the process basically could not start until the day Trump left office, because he invoked DoJ policy as a shield. Since then, he's done everything possible to delay. But for his foot-dragging, at least some of these trials could have happened last year, or even earlier.

Third, and finally, this is NOT the Democrats' optimal timing. If you believe they want the PR of "Trump is on trial," then their ideal timing is actually August, September and October. However, if you asked Democratic operatives what timing they would really prefer, it is "put Trump on trial in 2023." They would much, much prefer that he face the music in all four cases, since they would be much better off running against him if he's a convicted felon.


P.R. in Arvada, CO, asks: There is a professor out there (Allan Lichtman) who was interviewed on CNN about his successful predictions for a lot of the last presidential races. He ignores the polls and focuses on what he sees as key metrics. I was wondering what your opinion of his method is.

(V) & (Z) answer: We don't love it. Many of his criteria are highly subjective. Further, his track record of predictions largely involves elections anyone could have predicted. Put another way, he correctly called seven slam dunks (or near slam dunks) and on the two close elections, 2000 and 2016, he batted .500 (wrong on Gore, right on Bush Jr.). A coin would have been able to achieve that same success rate.

A.C. in Millville, NJ, asks: The polls are all leaning towards Donald Trump. What do you think is the cause of this? It can't all be Biden's age. Is it inflation? Overall, things are pretty good. Maybe where I live in Southern New Jersey, it's different than the Midwest, but these numbers are baffling me a bit.

Would the Democratic base rather lose an election to prove a point?

(V) & (Z) answer: Actually, the polls are not all leaning toward Trump. You hear about the Trumpy ones, because they are a little more common, and because that's the horse race angle right now (former president might depose current president!), but there is a sizable minority of national preference polls, in particular, that actually have Joe Biden leading. In FiveThirtyEight's average of national polls, Trump is up only one point (41.7% to 40.7%), and even that is skewed by the presence of some pro-Republican polls that appear to be outliers.

In any case, as we have written, roughly 20% of voters are not supporting Trump or Biden right now. If those voters break evenly for Trump and Biden, then Biden is in trouble, because he likely needs to win the popular vote by roughly 3% to win the Electoral College. But it is unlikely they will break evenly, as Trump is much nearer his historical ceiling than Biden is.

The other possibility is that some big chunk of that 20% decides to withhold their votes from either major-party candidate. This is certainly possible. Left-leaning third-party voters had the power to give Al Gore and Hillary Clinton the victory in 2000 and 2016, respectively, and chose not to do so. If it's happened twice in recent history, it could happen a third time, particularly given the anger surrounding Israel right now. But can people who care about the Palestinian people really bear to put Donald Trump, whose love for Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu and disdain for Muslims is clear, back in the White House? That is the $64,000 question, and the answer is unknowable right now.

C.V. in Chadron, NE, asks: Do you think there could be a systemic error in polling this cycle? Considering the polling that underestimated trump's (I never capitalize his name) support in 2016, and again in 2020, do you think it's possible that pollsters have over-adjusted their models to reflect trump's popularity? Or maybe the once-shy trump respondents are no longer shy and they are easier to find and have become overrepresented? Please tell me that these feelings about polling are plausible, because I am having a really hard time believing that a strong plurality of Americans prefer trump to be president over his main opponent in a binary choice election.

(V) & (Z) answer: It is certainly possible. There are a number of pollsters who have produced consistently Republican-friendly results this cycle, results that largely do not comport to what's been happening in actual elections. It is also possible that pollsters are not overcorrecting for Trump supporters, but are also not fully adapting their models of the electorate to account for higher Democratic turnout due to abortion. That would also skew things in a Republican direction.

For our part, we tend to think the real key to the election is the people who currently identify as undecided/third-party. If the majority of those end up as Biden voters, which is very possible, then Biden will be in good shape.

We'll note that it's also possible that the polls are on target, but that something will happen to change the fundamentals of the race (say, a Trump conviction). And finally, it is also possible that the polls are on target, and that nothing will change the fundamentals of the race, leaving Trump in the catbird seat.

J.T.M. in Phoenix, AZ, asks: I'm going to preface this with the fact that I am in no way a Trump supporter and the last thing I want to see is another term for him. That out of the way, I have to ask: How long are you guys going to rationalize away the poll results that keep showing the same thing? Biden is behind. The polls show it. It sure seems like your assumptions and, frankly, bias are guiding your interpretations rather than accepting that the data is telling us a different story.

(V) & (Z) answer: As we note above, it is not so simple as "Biden is behind." National opinion polls have it as a near tie, and the 1% gap between the current president and the former one is well within the margin of error.

We also know enough to know that: (1) a lot can change in 6 months, and (2) until the dispensation of the 15-20% undecideds is clearer, the polls do not mean much. We do not believe Trump is a clear frontrunner, and even if he is, we do not believe that is especially meaningful under current circumstances. We are not going to write something we do NOT believe, just to perform "fairness" or "lack of bias."

M.M. in Leonardtown, MD, asks: Buried in a recent item about Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), you wrote: "She is only one of the contenders to be on the Trump ticket, a ticket that is more likely to lose than to win."

On that particular day, your map had the EV count at 287-222 in favor of Trump, with 29 undecided. If you believe your words to be true (that Trump is more likely to lose the election), how, why, and when will we see the electorate shift in the direction of Biden?

(V) & (Z) answer: We wrote that because we think the election is a coin flip right now, and that the known unknowns almost all favor Joe Biden (potential for a Trump conviction, possible reduction of tensions in Israel, current "undecided" voters swallowing hard and voting Biden). We cannot say when these known unknowns will be resolved, if they are at all, but we will say that the polls become much more meaningful once the conventions are over and the election is imminent (i.e., September).

J.S. in Durham, NC, asks: I have started to read Simon Rosenberg's blog, The Hopium Chronicles. He is quite positive (excited!) about Biden's chances, and provides specifics. I need to read this or I would be depressed all the time. I was raised as a Democrat, so I am a professional level hand-wringer. I believe that these positive points are equally legitimate to all the anxiety-producing ones.

However, I also strongly believe that all the blogs in 2016 that said that Trump did not have a chance, gave folks on the Left who were not thrilled with Hillary a reason to stay home, and just not cast a ballot for president. So, perhaps the hand-wringing is helpful? In any case, I am curious about your thoughts on Rosenberg's analysis.

(V) & (Z) answer: We have no objection to Rosenberg's analysis, in that it's fact-based and he's not doing anything manipulative or dishonest. But... we can think of a dozen arguments for why Biden will win, and maybe half a dozen for why Trump will win, and Rosenberg—as a Democratic operative—is giving all his attention to the former and none to the latter.

It is no longer inconceivable that Trump could win. Since he already did it once, he clearly could do it again. So, we don't think the "Trump can never win" dynamic will be present in 2024. On the other hand, we do think that the fear that "Trump could win this thing" will impose a certain amount of party discipline on left-leaning voters, and could well save the blue team's bacon. So, you're probably right that hand-wringing is helpful.

J.F. in Sloatsburg, NY, asks: You wrote: "Zogby is not a great pollster. In fact, Zogby is not even a good pollster."

I am reminded of the issue you had with Rasmussen polls, circa 2012: a polling company with obvious problems, but not so far gone that you could exclude them from your averages out of hand, running slews of polls that end up skewing those same averages. It got so bad that at one point, you provided a toggle that would allow the reader the option to exclude Rasmussen from the averages.

Do you think you'll need to go through the same thing with Zogby if they start flooding the zone (that was a LOT of polls), or will you just skip the intermediate step and discard them completely if they get too far out of hand?

(V) & (Z) answer: We always keep an eye on these things, and we've already struck one pollster from our database this year (The Bullfinch Group). However, Zogby is an established outfit, and while they are sometimes inaccurate, there is no evidence they are incompetent or that they're cooking the books.

B.M. in Birmingham, AL, asks: Did Zogby really poll every state except Alabama?

(V) & (Z) answer: Good catch. Their results were presented in a reader-unfriendly way, and we managed to miss the line that had the Alabama result. That had the unhappy effect that our entire map got screwed up. We have now added the Alabama numbers, and have also fixed the map.

R.H.D. in Webster, NY, asks: What happens if Joe Biden wins Florida because of abortion and marijuana also being on the ballot? I could see a scenario where Trump blows his top, cries fraud, and refuses to concede. Then, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and his cronies in the state legislature refuse to certify Biden to please the MAGA crowd. This would make what happened 24 years ago in Florida, with George W. Bush and his brother Jeb!, look like child's play.

Do you think the Floridians would pull a stunt like this too?

(V) & (Z) answer: You can't say "never" these days, but Congress does have the power to step in, in the event of obvious fraud. And we think it unlikely that there would be enough Republicans willing to effectively engineer a coup and toss the Constitution out the door. Some, yes, but not enough.

R.R. in New York City, NY, asks: Why can't the Biden campaign take initiative and put a very sophisticated campaign infrastructure and very aggressively compete in Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Indiana, and Mississippi?

(V) & (Z) answer: Because even if the conditions exist that allow the Biden campaign to potentially win those states, it will still be the case that more winnable states like Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina will be a better investment. Biden just needs to win, and does not need a landslide. This is something that the Hillary Clinton campaign forgot in 2016.

C.C. in St. Paul, MN, asks: I'm an older millennial. Recent polling seems to indicate a lot of my fellow millennials have lost their damn minds and are in the pro-Trump camp. But I also see articles discussing how it is especially hard to get young people to respond to polls.

Guilty as charged. I always vote, no matter what. I never respond to polling texts. A big reason is I'm cautious about clicking on links in texts. And the vote is the one that actually counts for something.

My question is two-part: Is me not responding to pollsters harmful to the democratic process somehow? If so, how can I tell if a text is legit?

(V) & (Z) answer: You have no duty, even as a civic-minded citizen, to provide your time, free of charge, to people in the polling business. If you choose to do so, then the best reason is that internal polls (not public ones, like the ones published in major newspapers) might well influence the direction of the campaigns.

We don't have any great suggestions as to an ironclad way to tell if a text is legitimate. After all, the crooks are very good at misrepresenting themselves. Truth be told, if we signed up at a pollster's website, and then got an immediate text message verifying our participation, we'd probably respond to that. Otherwise, we wouldn't click on or respond to ANY unsolicited message.

O.Z.H. in Dubai, UAE, asks: I know you have said that Presidents can't do much to affect the economy, but there is a lot of concern out there about what Trump may do in a second term (see, for example, this piece by Paul Krugman).

While I appreciate you are not economists, do you think most of these concerns are overblown and Trump will probably not do anything too radical (like slapping a 60% tariff on Chinese imports or manipulate monetary policy), or do you see a real danger of Trump doing crazy things that will cause runaway inflation and severe economic pain? Is it all just talk or does he really want to implement these sorts of things?

(V) & (Z) answer: Perhaps we have been imprecise in our verbiage. What we believe is that presidents can't do all that much to "fix" a struggling economy. However, they can absolutely do things to send the economy off the rails (or, in some cases, further off the rails). There are lots of good examples of this, perhaps most notably the Hawley-Smoot tariff (thanks, Herbert Hoover!). There are some folks who claim that the stimulus funds distributed in the first year of the Biden administration provide another example, having caused the inflation of the last couple of years. The problem with that thesis, however, is that all the other nations of the world experienced heavy-duty inflation, often worse than the U.S., and they didn't receive stimulus money.

In any event, Trump could certainly create economic ruin almost singlehandedly. The easiest way to do it would be to force a default on the national debt, but a crazy tariff on goods from China would also do it. And both of these things are a real possibility for him.

A.E. in Oakland, CA, asks: It would be great if you could comment on David Brooks' opinion piece in The New York Times.

(V) & (Z) answer: We are most certainly not macroeconomists, so judge our answer accordingly. To start, the piece from Brooks is the latest in a long line of pieces from him warning that the U.S. is doomed if it does not reduce the national debt. He's been writing this article for 20 years, and he is hardly the only one.

One can understand why these folks think the debt is such a problem. After all, if an individual makes $50,000 per year, and they are $70,000 in debt, that's not good. But the federal government doesn't play by the same rules as individual people (or businesses) do. It is currently entirely able to service its debt, and that's what really matters. There are also numerous countries that have a small national debt but are an economic mess (say, Venezuela), and countries that have a big national debt and are doing fine (say, Japan).

It is also worth noting that the world's economy is balanced on the back of the United States economy, in a manner that has no parallel in world history. With so many people around the globe dependent on the continuing health of the U.S. economy, a true meltdown is virtually inconceivable.

That is not to say that the debt is meaningless, but if Brooks really wants to worry about something, the unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities are a much greater concern. If the U.S. was suddenly unable to pay out full retirement benefits, that could lead to a really ugly recession/depression.

I.H. in Washington, DC, asks: My gut feeling is that once the Democrats in Maryland choose the Senate candidate (May 14)—and assuming the loser is not too bent out of shape—the new nominee will be able to build name ID and convince the majority Democratic electorate that sending a GOP senator over the state line to D.C. is not what they want, as much as they might have approved of Larry Hogan while he was governor. How do you see the Maryland race playing out?

(V) & (Z) answer: We do not have our finger on the pulse of Maryland politics, but Democrats should be very worried that Hogan is consistently polling over 50%. That means he currently has enough votes to win without convincing anyone else. Meanwhile, the Democrat not only has to unify voters on the left, but peel off some of the people currently planning to vote for Hogan. Doable, certainly, but not easy.

M.C. in Portland, OR, asks: Can you recommend an article or website that lays out the complete scope (on an ongoing basis) of how the people surrounding the 2020 Trump Campaign attempted to undermine the vote? As with many of the underhanded maneuvering around that man, it's like a many-armed octopus or spider, where there were so many different plans in so many different places, the nuance and complexity of it is lost in the mainstream news, and it's hard to convince people that is was as widespread as it was, and how close it came to success.

(V) & (Z) answer: Truth be told, the best source we know is the Wikipedia article Trump fake electors plot. It's pretty thorough, has been written and polished by hundreds of people, and is updated on a regular basis.

M.Y. in Alto, NM, asks: Lately I've started to be increasingly bold in stating that Trump, his close advisors, and MAGA in general should be called fascist. I base that on Lawrence Britt's 14 characteristics of fascism.

When I've brought this list up, one conservative friend says fascism is mainly about collectivism. Another noted this article, claiming that Britt's abridged list is simplified and not entirely accurate.

I do not want to falsely accuse anyone of fascism. I know you've also started to be more bold in asserting that Trump qualifies. But what do you think of Britt's list? I've read other things that more or less say similar things, but I'm not a historian and not really qualified to evaluate this stuff.

So I'm hoping you can help me out. What is the best way to recognize real fascism?

(V) & (Z) answer: There is no agreed upon definition of fascism, because every fascist regime is different. When (Z) is asked to explain to students what fascism is, his answer is: "A government where one person assumes virtually all political power is authoritarian. And when that power is used to elevate one race and/or one religion and/or one set of ideals, then it is fascism."

Britt's list is decent, but you know what is also decent (for the second time in as many answers)? The first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on fascism:

Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and/or race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.

Again, this has the benefit of having been polished by literally thousands of people.

In any event, whether you use Britt's definition, or (Z)'s definition, or the Wikipedia definition, the sort of administration envisioned by Trump and by Project 2025 pretty clearly fits. And you know what they say about if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...


D.A. from Long Beach, CA, asks: I recently retired and am wandering around the world. I don't always know where I will be, but I will not be in California to vote. I will probably be in Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan in early October. Tajikistan late October. China in September.

How can I vote? Is it legal to have a friend bring me my ballot if they are meeting me somewhere? I have never missed voting. I need to vote against Orange Jesus.

By the way, I still read your site every day from various places in the world. Today is Kota Bharu, Malaysia.

(V) & (Z) answer: You need to request an absentee ballot from the registrar of voters. They can send the ballot anywhere, even to a friend, but they have to know months in advance. Some states have laws about collecting other people's ballots. In California, anyone you choose can return your ballot. If you are going to mail it from Farawayistan, it could take months. See California's rules on voting by mail and Ballotpedia's article on ballot harvesting laws by state.


F.F. in London, England, UK, asks: A fellow reader and I were discussing American exceptionalism in innovation. I asked him to account for the observation that excluding China (which benefits from protectionism), and some Asian manufacturers (Samsung, TSMC), all of the top tech companies are American. We'd love to hear (V)'s take on why there isn't a single European digital champion.

We conjectured that university education may have something to do with it—i.e., a talent advantage in the U.S. But looking at Nobel prizes as a proxy for talent, Europe wins more per capita than the U.S. We also considered the availability of capital, and on that as well, London is a top financial center, so we don't think it's a capital availability issue. So what is it?

(V) answers: It's hard to give a definitive answer, but a lot may have to do with tolerance for risk. For many Europeans, the ideal job is with the government. These jobs have good pay, are fairly predictable, and don't disappear when there is an economic downturn. True, you don't get rich this way, but avoiding being poor is more attractive to a lot of people than a long-shot chance at getting rich.

Another factor is the lack of venture capital. A Stanford student can walk off the campus and ask the first 10 people he meets if they are a venture capitalist and he or she has a good chance of meeting one. That is far less true in Europe. Also, banks in Europe don't like lending money to start-ups. After all, they could go under. Banks are also extremely risk averse.

Finally, it is a cultural thing. Being an entrepreneur is very much in the local culture in the U.S., especially at Stanford and MIT. Many professors have started companies and lots and lots of graduates have. Everyone knows about them and they tend to be heroes. That is very different in Europe. There is much less of a culture of entrepreneur-as-hero.

F.S. in Cologne, Germany, asks: You gave your assessments of every president from George H.W. Bush to Joe Biden. In your answer you wrote, "You didn't ask for anyone prior to these six, but if you had, we would have had very positive things to say about Gerald Ford, who has a case as the most admirable Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower." So, please give us your assessments of every president from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan.

(V) & (Z) answer: We have to keep this reasonably brief, of course:

  • Harry S. Truman: He has much in common with Lyndon B. Johnson, in that he was a Southern politico who got sucked into an unpopular war in the name of fighting communism. And he has much in common with Jimmy Carter, in that he was a Southern politico who was a good man at his core, and who was well ahead of his times on social issues. It's not surprising he left office very unpopular, and it's also not surprising that he's had a well-deserved recovery in terms of his reputation.

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: The country needed a manager-president, and the guy who won World War II knew a little something about large-scale management. He has some serious debits on his record, most obviously his immigration policy, but he also deserves credit for things like the construction of the Interstate Highway System and the integration of Little Rock Central High School. However, his greatest accomplishment was keeping the Cold War from turning hot, during the majority of the decade it was most likely to have done so. We like Ike.

  • John F. Kennedy: His youth and charisma inspired people, and he may well have saved the world with his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. What would have happened had he lived, though? Would he have gotten out of Vietnam? Would he have supported the Civil Rights Movement with the vigor that Lyndon B. Johnson did? Or did he die just in time to preserve his sky-high reputation, given his serious health and drug problems?

  • Lyndon B. Johnson: If not for Vietnam, Johnson would likely be a top five president of all time, thanks to the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the War on Poverty, etc. How much responsibility does he deserve for Vietnam? A pretty big chunk, but he was also trapped by the political currents of his era, and the risk of being called "soft on communism," particularly if South Vietnam had fallen while he failed to lift a finger. LBJ is currently ranked around #10 by scholars, a bit higher than JFK, and we think that is about right.

  • Richard Nixon: We suspect that, in time, he is going to be more highly regarded than he is now. His presidency featured many important accomplishments, including the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, the establishment of key programs meant to help the poor like WIC, the normalization of relations with China, and the ending of the Vietnam War (admittedly, after illegally escalating it). His reputation was ruined by his corruption, though in contrast to Donald Trump, Nixon's misdeeds may well begin to look quaint.

  • Gerald R. Ford: As noted in the original post, we think he was a fundamentally good man who believed he was doing right by pardoning Nixon. The nation had a rough 10 years, between the Vietnam War, civil rights tensions, assassinations and the misdeeds of Nixon, and Ford said "enough." He really didn't have enough time to impose his vision, especially since a bad economy and the Nixon pardon deprived Ford of virtually all of his political capital. But he was still better than just about anyone the modern GOP can come up with today. And the handful of Republicans who share Ford's fundamental sense of decency (say, Gov. Phil Scott, R-VT, or Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK) are unacceptable to the GOP base.

  • Jimmy Carter: Another good guy who ended up badly, in part due to his own unfitness for the high office he won, and in part due to the economic woes that also wrecked Ford. But he did much to diversify the federal government, particularly the judiciary. And for a guy whose entire experience was in state politics, he was a very strong foreign policy president.

  • Ronald Reagan: The most overrated president of the last 100 years, and maybe of all time. Yes, he was very charismatic and made people feel proud to be an American. That's not nothing. But his economic policies hollowed out the middle class and reversed much of the positive good done by the New Deal. The notion that he won the Cold War by himself is absurd; that was a team effort involving every one of the presidents on this list (and Bush Sr.). And some of his policies, like looking the other way during the start of the AIDS pandemic, were simply reprehensible. Oh, and let's not forget Iran-Contra, which was far worse than Watergate.

In case it's not obvious, we'd say the three best presidents on the list above were Johnson, Eisenhower and Truman, probably in that order.

M.R. in Atlanta, GA, asks: We learned, way back in school, that the South Carolina militia firing on Fort Sumter was the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. Did the Confederacy have to create a Confederate Army from scratch, or had the Southern states been forming that army? Did people in South Carolina have secret conversations with militias in, say, Virginia and Louisiana? How could they do that without the Union knowing? Or did the Union know what was coming? If so, how did they prepare? And/or if they knew, why didn't they stop it?

(V) & (Z) answer: There were two things that were true back then that are not really true today. The first is that there wasn't much of a U.S. Army (less than 20,000 people). To make up for that, each state was expected to have a functional state militia.

The second is that the U.S. government did not have near-unlimited money, and thus a near-unlimited supply of weaponry. In fact, it had a relatively limited supply. And given the challenges of trying to move materiel over large areas, the government kept most of its arms stored in federal armories that were judiciously located across the land. Among those was Harpers Ferry, VA (now WV). There were also some arms located at various forts and military bases, including those in the South.

As the nation drew closer to Civil War, it was therefore possible for would-be Confederate soldiers to drill and practice without it being suspicious, since each state was expected to maintain a working militia anyhow. There weren't many cross-state conversations, but those weren't necessary, since each of the Southern states perceived a risk to themselves, particularly after John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.

As to the armories and military bases, the James Buchanan administration knew that the country was falling apart, and should have done something to relocate as many federal arms as possible to non-Southern locales. But Buchanan was somewhat paralyzed by indecision, and also convinced himself he didn't have the legal authority to take such steps. Buchanan's Secretary of War, John Floyd, might have stepped in and taken action himself, but he was a former governor of Virginia and future Confederate general, and had no interest in stepping in. So, there was a good supply of arms and ammunition for the Confederacy to grab once they seceded.

D.E. in Lancaster, PA, asks: During questions from Justice Sotomayor, Trump's lickspittle—sorry, I meant to say "Lawyer"—cited an incident involving Ulysses Grant sending troops to a Southern state over two electors, which swung the election to Rutherford B. Hayes. I know little to nothing about Hayes except that he lost the popular vote and, in some sort of shady dealings was given the presidency, and in return ended Reconstruction. While this seems like the perfect for Trump kind of example—and not in any sort of complimentary way—it also seems to my Herodotus-sense as complete and utter bullsh**, and we're talking 116 billion pounds (the weight of the Great Wall of China, the heaviest object on Earth) of steaming wet and foulest stench ever bullsh**. Am I wrong?

(V) & (Z) answer: We did not hear what Trump's lawyer said, which means we don't know how carefully he chose his words. But we can tell you that: (1) Grant did send troops to South Carolina in 1876, and (2) South Carolina's EVs (though seven of them, not two) were among the disputed EVs in that election. However, if counsel tried to connect those two events, then yes, it is bullsh**. Grant sent the troops to aid in putting down a mini-rebellion that broke out in South Carolina right before the election. The disputed EVs were awarded months later, by a congressional committee. The two things were unrelated, and the implication that Grant stole an election for his party is false.

P.D.N. in La Mesa, CA, asks: I know (Z) is an excellent historian, and I certainly learn a lot from your writing, but it seemed a bit of a stretch to tie Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Era with women's suffrage, winning two world wars, the Civil Rights Movement, and the post-World War II economy of abundance. I'm curious how, in your opinion, these events fell into a cause and effect chain, if that's what you're claiming.

(V) & (Z) answer: Note that (Z) didn't write that, (V) did. In any event, the point of the piece was that the U.S. had lost its way and was spinning its wheels by the end of the 19th century. The Progressive Movement, of which TR was the most prominent member, did much to get things back on track. The Progressives were directly responsible for securing the vote for women nationwide (it was one of their key issues), and by getting the country running well again, get some indirect credit for the positive achievements of the next half-century. In particular, the Civil Rights Movement's playbook was copied almost directly from the Progressive (and, specifically, the women's suffrage) playbook.


K.R. in Austin, TX, asks: You described WWE tycoon Vince McMahon as an "accused sex trafficker." What is your criteria for printing what someone is accused of as a primary descriptor of someone?

I see the accusations were filed in court. I could understand a sentence that said something like, "who is currently facing sex trafficking allegations in court." However, just stating that someone is accused of something seems a bit unfair. Joe Biden, and other public figures I support, have certainly been accused of many terrible things that aren't true.

(V) & (Z) answer: We use "accused" in exactly that way, to mean "facing a court case that has not yet been resolved."

K.H. in Portland, OR, asks: You asked: "Should we really be writing an item every day Donald Trump's trial is in session?", citing Jon Stewart's critique of the current coverage. I agree with a lot of what Stewart had to say, mostly about the breathless, almost salivating coverage of every single aspect of the trial and Trump's day-to-day words and actions. However, as always, you are providing concise and honest breakdowns of the day's events that are focused on what matters and not what gets clicks/views. So yes, please continue with your excellent coverage, because otherwise I'll have to watch an MSNBC host poorly hide their... let's just say "excitement," whenever something goes poorly for Trump.

But on that point, as a very long time reader, I had a question about yourselves and politics as a whole. I began reading your site during the 2008 election. I was a staunch conservative Republican and John McCain supporter living in Florida. I enjoyed your takes because they felt even-handed and very well informed. I am now a progressive Democrat living in, well... you can see. I used to say that I didn't change, the Republican Party did, but obviously I did a lot of changing, too. However, the Republican party and politics as a whole have clearly changed significantly in the last 15 years, and even more just in the last 5-8 years.

My question is, how has this made you both feel and how have you navigated this new landscape? What does it feel like, shifting coverage from which party proposed the best political policy to which candidate broke the most laws or who gave the most over-the-clothes sexual favors in a Broadway show? I know politics has always been scandalous and sensationalist, but there still used to be two functional parties who offered at least lip service to what might be best for the country. Both parties had their own views, but still seemed to exist in the same reality as each other. Now it feels like there's the sane party and the crazies and never the two shall meet. Is it difficult avoiding sounding bias or going to extremes while describing some of the most insane events in our country's history?

(V) & (Z) answer: It is very, very difficult. There are two things that have helped us confront the challenge. The first is that in some cases, at some point, "right" and "wrong" become crystal clear. There were not two equally valid points of view when it came to heliocentrism, or the importance of disinfectant in medicine, or the Civil Rights Movement, and to pretend otherwise would be phony bothsidesism. So it is when you are dealing with a political movement more than willing to use the Constitution to line the bottom of a birdcage.

Second, it helps to draw, on a regular basis, a contrast between the regular Republican Party and the crazypants Republicans. That makes it clear that anything critical we write is directed at a particular, problematic faction, and not at an entire political party.

Incidentally, (Z)'s first day writing for the site was Sept. 28, 2015. That was about 3 months after Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign (June 16, 2015). So every word (Z) has written for the site was produced in a world with Trump as a major Republican Party politician.

J.H. in Portland, OR, asks: Both of you produce many keystrokes/day. Which keyboards do you use to achieve such a rate? And while we're asking, vi or Emacs?

(V) answers: This is not a plug for the company, but I use a Unicomp keyboard. It is a clone of the original IBM keyboard (except with a USB connector instead of DIN). It is by far the best keyboard ever made, and has that nice-IBM-keyboard loud clicky sound that the neighbors love so much. Sorry, neighbors.

I am an Apple-only person (Mac Pro, MacBook, two iPads, two iPhones), so I use Aquamacs, which is a MacOS version of Emacs. I write on my Mac Pro and then upload the finished file to the server using sftp.

(Full disclosure: Technically, I do own an HP Windows 11 notebook, but I use it only when a PC-loving friend wants me to play computer repairman, so it is useful to have a functioning PC there to see how it is supposed to work.)

(Z) answers: I am also an Apple-only person, by virtue of the fact that I ran a 110-machine Mac network for many years. My collection, as it were, includes a Mac mini, a MacBook, an iPad, an iPhone and an Apple watch. When typing on the desktop machine at home (70% of my output), I use an Apple Magic Keyboard. When working in my office(s), I use a different Apple Magic Keyboard, connected to my laptop (which I then connect to an external monitor). About 10% of my output is produced using the laptop as an actual laptop, most commonly while charging my car.

When working on the site locally (99.9% of my output), I use a text editor called BBEdit. It is fuller-featured than Emacs or vi. When I am working remotely, I use Emacs.

If you wish to contact us, please use one of these addresses. For the first two, please include your initials and city.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
May03 Trump Legal News: The Trial (Day 10)
May03 Trump 2024: The Catch-22 Shuffle
May03 Kristi Noem: Dog Shooting Is Now Officially Her Waterloo
May03 Ron DeSantis: Moby Dick, Meet Captain Ahab
May03 Evan Low: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
May03 I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Butterfly
May03 This Week in Schadenfreude: Too Much Johnson
May03 This Week in Freudenfreude: A Safe Place
May03 Today's Presidential Polls
May02 Arizona Abortion Law Is Headed to the Dustbin of History
May02 Greene Will Move Forward with Motion to Vacate
May02 House Passes Anti-Antisemitism Bill
May02 Biden Is in a No-Win Situation
May02 DEI Is Under Attack in Numerous States...
May02 ...On the Other Hand, Anti-Woke Isn't a Winner, Either
May02 Today's Presidential Polls
May01 Trump Legal News: The Trial (Day 9)
May01 Kennedy Wins
May01 New Poll Says Kennedy Is Helping Trump in Swing States
May01 Trump Continues to Remind Everyone of Who He Is
May01 Biden's Interview with Stern Was Smart Politics
May01 A Bad Day for Obnoxious Republican Representatives
May01 Judges Strike Down New Louisiana Map
May01 Today's Presidential Polls
Apr30 Welcome to 1968
Apr30 Trump Is Worried about a Lake in Arizona
Apr30 Where Are Minor Candidates on the Ballot?
Apr30 Has MTG Been Neutered?
Apr30 Seniors Are Not Who They Used to Be
Apr30 If He Wins, Trump Would Reverse at Least Five of Biden's Climate Policies
Apr30 The Words That Unite and Divide Americans
Apr30 Can the U.S. Be Saved?
Apr29 Biden: I'm Happy to Debate Trump
Apr29 Trump Is Now Attacking Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Apr29 Poll: Americans Are Very Unhappy
Apr29 What the Heck Was the Supreme Court Doing Last Thursday?
Apr29 Not All Republicans Are in the Tank for Trump
Apr29 Who Are Trump's Megadonors?
Apr29 As Maine Goes, So Goes... Nebraska
Apr29 Peter Meijer Ends His Senate Bid in Michigan
Apr29 Democrat Is Favored in Special Election in New York Tomorrow
Apr29 Another Republican Calls It Quits
Apr29 Today's Presidential Polls
Apr28 With One Bullet, Noem Shoots Her Puppy in the Head and Herself in the Foot
Apr27 The Trial (Day 8)
Apr26 Trump Legal News, Part I: Trump Bought Himself Some Time, Courtesy of SCOTUS
Apr26 Trump Legal News, Part II: The Trial (Day 7)
Apr26 Trump Legal News, Part III: Green Is the Colour
Apr26 Campus Protests Getting Uglier
Apr26 Angry Republicans: No More Money for Ukraine