• GOP Candidates' Debate; the Day After: We Used to Be Friends
• In the House, Part I: Good Ol' Boys
• In the House, Part II: Welcome Back
• In the House, Part III: Emergency!
• I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Love Is All Around
• Eric Adams: Way Down in the Hole
• A December to Rhymember, Part VI: Think!
• This Week in Schadenfreude: Where Everybody Knows Your Name
• This Week in Freudenfreude: Those Were the Days
To our Jewish readers: Chag urim sameach!
After multiple attempts at plea deals fell through, Special Counsel David Weiss' team indicted First Son Hunter Biden yesterday.
Biden faces nine counts, which, according to the staff mathematician, is roughly 10% of 91. All of the counts are related to tax shenanigans, and include failure to file and pay taxes, evasion of assessment, and filing of false or fraudulent tax returns. After being caught, Biden squared his bill, paying what he owed plus penalties. But that doesn't mean he's not guilty of the original crimes, nor that he does not owe a debt to society. If he gets the maximum on all counts, Biden would serve 17 years. Of course, it would be very, very unusual for a first-time offender to get the max.
When it comes to this case, there is one thing we are absolutely certain of: No matter what happens, the right-wing media will discover evidence that the system is biased in favor of Democrats/Bidens and is biased against Republicans/Trumps. If another, passable plea deal is hammered out, it will be "How come Donald Trump doesn't get a plea deal?" If the trial is delayed, it will be "How come Donald Trump can't delay his trial?" If Biden is convicted, and is hit with, say, 2 years (which would be about par for the course), it will be "Slap on the wrist! Donald Trump would have been hit with the full 17 years!"
There is also one thing we have no idea about: How this story will affect the 2024 presidential race. Certainly, it could become an anchor around Joe Biden's neck, particularly if there's a trial, and it happens at the height of campaign season (say, August of next year). On the other hand, we're not sure the "Biden crime family" narrative is landing with anyone other than Trump's base. And even if it is landing with people beyond the base, it could become rather less salient if the race is "candidate with son who has been convicted of felonies" vs. "candidate who has himself been convicted of felonies." Also, it seems to us that there are several other complaints about Biden (age, economy, Israel) that seem to be of far greater interest to voters than his son's misdeeds.
In any event, it's another "known unknown." Anyone who says they can predict right now what will happen next November, given how very many very large known unknowns there are, is full of it. (Z)
It's been a day since the latest GOP candidates' debate, which means anyone and everyone has had time to weigh in. And the dominant theme of the coverage of the meetup between Nikki Haley, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie is how nasty the meetups have become. Anyhow, let's do a rundown before we consign yet another meaningless event to the dustbin of history.
To start, a half-dozen sets of takeaways:
- The 'fellas' hit Nikki Haley hard
- Ron DeSantis kept pulling his punches on Trump
- Chris Christie had his strongest debate to date
- Megyn Kelly played hardball
- Vivek Ramaswamy had his Alex Jones moment
- Trump's absence overshadows the debate
- Haley faces an onslaught and holds her ground
- Everybody hates Ramaswamy
- Christie goes on offense
- Candidates voiced hostility toward immigrants and foreign powers
- Everyone takes on Nikki Haley
- Chris Christie pummels Trump—and his rivals
- Diminished Ramaswamy hurls conspiracies and insults
- The old school and new school of GOP foreign policy are still brawling
- Border security will be a top issue in 2024
- Is all this irrelevant without Trump?
- Foreign policy will actually matter a lot in 2024
- Knives out for Haley
- DeSantis has a strong night
- Christie takes fiercest stand yet against Trump
- Other GOP rivals pull their punches against front-runner
- Debate was nasty
- DeSantis and Ramaswamy pile on Haley over ties to billionaire donors
- Christie calls Ramaswamy an "obnoxious blowhard" as he defends Haley
- Ramaswamy holds up a sheet of paper accusing Haley of corruption
- Haley and DeSantis continue their months-long spat on China
- Christie lays into DeSantis on question about former President Donald Trump's age
The dominant theme is that Haley had a target on her back. Other recurrent themes include: (1) Vivek Ramaswamy is a giant jerk, (2) Chris Christie had a good night, and (3) It's all pointless if Trump isn't there and isn't even a topic of conversation.
Moving along, here is a rundown of winners and losers, per outlets of various stripes:
|The Washington Post||
|The New York Times||
|The Independent (UK)||
|The Daily Mail (UK)||
|The Washington Examiner||
|The Washington Times||
The aggregate view is rather similar to our view: Christie won, Haley did OK, DeSantis was mediocre, and Ramaswamy was a train wreck. Let us hope that Ramaswamy can't make the cut for the next debate.
And finally, here's a rundown of 9 debate-related storylines:
- Dismal Ratings: Between the fact that the "debates" have grown tiresome, and the choice of
the second- or third-tier NewsNation as host and broadcaster, the ratings for the fourth debate were—not
surprisingly—very poor. Over the course of the 2 hours, just 4.1 million people
To put that in some context, that's about the same as an average episode of The Rookie: Feds, Abbott
Elementary, Accused, or MPU—shows you may, or may not, have even heard of. And 4.1 million is
about half of what 60 Minutes draws, while it's roughly 20% of the audience of TV's most popular program,
Sunday Night Football.
- Debates #5 and #6: The fourth debate was barely over before the RNC announced that the
next two debates will both be hosted by CNN. It would seem that burying them on NewsNation was not the best strategy, if
you want people to actually watch. Debate #5 will be held on January 10 at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, and
candidates will have to reach 10% in three approved national and/or Iowa polls. Debate #6 will be held on January 21 at
St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH, and candidates will have to reach 10% in three approved national and/or New
Hampshire polls. At the moment, Haley and DeSantis have qualified for both, while Ramaswamy and Christie aren't even
close to making it.
- Republicans Hate Vivek: In our
we noted that Vivek Ramaswamy's shenanigans weren't landing, even with the (presumably) Republican-leaning
audience. The response on Thursday
as numerous GOP politicians and pundits shared their view that his nasty approach is a real turn-off to voters.
- Fox Hates Vivek, Too: Meanwhile, the dominant theme on Fox's coverage yesterday
was that Ramaswamy is a sanctimonious jerk, and that he should drop out of the race post-haste. This came up
- The Vivek Memes: We said they were coming, and they did. Here are a few specimens:
He's mostly crazy, but maybe a few of his ideas do have merit.
- Kid Gloves: If you watch the debates, you're not imagining it that while the candidates
should increasingly be taking the wood to Donald Trump, they are actually getting less and less likely to do so. Politico
did an analysis,
and these are the numbers they came up with:
Debate Attacks on Trump Attacks on Other Candidates 1 10 16 2 9 16 3 6 26 4 9 28
If not for Chris Christie, some of those numbers in the second column might be close to zero.
- The Best Debate Speech... Ever: In our write-up, we said we were impressed with
Christie, and in particular his willingness to take on Donald Trump. But even we weren't as impressed as Todd Graham,
the speech and debate coach who comments from that perspective for CNN.
According to Graham,
"Christie might have just given the single most important speech in presidential debating history. It was certainly the
finest." Pretty high praise from a fellow who has watched over 8,000 debates at various levels.
- How Far They've Fallen: Meanwhile, in a piece for Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley
that it's quite an indictment of the GOP when Chris Christie, the fellow who brought you Bridgegate, Beachgate, and
countless other scandals, has become the party's paragon of honesty and reason.
- Behind the Scenes: About midway through the debate, as it went to commercial,
cameras showed Christie walking over to the moderators and chewing them out. Megyn Kelly
what the issue was: The former governor was angry he wasn't being given enough speaking time. This is not an
unreasonable complaint; given the moderators' unwillingness to enforce turn-taking, and DeSantis'/Ramaswamy's
willingness to seize the microphone, Christie was indeed ignored for extended periods. And when the dust had settled,
the Smarmy One had nearly 23 minutes of speaking time, while the Sanctimonious One had 21. Haley had just 18, and
Christie brought up the rear with 17.
That's it for 2023; no more debates until 2024. And if that's not a great Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, winter solstice and/or Festivus gift, we don't know what is. (Z)
As we have written many times, Georgia is one of those states that is trying to reduce the representation of Black voters, only to be smacked down by the courts. The latest order issued to the Peach State, from U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, was to create another majority-Black district. This would, in theory, change a 9R, 5D delegation to 8R, 6D.
Yesterday, the Georgia legislature approved a new map, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) is expected to sign today. The new map certainly follows the letter of Jones' ruling, as it does create a new majority-Black district. However, the new map certainly does NOT follow the spirit, as it chops GA-07 into bits. Between Black, Latino and Asian voters, that district is majority-minority, and is represented by a Black woman, namely Rep. Lucy McBath (D). In other words, the new map would have no real chance of making the Georgia congressional delegation more diverse or more representative, and would maintain the 9R, 5D balance. As a reminder, Georgia is very possibly the most evenly divided state in the nation, having been decided by 0.23% in the 2020 presidential election.
As soon as Kemp signs off on the new map and makes it official, then voting-rights groups will promptly head to Jones' court to challenge it. But for the Georgia Republicans, there's really no downside to their defiance. Jones could agree they've done what they needed to do. Or, they could run out the clock, forcing the use of the current map for, at very least, the 2024 cycle. Even if the Georgians lose, then a special master will be appointed, and that person will draw the 8R, 6D map that the process should have produced anyhow. If there was a risk of a 7R, 7D map, then maybe the Georgia legislature might have thought twice about playing games. But special masters only produce fair maps, not punitive maps. (Z)
Things are definitely lining up for former representative Tom Suozzi (D) to resume his career in the House by re-taking the NY-03 seat that was his from 2017-23, and then was held by "George Santos" (R-NY) for 11 months prior to his being expelled.
Readers will recall that in New York, party committees pick candidates for special elections. Yesterday the Democratic Party organs in Nassau and Queens counties did as expected and picked Suozzi as their standard-bearer. And earlier this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) did her part, and scheduled the special election. It will be held on Feb. 13 of next year.
All that remains is for the Republicans to pick their candidate. The frontrunners are all military or law enforcement veterans: banker Kellen Curry and attorney Greg Hach (both Air Force), businessman Daniel Norber (Israel Defense Forces), and businessman Mike Sapraicone (NYPD). Nobody seems to know which one of these men will triumph. The only thing that is (fairly) clear is that it won't be Philip Sean Grillo. First, he's not military or law enforcement. Second, he's headed to prison, since he was just convicted of 1/6-related crimes yesterday.
The careful reader will notice that all of these wannabe Republican congressmen have no political experience on their résumés. That means we have a veteran politician who used to hold the seat up against an unknown newbie, with the newbie likely being the product of a selection process that is at least semi-divisive. Add in the D+2 lean of NY-03 and a probable backlash vote against "Santos," and you have to like the Democrats' chances. If the expected Democratic win does come to pass, then there will be a period of time—after Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) follow through on their already-announced resignations—when Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is looking at a 219-214 majority. That's just two Republican votes and one absence/abstention needed to torpedo legislation, assuming the Democrats stick together. (Z)
We're only staying on top of this story because Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is facing a tough reelection campaign, and it could end up being a liability. Anyhow, House Democrats were unable to stop a motion of censure from coming to the floor, a response to the stunt wherein Bowman pulled a false fire alarm in order to delay a vote on the floor of the House. Yesterday, the lower chamber actually voted on the measure, and passed it largely along party lines, 214-191. Four Democrats and a Republican voted "present" (Chrissy Houlahan, D-PA; Glenn Ivey, D-MD; Deborah Ross, D-NC; Susan Wild, D-PA; and Andy Harris, R-MD) and three Democrats (Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, WA; Jahana Hayes, CT and Chris Pappas, NH) crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans.
We have two thoughts about this news. First, censure used to be reserved for pretty bad misbehavior, but we suppose we don't have too much of a problem with a rather inside baseball punishment being imposed for a rather inside baseball misdeed. Second, House Republicans have spent much time this week on things like motions of censure and potential impeachment investigations, while making no apparent progress on things like border funding and the federal budget. If they're not careful, people will start to draw conclusions about what the priorities of Mike Johnson & Co. really are. (Z)
Antibiotic #3 is working well (knock on wood), such that (Z) has the focus needed to resume the Friday headline theme. It's been long enough since the last one that we will remind you of the last set of headlines:
- Manchin Deals (Slight) Blow to Democratic Senate Hopes
- Stein Is a Presidential Candidate... and a Vegetarian?
- The Day After: The Third Republican Debate
- The Fallout Has Begun: Progressive Mayor Jumps Into Virginia Governor's Race
- I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Silver Threads Among the Gold
- This Week in Schadenfreude: Mark Meadows, Straight Talking American Government Official... Or Not
- This Week in Freudenfreude: Surprise!
We warned you that the commonality was so obvious, at least for us, that it was like the answer was hiding in plain sight. And now, the answer, courtesy of reader J.N. in Zionsville, IN:
It appears the theme to this week's headlines is an ode to the American Political Party. The political party referenced:
- The Democratic Party (of Andrew Jackson fame)
- The Vegetarian Party (perhaps Dr. Oz would have run under this party if it still existed)
- The Republican Party (of Abraham Lincoln fame)
- The Progressive Party (of Robert M. La Follette fame)
- The Silver Party (although, there were also the "Gold Democrats")
- Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG (of Pat Paulsen fame)
- Surprise Party (of Gracie Allen fame)
J.N. correctly got all seven of the political parties we were thinking of. That said, #6 also contained the name of the American Party (a.k.a. the Know Nothings), so we also accepted that. And the headline for this item—which, recall, fits with both the previous and current theme—contains the name of the Love Party, which was a relatively short-lived American offshoot of an Italian party founded by two porn stars.
Here are the Top 10 finishers:
- J.N. in Zionsville
- S.G. in Durham, NC
- D.M. in Oakland, CA
- J.O. in Cleveland, OH
- D.V. in Las Vegas, NV
- P.P. in London, England, UK
- R.N. in Miami, FL
- S.H. in Palm Springs, CA
- M.B. in Honolulu, HI
- B.Z. in Sydney, NSW, Australia
We're still thinking about ways to level the playing field for geography/time differences, but (Z) isn't quite hale and hearty enough to be working out that particular puzzle yet.
As to this week's theme, it's songs again, and so belongs in the Trivial Pursuit category of "Entertainment." And your hint is that the theme actually belongs in that category on multiple levels. We'll give the added hint that this week's theme kinda favors American readers (and for those readers, we suspect that two of them will be a dead giveaway). As always, we'll have another hint in the intro to tomorrow's Q&A. If you have guesses, send them here. (Z)
At the moment, the once-warm relationship between Joe Biden and Mayor Eric Adams (D-New York City) has turned chilly. This has something to do with the various acts of corruption Adams has been linked with. The Mayor's habit of openly criticizing the administration, particularly on border policy, has also been unhelpful.
Perhaps they will want to make amends, however, so they can form a support group for politicians with terrible approval ratings. That is because Adams is now deep in the hole, even deeper than Biden is. At the moment, the President is around 38% approval and 55% disapproval, which means he's 17 points underwater. Meanwhile, Adams can only dream of being that popular, as he's at 28% approval and 58% disapproval with New York City voters, putting him a ghastly 30 points underwater.
New Yorkers are kinda famous for turning against their mayors, though they don't normally do it this quickly. We've previously been skeptical that Adams' desire for bigger and better things will ever come to fruition. But now, we are skeptical he can even get reelected as mayor. In fact, he might not even run, unless he really manages to turn things around between now and 2025. If Adams does go one-and-out, he'll be the first NYC mayor to do that since David Dinkins (1990-93). (Z)
That headline is meant ironically, as today's selections are both about people who don't do much thinking. First, from S.S. in Santa Monica, CA:
An Ode to Trump (Not Taylor's Version)
The New York judge assigned to me is simply quite atrocious
If I scream it loud enough, he'll think I have psychosis
Because I was afraid to grift when I was just a lad
Me father gave me nose a tweak, told me I was SAD!
But then one day I learned a word that saved me achin' nose
The bigliest word you ever heard and this is how it goes
The clerk she has it out for me and the judge is bogus
All those who love Sleepy Joe are likely to oppose us
I traveled all around the world and everywhere I went
I gave a fifth-grade nickname to everyone I met
But when Vlad or Xi or Orban invite me for some tea
I just say me special word and then they all bow down to me!
I'll never lose my business 'cause my defense is ferocious
And when I win in '24, revenge will be my bonus
(with apologies to Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman)
And now, from I.W. in Palm Springs, CA:
The Pompous Political Pundit Show
Another dull Sunday... rainy and cold,
sitting around and beginning to mold.
Turn on the boob tube; hey, whaddya know?
It's the Pompous Political Pundit Show!
These pundits are usually good for some laughs:
the ill-informed statements, the blunders, the gaffes,
delivered with such a self-worshiping glow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
One is a geek, and the other's a blonde;
smugly convinced that they've got us all conned.
Never make sense but they spin and they snow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
Eager by turns to go out on a limb,
prognosticating on aught but a whim.
Somehow I doubt that they'll ever eat crow
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
Hurling such rot from the left and the right,
ego-crazed puppets who just want to fight.
Being a jackass will get you a go
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
Yelled interruptions too garbled to follow,
twisted statistics a dolt wouldn't swallow,
bellowing facts that you know aren't so,
on the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
Clearly they don't believe viewers can think.
That's why they waste so much airtime (and ink).
I'm feeling ill. For the Maalox I go,
from the Pompous Political Pundit Show.
Hm, our spell checker does not seem to have "Supercallousfragileegoextrabraggadocious." Oh, well. More poetry next week, of course. If the muse strikes you over the weekend, you can reach us here. (Z)
We had some very good suggestions for this feature this week, but if we don't go with the particular story we chose, well... there's just no point in having "This Week in Schadenfreude."
To start, for those who are not familiar, Cameo is a website where you can hire notable (and notorious) people to record short video greetings for... anyone or anything you want, pretty much. The prices are usually pretty reasonable—less than $100 in many cases, and less than $200 in nearly all cases—so for people who are looking for a little something different to give as a gift, it's not a bad option.
As you might imagine, the people for hire tend to be kind of B-list and C-list. You're not getting Tom Cruise or Michelle Obama for a C-note (or, in fact, for any price, since they are not on the site). But you can get Tommy Chong ($150), Mick Foley ($99), Randall Cunningham ($100), Jamie Farr ($125), Mia Hamm ($125), George Wendt ($125) or Jesus Christ ($45). Clearly, the King of Kings is not clear how much inflation there's been over the last 2,000 or so years.
Demand for Cameo performers follows some interesting... patterns, for lack of a better term. The most successful people on the site tend to be reasonably priced, but also somewhat cult-y, in the sense that they (or the character they played) will be of high interest to a sizable subsection of the population. In fact, the only person earning $1 million a year on Cameo right now played a supporting character on a semi-cult-y network show that went off the air more than a decade ago. Care to guess who it is? Or, at least, their show? We'll put the answer at the bottom of the page; to guess the performer's name would require a near-miracle, but you might at least get the right show.
Anyhow, given his sudden lack of income, and given that he's more than willing to do just about anything for a buck, it should come as a surprise to no one that Cameo's newest star is... "George Santos." His price is actually on the high end ($500), because he's got to get while the getting is good. But you can absolutely imagine that there are a lot of politics-watchers and lobbyists and politicos out there who will have no problem laying out five bills for a laugh.
And now we get to the schadenfreude, because one of the first people to scrape together $500 was the U.S. Senate's most talented troll, namely John Fetterman (D-PA). It's not too hard to be an a**hole as a troll; it takes much greater skill to be funny and to make a salient point. Anyhow, the performers on cameo don't know who they are working for; they just get general instructions as to whom they should address in the video and what they should say ("happy birthday," or "good luck during your first day at the new job," or whatever). And so, "Santos" did not know that it was Fetterman who requested and paid for a video addressed to "Bobby from Jersey," asking for some encouragement for "Bobby" in face of some ongoing legal problems. Here is the video (it's less than 30 seconds):
As you can probably guess, "Bobby from Jersey" is Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). You just have to tip your hat to that kind of trolling-jitsu.
Incidentally, while "Santos" has effectively transitioned into a role as town fool, don't feel too badly for him. He was already playing that role, to a large extent. Further, at least in the short term, his salary has skyrocketed. He was making $174,000 as a member of Congress; he's expected to make many times that on Cameo. Ain't America great? (Z)
Obituary week continues, and we haven't even gotten to Henry Kissinger yet (though we're close). Anyhow, as most readers (at least, in the U.S.) will have heard, legendary TV producer Norman Lear—whose credits included All in the Family; The Jeffersons; Good Times; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; One Day at a Time; Maude and Sanford and Son—died on Wednesday. He was 101.
Lear was a lifelong liberal and, as reader J.S. in The Hague, Netherlands, wrote in to observe, you get the sense that he was holding on just long enough to outlast the 100-year-old Kissinger, whom Lear was no fan of. Lear put his lefty convictions into action, founding People for the American Way, which fights for the separation of church and state, and Declare Yourself, which works to get young people (18 to 29) to vote. He was also a generous donor to various educational and civic causes, perhaps most notably spending $8.1 million on one of the very first copies of the Declaration of Independence in 2001 and then sending it on a tour of the United States that is still ongoing.
All of this said, we are writing about Lear because his various TV projects were intensely political, engaging with all manner of issues, some that remain touchy even today, and many that were almost entirely absent on TV before Lear came along. The list includes abortion, rape, segregation, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, feminism, urban poverty, acceptance of gays and lesbians, single motherhood and drug abuse.
What's remarkable is that Lear managed to engage with these highly contentious subjects... and yet still dominate the TV ratings. There's an oft-repeated notion that All in the Family could not possibly be broadcast today, because it's just too politically incorrect. This is patent nonsense. First, it is abundantly clear that the non-PC stuff is to be lamented and mocked, and not celebrated, in the same way that Blazing Saddles (which debuted just a couple of years after All in the Family did) is clearly an anti-racist movie, despite liberal use of the n-word. Second, there have been a couple of live-action revivals of All in the Family episodes in the past couple of years, and they got monster ratings. Third, the show Family Guy is a clear homage to All in the Family and its humor, and it's going strong, having just commenced its 22nd season.
What does not seem to be possible to replicate today, however, is the success that All in the Family (and Lear's other shows) had at reaching people across the political spectrum, and maybe even making them think a little bit. Today, the only hope a show has to find a politically diverse audience is to be exceedingly apolitical. Any shows that actually engage with the issues draw audiences that skew heavily lefty or heavily righty. Family Guy's audience, for example, is quite liberal, on the whole. Blue Bloods draws mostly conservatives. And so on.
How did Lear do it? That's not easy to know for sure, particularly since we can't go back in time 50 years and interview a bunch of viewers of his shows. Maybe it was because there was no cable TV, to speak of, meaning that a person could either watch shows that might annoy them a bit, or they could turn the tube off. Or, alternatively, maybe the absence of cable meant that there wasn't a vast "news" mediasphere out there telling people what TV programs and films to be angry about. Or maybe it was because Lear, though a liberal himself, generally accomplished a pretty even-handed presentation. Sure, the right-wing Archie Bunker was a buffoon, but so too was the left-wing Mike Stivic (a.k.a. "Meathead"). So, there was something there for everyone to laugh at.
However, we've been thinking about it since we heard the news of Lear's passing, and we cannot avoid the admittedly subjective conclusion that part of it was just that Lear was absolutely brilliant at what he did. Consider, for example, his casting. He picked, from relative (or total) obscurity: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Redd Foxx, Bea Arthur, Esther Rolle, John Amos, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr. and Louise Lasser, among others. That is an absolute murderers' row of actors, with 17 Emmys (among other accolades) between them. And if Lear was that good at one of the hardest parts of the job, then he must also have been very good at the things that were not as visible to the general public.
In any case, there never has been, and there presumably never will be, someone who was better at producing thoughtful TV entertainment that engaged seriously with the issues of the day. Thank goodness Norman Lear did not "stifle" himself. (Z)
The highest-earning performer on Cameo is... actor Brian Baumgartner, who played the hapless accountant Kevin Malone on The Office, and whose current price is $195 (it used to be less than $100).
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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Dec07 Bye, Kev
Dec07 Trump Promises to Be a Dictator--for Just One Day
Dec07 The Nevada Fake Electors Have Been Indicted
Dec07 "This Is Grim"
Dec07 Jamaal Bowman Gets a Primary Challenger
Dec07 A December to Rhymember, Part V: Ripped from the Headlines
Dec06 Trump Legal News: Detroit Breakdown
Dec06 Tuberville Takes a Knee
Dec06 More Showboating News
Dec06 Johnson Says He Has the Votes for... an Impeachment Inquiry
Dec06 McHenry Will Not Seek Reelection
Dec06 Get Ready for another GOP Candidates' Debate
Dec06 Burgum Quits His Totally Pointless Campaign
Dec06 A December to Rhymember, Part IV: Outfoxed
Dec05 Republicans Are Worried about Another Term for "the Orange Jesus"
Dec05 Liz Cheney's Book Is Out Today
Dec05 Five Times Primaries Were Surprising
Dec05 Border Talks Are in Deep Trouble
Dec05 New York Could Determine Control of the House
Dec05 Lake Is Not Making Progress with Moderates
Dec05 Why Do People Watch Fox "News"?
Dec05 A December to Rhymember, Parts II and III: Potpourri
Dec04 DeSantis' Super PAC Is in Complete Meltdown
Dec04 Johnson's Job Just Got Tougher
Dec04 Senate Republicans Are Not Interested in Repealing the ACA
Dec04 Domestic Oil Production Is Up and It Could Be Good News for Environmentalists
Dec04 Chris Christie May Not Make the Stage at the Next Republican Debate
Dec04 Presidents Are Not Immune to All Lawsuits
Dec04 Trump's Former Lawyer Is Cooperating with Nevada Prosecutors in Fake Electors Case
Dec04 Georgia Republicans Unveil a New House Map...
Dec04 ...But a Florida Appeals Court Upholds the Old Map
Dec04 Florida Republican Party Faces a Crisis
Dec02 Bye, "George"
Dec02 Sandra Day O'Connor Is Dead at 93
Dec02 Saturday Q&A
Dec01 DeSantis, Newsom Debate
Dec01 The Missing Piece of the Trump-Obamacare Puzzle
Dec01 Trump Gets Gagged Again
Dec01 No Democratic Primary in Florida
Dec01 "Santos'" Goose Looks to Be Cooked
Dec01 A December to Rhymember, Part I: Never a Silent Night
Dec01 This Week in Schadenfreude: Jesus Day
Dec01 This Week in Freudenfreude: Now That's an Obituary
Nov30 The Three Fantasies That Explain Why Congress Does Not Work
Nov30 Democrats Might Be Willing to Accept a Compromise on the Border
Nov30 Does Trump Have a Ceiling?
Nov30 It's the Savings, Stupid
Nov30 Liz Cheney's Book: Trump Knew He Lost
Nov30 Pence Spills the Beans to Smith