Patterico's Pontifications

3/1/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:27 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Despite Moscow’s efforts to obstruct the funeral of Alexie Navalny (veiled threats to funeral homes and churches, warning citizens not to attend, etc.), the funeral of the murdered Putin critic was held today in Russia. Untold thousands of bold and defiant Russians filled the streets to pay their respects, as well as remind Putin that Navalny’s legacy will live on. All of this while rows of riot police lined the streets. While one can reasonably assume that the funeral enraged the Kremlin, the multitudes in the street chanting “Navalny,” must have sent them over the edge. And of course, everyday citizens boldly speaking that which must not be said is the cherry on top:

I have no idea who these brave women are, especially the first one. One no longer scared, the other scared, but what courage they both display. This is the stuff of which I really know nothing about in my own cushy life here. Big love and admiration for both for their bold clarity and refusal to remain silent when that would be the safest thing to do:

And finally, Yulia Navalnaya says goodbye to her husband:

Second news item

Ethnic cleansing happening in occupied states in Ukraine:

Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian-appointed governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, acknowledged the forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens and hinted that the Russians are executing Ukrainians.

According to him, the Russian occupation authorities “expelled a large number of families…who did not support the ‘special military operation’” or who “insulted” Russia, including the Russian flag, anthem, or Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Balitsky tried to justify these actions, which constitute war crimes, by claiming that the forced deportation of Ukrainian families was for their own benefit, as occupation authorities would have had to “deal” with them in an even “harsher” way in the future, or other pro-Russian citizens would have killed them…

. . .Russia is trying to destroy the Ukrainian language, culture, history, ethnicity and identity, including through actions that violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Third news item

This:

Delaying the January 6 trial suppresses critical evidence that Americans deserve to hear. Donald Trump attempted to overturn an election and seize power. Our justice system must be able to bring him to trial before the next election. SCOTUS [supreme court of the US] should decide this case promptly.

Fourth news item

Competing stories about Wednesday’s horrific tragedy in Gaza:

Israel blamed:

The Palestinians were trying to access basic humanitarian aid from trucks when the shooting started, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds of others.

Israel denies the accusations :

Israel has refuted claims it was responsible, saying instead that Palestinians were trying to loot humanitarian aid from trucks and that dozens were killed and injured in the rush.

“No [Israeli Defense Forces] strike was conducted toward the aid convoy,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesperson.

How the media is framing the story is well, interesting. For exampled, from NBC:

Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City. At least 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the enclave’s Health Ministry, said today. NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll, and it’s not clear how many people were killed from gunfire or the ensuing panic. The Israeli military said that civilians surrounded an aid truck, causing pushing and trampling, and that it was reviewing the incident. An Israeli government source said Israel Defense Forces troops responded with “live fire” after people surrounded trucks carrying humanitarian aid.

Note: The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, which provides the numbers, is Hamas-controlled, and several media outlets have also stated, along with NBC News, that the death toll could not be independently verified by their organizations. Additionally, an IDF spokesman clarified what happened:

“At 4:45 am, a mob ambushed the aid trucks bringing the convey to a halt…the tanks that were there cautiously tried to disperse the mob with a few warning shots. When hundreds became thousands, the tank commander decided to retreat

No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convey. Let me repeat. No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convey.

On the contrary, the IDF was there conducting a humanitarian operation to allow the aid convey to reach the designated distribution point.”

A fuller look at the different stories can be found here.

I watched a video this morning of an elderly Palestinian woman crying that the aid was being stolen from the people who need it. Also, a group of men in Rafah have organized to stop the profiteering on food items being sold on the streets.

It’s understandable why desperately hungry people who are suffering under deplorable conditions would stampede an aid truck bringing in food. It’s also understandable why a country is determined to destroy a terrorist group that continues to hold hostages who are suffering under deplorable conditions. Every single bit of what is happening is just overwhelmingly tragic.

Fifth news item

He’s in the race:

Former Rep. Justin Amash is entering Michigan’s Republican Senate primary, he announced on Thursday.

“After thoroughly evaluating all aspects of a potential campaign, I’m convinced that no candidate would be better positioned to win both the Republican primary and the general election,” Amash wrote on social media.

Sixth news item

Bearing the standard:

When a party is broken both sides get to speak of why they’re right and the other side’s wrong. That is why it is legitimate and constructive—it is a very 80% move!—for Ms. Haley to stay in and argue against Mr. Trump and his policies. This is right, helpful and clarifying. Mr. Trump tends to avoid this, or rather to do half, the part about why he’s the right person. He doesn’t much address his own policies, or explain why Ms. Haley is wrong in hers. But he owes it to the country. Is he capable of engaging on issues? Is he too old, too scattered and unfocused?

Some say Ms. Haley should get out now to preserve her viability for 2028. This is fantasy. She is taking on the more-than-half part of her party now and alienating them every day. They won’t forget it. In any case, future presidential cycles aren’t at all predictable or plannable. Everything changes; people will enter whose names we don’t know. If Ms. Haley has a presidential future it will more likely be with a third party. For now she is doing an authentic public service in bearing a standard and explaining why it must be borne, and that is enough.

Seventh news item

Yikes:

Against a tide of antidemocratic threats and a rise in autocratic movements around the globe, representative democracy still remains largely popular, but support has slipped over the last decade, according to the results of a wide-ranging survey from Pew Research Center.

. . .

Half or more respondents in 17 countries are dissatisfied with the way democracy works, a share that has declined since the survey was last performed in 2017.

According to the report, 42 per cent of respondents believe that no political party represents their views.

Though autocracy remains generally unpopular worldwide, with a majority of respondents in all but five countries rejecting it, a worrying share of respondents are open to authoritarian governance. Support for an autocratic form of government has significantly increased across three Latin American countries that were polled, as well as in Germany, India, Kenya, Poland and South Korea, according to the survey.

Count your blessings, and have a good weekend.

–Dana

407 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. Balitsky tried to justify these actions, which constitute war crimes, by claiming that the forced deportation of Ukrainian families was for their own benefit,

    “The Ukrainians went east”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  3. Fourth news item: Or perhaps this was an organized Hamas attempt to take all the aid for Hamas fighters.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  4. In any case, future presidential cycles aren’t at all predictable or plannable

    Nixon was anathema to the Goldwater folks, yet he gained the GOP nomination in 1968 without a great deal of struggle.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  5. Fourth News Item:

    Whatever the truth of the matter, all of the deaths are solely the responsibility of Hamas.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. Fifth news item:

    I’m not sure why Justin Amash entering the Michigan Senate race is a big deal; he has little chance of winning the primary, especially after announcing that Trump committed “impeachable offenses” in 2019. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has already endorsed former Rep. Mike Rogers (who has endorsed Trump), and dissed former Rep. Peter Meijer, who is best known for losing his House seat after voting to impeach Trump.

    Recent polling shows Rogers, who is by far the best candidate, leading Meijer by substantial margins. Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a polling favorite, has dropped out of the race due lack of funds.

    Then again it may all be moot, as a Michigan Republican hasn’t won a US Senate seat in the last 30 years.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. “It’s also understandable why a country is determined to destroy a terrorist group that continues to hold hostages who are suffering under deplorable conditions. Every single bit of what is happening is just overwhelmingly tragic.”

    An international body should be in there working security and organizing the aid distribution. The Israelis are in too tough of a situation to do that. They don’t trust the civilian population and rightly won’t risk their own safety to ensure the relief is distributed properly. The UN has bad actors but somehow it needs to work with the Israelis to ensure more relief is delivered and there aren’t riots. It’s not moral to be content watching civilians die.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  8. 3rd news item Lizzie Biden Cheney’s bogus remarks are particularly despicable knowing that they waited to have this trial till the 2024 election season. But that’s par for the course for the troll that hid information and deleted files about Jan 6th that were exculpatory.

    NJRob (8a4d9a)

  9. We coulda had DeSantis ‘Merica…

    https://www.alligator.org/article/2024/03/uf-eliminates-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-offices

    UF fired 13 full-time diversity, equity and inclusion positions and ended 15 administrative appointments Friday. It also eliminated the office of the Chief Diversity Officer and ended DEI contracts with outside vendors…

    At least the “winnings” doesn’t stop in Florida.

    whembly (5f7596)

  10. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 3/1/2024 @ 10:33 am

    An international body should be in there working security and organizing the aid distribution.

    What international body? Diplomatic efforts are ore or less stopping anybody from helping. There is Hamas-infiltrated UNWRA of course. This convoy consisted of (I assume Muslim) contractors. They ran over people when they were surrounded.

    The Israelis are in too tough of a situation to do that. They don’t trust the civilian population and rightly won’t risk their own safety to ensure the relief is distributed properly. The UN has bad actors but somehow it needs to work with the Israelis to ensure more relief is delivered and there aren’t riots.

    That option is not on the table, at least before an Israeli victory.

    Why should anyone help in distributing the aid? If they cared about the people in Gaza, they’d allow as many people in Gaza as wanted to, to get out of the way of the fighting and into Egypt but that’s been stopped on the grounds that maybe Israel would not let them back in and it would b a repeat of 1948.

    It took all U.S. diplomatic efforts to get Egypt to allow ALL people with foreign passports or visas for other countries or employees of international organizations to leave Gaza and to allow some severely wounded people to be treated in Egypt before being returned back to the hell of Gaza.

    They’re not even trying to negotiate anything that allows ordinary Gazans to seek sanctuary in Egypt. While about 10% of the Knesset might want them all to go and never come back, that’s not even close to a possible Israeli policy. Leaving Gaza is so much off the table, that people aren’t even thinking of it any more. Israel is not even proposing that people in Gaza be allowed to leave temporarily but accepting the united Arab line that, war or no war, the population of Gaza must not be reduced, it is only proposing that Egypt set up (up to nine) refugee camps within Gaza where people can go to keep out of the fighting. There does not seem to be much interest in this idea either. There’s an organized diplomatic effort (by Iran?) conspiracy to make everything not work.

    Now. if they don’t want to let people out into Egyptian territory, or create a safe zone within Gaza why should the same people want to help people??

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  11. Lot of interest in borders except for our own being overrun.

    NJRob (8a4d9a)

  12. It’s not moral to be content watching civilians die.

    , Of course, but Hamas (and Qatar?) wants to use this to turn people against Israel in order to create a wedge between the United States and Israel – or to elect Donald Trump they way Iran elected Reagan. (own goal?)

    Hamas hopes to use things like this in order to survive. Today’s Wall Street Journal has a headline below the fold on the first page that goes:

    Why Hamas Thinks It Still Could Win the War

    Gaza leader bets militants can survive Israel’s onslaught

    Here’s how this article appears online:

    https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/hamas-thinks-it-could-win-gaza-war-with-israel-6254a8c6

    Senior members of Hamas’s leadership in exile met in Doha, Qatar, earlier this month [meaning February – SF] amid concerns that its fighters were getting mauled by an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Enemy troops were killing dozens of militants each day as they methodically overran Hamas strongholds.

    Then a courier arrived with a message from Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, saying, in effect: Don’t worry, we have the Israelis right where we want them.

    Hamas’s fighters, the Al-Qassam Brigades, were doing fine, the upbeat message said. The militants were ready for Israel’s expected assault on Rafah, a city on Gaza’s southern edge. High civilian casualties would add to the worldwide pressure on Israel to stop the war, Sinwar’s message said, according to people informed about the meeting.

    Now this story may not be true – it may only be the story being circulated among Hamas members and friends outside of Gaza, and that’s not how decisions are being made and Sinwar is a puppet.

    For all we know Qatar and Iran are running the negotiations. Earlier, Israel thought that There may be nobody in Gaza capable of making any decisions and that Sinwar was out of touch

    The bottom line is:

    Every bit of criticism of Israel that’s not very, very, careful only prolongs the war and suffering.

    The Biden Administration is being careful, but it is too hopeful of the Arab governments.

    This latest incident has caused President Biden to give up hope a ceasefire (or pause) could be reached by Monday.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. NJRob @11. This is playing with words, and not at all close to correctly.

    You have to stretch the meaning of “borders” and other things in order to say that.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  14. Oh… really?
    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/texas-republican-says-fetterman-can-wear-whatever-he-wants-now-that-hes-come-out-in-favor-of-hr-2/

    Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) told Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram on Thursday he was open to most of what is in House Republicans’ border security bill known as HR-2.

    Fetterman’s support for the bill, which he qualified with some exceptions, drew praise from hardline Republican Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). Pergram spoke to Roy, who told him, “The new and improved Fetterman can wear whatever he wants, if he keeps talking like that…I’m glad to see him talking about ‘hey, there’s some provisions in HR 2 that would actually do the job.’”

    O.o

    My greatest surprised that Fetterman was really an old union supporting blue-dog democrat, than a virulently progressive commie.

    whembly (5f7596)

  15. Laken Riley killing: GOP senators demand Mayorkas release files on migrant murder suspect

    Well, good luck with that. Mayorkas will stonewall and Nevertrump will provide cover. Note that the murderer was let in because he was granted parole. HR2 would’ve curtailed parole authority significantly, whereas the Senate bill would not. HR2 would’ve saved Riley, the Senate bill would not. That won’t stop Nevertrump from repeating Democrat talking points about the Senate bill. It’ll just make them look more ridiculous than usual.

    A minimum standard for any border bill should be whether it would’ve prevented Laken’s murder.

    lloyd (eb3601)

  16. Fourth news item: Putting together the New York Times and Wall Street Journal stories about this (which contain several different kinds of sources) and I also used some of the links from here, and other things I read, to try to piece things together.

    I can say this:

    1. Hamas or Arab media is out with the story first which forces major media to cover it before knowing what in the world happened – and the Israeli military no longer quickly replies because they don’t want to be wrong. Which makes them look bad.. Even when they can say a few things, there is a lot they don’t know.

    2. This was not the first aid convoy like this. It was the fourth (or the fifth) They were coordinated with Israel. There were some 30 trucks. They were not driven by employees of international organizations.

    3. Supplies were headed toward North Gaza. Israel is basically only allowing into Gaza food, water, medicines and material that can be used to build temporary shelters (like tents?)

    4. There was a checkpoint which caused trucks to be backed up. They try to arrive early, and wait for hours.

    5. The initial incident took place before the checkpoint and did not involve any Israeli troops, who were further down the road..

    6. There is a general problem of aid not being able to get delivered into parts of Gaza. Items are stolen, either by people seeking supplies for themselves and their families, or to steal and sell on the black market, or by Hamas – and some people may fall into more than one category. Since October 7 there is no other source of imports into Gaza other than aid, so the existence of black market means things are being stolen because the only other source is things that have been there since before October 7. The black marketers may be professional criminals, and they are often of Bedouin origin.

    7. It had been proposed before that Hamas police be allowed to guard the caravans. This got to the point where it was proposed that the Hamas hired police be allowed to use nightsticks, but not guns, and be without uniforms (so they wouldn’t be Hamas police that way?) but Israel did not accept that.

    8. Because it had become routine (this was the 4th or 5th identical convoy) someone organized a campaign to stop the trucks and steal what was in them.

    9. They recruited a crowd of ordinary people to augment their numbers. Hundreds of people, and then thousands of people, surrounded the trucks. There was a stampede, and people were crushed. Also, to escape, .the trucks ran over people. Which came first is not clear.

    10. Then a crowd (maybe of somewhat different composition) went toward the Israeli positions.

    11. The Israelis first fired warning shots, but this did not stop
    them.

    12. They then fired live bullets at the people who were advancing toward them. And maybe at people who were retreating.

    13. Some people were confused. They may have thought the trucks were Israeli. And the trucks may have had people with guns in them who fired at the crowd.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  17. lloyd (eb3601) — 3/1/2024 @ 12:24 pm

    A minimum standard for any border bill should be whether it would’ve prevented Laken’s murder.

    No immigration bill would have done that. Because nobody knew that a certain person was a potential sex offender. His wife didn;t expect that.

    Of course a bill ordering the immediate detention of anyone with the last name Ibarra, or perhaps anybody who shared certain characteristics with him would have done that. How many thousands would you need to detain — and what about all the native-born sex criminals?

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  18. I saw Fetterman on TV is the last month or two or three. He seems to have been cured from his stroke.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  19. @17 “No immigration bill would have done that. Because nobody knew that a certain person was a potential sex offender. His wife didn;t expect that.”

    You’re being ridiculous. A migrant isn’t granted parole if he just exceeds the lowest of low bars. At least, not in normal administrations. We still don’t know why he was granted parole, and certainly you don’t, so why not deal with the facts as they are known. We do know HR2 is much more restrictive than the Senate bill. HR2 on parole:

    Under current law, the DHS secretary has the discretion to grant parole to individuals on a case-by-case basis, because of urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. H.R.2 would limit that authority. In particular, the bill would:

    – Redefine what it means for parole to be granted on a “case-by-case basis,” so that such grants cannot be made categorically based on membership in a defined class of noncitizens, as the Biden administration did for nationals from Ukraine and Afghanistan;
    – Narrowly define “urgent humanitarian reason” to mostly encompass medical emergencies, the imminent death of a family member in the U.S., or the funeral of a family member;
    – Narrowly define “significant public benefit” to apply to a foreign national who is assisting the U.S. government in a law enforcement matter;
    – Carve out limited exceptions, including for certain Cuban nationals, some spouses and children of active-duty military members, and foreign nationals in Mexico or Canada who have pending immigration hearings in the U.S.;
    – Bar most parolees from legally working in the U.S.; and
    – Generally restrict parole timelines to the shorter of either one year or the required period to accomplish the stated activity for which parole was granted, with limited options to extend.

    If you think Ibarra would’ve been let in anyway, it would only be because Biden didn’t want to follow the law.

    lloyd (eb3601)

  20. Yeah Sammy. All a migrant has to do to secure parole is to say he’s not a sex offender and have his wife back him up. That’s how it works.

    lloyd (eb3601)

  21. You’re being ridiculous. A migrant isn’t granted parole if he just exceeds the lowest of low bars.

    But your argument is based on chance. The fewer people you let in. yes. then maybe the fewer sex criminals, too, but that’s an anti-human policy.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  22. Outside of interviews conducted by a blade runner, there is no way to know if some is pre-disposed to commit a future crime.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. lloyd (eb3601) — 3/1/2024 @ 1:08 pm

    Yeah Sammy. All a migrant has to do to secure parole is to say he’s not a sex offender and have his wife back him up. That’s how it works.

    Well, no. They don’t get asked if they are sex offenders. But there’s no logic to your argument. Even if you did that, it would not stop him. Only things that stopped hundreds of thousands of other people or maybe all males would/ If that was the way to stop them.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  24. Why is the “i” in Finkelman sometimes capitalized?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  25. https://patterico.com/2024/03/01/weekend-open-thread-215/#comment-2766808

    It’s all part of the algorithm to pass the Turing test.

    felipe (5045ed)

  26. @22. “Outside of interviews conducted by a blade runner, there is no way to know if some is pre-disposed to commit a future crime.”

    I didn’t think there could be a more ridiculous response than Sammy’s.

    lloyd (eb3601)

  27. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

    That’s strange. I didn’t mean to put up a link to your comment. Maybe I’m the bot.

    felipe (5045ed)

  28. @22

    Outside of interviews conducted by a blade runner, there is no way to know if some is pre-disposed to commit a future crime.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/1/2024 @ 1:14 pm

    The point isn’t that we should try to have some Minority Report forecast system of when an illegal commits a crime.

    The point is that the illegal shouldn’t have been here in the first place!

    whembly (5f7596)

  29. Item 4 On videos I can hear automatic shots being fired and Israel says its tanks and troops were in the area. This similarities with the warsaw ghetto become greater and the dissimilarities lesser with each passing day. Destroying hamas is needed this is not.

    asset (249564)

  30. If you say Ibarra met only the lowest standard then almost any bill could have prevented it, but still no bill would be guaranteed to since it is a lottery and the lottery won’t stop even if you reduce the number of winners.

    On the other hand any number of different things would have stopped it like a car not passing another hours before so that he didn’t encounter her. A butterfly flapping its wings could have by that reasoning, assuming that you don’t see the hand of God anywhere,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  31. Israel says its tanks and troops were noi near the aid trucks (the stampede and the running over of people) and the people running toward the troops was a separate incident,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  32. Oh.
    https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2024/03/01/james-biden-admits-loan-repayment-to-joe-was-possible-thanks-to-chinese-money-n3783920


    So the news here is that James Biden has finally admitted the money he used to repay that loan came from one of Hunter Biden’s deals with a Chinese company.

    Unfortunately, records show that there was less than $50 in that particular account until James Biden’s wife Sara deposited $50,000 into it. That $50,000 came from $150,000 wired to the Lion Hall Group, James and Sara’s company, just weeks earlier. So eventually, James Biden admits the ultimate source of the funds he used to repay the loan to his brother Joe.

    whembly (5f7596)

  33. Recent polling shows Rogers, who is by far the best candidate….

    Then again it may all be moot, as a Michigan Republican hasn’t won a US Senate seat in the last 30 years.

    Cognitive dissonance.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  34. This probably belongs in the USSC thread, but when I read their question…

    “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

    …it doesn’t apply to the Mount Vermin documents case, because Trump committed his crimes after he was president, so there were no “official acts”. Did I read that correctly? If I did, then there’s really no good reason for Judge Cannon to delay things.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  35. BTW, Dana, I note we read from a lot of the same sources, and they’re good ones if I say so myself.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  36. Judge blocks Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants who illegally enter US
    ………
    Ezra cited the Constitution’s supremacy clause and U.S. Supreme Court decisions as factors that contributed to his ruling. He said the Texas law would conflict with federal immigration law, and the nation’s foreign relations and treaty obligations.

    Allowing Texas to “permanently supersede federal directives” due to a so-called invasion would “amount to nullification of federal law and authority — a notion that is antithetical to the Constitution and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War,” the judge wrote.

    Citing the Supreme Court’s decision (in Arizona v. United States), Ezra wrote that the Texas law was preempted, and he struck down state officials’ claims that large numbers of illegal border crossings constituted an “invasion.”

    More:

    ……….
    The decision by Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra came after a Feb. 15 hearing in which an attorney for the state struggled to defend elements of the Texas law that the judge said clearly conflicted with federal law.
    ……….
    During (February’s) court hearing over SB4, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton argued that the law trespasses on the federal government’s sole authority to set immigration policy and remove noncitizens accordingly. Though the law hasn’t gone into effect yet, he said its pre-emption was in itself injury to the federal government.
    ……….
    “We are not in conflict with the federal government, this is complementary legislation,” (said Ryan Walters, chief of special litigation for the Texas Attorney General’s Office.)

    Ezra noted in court that the law explicitly says that prosecution of the law shall not be abated by federal authorities, and that state authorities assuming the power to deport people, without the direction of judges trained in federal law, is unprecedented. He noted that the law appears to conflict with protections for people who have a right to asylum.
    ………..
    At other points in the hearing, the judge rejected the idea that Texas has the right to respond to migration at the southern border as if it is an invasion, noting that the Constitution refers to “invasion” as militaristic, and there is no evidence that this applies to people migrating. …….
    ……….
    The conflict over the constitutionality of the law was expected. Legal experts, including dozens of immigration judges, warned before SB4 was passed that it violated federal authority. The Republican state senator who authored initial versions of the bill, Brian Birdwell, ultimately voted against it, once deportation provisions were added, saying it was unconstitutional.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. Recent polling shows Rogers, who is by far the best candidate….

    Then again it may all be moot, as a Michigan Republican hasn’t won a US Senate seat in the last 30 years.

    Cognitive dissonance.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/1/2024 @ 1:48 pm

    Not really. The Republicans will nominate someone for Stabenow’s Senate seat despite their electoral non-success.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  38. @34

    This probably belongs in the USSC thread, but when I read their question…

    “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

    …it doesn’t apply to the Mount Vermin documents case, because Trump committed his crimes after he was president, so there were no “official acts”. Did I read that correctly? If I did, then there’s really no good reason for Judge Cannon to delay things.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 3/1/2024 @ 2:07 pm

    I don’t think the delay has to do anything with SCOTUS immunity case.

    It’s more about all the complex pre-trial motion stuff.

    whembly (5f7596)

  39. 34, If they say that taking the documents to Mar-a-Lago ws itself aa crime then it would be something he did while president. He auhorized himself to take them. But he never would haave been prosecuted if he hadn;t resisted returninbg them and tried to hide them even if the law seeems to permit prosecution

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  40. An international body should be in there working security and organizing the aid distribution.

    There’s UNWRA, but they basically work for Hamas.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  41. @30 “If you say Ibarra met only the lowest standard then almost any bill could have prevented it”

    So you’re doubling down on ridiculous. Being clairvoyant about someone’s sexual predator tendencies has nothing to do with securing parole. Parole is granted if the migrant meets certain criteria. HR2 has much more stringent parole requirements than the Senate bill. It’s not even close. Ibarra wouldn’t have qualified under HR2, and that wouldn’t change even if he had zero sexual predator tendencies and that was known via a magic 8 ball. The Senate bill differs little from current parole policy.

    lloyd (da1e26)

  42. 3rd news item Lizzie Biden Cheney’s bogus remarks are particularly despicable knowing that they waited to have this trial till the 2024 election season.

    What exactly was “bogus” about them? True, Garland should’ve moved faster, but Trump is the guy who defied a subpoena, and Jack Smith was appointed not long after.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  43. HR2 would also address this sort of sad ridiculousness the current administration has encouraged. Of course, these kids will get reunited with their abusive parents (who would be in prison if they were American citizens doing this to their kids) at taxpayer expense. Migrants know this in advance and act accordingly. The Senate bill does nothing about this.

    lloyd (da1e26)

  44. He auhorized himself to take them.

    But that authorization expired on 1/20/2021, and they weren’t his personal property.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  45. Lloyd, what do you think the US government should *do* with prepubescent kids who show up wandering around the wilderness in search of their parents?

    aphrael (1797ab)

  46. @45 First of all, acknowledge that they’re “wandering around the wilderness” because current policy encourages it, and therefore current policy is cruel and inhumane. Second, do what HR2 proposes. I’ve shared this link before, a summary by a group that opposes HR2:

    – Explicitly end the existing presumption against detaining a noncitizen child accompanied by family, making it easier for families with minor children to be held in detention indefinitely;
    – Require DHS to reestablish family detention, requiring that parents and children who entered together without authorization be held in immigration detention if the parent is charged with a misdemeanor for improper entry;
    – State the sense of Congress that these amendments satisfy Flores Settlement Agreement requirements, which place strict limits on the detention of minor children;
    – Disallow states from setting licensing requirements for immigration detention facilities holding children or families, even if the state law requires this certification;
    – Amend the bipartisan William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to require the return of all unaccompanied migrant children — not just those from Mexico and Canada — to their countries of origin if they are not trafficking victims and do not express a fear of return;
    – Fast-track removal proceedings for unaccompanied migrant children who may qualify for humanitarian relief, so that hearings take place within 14 days of an initial screening. The initial screenings would occur within 48 hours of apprehension;
    – Extend the timeline to transfer unaccompanied migrant children to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 72 hours to 30 days for those with humanitarian claims, and make the transfer of other unaccompanied migrant kids to HHS discretionary, significantly extending the time that migrant children could be held in border facilities that are not equipped to care for minors;
    – Require HHS to provide DHS with identifying information about sponsors for unaccompanied children, including their social security numbers and immigration status, and then require DHS to place any unlawfully present sponsors in removal proceedings within 30 days; and
    – Change eligibility for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJ) to only apply to youth who could not reunite with both of their parents because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis, instead of the current standard of youth who cannot reunite with one or both parents.

    lloyd (da1e26)

  47. @44

    He auhorized himself to take them.

    But that authorization expired on 1/20/2021, and they weren’t his personal property.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 3/1/2024 @ 2:30 pm

    The argument the defense is going to take is that as President, he’s allowed to designate personal copies of any classified markings under the PRA.

    The fact that he authorized it as President means they’re immediately declassified.

    Regardless, of above, that doesn’t absolve Trump from the obstruction charge. That one has legs.

    whembly (5f7596)

  48. > Explicitly end the existing presumption against detaining a noncitizen child accompanied by family

    OK, so your preference is that children and families be detained. I don’t think this is good for the children *at all* and that’s why the policy currently isn’t to do that, but I can see hwo you get there.

    > Disallow states from setting licensing requirements for immigration detention facilities holding children or families, even if the state law requires this certification;

    So there should be no meaningful outside overside of living conditions within such facilities, and we should just trust DHS to self-regulate? That seems like a recipe for abusive, unhealthy conditions justified by a combination of hostility towards the detained and budgetary constraints.

    > To require the return of all unaccompanied migrant children — not just those from Mexico and Canada — to their countries of origin

    Logistically, how does this work? If we can’t contact family in their home country and get them to pick the kids up, do we just put them on planes and make them the problem of the police in the city where the plane lands?

    Seems cruel to the kids to me.

    > significantly extending the time that migrant children could be held in border facilities that are not equipped to care for minors;

    You’re explicitly calling here for “extending the time that migrant children could be held in border facilities that are not equipped to care for minors.” That seems like a *terrible* idea unless we’re going to enhance those facilities to equip them to care for minors.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  49. @48 I answered your question. The more migrants have incentives to cross, the more who will die doing so. This is a fact you cannot skirt by claiming disincentives are cruel. What is your solution for the situation in the news item I linked? The Senate bill does nothing, so what else?

    lloyd (da1e26)

  50. > So eventually, James Biden admits the ultimate source of the funds he used to repay the loan to his brother Joe.

    I currently have a line item in my accounting talking about $3K i loaned a friend in urgent need (his boiler had failed, in utah, in winter, and he couldn’t afford to get it repaired).

    If he repays me from suspect sources, am I implicated in suspicious activity?

    aphrael (1797ab)

  51. > This is a fact you cannot skirt by claiming disincentives are cruel.

    I can certainly assert that the cruelty of the disincentives makes them not worth considering without alteration to make them less cruel, and I can reasonably suspect at a certain point that — as is commonly echoed on the left — the cruelty is actually the point.

    My overall sense of the Trumpist position on this is that it’s fine to be cruel to illegal immigrants, even their children.

    This is a big part of why I think most Trumpists are objectively evil.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  52. @48

    > Explicitly end the existing presumption against detaining a noncitizen child accompanied by family

    OK, so your preference is that children and families be detained. I don’t think this is good for the children *at all* and that’s why the policy currently isn’t to do that, but I can see hwo you get there.

    Yes, children and families be detained together.

    Otherwise, you’re splitting them up.

    > Disallow states from setting licensing requirements for immigration detention facilities holding children or families, even if the state law requires this certification;

    So there should be no meaningful outside overside of living conditions within such facilities, and we should just trust DHS to self-regulate? That seems like a recipe for abusive, unhealthy conditions justified by a combination of hostility towards the detained and budgetary constraints.

    Yes.

    DHS is an agency that is politically accountible to the President and Congress. Just like any other agency in this country.

    > To require the return of all unaccompanied migrant children — not just those from Mexico and Canada — to their countries of origin

    Logistically, how does this work? If we can’t contact family in their home country and get them to pick the kids up, do we just put them on planes and make them the problem of the police in the city where the plane lands?

    Seems cruel to the kids to me.

    The expectation is for US and those countries to have a system in place to find the home families.

    Furthermore, you need to disincentivize the practice of adults sending their kids, unaccompanied to the US with the expectation to use existing US laws to lawfully migrate to the US because said child is “anchored” in the US.

    Remove that incentive, and watch the numbers of unaccompanied kids plummet

    > significantly extending the time that migrant children could be held in border facilities that are not equipped to care for minors;

    You’re explicitly calling here for “extending the time that migrant children could be held in border facilities that are not equipped to care for minors.” That seems like a *terrible* idea unless we’re going to enhance those facilities to equip them to care for minors.

    aphrael (1797ab) — 3/1/2024 @ 2:50 pm

    It’s also a *terrible* idea to release them to the public.

    Now what?

    We’re faced with a horrible situation whereby perverse incentives are driving the influx of illegal migration.

    whembly (5f7596)

  53. @50

    > So eventually, James Biden admits the ultimate source of the funds he used to repay the loan to his brother Joe.

    I currently have a line item in my accounting talking about $3K i loaned a friend in urgent need (his boiler had failed, in utah, in winter, and he couldn’t afford to get it repaired).

    If he repays me from suspect sources, am I implicated in suspicious activity?

    aphrael (1797ab) — 3/1/2024 @ 3:00 pm

    Are you in political office?

    Also, did you get such fundings from international adversaries?

    Stop be dense and recognize the how compromised the Bidens are.

    whembly (5f7596)

  54. @51 It was a simple question, aphrael. You didn’t answer it. Or, was your answer that I’m evil? That would certainly be the fall back answer from the Left when reasoned discourse isn’t working out for them.

    lloyd (da1e26)

  55. @51

    > This is a fact you cannot skirt by claiming disincentives are cruel.

    I can certainly assert that the cruelty of the disincentives makes them not worth considering without alteration to make them less cruel, and I can reasonably suspect at a certain point that — as is commonly echoed on the left — the cruelty is actually the point.

    My overall sense of the Trumpist position on this is that it’s fine to be cruel to illegal immigrants, even their children.

    This is a big part of why I think most Trumpists are objectively evil.

    aphrael (1797ab) — 3/1/2024 @ 3:02 pm

    F no.

    It’s the Democrats, Biden, progressives and the pro-illegal immigration crowd are bloody evil here.

    The border is a multi-faceted crisis, but not limited to:
    -enriching cartels in drug smuggling
    -enriching cartels in human trafficking
    -Democrats pushing open border policies for political gains
    -Increases in migrant crimes, who otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to stay
    -massive drain on social safety net
    -poor migrants overwhelming hospital systems (the most expense care delivery in the world)

    No. You don’t get to sit there and opine that “Trumpist” are evil, when you sir cannot recognize the very obvious evils perpetuated by open border advocates.

    whembly (5f7596)

  56. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2024-02-27/undocumented-immigrants-in-california-could-have-a-new-path-to-homeownership

    Undocumented immigrants could have a new pathway to the American dream of owning a home.

    Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) introduced Assembly Bill 1840 last month to expand the eligibility requirement for a state loan program to clarify that loans for first-time buyers are available to undocumented immigrants.

    The California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loans program that launched last March by the California Housing Finance Agency offered qualified first-time home buyers with a loan worth up to 20% of the purchase price of a house or condominium. The loans don’t accrue interest or require monthly payments. Instead, when the mortgage is refinanced or the house is sold again, the borrower pays back the original amount of the loan plus 20% of the increase in the home’s value.

    Stealing from American citizens to give to the leftist new voting block. But that doesn’t matter, does it?

    NJRob (8a4d9a)

  57. I was listening to a former Green Beret with multiple combat deployments where he said the most afraid he’d ever been on a deployment was in the middle of an Iraqi riot after sunset during Ramadan when power went out and disrupted Iftar. He told his team before he got out of the Humvee to deal with it, that if he got pulled into the mob they were to hit the spot he disappeared into with the .50 cal. He wasn’t afraid of being killed in combat, being shot etc, he didn’t want to get torn limb from limb

    steveg (278585)

  58. @36: Texas should impose a daily tax of $50 on anyone present in the state who is not legally present according to federal law. Then arrest them for tax evasion.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  59. Not really. The Republicans will nominate someone for Stabenow’s Senate seat despite their electoral non-success.

    The dissonance is describing a Trumpian stooge who cannot win the general election as “their best candidate.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  60. It used to be that the GOP was trying to win elections and majorities. Now it is increasingly about posturing and performance, a path well-paved by the CA Republican Party. They will end up with fewer districts, all very safe, where the path to election is pandering to the Trumpies, but all those nicely gerrymandered 55-45 districts will be lost.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  61. > Yes.

    Is there any other government agency at any level that you trust to be self-regulating?

    > The expectation is for US and those countries to have a system in place to find the home families.

    And if they are from a country where that expectation is objectively unreasonable? What then? Simply deporting them is the equivalent of dumping them on the street in a strange city. Pre-teen children.

    aphrael (cc095b)

  62. > What is your solution for the situation in the news item I linked? The Senate bill does nothing, so what else?

    Reunite them with their families. If they are not citizens and their families are here illegally, go ahead and deport them.

    But fundamentally the *children* here aren’t bad actors and punishing them is immoral.

    aphrael (cc095b)

  63. > Stop be dense and recognize the how compromised the Bidens are.

    My point is that in general we don’t expect people who are owed money to know or care where the person repaying the debt is getting the money to repay the debt, and we don’t assume corruption on the part of the lendor when the debtor repays them out of suspect sources.

    Biden shouldn’t be any different from anyone else in that regard.

    aphrael (cc095b)

  64. > enriching cartels in drug smuggling
    > -enriching cartels in human trafficking
    > -Democrats pushing open border policies for political gains
    > -Increases in migrant crimes, who otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to stay
    > -massive drain on social safety net
    > -poor migrants overwhelming hospital systems (the most expense care delivery in the world)

    which one of these makes it morally acceptable to take preteen children whose parents can’t be found and ship them to another country without first making sure there is someone able and willing to take care of them?

    aphrael (cc095b)

  65. The argument the defense is going to take is that as President, he’s allowed to designate personal copies of any classified markings under the PRA.

    They are going to make that argument, but there is nothing in the PRA that allows a president to designate as “personal copies” documents with classified markings.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  66. > Stealing from American citizens to give to the leftist new voting block. But that doesn’t matter, does it?

    I don’t support this policy because there’s such a severe shortage of housing that any program like this simply constitutes a transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to landowners, who will reap a massive windfall profit from it because it will drive up demand for rentals without actually doing anything to increase supply.

    But it’s not *stealing*, unless you’re going to describe any government loan program as stealing.

    aphrael (cc095b)

  67. > They are going to make that argument, but there is nothing in the PRA that allows a president to designate as “personal copies” documents with classified markings.

    In the Trumpist world, this soesn’t matter. Handling of classified documents is per se an official act and the President is immune from prosecution for anything involving an official act. The only reason anyone would object to this is partisanship.

    aphrael (cc095b)

  68. whembly (5f7596) — 3/1/2024 @ 1:46 pm

    What of it? Didn’t this all occur when Joe Biden was a private citizen?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2024/02/rest_in_peace_andrew.html

    drew Breitbart, conservative raconteur, tea party icon and political hell-raiser, passed away on March 1st, 2012, a dozen years ago today. When I think back I don’t really care why he died, or how he died—I only care that he died, that his voice was silenced, and his death left me with a curiously hollow feeling, a nagging emptiness in the pit of my stomach. That he was never replaced in the political landscape was neither shocking nor unexpected, because Andrew Breitbart was unique.

    My sorrow over the loss of this young man was and is deep, and when I found myself with a few moments of privacy in the days after he left us, the tears on my cheeks were real. I met him once, at a tea party event in Philadelphia, and still have on my desk a photo of us smiling, with his arm around my shoulder. The tea party movement of the time, indeed, all of conservatism, had lost its Samuel Adams: Breitbart didn’t just speak the language of liberty—he thundered it. His importance as a leader in the existential battle for the soul of America cannot be overstated.

    We lost a great one and are worse off for it.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  70. Whembly,

    they know Biden is a compromised crook and they don’t care. He’s their crook who pushes their preferred agenda. All the handwaving is just to muddy the waters.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  71. @62 “Reunite them with their families. If they are not citizens and their families are here illegally, go ahead and deport them.”

    You mean, the families who think it’s acceptable to send their kids alone or with a smuggler across international borders and inhospitable terrain where rape and abuse is not uncommon? There are Americans in prison for doing the same to their kids. Is there a rationale for giving this a pass as long as the parents aren’t US citizens?

    But, yes deport the families. I agree. The Senate bill doesn’t do that. As for evil, I think the Left is okay with the abuse and rapes and deaths, and especially the lawlessness, because the long game boost in Democrat voters is for the greater good.

    lloyd (5852e0)

  72. So Biden is going to airdrop supplies to Hamas. We see what side he’s on.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  73. What I think about the relative honesty and moral worth of the Biden clan and the Trump species is that it’s a good ting that the soil at Mar-a-Lago is too marly and mucky to support the Washington Monument.

    nk (880f93)

  74. @58

    @36: Texas should impose a daily tax of $50 on anyone present in the state who is not legally present according to federal law. Then arrest them for tax evasion.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/1/2024 @ 4:01 pm

    While interesting, not sure if that’s kosher.

    whembly (5f7596)

  75. @61

    > Yes.

    Is there any other government agency at any level that you trust to be self-regulating?

    Honestly… no. But that doesn’t mean they’re not supposed to be receptive to the political realities.

    > The expectation is for US and those countries to have a system in place to find the home families.

    And if they are from a country where that expectation is objectively unreasonable? What then? Simply deporting them is the equivalent of dumping them on the street in a strange city. Pre-teen children.

    aphrael (cc095b) — 3/1/2024 @ 4:53 pm

    Then of course we’d keep them here and give them a home. But, every effort must be made to find and send them back to their family.

    whembly (5f7596)

  76. @63

    > Stop be dense and recognize the how compromised the Bidens are.

    My point is that in general we don’t expect people who are owed money to know or care where the person repaying the debt is getting the money to repay the debt, and we don’t assume corruption on the part of the lendor when the debtor repays them out of suspect sources.

    Biden shouldn’t be any different from anyone else in that regard.

    aphrael (cc095b) — 3/1/2024 @ 4:56 pm

    Except for the fact that Joe Biden is our President.

    whembly (5f7596)

  77. The argument the defense is going to take is that as President, he’s allowed to designate personal copies of any classified markings under the RA.

    Still irrelevant. Agency records such as classified materials don’t fall under the PRA as they’re not presidential records to begin with. They were created by the US government and are the property of same. Under no scenario can documents with classified markings be construed or labeled as personal records. In any case, there’s no evidence that Trump set aside any of his boxes as personal records, let alone declassified the classified materials he took to his country club.

    Ed Whelan at NRO explains it here. I advise a full read.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  78. @64

    which one of these makes it morally acceptable to take preteen children whose parents can’t be found and ship them to another country without first making sure there is someone able and willing to take care of them?

    aphrael (cc095b) — 3/1/2024 @ 4:58 pm

    Every effort should be made to reunite them to their family in their own country.

    whembly (5f7596)

  79. @70

    Whembly,

    they know Biden is a compromised crook and they don’t care. He’s their crook who pushes their preferred agenda. All the handwaving is just to muddy the waters.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/1/2024 @ 5:25 pm

    I think its simply because it’s a justification for their vote of Biden over Trump.

    It’s as simply as that.

    There’s nothing Biden can do that would ever give them remorse for voting for him.

    whembly (5f7596)

  80. Who do you guys think you’re fooling? Whose son-in-law got billions from the Gulf states? Who marketed million-dollar investment visas to the Chinese? Whose golf clubs are hosting LIV tournaments? Who bought Trump’s Superfly sneakers? His super-hero EFTs? If there’s anybody with dollar signs for eyes, it’s the Trump-Kushner crime family.

    nk (880f93)

  81. @77

    The argument the defense is going to take is that as President, he’s allowed to designate personal copies of any classified markings under the RA.

    Still irrelevant. Agency records such as classified materials don’t fall under the PRA as they’re not presidential records to begin with. They were created by the US government and are the property of same. Under no scenario can documents with classified markings be construed or labeled as personal records. In any case, there’s no evidence that Trump set aside any of his boxes as personal records, let alone declassified the classified materials he took to his country club.

    Ed Whelan at NRO explains it here. I advise a full read.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:38 pm

    And I’d advise you to understand that President has full declassification authority. That authority is near plenary. (the only one that is statutorily not plenary are specific things, like our nuclear weapons systems and the likes).

    The defense will be, that those documents were given to Trump as President under his control, and that they were moved out of the Whitehouse while Trump was still President. And they’ll argue that *mere* act is enough to declassify the documents. They will also argue that when he left office, these documents don’t simply just snap back to being classified.

    Its going to be a very murky, knocked down kind of trial that is not as clear as you, Ed and Jack Smith seems to argue.

    Just about the only certainty about this case, is that Trump is in very real jeopardy with those (4?) obstruction charges. Which is not nothing, as each obstruction conviction has prison terms of up to 20 years.

    whembly (5f7596)

  82. https://apnews.com/article/menendez-uribe-federal-bribery-indictment-a7f1d893f1ee387f079161011e9dd37e

    ew Jersey businessman pleads guilty and agrees to cooperate in Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption case

    Leftist criminal behavior not worthy of discussion unless it’s MAGA.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  83. @80

    Who do you guys think you’re fooling?

    It’s the brazen aspect nk.

    What was the Bidens… any Biden offering for the services?

    What was the deliverables?

    Whose son-in-law got billions from the Gulf states?

    That was an investment partnership. A clear deliverable.

    Who marketed million-dollar investment visas to the Chinese?

    Again, same thing.

    Whose golf clubs are hosting LIV tournaments?

    Definitely distasteful, but a colorable justification.

    Who bought Trump’s Superfly sneakers? His super-hero EFTs? If there’s anybody with dollar signs for eyes, it’s the Trump-Kushner crime family.

    nk (880f93) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:47 pm

    K.

    Getting an $40,000 diamond from the CCP connected commie is totes cool, amirite?

    whembly (5f7596)

  84. Whembly,

    whatever helps them sleep at night even though they know deep down they are voting for the destruction of our nation. They just hope they are 6 feet under before it happens.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  85. @82

    Leftist criminal behavior not worthy of discussion unless it’s MAGA.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:49 pm

    I mean, any allegations against the Bidens is only met with some “Buh Trump!” wet noodles…

    Just goes to show there’s no good defense.

    whembly (5f7596)

  86. @77 Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:38 pm
    Let me amend that… I think the defense would argue that moving agency documents (classified or not) to MAL during his Presidency defacto declassifies said documents.

    Ed is likely right that there’s no claims re: PRA.

    And the one thing that I don’t see how Trump wriggles out of, is the obstruction charges.

    Regardless, that is going to be a long slog of a court case, with probably numerous trips to the Circuit/SCOTUS along the way.

    It’d be a miracle if the case is fully adjudicated before November.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  87. And I’d advise you to understand that President has full declassification authority.

    I’ve been “advised” of this for 18 months by Trumpists, ad nauseum, and you’re still wrong and it’s still irrelevant because…

    (1) you have no record of such declassification, anywhere,

    (2) Trump returned 200 classified documents in the first batch of 15 boxes without complaint or exclaiming that he declassified any of those records,

    (3) he made no claim that he declassified the classified materials under subpoena prior to the FBI search,

    (4) his meeting in Bedminster where he waved around a classified Iran battle plan and said that his audience couldn’t see it because it was classified and he couldn’t declassify because he was no longer president,

    (5) some of the materials Trump kept such as nuclear secrets cannot be declassified because they’re protected under law, and most importantly,

    (6) the Espionage Act doesn’t say a single word about classifications, but it does talk about “national defense materials”, which is exactly what those records referenced in the indictment are.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  88. The defense will be, that those documents were given to Trump as President under his control, and that they were moved out of the Whitehouse while Trump was still President. And they’ll argue that *mere* act is enough to declassify the documents. They will also argue that when he left office, these documents don’t simply just snap back to being classified.

    Trump’s lawyers can argue that, but it won’t be correct.

    Rip Murdock (dd6105)

  89. Ben Shapiro has a thread on the DEI nonsense at the prestigious UCLA Medical School.

    We’ve obtained internal emails from UCLA’s medical school — supposedly one of the best in the country. If you want to understand how DEI and anti-white, anti-American hatred have been mainlined into the medical profession, you need to see this.

    I advise a full read.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  90. Regarding Navalny’s funeral, Ms. Ioffe is right.

    As my mother said, “They won’t come out like this for Putin.”

    And every Russian who went there stood tall and stood brave.

    It still remains that Trump hasn’t condemned Putin for murdering Navalny,
    nor has he condemned Putin for his unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful invasions of Ukraine,
    nor the tens of thousands of Putin’s child abductions,
    nor the tens of thousands of Putin’s artillery/missile terrorist attacks,
    nor the tens of thousands of Putin’s war crimes and civilian murders,
    nor for the blood of hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian military on Putin’s hands,
    nor for Putin shutting down whatever remaining freedoms Russian citizens used to have but no longer.
    Trump is okay with all of that, and therefore so is MAGA Mike.

    Regarding Odesa, we’ve seen destroyed buildings like this everywhere Putin has been in Ukraine, and Syria, and Chechnya.

    Putin famously said that Odesa is a Russian city. This is what Russia’s embrace looks like. Odesa, Ukraine, March 2:

    Not only are pro-Hamas terrorists still accepted on elite college campuses, so are campus communists, seen most recently disrupting Timothy Snyder’s Yale history class titled “Hitler, Stalin, and Us”.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  91. There has always been far more evidence of Robert Menendez’s corruption than anything presented against President Biden. Hopefully the DOJ will prosecute Menendez (and his wife) to the fullest extent of the law, and not blow it like they did in 2018.

    But hey, it’s New Jersey.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  92. @31 Israel now admits its tanks fired on people in food line around trucks says their tanks were threatened. (CBS NEWS) Starving woman and children can be very threatening I guess.

    asset (6f9ce1)

  93. @82 What are you talking about the guy is a crook and needs to be in prison. The more corrupt corporate establishment stooges in the slammer the better.

    asset (6f9ce1)

  94. Garvey leading schiff in poll for ca. senate! I know Garvey got had a lot a kids by women and schiff is loathsome ;but still? (LA TIMES)

    asset (6f9ce1)

  95. Mediaite has a piece on the left-wing NYT and its left-wing defenders, who disputed an account by a Mr. Rubinstein’s, but turns out his story was confirmed as accurate.

    Earlier this week Adam Rubenstein, a former New York Times editor scapegoated in the Tom Cotton op-ed affair at the Gray Lady back in 2020, published a tell-all about his experiences at the paper.

    In his lede, Rubenstein recalled being chided for identifying Chick-fil-A’s spicy chicken sandwich as his favorite after being asked a seemingly innocent icebreaker at his orientation.

    According to Rubenstein, an HR rep replied, “We don’t do that here. They hate gay people,” and his new colleagues celebrated the rebuke by snapping. While Rubenstein provided many more serious examples of bias at the Times, it was this anecdote that attracted the most attention online. Many left-leaning journalists just outright denied that such a thing could have ever happened.

    Except there were multiple corroborations to his story, as reported by WA Post media critic Erik Wemple.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  96. Except for the fact that Joe Biden is our President.

    You really don’t get it: There are two sh1t sandwiches on offer. One of them is far and away more sh1tty, but pointing to the other one and saying “That’s sh1t” does not make the first one look any better.

    I did not vote for Joe Biden. I did not vote for Hillary Clinton. I will never vote for Donald Trump. If that is all there is to choose from, I will write in “Dead Richard Nixon” as my preference.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  97. If there’s anybody with dollar signs for eyes, it’s the Trump-Kushner crime family.

    I remember back to 2018 when random news out of the White House made the Dow look like a yo-yo. And I said “I wonder what bets Jared made yesterday?” and figured they were good guesses.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  98. Anyone who voted for Donald Trump in a GOP primary, ever, has my utter and life-long disdain. It’s your fault.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  99. Great post.

    Patterico (ce9eb5)

  100. @96 I vote third party. Last time I had to write in green party candidate. Unless you vote for a recognized candidate your vote is not counted and know one knows you voted. Even leaving it blank is better as 80,000 voters did in Michigan in 2016 where clinton lost by 10,000 votes. Tuesday over 100,000 votes in Michigan primary voted uncommitted infuriating biden and the dnc. With the 40,000+ votes for other democrats on ballot was equal to biden’s margin over trump in 2020. Marianne Williamson’s show has her getting back in the race. What jill stein did to clinton in 2016 she and RFK jr. could do to biden in 2024.

    asset (6f9ce1)

  101. So Biden is going to airdrop supplies to Hamas. We see what side he’s on.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/1/2024 @ 5:57 pm

    Who’s “we,” Rob? I guarantee I’m at least as pro-Israel as you are, and I don’t see what you do. For that matter, neither do Israelis. They prefer Biden to Bibi. They prefer Biden to Trump. Apparently they think Biden’s on their side. I guess they’re Hamas-loving leftists too, huh?

    Opposing airdropping food to hungry people is telling on yourself. It says nothing about Joe Biden. You know who else opposes the airdrops? Actual anti-Israel leftists.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  102. You can virtue signal all you want lurker, but you are on the same side as the guy you quote because you both are supporting Hamas. He through his words and deeds and you through your policies.

    All “aid” will go to resupplying Hamas. Period. They run the show.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  103. We’re America, and we do what we think is right. We don’t have to obey the law of the jungle even if the Palestinians and the Israelis, who both claim that they are fighting for their survival, think that they have no other choice.

    nk (12517d)

  104. F**k, yeah!!! If we don’s “virtual signal”, who the f**k will? Redneck trailer-tran whose idea of Christianity is burning crosses on people’s lawns and hounding 16-year old girls to their deaths?

    nk (398193)

  105. *don’t*
    *trailer-trash*
    When I get intemperate, my typing suffers.

    nk (398193)

  106. Case Study in Projection #1:

    I think its simply because it’s a justification for their vote of Biden over Trump.

    It’s as simply as that.

    There’s nothing Biden can do that would ever give them remorse for voting for him.

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:40 pm

    Case Study in Projection #2:

    whatever helps them sleep at night even though they know deep down they are voting for the destruction of our nation. They just hope they are 6 feet under before it happens.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/1/2024 @ 6:53 pm

    You fellas may want to try taking some Relaxium before bedtime. Mike Huckster-bee swears by the stuff.

    Demosthenes (bb3266)

  107. Anyone who voted for Donald Trump in a GOP primary, ever, has my utter and life-long disdain. It’s your fault.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/1/2024 @ 9:07 pm

    I agree, but I also think people who sneered at Desantis, rejecting him for being conservative, realizing a Romney/Haley option would guarantee Trump’s nomination, really should take the exact same level of responsibility.

    there is no way to overcome Trump without building a bridge between Republicans who want populist reforms (on spending, to immigration and social extremism) and republicans who really just want power and have no ideology (like Haley). This bridge was burnt in 2012, and the party rejected Cruz (believing it was preferable to lose to Hillary than actually reduce spending and have a socially conservative president).

    As we saw, Haley would not campaign against Trump, and she was in his administration. Desantis would have been a miracle, given the great overlap he has with Trump’s supposed (but fake) ideology. Desantis actually does work to secure the border, be responsible with the role of government, and frankly push back that the left has made strides in social politics (which is often a reason Haley supporters reject Desantis, as though we should just not engage on this sort of thing).

    But it certainly could have worked.

    Those who said, over and over, Trump is this existential threat to the country because of the grift and the cheating and the immorality, they could have compromised just a little bit. Desantis was vastly superior to Haley in these areas. Haley made herself rich with her politically gained connections. Desantis did not and has a more relatable veteran background.

    For these reasons, Haley never had a path to nomination. Desantis did. By being this bizarre version of pure that Romney/Haley supporters always are, Trump is the nominee.

    Is that as bad as voting for Trump?

    Perhaps it is. Simply because this judgment that flows from the people who knew they were nominating Trump by rejecting the only alternative.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  108. Dustin (c1324d) — 3/2/2024 @ 6:24 am
    Great comment, Dustin. Thank you for making it.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  109. Spoiler alert for Dune 2.
    I think we’ll catch a matinee tomorrow.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  110. It looks like Manchin was ready to thrown down that arsehole before his aide interceded. That’s how they do it West Virginny, folks. The story here.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  111. Just to be clear, I’m not angry, and I don’t adore Desantis like so many political fanboys love whoever it is they support. that’s one of Desantis’s biggest perks. He’s not that cool, and support for him is reasonable.

    I’m not angry. Just disappointed that the people who said Trump was totally unacceptable were largely lying. They accepted Trump being the nominee again, expecting the democrat to win. Desantis (a bridge) would mean the GOP can be functional, but with the actual popular stuff at the front. That wouldn’t work for Koch I realize.

    I only explain this in hopes that more folks wake up in 2028 and do not support another Haley or Romney by sneering at the most conservative candidate who can win, who also will likely the be only one with a path, same as Desantis was the only one with a real path. It’s easy to ignore that part, so this falls on deaf ears, but those deaf ears generally come with a mouth running and running about how scary Trump is. I have no patience for that. If you rejected Desantis, you accepted Trump being nominated, period.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  112. Being in WA State, I wish I even had a choice for the nomination, but this party isn’t functional, it’s a personality cult, and the personality in charge will brook no dissent, and will have no border deal because he wants to use the issue for the fall campaign, and wants Ukraine to lose because of his erection for Putin.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  113. Well said Dustin. I appreciate your clarity on the issue of our times.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  114. Thanks, man.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  115. You can virtue signal all you want lurker, but you are on the same side as the guy you quote because you both are supporting Hamas.

    Then you are supporting Putin’s rape of Ukraine.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  116. I agree, but I also think people who sneered at Desantis, rejecting him for being conservative, realizing a Romney/Haley option would guarantee Trump’s nomination, really should take the exact same level of responsibility.

    Not buying it. One is primary, the other secondary. One is actual, the other is supposition. One is obvious, the other is a stretch. One is wanting to moderate the error, the other is wanting to correct it.

    The problem with DeSantis was he tried to split the difference with culture war stuff when the opposition to Trump wasn’t interested in culture war stuff. Social conservatives were happy enough with Trump since most of his transgressions involved economics and character. Trump’s supporters didn’t care so much about Trump’s blown-out budgets or the protectionism, and kinda liked the way he opposed immigration, legal or not. Given all that, why should they settle for half a loaf when the whole loaf was still available?

    Haley doesn’t really offer much to social conservatives. To some, that’s an attraction.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  117. When did Trump first call DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious”? It was at some rally somewhere, some time around the 2022 midterms.

    Just trying to establish the brief time period when DeSantis was not ostensibly Trump’s stooge. To all intents and purposes, yes, but not ostensibly, and now they have given up the pretense too.

    The whole GOP primary is a charade, with DeSantis and Haley primarily cast to suck up money and votes from any realistic challenger to Trump, and to inflate his ego with “wins” as the Democrats mop up the courtroom floors with him.

    There is only one “veteran” who might yet save us from Trump before the convention and that is General Paresis.

    nk (902882)

  118. “folks wake up in 2028 and do not support another Haley or Romney”

    “This bridge was burnt in 2012, and the party rejected Cruz (believing it was preferable to lose to Hillary than actually reduce spending and have a socially conservative president).”

    The deeply ironic part of Dustin’s post is that Romney was the only Republican Senator to vote to convict Trump twice….while the deeply principled Cruz not only voted against Trump’s removal but actively enabled his electoral-vote-snatching scheme (and continues to endorse Trump!). This after Trump implied his father was a criminal and that his wife was ugly.

    Otherwise I won’t repeat my DeSantis response from last week except to reiterate my view that had Haley dropped out prior to Iowa, nothing in the polls suggests that DeSantis would have beaten Trump or gotten any closer than Haley got to Trump in New Hampshire and beyond. Nothing.

    DeSantis simply was not persuading the 60% on the MAGA bus. The reality here was that 60 beats 40 whether it’s Haley or DeSantis.

    Now I would further argue whether being skeptical about Ukraine funding, skeptical about NATO support against Russia, skeptical about the benefit of vaccinations, agnostic about reforming entitlements, and antagonistic against businesses expressing their 1st amendment views is especially conservative. Maybe I’ve lost the plot of what it means to be an actual conservative.

    Even with the support of the Governor Ryenolds and Pastor Vander Plaats, DeSantis was 30% behind Trump in Iowa. The GOP base loves Trump regardless of the threat he brings. The problem is a base that does not take serious Trump’s indictments…not the quality of the candidates Trump faces. Like Soylent Green, once agains it’s the people…..

    AJ_Liberty (7a1dc7)

  119. The problem with DeSantis was he tried to split the difference with culture war stuff when the opposition to Trump wasn’t interested in culture war stuff. Social conservatives were happy enough with Trump since most of his transgressions involved economics and character.

    Haley supporters are opposed to social conservatism. They want socially leftist policies, they just don’t want to pay for the resulting harm.

    Cheap social leftists. They’d rather lose economically than let the social contract and responsibility exist.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  120. The deeply ironic part of Dustin’s post is that Romney was the only Republican Senator to vote to convict Trump twice

    Not really.

    Romney simply lacks an ideology and his position at any point in time is not relevant. He’s a smart guy no doubt, and on Russia he sure was right.

    But the fact he’s really good at burning that bridge does not show any irony or even contradiction from my point that his nomination (Romneycare) to overcome Obama really just served to rub in the noses of Tea Partiers that the GOP has no intention of returning to the 1990s.

    Why is 1995 Bill Clinton so far to the right of folks like Haley or Romney? Because Clinton was skilled.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  121. Had Haley not been running, I probably would have been supportive of DeSantis. But blaming Haley for DeSantis’ implosion is an act of denial.

    DeSantis ran a Florida campaign outside of Florida and it didn’t work. His debate performance was filled with half-truths and attacks on every Republican EXCEPT Donald Trump. He took the low road at every opportunity and it turned people off. Only Vivek was less likeable (much less, but still…).

    I do fault Haley for responding to attacks with her own attacks, but she kept trying to bring it back to ideas and policy. But it is hard to do so when you are getting attack-ad-level smears right and left from your opponents. DeSantis showed no willingness to get the debates out of the gutter and for me that is a character issue.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  122. Romneycare

    Oh, please. In a state where the Democrats had 3/4ths of the legislature? He was lucky to avoid NHS.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  123. Reagan brought social conservatives into the party. He fought for them and was one of them. DeSantis is his heir. Haley is Romneycare’s heir who pays lip service but will establish leftist gains.

    I think the thing RINOs hate the most about Trump is overturning Roe. Before that they were able to pretend to be pro-life, but proclaim the law is the law. Now that it’s come down they screech just as much as the left about aborting unborn babies.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  124. Oh and Clinton has one other trait that really sets him apart from Trump (though they have plenty in common). Clinton did have work ethic. He understood he was running something. That’s something Romney and Haley lack entirely. They manage things, barely, but leadership? None. Ever. Look at Boeing or what happened to all those American companies Bain liquidated.

    Again, there’s a reason this notion that America could return to greatness, and that it’s a choice, resonated. Trump was electable, despite all his problems, for a reason. Turning your nose up and accepting that Trump is the GOP is not compatible with the reality that Trump is a threat to democracy. A special threat, that I suppose did not justify much compromise from AJ and Kevin in 2024, 2016, or 2012 (granted we didn’t know what Romney was leading the GOP into… but we know now).

    Think it over and take responsibility. If we’re fortunate enough to have a social conservative who isn’t corrupt, and appears to have a work ethic, as a plausible candidate in 2028, you guys should compromise and get enthusiastic.

    Or don’t. Honestly the GOP seems like a scam and it’s not my party.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  125. . But blaming Haley for DeSantis’ implosion is an act of denial.

    saying things like ‘desantis imploded’ because DCSCA isn’t here to troll under another name is not very smart. He ran a great campaign. Open your eyes.

    Haley flanked him by running more attack ads than the entire Ross Perot campaign cost. She ignored Trump and ran hard against Desantis, even in states where she wasn’t really running a campaign for herself.

    This was the GOP establishment, which funded Haley and endorsed Trump.

    Because the only one with a real path to unifying the three basic blocks in the GOP was desantis. Haley had no path of course.

    Kevin, take responsibility if you’re going to be so angry and judgmental of people who voted a way you don’t like. You rejected the only real alternative to Trump, and if you do it in 2028 again, the same thing is going to happen.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  126. And you can see they feel that way due to their abject silence when the Biden administration terrorizes pro-life beliefs and threatens them with prison for demonstrating publicly for those peaceful beliefs

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  127. Dustin,

    I wonder if you might have a slightly more sympathetic view of Romney, as I do, if you read McKay Coppins’s excellent recent book on Romney, as I have. It certainly does not portray Romney as any kind of hero; he is certainly a flawed man in many ways. But I believe he is thoughtful and well intentioned. And I think Romney displayed important aspects of leadership in that book. He wanted his operations to be frugal and would lead the way by personally flying coach and staying in reasonably priced low-budget hotels, for example. I don’t remember the book going into Bain in too much depth, but I viewed his efforts at the companies they took over as efforts to compete, with companies that were failing. I could be wrong.

    Patterico (ce9eb5)

  128. As for Haley, I’ll be voting for her on Tuesday, and I am happy she is providing me an alternative to Trump. But I am under no illusions that she is a person of backbone. That has not been her history. I still think she will end up endorsing Trump, for example.

    I did not share your enthusiasm for DeSantis. I found his use of government to silence dissent to be chillingly authoritarian. But it was long my intention to vote for him over Trump. The more he slandered law enforcement and took up the dopey populist cause that Trump was a poor victim of the meanies prosecuting him, the more I wondered why I should bother.

    Patterico (ce9eb5)

  129. Open your eyes.

    I watched every GOP debate. Did you? DeSantis sucked and his poll numbers reflected that. I gave him a fair shot and all he could do was attack the other candidates. When he was actually talking about policy and his accomplishments, he dis not strike me as particularly truthful.

    I will continue to favor the Reagan coalition candidates. Sorry if that’s a problem. But, unlike Donald Trump, they do not stand for destruction of America. I hope that Haley runs as an independent. The GOP as it stands needs to be destroyed.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  130. @98

    Anyone who voted for Donald Trump in a GOP primary, ever, has my utter and life-long disdain. It’s your fault.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/1/2024 @ 9:07 pm

    Oh…we agree.

    I was a DeSantis honk long before he jumped into the race.

    But, I also equally have disdain of GOP voters who refuses to coalesce behind a not-Trump candidate.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  131. As I’ve said before, Trump’s nomination was baked in from the beginning. When DeSantis announced his candidacy on May 24, 2023, he was already 31 points behind Trump among Republican voters, a number that grew wider and wider over the course of the campaign. Trump’s message is what they wanted to hear.

    Even if the Lilliputians had consolidated their supporters behind one of themselves, that would still represent a small minority of Republican voters. It would have taken a substantial number of Trump’s supporters to choose another candidate, which they obviously had no interest in doing so, in order to change the current outcome.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  132. I will continue to favor the Reagan coalition candidates. Sorry if that’s a problem. But, unlike Donald Trump, they do not stand for destruction of America. I hope that Haley runs as an independent. The GOP as it stands needs to be destroyed.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 8:47 am

    Cognitive dissonance 101.

    Reagan was a social conservative. He acknowledged that the left betrayed him on his amnesty and went back on securing the border (sound familiar). He was a hawk, but didn’t go around blowing up the world. Peace through superior firepower.

    And as for the rest, you want to destroy the only opposition to leftism yet claim to want to stand against the destruction of America. Those positions are incompatible.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  133. @107

    I agree, but I also think people who sneered at Desantis, rejecting him for being conservative, realizing a Romney/Haley option would guarantee Trump’s nomination, really should take the exact same level of responsibility.

    there is no way to overcome Trump without building a bridge between Republicans who want populist reforms (on spending, to immigration and social extremism) and republicans who really just want power and have no ideology (like Haley). This bridge was burnt in 2012, and the party rejected Cruz (believing it was preferable to lose to Hillary than actually reduce spending and have a socially conservative president).

    As we saw, Haley would not campaign against Trump, and she was in his administration. Desantis would have been a miracle, given the great overlap he has with Trump’s supposed (but fake) ideology. Desantis actually does work to secure the border, be responsible with the role of government, and frankly push back that the left has made strides in social politics (which is often a reason Haley supporters reject Desantis, as though we should just not engage on this sort of thing).

    But it certainly could have worked.

    Those who said, over and over, Trump is this existential threat to the country because of the grift and the cheating and the immorality, they could have compromised just a little bit. Desantis was vastly superior to Haley in these areas. Haley made herself rich with her politically gained connections. Desantis did not and has a more relatable veteran background.

    For these reasons, Haley never had a path to nomination. Desantis did. By being this bizarre version of pure that Romney/Haley supporters always are, Trump is the nominee.

    Is that as bad as voting for Trump?

    Perhaps it is. Simply because this judgment that flows from the people who knew they were nominating Trump by rejecting the only alternative.

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/2/2024 @ 6:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more Dustin.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  134. Trump is certainly a hard work. He has far more bankruptcies, sexual assaults, and fraud cases than Romney.

    AJ_Liberty (7a1dc7)

  135. I think the disconnect I have is that I no longer favor the two-party system. At one point it created useful tension over the issues that the center was concerned about.

    But lately the system doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the center is concerned about. Both parties have devolved into the purer-than-thou internal contests that normally infect third parties. Neither party can talk about immigration reform, abortion laws, gun laws, criminal justice or social welfare without going to the mattresses. It’s either hard-this or hard-that.

    And so, we have party primaries where only the most intransigent and bloody-minded candidates can prevail. Never mind what 60% of the electorate wants or thinks. The electorate is pretty much a Bell Curve on the issues. The two parties now field candidates a good standard deviation off of the center and often more, leaving a vast gulf between them. I’d say a no-man’s land, but it’s really a most-man’s land.

    I’m not sure that this can be fixed, but the best non-structural method is having independents run in the middle and win, so that they can get their minds right.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  136. ……..When DeSantis announced his candidacy on May 24, 2023, he was already 31 points behind Trump……..

    Source

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  137. @111

    If you rejected Desantis, you accepted Trump being nominated, period.

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/2/2024 @ 7:27 am

    Word.

    My frustration was that the #NeverTrumpers never acted like as a voting bloc needed to overcome a Trump victory in the primaries.

    DeSantis, as imperfect as he was, never had the chance because the field was crowded, and the primary GOP voters, donors and national infrastructure was never interested in pitting the strongest not-Trump candidate v. Trump.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  138. Reagan was a social conservative.

    Yet he signed one of the first liberal abortion laws. He favored affirmative action. He closed California’s mental hospitals. He raised taxes when necessary. And not once did he appear at the annual DC demonstration against Roe and he appointed Kennedy to the Court.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  139. the primary GOP voters, donors and national infrastructure was never interested in pitting the strongest NEAR-Trump candidate v. Trump.

    FIFY

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  140. I endorse all of Kevin’s and patterico’s posts. If you look at DeSantis’ campaign and say that it was run wonderfully, you’ve certainly missed something.

    AJ_Liberty (7a1dc7)

  141. Those who said, over and over, Trump is this existential threat to the country because of the grift and the cheating and the immorality, they could have compromised just a little bit.

    Still wouldn’t have made a difference. Trump’s support among Republican voters was so overwhelming that if all the non-Trump supporters had voted for DeSantis he still would be coming in second in a two-person race.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  142. I think the thing RINOs hate the most about Trump is overturning Roe.

    Kevin’s Law: Anyone who uses the term RINO in a debate about GOP candidates has just lost the argument. At least with me.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  143. My frustration was that the #NeverTrumpers never acted like as a voting bloc needed to overcome a Trump victory in the primaries.

    DeSantis, as imperfect as he was, never had the chance because the field was crowded, and the primary GOP voters, donors and national infrastructure was never interested in pitting the strongest not-Trump candidate v. Trump.

    whembly (c88dc4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:03 am

    Given that DeSantis quit after the first primary contest, he didn’t give Republican voters much of a chance.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  144. And once again, the truth is laid clear. As always, this is about socially conservative policies and rhe distain of them some used to silently express, but now they let their freak flag fly.

    Most social conservatives aren’t wealthy, but they gladly traded economic policies to get their chosen social agenda. That’s what made the big tent stand. The Rockerfeller Republicans tried to lead them on. but never delivered. Trump delivered and now the Rockefeller ‘s will destroy our republic to overturn those gains.

    That’s why they are as anti-DeSantis as they are anti-Trump. Jan 6th, Russia and all the other bunk is gaslighting.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  145. Reagan was a social conservative.

    Yet he signed one of the first liberal abortion laws. He favored affirmative action. He closed California’s mental hospitals. He raised taxes when necessary. And not once did he appear at the annual DC demonstration against Roe and he appointed Kennedy to the Court.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:04 am

    And he also signed one of the most restrictive gun laws, setting California on the path to virtually ban firearms for self-defense.

    Rip Murdock (37a45a)

  146. @127

    Dustin,

    I wonder if you might have a slightly more sympathetic view of Romney, as I do, if you read McKay Coppins’s excellent recent book on Romney, as I have. It certainly does not portray Romney as any kind of hero; he is certainly a flawed man in many ways. But I believe he is thoughtful and well intentioned. And I think Romney displayed important aspects of leadership in that book. He wanted his operations to be frugal and would lead the way by personally flying coach and staying in reasonably priced low-budget hotels, for example. I don’t remember the book going into Bain in too much depth, but I viewed his efforts at the companies they took over as efforts to compete, with companies that were failing. I could be wrong.

    Patterico (ce9eb5) — 3/2/2024 @ 8:43 am

    I didn’t mind Romney and thought he’d be an excellent President had he won. He’s obviously a very capable executive and probably more importantly, a decent human being willing to wade into that cesspool that is Washington DC.

    I feel the same way with Haley, that she’d be a decent, if not excellent President in her own right…and I’m on record that I’d vote for her, or Romney if he ran, over Trump.

    But the problem they both have with today’s GOP voters is, at the very least, their refusal to engage in the cultural wars foisted upon us by the progressives that are infesting not only the Democratic party, but in just about every institution.

    Trump has that in spades. Which is why he resonates to many of his voters.

    DeSantis also has that in spades. Which is why he’s so popular in Florida (since Trump isn’t running for Governorship there). DeSantis has JUST made it so that the UF zeroed out the budget for DEI depts/employees. That’s why he should be President one day, and we need someone like this to counter progressive policies.

    The days whereby on the GOP politicians observes The Marquess of Queensberry Rules™, even if their political opponents objects, needs to end.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  147. Kevin’s Law: Anyone who uses the term RINO in a debate about GOP candidates has just lost the argument. At least with me.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:12 am

    From the guy who says most Republicans aren’t Republican because they support a candidate he opposes.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  148. Trump like Reagan was also pro-abortion yet when it came time to federal policies he was a social conservative. That’s why all you can refer to is his early years pre-Presidency.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  149. if all the non-Trump supporters had voted for DeSantis he still would be coming in second in a two-person race.

    A big if. DeSantis had trouble attracting #neverTrump since many of them opposed Trump on policy as well as character. He wasn’t really trying through. His main strategy was to convince Trump supporters that he could do the job better. Maybe that could have worked, but he had no personal charisma and charisma is something that was important to Trump voters.

    So, unable to attract the bulk of non-Trump voters, and unable to convince Trump voters that he was the better choice, he had no path to the nomination.

    If, somehow, Trump is taken out of the process, health-wise or legally, DeSantis will be the nominee, challenged only by Ramaswamy. Haley’s attraction is towards the center, and the center won’t be present in Milwaukee.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  150. In memory of Mr. Navalny, here’s a 25-minute video (thankfully with English subtitles) of his investigation of Paul Manafort, which starts at the 18-minute mark. Navalny had a special skill, using humor to convey his disgust at the Russian oligarchs financially exploiting his country.

    But the video that spelled Navalny’s end (IMO) was his almost two-hour long video of Putin’s Black Sea palace, 190,000 square feet in size and as opulent as any other palace on Earth.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  151. Given that DeSantis quit after the first primary contest, he didn’t give Republican voters much of a chance.

    The gunplay in Pale Rider was more authentic (less formulaic, anyway) than in Shane but it did not make up for the fact that Clint Eastwood still could not direct women.

    I am allowed to be recherché on an Open Thread, right?

    nk (d7cc77)

  152. @139

    the primary GOP voters, donors and national infrastructure was never interested in pitting the strongest NEAR-Trump candidate v. Trump.

    FIFY

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:05 am

    You just keep making my point.

    Either Trump was such a dire civic disaster, that anyone else on the GOP party would be better than Trump.

    Or, he wasn’t.

    The non-Trump advocates never got behind someone who can wrest the Primary from Trump. Pining for Haley ain’t it champ. Before the primary/caucus started, the GOP party and voters should’ve orchestrated such that there would be one non-Trump candidate v. Trump. But, for whatever the reasons, it wasn’t possible.

    It’s as much as your fault as to anyone else why Trump is winning the primary.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  153. And he also signed one of the most restrictive gun laws, setting California on the path to virtually ban firearms for self-defense.

    Indeed. Banning open-carry in response to the Black Panthers demonstrating at the state capitol while armed.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  154. I wonder if you might have a slightly more sympathetic view of Romney, as I do, if you read McKay Coppins’s excellent recent book on Romney, as I have

    Frankly, one of the core problems with our country is how the two party system has also become highly dynastic, and so many of these folks have political connections that are also lucrative business opportunities. The underlying issue is security for the powerful. Was Haley really qualified to help run Boeing? No. It’s a bribe. Was Romney, the architect of a fundamental change in the relationship between government and health (and freedom) really a master at business? Perhaps in a sense, but in a way that obviously traded America away, often to China.

    Whatabout Trump. For sure this is just a caricature now. But same thing.

    But at any rate, I’m not condemning Romney or Haley. I don’t have a personal need to do that. No doubt, Cruz let us down, Desantis surely would eventually. This is more about building a bridge between factions that actually gives the ones with the power, the power. That’s why Haley used her campaign only to thwart Desantis. Because whether the power is with Biden or Trump, that’s better than balancing the budget or securing the border (if you’re the kind of person who can influence who is on the board of Boeing or you need more health insurance sold, or you have a factory in China).

    I don’t agree with voting for Haley today. Even though I realize it’s just a vote against Trump, scoring points for Haley really hurts the GOP in 2028. But that’s not the only basis for a vote. Haley was part of Trump’s administration so I just don’t get supporting the Trump administration again. I’d just vote for the most reasonable democrats, until the GOP comes around.

    As we saw with the House leadership, the fringe is very very powerful in the GOP. It’s only powerful because the party establishment has let populist frustration build and build. There is an outlet, and they will reliably fight that first. Desantis was a greater threat than Trump to folks who supported Haley early on. It’s a free country, if the GOP wants to be that way, I simply am a democrat.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  155. Haley supporters are opposed to social conservatism. They want socially leftist policies, they just don’t want to pay for the resulting harm.

    Yet Haley herself is conservative. She would have signed a bill in South Carolina that banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy had it passed in the legislature.

    No, the real issue is about the personality cult and their cult leader, because it sure ain’t about policy.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  156. I didn’t mind Romney and thought he’d be an excellent President had he won.

    Then why wasn’t he re-elected Governor?

    Running a government, along with working with a legislature, takes something special. A good example of a skilled governor is Howard Dean, or honesty Rick Perry (I did roll my eyes when I typed that), or Bill Clinton. We know Mitt isn’t good at it. We also know Haley isn’t good at it. She has no core ideology. Ask her about a gotcha, like the slavery issue, and she vapor locks. Where Newt Gingrich could answer a novel question by referring to his moral compass, and therefore came across as smart, Romney or Haley cannot. They lack that.

    Of the recent conservative candidates, very few have that. Cruz did, which is why his self-humiliation gets under my nerves so much. Desantis does too, and of course that’s why he’s rejected. Why would we want a real conservative in the white house! Oh dear. Can’t compromise and build a coalition that can beat Trump! He’s so bad. And then the nanosecond he recognizes without the establishment supporting him, he can’t miraculously convince Trump voters to switch (though that was the plan), suddenly nevertrump is saying Trump is an existential threat that must be stopped.

    They didn’t mean it. I meant it.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  157. You just keep making my point.

    DeSantis failed in each and every debate to make his case. I wanted to like him, but couldn’t. He wasn’t alone in this: Tim Scott, who I had donated to, was a terrible disappointment. He proved to be weak and unable to think on his feet, repeating the same simplistic arguments over and over when the debate has gone over his head.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  158. ‘gets under my nerves’

    LOL

    Dustin (c1324d)

  159. We also know Haley isn’t good at it. She has no core ideology.

    I am so done with “core ideology”, especially when it is used as a euphemism for “believes what I do.” We do not have a lack of ideology in today’s politics; quite the opposite.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  160. My frustration was that the #NeverTrumpers never acted like as a voting bloc needed to overcome a Trump victory in the primaries.

    DeSantis, as imperfect as he was, never had the chance because the field was crowded, and the primary GOP voters, donors and national infrastructure was never interested in pitting the strongest not-Trump candidate v. Trump.

    whembly (c88dc4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:03 am

    Well said.

    It is frankly amazing that Desantis outperformed polls when 50 million in attack ads were spent on him, while Haley simply refused to run an ad criticizing Trump, and all the competent experienced Republicans were generally endorsing Trump.

    he ran a great campaign, but he lost because the path required a coalition and compromise from the same folks who let us down in 2012 and 2016. And 2024. And likely will keep doing it. I only mention all this to explain. It literally just happened and if people want to pretend otherwise, they should just get a red baseball cap.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  161. Yet Haley herself is conservative.

    Yeah super conservative ahahahahahaha

    Dustin (c1324d)

  162. Say Paul, how much is Haley’s net worth? What’s her house look like? Why did she run all those attack ads seemingly to stop one candidate, but not to win? If you run millions in attack ads against someone in a state you know you’ll lose, the effect is that Trump has more delegates, which wouldn’t make sense unless Haley … nevermind, I guess!

    Dustin (c1324d)

  163. They want socially leftist policies, they just don’t want to pay for the resulting harm.

    No, they want solutions. Immigration solutions, abortion solutions, entitlement solutions. But they want them through compromise and agreement, not by imposition.

    Trump’s supporters may want them too, but they want them only if they can force the outcome. Otherwise they’ll let them fester (as we saw in the recent immigration bill).

    They’d be OK if Trump “solved” immigration problems at bayonet-point, or with internment camps.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  164. Why did she run all those attack ads seemingly to stop one candidate, but not to win?

    How many attack ads did DeSantis run? How many against Trump?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  165. Yeah super conservative ahahahahahaha

    Define “conservative.” There are some who claim that being a New Deal Democrat is conservative.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  166. Trump complains everyone is against him. It’s so unfair! Now we have someone claiming the same about DeSantis. Even less convincing.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  167. btw it is terrific outside today in most of this country so

    I’m going to go get a cheeseburger and a milkshake with a kiddo or two

    wish you nerds the absolute best day

    Dustin (c1324d)

  168. @157

    You just keep making my point.

    DeSantis failed in each and every debate to make his case. I wanted to like him, but couldn’t. He wasn’t alone in this: Tim Scott, who I had donated to, was a terrible disappointment. He proved to be weak and unable to think on his feet, repeating the same simplistic arguments over and over when the debate has gone over his head.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:34 am

    I thought his debates were stellar.

    But no “not-Trump” candidate was ever going to overcome Trump by themselves.

    There were opportunities, for the not-Trump crowd to coalesce behind ONE PERSON, early on, to go head-to-head against Trump.

    I guess we can forgive the calculous that some where thinking that Trump would succumb to the lawfare he’s facing, or that someone would catch lightning in the bottle and run away from it.

    But anyone looking at the pollings knew early on that Trump had/has a massive lead in support.

    If the concerns was that Trump was such a danger to our constitutional order, the anybody-but-Trump crowd had to ACT like it.

    You wouldn’t take the chance of Trump winning the nomination.

    For whatever reasons, the various factions of the GOP party couldn’t work together to pick a not-Trump candidate. I can only presume that the idea that Trump is such a danger is a distinct minority.

    It’s our own damn fault.

    Now we have to live it.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  169. Back to Biden…

    Here’s why Biden’s own classified document mishandling isn’t going to go away political, while the Trump case is ongoing:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2024/03/why-biden-cooperated-with-the-fbi-in-his-classified-info-case/


    As I’ve countered, however, that would be a sensible rationale for charging Trump with obstruction, but not charging Biden with obstruction — which is what has happened. In no competent, conscientious prosecutor’s office would it be a rationale for not recommending the indictment of Biden on multiple counts of Espionage Act felonies after the same prosecutor’s office has charged Trump with dozens of Espionage Act felonies. And remember, the latter happened only after the Biden Justice Department’s mirror image, the Obama-Biden Justice Department, gave a complete pass to Hillary Clinton who, like Trump, obstructed an investigation.

    And let’s be real: If Trump had done exactly what Biden did, including cooperating with rather than impeding the investigators, does anyone who has lived through the past three years believe that Jack Smith (or Alvin Bragg, or Letitia James, or Fani Willis) would not have charged him anyway?

    Biden apologists want the president to be lauded for consenting to the FBI searches of his residences. But the fact is that many criminal suspects consent to FBI searches. When it is obvious that there is probable cause that evidence of crimes will be found in a suspect’s home or office, resistance is pointless because the Bureau could easily obtain a search warrant from a judge. In Biden’s case, the FBI had mountains of probable cause. Politically speaking, then, an incumbent president calculated that his reelection hopes would not be advanced by having a federal judge find probable cause that he’d committed crimes; ergo, he consented to have his premises searched without a warrant, and then tried to make lemons out of lemonade by boasting about his cooperativeness. We should be glad that the president was cooperative, but it’s not like he deserves a medal of honor for it, much less a declination of prosecution.

    Understand, then, that Biden did not cooperate because he is a well-meaning, law-abiding person. He cooperated because his offenses were so extensive that the FBI needed to search several locations for lots of classified intelligence that he’d willfully retained for decades in violation of federal laws with which he was intimately familiar — laws that, by the time he was found out, he had taken an oath to execute faithfully.

    While we should give Biden credit for cooperating, in his case the cooperation should be seen as a measure of the gravity of his offenses, not as a reason to refrain from prosecuting him.

    Word.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  170. Haley flanked him by running more attack ads than the entire Ross Perot campaign cost. She ignored Trump and ran hard against Desantis, even in states where she wasn’t really running a campaign for herself.

    I seriously doubt that. For one, every candidate except Christie attacked each other while not going after Trump.

    I saw DeSantis’ campaign spiraling when Trump started attacking him when he was within single digits of Trump, and DeSantis basically did nothing to defend himself. His campaign was languishing long before the debates. Last July, his polling plummeted from high 30s a year to the teens before the first debate.

    Haley didn’t start polling in the double digits until last November. DeSantis had his chance, IMO, and he blew it.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  171. Kevin’s Law: Anyone who uses the term RINO in a debate about GOP candidates has just lost the argument. At least with me.

    I do consider myself a RINO, but I’m a RINO who supported the Dobbs decision, so Rob is full of sh-t as usual.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  172. My goodness, the DeSantis stans are out in force today! Must be a change in the weather.

    As someone who is a fan of neither Trump nor DeSantis, I reject any attempts to blame people like me for Trump’s forthcoming nomination because we would not accommodate ourselves to DeSantis as a means of stopping Trump. This rejection is based on two reasons. And if you agree with Dustin and his ilk, and can answer EITHER of my reasons with an actual argument (as opposed to NJRob and his garbage “You’re responsible for the death of America” schtick), I promise to hear you out.

    The first is practical. The moment Trump was indicted in the hush-money case and saw his polling numbers get a bump, every other Republican campaign (including DeSantis’s) was either dead or on life support, assuming it wasn’t already. And that was almost ELEVEN MONTHS AGO now, during which time Trump’s support grew steadily. For DeSantis to clear the field — which I agree that he alone, of all the challengers, was capable of accomplishing — to force a one-on-one showdown with Trump, he would have had to be a near-perfect candidate running a near-perfect campaign. And if you try to tell me either one of THOSE is true, I will just laugh in your face.

    (As a corollary to the first argument, for people who are intent on saying that people like me not voting for Trump will result in Biden’s election — and we are responsible for that because we didn’t accommodate ourselves to DeSantis quickly enough [even though, good God, people, I haven’t even had the chance to bleeping VOTE yet] — I challenge you to outline a realistic scenario in which DeSantis’s nomination would not ALSO have resulted in a Biden presidency, given Trump’s well-known penchant for taking his losses with all the grace and poise of a housecat that just had its tail slammed in a car door…and his equally well-known willingness to tell his voters to stay home when his ego is bruised. I mean, I hope Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both sent Trump flowers to thank him for their Senate seats.)

    The second argument is philosophical. Many people like me who will not vote for Trump take exception to his threats to weaponize government against his political adversaries, or his documented willingness (in word and deed) to subvert the Constitution when it suits him. So I challenge you to tell me why we should accept, as our champion against Trump, someone whose tenure as governor of Florida has been marked by the exact same tendencies. Is it just because he’s done it less, or on a smaller scale? Because I don’t think those are adequate rebuttals. Or is it because you DON’T think he would behave in the same way as president? Because…okay, maybe not, but that’s an argument you actually have to make.

    Again, any arguments against mine will be read, evaluated, and treated with the respect I think they deserve. But let me just say in advance to people like Dustin that I think your primary quarrel is with the millions of Americans who love and support the coup-plotting felonious boor whose nomination you are currently trying to blame on people like me. As opposed to, y’know, people like me.

    Demosthenes (4a6853)

  173. Say Paul, how much is Haley’s net worth? What’s her house look like? Why did she run all those attack ads seemingly to stop one candidate, but not to win?

    1. Her net worth is around $8 million.
    2. Her house looks like this. $2.4 mil buys a lot of house, even on tony Kiawah Island.
    Was there a point to either question?

    3. How did Christie’s media blitz attacking Trump work out?

    Rip is right, there was nothing that was going to stop the Trump juggernaut. And FTR, I preferred DeSantis over Trump, and every other candidate over Trump, except for Vivek Rhymes With Fake.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  174. Early during the Loser’s administration, I came to this conclusion: An honorable and competent conservative could work for the Loser — as long as they did not speak for him. We know that some did just that, and that the nation is better for their sacrifice.

    But speaking for him inevitably made you an accomplice in his endless lies.

    (There are exceptions. For example, I think Jim Mattis was right to resign when he did.)

    Haley served us well, at the UN, which is a difficult assignment.

    Jim Miller (9570a2)

  175. Haley didn’t start polling in the double digits until last November. DeSantis had his chance, IMO, and he blew it.

    DeSantis always polled in the double digits, albeit no higher than the low 20s in May and June until his steady collapse beginning in July. It was downhill from there.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  176. The Loser has adopted Lenin’s strategy, which can be summarized in this brief sentence: “Worse is better.”

    For example, blocking efforts to strengthen our borders makes the nation worse, but betters the Loser’s chance to regain power. Similarly working hard to dive the nation in every way he can is worse for the nation, but better for the Loser.

    Lenin would appreciate his tactics, and would be pleased by the way “Czar” Putin is helping the Loser.

    Jim Miller (9570a2)

  177. #176 “divide”, not “dive”

    Jim Miller (9570a2)

  178. 3. How did Christie’s media blitz attacking Trump work out?

    I’m a firm believer (without any evidence) that if all the Trump alternatives (except Vivek, Trump’s mini-me) had pursued the same approach as Christie, things might have been different. Since Trump avoided the slings and arrows of being a debate target, his opponents should have made him a target over the airwaves.

    But as others have argued, they felt that they needed to suck up to Trump’s voters, never giving them a reason to abandon Trump. They concentrated their fire on each other.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  179. I think your primary quarrel is with the millions of Americans who love and support the coup-plotting felonious boor whose nomination you are currently trying to blame on people like me. As opposed to, y’know, people like me.

    Exactly.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  180. Read any good books lately? I finished “The Rational Optimist” a couple of days ago, and can recommend it, with some qualifications. (I also finished “Troubled Blood”, which I bought to support J. K. Rowling, when she was being attacked by the “trans” folks. I would give that detective story a mixed grade, but I did learn from it, just as I have learned from Tony Hillerman.)

    Right now, I have started on “Justinian’s Flea”, and, after reading three chapters, am impressed.

    Of course, if you somehow haven’t read Thinking, Fast and Slow — and would like to learn to think more rationally — you should read that before any of the three I just mentioned.

    Jim Miller (9570a2)

  181. Here’s Putin’s latest terrorist attack, this time a residential building in Odesa.

    The body of the three months old baby has been found.

    This is the child who became the third victim of the strike on the high-rise residential building.

    Rescuers are looking for 12 more people under the ruins, four of them children.

    Related, here’s Jonah’s moral (and realpolitik) argument for supporting Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself from Putin’s invasion.

    My friend Michael Brendan Dougherty has long made the case that Ukraine isn’t a major strategic concern for us, but it is for Russia. Therefore our cost-benefit analysis is different from Putin’s and we should, in effect, defer to Russia’s ambitions. He also argues that we—i.e., America and the West—essentially provoked Russia by encroaching on its sphere of influence or “near abroad” by trying to peel Ukraine away into the European orbit. He spends a lot of time arguing against bringing Ukraine into NATO, for understandable and defensible reasons given his priors, but I think this is largely an irrelevant issue for the current debate. With one caveat: Talk of bringing Ukraine into NATO is provocative to Putin.

    My first problem with this calculation is that the moral argument for helping Ukraine is waved away, while Russia’s (im)moral argument for turning it into a vassal state is left intact. Wanting to help Ukraine is rendered a kind of pie-eyed idealism disconnected from realist concerns, while Putin’s desire to in effect erase it as a sovereign nation-state along with Ukraine’s desire to be a democracy and Western ally is folded into a defensible realism. Contrary to a lot of his detractor’s claims, this does not make Michael pro-Putin. But I do think it makes him wrong.

    Michael often points out many of the flaws of Ukraine—both real and alleged. He’s troubled by Ukrainian nationalism’s “Nazi issue.” He doesn’t like that it banned 11 parties with close ties to Russia or that it clamped down on the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine for similar reasons. Now, I think his concerns are exaggerated in many regards, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t truth to some of the complaints. None of them amount to reasons, morally or strategically, not to support Ukraine.

    But what I find interesting is how this sort of stuff, usually flung about by people like Vivek Ramaswamy, Candace Owens, and Tucker Carlson with little or none of the precision or fidelity to facts that Michael offers, undermines realist premises. If it’s in America’s cold-eyed amoral interest to see the Russian war machine eroded and to see Ukraine brought into the Western ambit, then what Ukraine does domestically is a side issue. Again, I think Ukraine’s cause is moral and just, and that its desire to be an independent, democratic nation should be supported. But if we’re talking realism, even the caricatures of Ukraine as a bogeyman are irrelevant if we think bolstering Ukraine weakens Russia.

    (Also, as I noted last week, siding with Putin’s imperialism is an indisputable betrayal of the nationalist idealism so popular these days. Ukraine wants to be a sovereign nation-state, not a gelded vassal to a foreign power. If they believe that nationalism is the morally superior cause the nationalists claim it be, they should be cheering for Ukraine, not toadying up to its oppressor.)

    The folks who parrot many of Trump’s talking points—note, I don’t have MBD in mind here—insist how smart and good it would be to be friendly with Russia. Well, there’s no consistent moral framework that can hold on one hand that it would be great to be friends with a far more undemocratic and despotic regime like Russia’s while condemning the idea of being friends with Ukraine on the other. On any moral scorecard Putin’s regime is a reprehensibly evil one, and yet clowns like Ramaswamy heap scorn on Ukraine for not being a “paragon of democracy” and insinuate that Zelensky—a Jew—is a Nazi.

    Which is it? Are we supposed to be offended by immoral regimes or not? If not, then make the case that helping Ukraine is not in our national interest. If moral nature of regimes does matter, then stop making up stuff about Ukraine while denying or dismissing the moral indictments of Russia. Russia, unlike Israel in Gaza, is actually behaving genocidally in Ukraine, trying to erase a culture and a people. It is stealing thousands of children to this end. It is using rape and torture as tools of war. Meanwhile, as the Ukrainian constitution and practical considerations require, Ukraine is postponing an election. But that’s the thing we’re supposed to be offended by?

    I think the moral case for supporting Ukraine is indisputable. The Ukrainians want to fight for their country. We are not making them do it. Indeed, they are begging for the ability to do it. This alone is important. Lots of opponents of aiding Ukraine make it seem as though we are in control of the situation and are somehow forcing this conflict into existence. And that we’re responsible for the Ukrainian death toll. In this vision, Russia is some force of nature without agency and we are prolonging Ukrainian suffering by enabling Ukrainian resistance. I care a great deal about the death toll—on both sides—but we are not morally responsible for it. There’s a certain imperial arrogance to the idea that we know Ukrainian self-interest better than the Ukrainians do.

    I could run through the familiar realist arguments for why we should help Ukraine or rebut many of the faux realist arguments for why we shouldn’t. But that’s been done by many others already.

    But what matters most is where the moral and realist arguments converge right now. Opponents of supporting Ukraine insist that arming it is provocative, but they leave out the fact that one of the things that invited Russian aggression in the first place was our project to disarm Ukraine. In 1994, we facilitated the Budapest Memorandum, which stripped Ukraine of its slice of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. In 2005 we pressured Ukraine to destroy massive stockpiles of conventional weapons. There were good arguments and bad for these decisions. But what gets left out is the fact that we provided assurances to protect Ukrainian sovereignty and security in both instances. And we did it again in 2009. That may seem like ancient history to many today, but you can be sure it’s not to countries that depend on similar assurances—and to countries that are restrained by such assurances.

    But forget the “ancient” history. President Biden said just over two years ago that we will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” For the “not my president” crowd of the right, Biden’s promises not only don’t count but should be opposed simply because the real threat is the “Biden regime” not the Putin regime. But like it or not, Biden was speaking for America and the world listened.

    There are many serious and defensible realist arguments against promiscuously promising support or alliances (and Michael has consistently made such arguments). But promises have been made. And I am not aware of any serious realist argument that doesn’t take the credibility of a superpower seriously. This is where the moral and realist arguments are nigh-upon synonymous.

    In the lead-up to World War II, a lot of principled isolationists opposed U.S. entry into the war. I think they were wrong, obviously. But I don’t think their arguments were as bad at the time as they were revealed to be in hindsight. (If you think the memory of the Iraq War hangs over today’s debates, you should appreciate that the memory of World War I was far more searing.) But once the war started, people like Charles Lindbergh and Taft supported the war. Again, no one is asking anyone to support going to war with Russia. All that is being asked of them is to support America keeping its word.

    Opponents of supporting Ukraine are right that Putin cares about Russia more than we do. But this asymmetric desire comes with an asymmetric cost-benefit analysis. The costs for Russia are wildly greater than the costs for America. Russians are being “asked” (i.e., forced) to die as cannon fodder daily to demonstrate the strength of Russian willpower. They are being “asked” to reconfigure their entire economy and endure ever-increasing domestic repression for the war effort. All that Americans are being asked to do is demonstrate American and NATO willpower by spending a tiny fraction of the defense budget on American-made weapons to a country heroically willing to use them in self-defense—in a morally just cause.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  182. Chris Christie has a new book out: What Would Reagan Do?: Life Lessons from the Last Great President

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  183. Myself, I am reading, in order, all of a different Christie’s Poirot books

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  184. Haley was part of Trump’s administration so I just don’t get supporting the Trump administration again. I’d just vote for the most reasonable democrats, until the GOP comes around.

    Biden has my vote in the general, Dustin. No question.

    Patterico (ce9eb5)

  185. Putin’s Idea of “Peace”:

    ……….
    The document, dated April 15, 2022, sketches out how negotiators on both sides sought to end the fighting by agreeing to turn Ukraine into a “permanently neutral state that doesn’t participate in military blocs,” bar the country from rebuilding its military with Western support and leave Crimea under de facto Russian control.
    ………….
    The draft treaty states that Ukraine, while being allowed to pursue European Union membership, wouldn’t be allowed to join military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. No foreign weapons would be allowed on Ukrainian soil. Ukraine’s military would be pared down to a specific size. Russia sought to limit everything from the number of troops and tanks to the maximum firing range of Ukrainian missiles.

    The Crimean Peninsula, already occupied by Russia, would remain under Moscow’s influence and not be considered neutral. ………
    ………….
    The treaty was to be guaranteed by foreign powers, which are listed on the document as including the U.S., U.K, China, France and Russia. Those countries would be given the responsibility to defend Ukraine’s neutrality if the treaty were violated. But while the treaty held, guarantors would be required to “terminate international treaties and agreements incompatible with the permanent neutrality of Ukraine” including any promises of bilateral military aid. The international security guarantees wouldn’t apply to Crimea and Sevastopol.
    ………….
    Western officials warn that despite two years of costly fighting, Putin maintains his maximalist goals in Ukraine, which includes engineering regime change in Kyiv to ensure a state that does the Kremlin’s bidding.
    …………
    …………. After Putin’s initial attempt to take control of Kyiv and topple the government failed, the document appears to offer the next best thing: a way to cut off Western support for Kyiv.
    …………
    The draft treaty with Ukraine included banning foreign weapons, “including missile weapons of any type, armed forces and formations.” Moscow wanted Ukraine’s armed forces capped at 85,000 troops, 342 tanks and 519 artillery pieces. Ukrainian negotiators wanted 250,000 troops, 800 tanks and 1,900 artillery pieces, according to the document. Russia wanted to have the range of Ukrainian missiles capped at 40 kilometers (about 25 miles).

    Other issues remained outstanding, notably what would happen if Ukraine was attacked. Russia wanted all guarantor states to agree on a response, meaning a unified response was unlikely if Russia itself was the aggressor.……..
    …………..

    Depending on who wins the White House in November, Putin may yet get his “peace.”

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  186. Haley was part of Trump’s administration so I just don’t get supporting the Trump administration again

    What is too bad is not that Mattis, Haley and Tillerson were part of the Trump administration, but that there were not more like them.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  187. Have been on a reading tear for the last couple of years at least. Part of why I don’t blog as much.

    Will have to think about whether to write about any of it.

    Most recently? A bunch of stuff by Ward Farnsworth. Some stuff I should have read a long time back, like: Lolita. Slaughterhouse-Five. David Copperfield. Stuff by Ben McIntyre, like A Spy Among Friends and Rogue Heroes. Re-reading stuff like Animal Farm and 1984 and Brave New World and Road to Serfdom.

    Patterico (98280f)

  188. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld the dismissal of two wrongful death lawsuits against Netflix, which alleged the show 13 Reasons Why prompted the suicide of their teenage daughter and sister. The court concluded that parents’ lawsuit was filed too late under California law, and that the siblings’ lawsuit failed because siblings weren’t entitled to sue for wrongful death.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  189. Yeah, I think reading, writing, and doing other creative things will be more productive, enjoyable, and ennobling than the current political discourse….especially over the next 8 months. We live in awful times where there is not much persuasion, not much courageous leadership, and too much invective. We see too much of people at their worst moments.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  190. No, they want solutions. Immigration solutions, abortion solutions, entitlement solutions. But they want them through compromise and agreement, not by imposition.

    Trump’s supporters may want them too, but they want them only if they can force the outcome. Otherwise they’ll let them fester (as we saw in the recent immigration bill).

    They’d be OK if Trump “solved” immigration problems at bayonet-point, or with internment camps.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:42 am

    Proving yet again Trump is not the singular threat you claim he is.

    It’s policies you are against. Everything else is nonsense .

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  191. One thing I’ve noticed about the Tony Hillerman Navajo detective stories is that they appeal to a wide spectrum politically. As I recall, Bill Buckley liked them, though the two didn’t often vote for the same candidates.

    I like them more for their anthropology than the detective parts, and I like Hillerman’s tolerance for the wide variety of religions found in that part of the Southwest.

    Sometimes both detectives, Leaphorn and Chee, ignore the law in order to bring about what they see as a more just outcome. For example, in one novel, Chee is assigned to find a driver who, drunk, had run over and killed another man. Chee finds him and learns that the man, a grandfather, is the only family a boy who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome has. (The grandfather is sending money, anonymously, to the family of the man he killed.)

    Chee helps protect the two by changing a bumper sticker that could be used to identify the man.

    (This sub-plot is not important to the main story in the novel.)

    Jim Miller (be7a38)

  192. Proving yet again Trump is not the singular threat you claim he is.

    Odd use of “proving” when it’s a non sequitur.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  193. Tony Hillerman Navajo detective stories

    Haven’t read the books, but the Dark Winds TV series based on them (now renewed for a third season) is excellent and pretty much a must watch here in New Mexico.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  194. It’s policies you are against. Everything else is nonsense .

    NJRob (ebf12b) — 3/2/2024 @ 12:43 pm

    You have to try to miss the point this hard.

    Demosthenes (4a6853)

  195. @112 you can vote uncommitted in the primary in washington state which will annoy biden and trump.

    asset (079ab8)

  196. Latest california poll shows biden’s lead cut in half by third party candidates and as 2016 proved the left will actually vote for third party candidates on election day. ( I will too! ) Wont matter in california if biden’s margin is cut in half ;but will in swing states. (yahoo news)

    asset (079ab8)

  197. I’m reading Gethsemene, by Guiseppe Cardinal Siri. Always reading Holy Scripture (Douay Rheims).

    felipe (5e2a04)

  198. You have to try to miss the point this hard.

    Demosthenes (4a6853) — 3/2/2024 @ 1:06 pm

    Nonresponsive.

    NJRob (ebf12b)

  199. Biden proudly and loudly went full neverTrump on the border first month of his term. Biden was so blinded by his prejudice that he refused to evaluate legal, common sense, functioning policies like remain in Mexico on the merits and instead went neverTrump.
    TDS in that instance was real, and also real stupid. 100% on brand for Biden

    steveg (9cecb5)

  200. On Ukraine, there is plenty of legit blame right now on the Republicans, but no one is looking at how all the money that was previously approved for lethal aid was allocated. Biden had plenty of opportunity to send Ukraine what it needed, but he throttled the type of aid too tight and now wants to blame everyone else for his failures. If Biden really cared he’d be using every legal means at his disposal to get aid to Ukraine now, but he is not. The Ukrainians are lacking artillery shells, so why not give them ALL of our old cluster munitions using presidential authority?
    The Ukrainians have said they would gladly accept the risks. Biden is acting like his hands are 100% tied rather than continuing to use every means at his disposal to keep whatever he can flowing.

    The isolationist Republicans are being stupid and Biden is a fraud. Both 100% on brand and proud of it.

    steveg (9cecb5)

  201. From the LA County District Attorney thread:

    The biggest TV advertiser has been Nathan Hochman

    That’s an understatement. I can hardly turn on the TV without seeing a Hochman ad, while I’ve seen exactly zero ads for anyone else. Who’s funding this guy, and what’s the agenda?

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 2/29/2024 @ 4:01 pm

    Money in L.A. County District Attorney Contest: Which Candidates Have Most and Least Banked?

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  202. Trump+5 among RVs in the new Times/Siena poll. +4 among LVs.
    Ultimately, there’s one simple reason: Joe Biden has become very unpopular.https://t.co/q8ashQkkKm pic.twitter.com/h0IUvsVxfB

    — Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 2, 2024

    You could’ve had DeSantis, but you didn’t think Trump was the danger that you claimed so you prevented him from having a chance.

    Enjoy.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  203. You could’ve had DeSantis, but you didn’t think Trump was the danger that you claimed so you prevented him from having a chance.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/2/2024 @ 5:57 pm

    The only thing stopping this from being true is that it’s a total lie, for reasons already laid out in my #172 above. But other than that, kudos.

    Demosthenes (3b30b4)

  204. You could’ve had DeSantis, but you didn’t think Trump was the danger that you claimed so you prevented him from having a chance.

    Enjoy.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/2/2024 @ 5:57 pm

    Bingo.

    Demosthenes provides a telling response, I think. They know you’re right and are just upset … as a trait.

    A lot of folks will tell you they are horrified Trump is still leading the party that they handed to him. An insult is always on the tip of their tongues. Never an effort to build.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  205. You could not have had Desantis, he quit. He quit. He quit before New Hampshire, before S. Carolina, before Nevada, before more than 98% of the country had a chance to vote or not vote for him. He quit.

    Nic (896fdf)

  206. Nic,

    thanks for repeating that point just in case we didn’t understand that.

    but there’s a little more to it than that. Desantis faced an absurd degree of ads against him, many from Haley in states she was not running in herself, intended to help Trump. Trump received tons of help from media, for example preempting debates.

    There was a path to beat Trump, but that required supporting a guy who would actually do the things the GOP pretends it’s about. It required rallying around an actual conservative. Because that didn’t happen, because the folks who claimed they were horrified by Trump were willing to accept Trump over a conservative (again), Desantis quit.

    It’s a shame he did. Conservatives didn’t get a choice at all.

    But it’s basically a lie that ‘you could not have had desantis.’ That was the only viable alternative. His ideology overlaps with Trump’s, and his ethics overlap with what Haley supporters pretend they want. He’s no election thief, for example. We could have had him, but he wasn’t liberal enough for the folks who pretended they were nevertrump. (and as any of Trump’s supporters recall, I am certainly nevertrump myself).

    But oh well. The GOP committed suicide in 2012 when it nominated Romney. seemed obvious at the time. Worrying about whether the GOP is going to make good choices is a waste of time.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  207. Demosthenes provides a telling response, I think. They know you’re right and are just upset … as a trait.

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/2/2024 @ 6:45 pm

    I pre-sponded, Dustin. Even referenced it. #172, above. You might want to read it. There’s a lovely little bit that mentions you. Two of them, actually.

    I don’t know either of you are right. That’s because you can’t know something that isn’t true. I find it telling, by the way, that instead of engaging with my earlier comment as I invited you to, and trying to convince me I was wrong, you both just keep repeating the same crap I had already addressed as though it were worth repeating…and then when I respond as that tactic deserves, you use my response as proof that you’re unassailable.

    No wonder you’ll both be voting for Trump in the fall. That’s his bag too.

    Demosthenes (4a6853)

  208. For of all sad words of tongue and pen,
    The saddest are these, “It might have been.”
    -– John Greenleaf Whittier

    More sad are these we daily see:
    “It is, but hadn’t ought to be.”
    — Bret Harte

    nk (ef6f88)

  209. Seriously, what is the evidence that massive numbers of Trump’s voters were willing to support DeSantis or someone else?

    The answer is that they’re isn’t any such evidence-from the time DeSantis entered the race, all of Lilliputian candidates attacked each other and not Trump. As I pointed out this morning, DeSantis was 31 points behind Trump when he announced-and at time he was the best performing candidate against Trump.

    His strategy of not responding to Trump’s attacks is what cost him (that and his personality, outsourcing campaign decisions etc.) any possibility of challenging Trump.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  210. Those who are mourning the DeSantis “what could have been” primary campaign take it as an article of faith that he could have defeated Trump. It certainly isn’t based on facts.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  211. @207, you’re right about Dustin ducking and repeating assertions that defy logic and evidence.

    I agree with your assessment that Trump winning was a fait accompli once so many in the party released a collective yawn about his building legal problems. Right-wing media reassured them that their yawn was appropriate. Republican politicians voluntarily shoveled the narrative forward….and we get served daily buckets of it here as the Trump rationalizing continues. That’s why I’m skeptical that Rip’s theory of collective opposition would have overcome this. To paraphrase Christie — “they just don’t care”.

    You’re right too about calling out the very imperfect DeSantis campaign. Dustin betrays a grave ignorance by blaming his quick exit on Haley’s ads. If there wasn’t some truth there, they wouldn’t be that effective, especially with big donors. He spent $150M and achieved what exactly? If he couldn’t take Haley’s heat, how would DeSantis stand up to Trump if Trump felt at all threatened?

    But your even bigger corollary conclusion is that even if DeSantis had pulled out a nail biter and won the primary, Trump was NOT going away. This is his only plan for avoiding prison and he will burn it all down before accepting defeat. And his followers will carry the gasoline and wood. So, the GOP had zero chance of winning provided steadfast Trump support. My only hope in all of this carnival was a come-to-Jesus moment that the J6 trial offered….and that sadly evaporated last week.

    I also agree with you about DeSantis’ authoritarian impulses that he demonstrated in Florida not making him a great alternative to Trump. I would add in Ukraine, vaccines, and shipping migrants too….all points that Dustin failed to grapple with. None of that is conservatism. If he struggles with what Haley stands for, maybe start with “none of that crap”. I suppose that’s Dustin’s bridge, but that bridge fell after one freaking contest. DeSantis burned through his money, threw a fit, quit, then endorsed Trump in lightning fashion. And now it’s my fault. Wow, just wow.

    Thankfully I know where to stick that analysis.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6000)

  212. They keep repeating themselves trying to make it seem true.

    But they were never going to support DeSantis. It’s conservative policies that they are against. The rest is just a stage show.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  213. P.S.

    DeSantis is running a growing state successfully and competently in these difficult times.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  214. If DeSantis had never run, we might have Haley. Is that provable? No, but neither is NJRob’s pretend complaint. He’s tickled pink with Trump and to him (and most other of Trump’s sort) DeSantis was only a backup.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  215. @Dustin@206 If you can’t stand the heat of the election process, you don’t belong at the voter’s kitchen table. Maybe you don’t like Haley, but she’s the one who could take the heat.

    Nic (896fdf)

  216. Desatan tried to be a bigger fascist then trump and quite when voters realized what a phony he was. Trump’s appeal is that the establishment, corporate media and deep state/multi national corp. et. al. hate him. Desatan has no appeal. Alferd e. newman has more appeal.

    asset (33e83f)

  217. The bottle deposit crook netanyahu knows when the war ends he is out of power and on trial. The majority of Israelis want this moral reprobate out and he knows it. So he keeps the war going as long as he can to keep out of a jail cell, If woman and children die so be it.

    asset (33e83f)

  218. Kevin, you are being dishonest on all counts. DeSantis was the only one with a chance to bridge the different factions in the party. Haley’s ceiling was always rhe fringe. DeSantis was and still is my first choice.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  219. Big picture, what I see, of the two most recent Presidents, is an uncontrollable man, and totally controlled man. We got here, not against our individual will but, by our collective fiat.

    One of my young-kin’s* favorite, songs was Devo’s Freedom of choice, with a clear, if superficial message.

    Contrast that with a more recent re-make of the same song by Disney in collab with DEVO, that changed the words/visuals (and agruably, the message). But it’s Disney, for the kids, right? By the way, using today’s lens, there’s cultural appropriation, monochromatic skin, zero intersectionality, zero “diversity,”but they got the girl lead right, so not a total loss.

    * Well, they were young in the 80s. Yeah, sorry about the one sentence graphs.

    felipe (5045ed)

  220. So Youtube pushed this Devo interview into my feed. If you like The professor of rock.

    felipe (5045ed)

  221. Still no evidence that DeSantis going head-to-head with Trump gets more than 40%.

    Still no evidence that voters ok with Trump’s indictments wanted Trump-lite….or that they were somehow tricked.

    The primary has been a referendum on Trump…the de facto Republican incumbent… and GOP voters inscrutably and overwhelmingly still love him.

    Now Rob will go and vote for Trump buoyed by the delusion that he can blame NeverTrump. No Rob, this is your monster. You helped create him and unleash him. The GOP base loves the Trump personality. DeSantis was their distant second. The base is OK with a lying, cheating, fraudster, rapist. Come November I suspect you will be too.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6000)

  222. For the fans of The Godfather, an analogy:

    Well, if one can believe that POTUS is the “servant” of the electorate, then one might liken POTUS to a “war-time consigliare” of the true ruler (citizens or shadow elites, pick yer poison). Biden or Trump, which would you say makes a better consigliare?

    felipe (5045ed)

  223. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.

    felipe (5045ed)

  224. DeSantis was the only one with a chance to bridge the different factions in the party.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/3/2024 @ 4:24 am

    Really? How so? Again, I invite you to explain how DeSantis could “bridge the different factions” after knocking off Donald Trump in the primary. You know, the leader of the largest of those factions? And also the sorest loser who ever lost sorely?

    Seriously, THIS is the problem: that there is a core of Trump voters who will not be satisfied with anyone else as long as he is available; that they are large enough to be a force in the general election; and that they would be perfectly willing to stay home rather than vote for anyone who toppled their GEOTUS.

    I freely admit that Haley — or Scott, Pence, Christie, etc. — would not appeal to those voters, and would not be able to bring most of them out in November. But YOUR task, which you continue to evade, is to convince me that DeSantis WOULD be able to do what no one else could, and manage to bring enough Trump voters with him into the general to beat Biden…AFTER knocking off Trump in the primary, with all the creating of bad blood that would entail.

    That’s what you have to prove in order to make your case that people like me are at fault for not uniting behind the one viable alternative quickly enough…you have to prove he actually WAS a viable alternative.

    Last chance to make your case, Rob. You’ve already had many opportunities. But much like DeSantis himself, you are dodging the main issue while giving a thoroughly unconvincing presentation.

    Put up or shut up.

    Demosthenes (3ae2bc)

  225. I reject the premise that Trump considers himself a “servant”.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  226. felipe, always good to see you!

    As for the constant barrage of tedious, thin-skinned insults from the same couple of folks who are upset I pointed out they burned the bridge, yielding to Trump intentionally, undermining their claim he was a serious concern:

    Dustin (c1324d)

  227. Thank you for admitting you can’t make your case, Dustin. I appreciate your honesty.

    Demosthenes (7b76dd)

  228. I will occasionally wonder if the anti-mask lady who did not wear underwear because “things gotta breathe” would have voted for DeSantis.

    Not that I was ever likely to find out anyway, but that’s about the extent of my interest. He is Florida’s problem, and I have not been to Florida in fourteen years.

    nk (d105f6)

  229. Still Equivocating

    ……………
    Asked by NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker, “So you’re no longer bound by that pledge (to endorse Donald Trump)?” ………..

    “No, I think I’ll make what decision I want to make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about,” she said, noting that “if you talk about an endorsement, you’re talking about a loss. I don’t think like that.”
    ………..
    Pressed further about whether voters who will head to the polls in the GOP presidential primary on Tuesday deserve to know where she stands on endorsing Trump, Haley continued to dodge the question, saying, “When you all ask Donald Trump if he would support me, then I will talk about that. But right now, my focus is, ‘How do we touch as many voters? How do we win?’”
    …………..
    ………….. In the same interview with “Meet the Press,” Haley at first wouldn’t commit to endorsing federal protections for fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization.

    “What I support is that we make sure that every parent has the right to have those fertility processes. I had my two children through fertility. I want every parent who wants that blessing to be able to have that. And government shouldn’t do anything to stop it,” Haley said.

    “………… We don’t need to go and create a bunch of laws for something when we don’t have a problem.”

    Minutes later, pressed again about whether there should be federal protections for IVF, Haley said there should be.

    “Yes, to make sure that IVF is there to make sure that parents have it, all of that,” she said.
    …………..
    “What I’ve said is this should be in the hands of the people for the people to decide. They should decide whether their states are going to be pro-life or pro-choice. They should decide whether their states are going to be IVF or not IVF,” she said. “I personally think we want as many fertility options for people as they can. That’s my opinion.”
    ……………

    Based on her IVF comments above, Haley again is straddling the fence. First she said “government shouldn’t do anything to stop it,” then in the next breath says “(the people) should decide whether their states are going to be IVF or not IVF.”

    Which is it?

    Her endorsement of federal protections was half-hearted at best; she should have just said “no.”

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  230. So, Rip, you damn her for saying she’d endorse, and you damn her for saying she might not. There must be a theme here.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  231. As for IVF, the Alabama legislature has clarified the law to make sure that IVF treatments are available.

    The state House bill, introduced by state Rep. Terri Collins, a Republican, would extend civil and criminal immunity to providers of IVF services, and would apply retroactively. The legislation passed by a vote of 94 to 6.

    The state Senate bill, offered by GOP Sen. Tim Melson, affords clinics providing IVF treatments the same protections and received unanimous approval. Each of the bills now heads to the other chamber.

    So, yes, federal legislation is not needed and it is a state matter. She’s a flipping federalist, what is so hard to understand?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  232. Her reason for backing away from her endorsement pledge is based on the RNC becoming a Trump-family satrapy.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  233. Well, if one can believe that POTUS is the “servant” of the electorate, then one might liken POTUS to a “war-time consigliare” of the true ruler (citizens or shadow elites, pick yer poison). Biden or Trump, which would you say makes a better consigliare?

    Neither? False choice. For one thing, I want my consigliere to have a few more IQ points than either of them. Joe used to be smarter than he is now, and is in any event incapable of a quick thought. Donald Trump is ignorant, incurious, arrogant, self-centered AND stupid. Even if he wasn’t a clear and present danger I’d still not want him running things.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  234. As for the constant barrage of tedious, thin-skinned insults from the same couple of folks who are upset I pointed out they burned the bridge, yielding to Trump intentionally, undermining their claim he was a serious concern:

    1) I had ZERO effect on Governor DeSantis’ candidacy.
    2) Nikki Haley had no effect either. Back in April when DeSantis was at 30% and Trump was at 45%, Haley was at 4%. In September, when Trump was at 54% and DeSantis was at 14%, Haley was still at 4%.
    3) If anyone, Vivek Ramaswamy was pulling voters from DeSantis, going from zip to 7% in that same timeframe.

    Governor DeSantis lost it all by himself by being underwhelming in all respects.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  235. Haley did not begin to get traction until DeSantis’ prospects collapsed (going from 30% to 14% is sure and certain death). It was only then that those who opposed Trump began to look for a new champion and settled on her instead of Tim Scott (who was even less whelming).

    It was at that point that the opposition to Trump coalesced around a single candidate. If DeSantis had been holding it together, it would have been around him, but he was old news by then. Most of his support when to Trump anyway, so as “opposition” it was pretty mild.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  236. Dustin (c1324d) — 3/3/2024 @ 8:02 am

    It is always a treat to read you comments, Dustin! I agree with your assessment of other commenters, and I applaud your wisdom in their treatment. I consider “bulding,” good faith arguing, and respectful tone, as three of the qualities you comments high-lite. No one is without flaws, but the respect you extend counts for a great deal to like-minded commenters on this site.

    I do not mind lavishing praise upon you, Dustin, for you have proved yourself deserving of it to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents like myself. If this is our “ilk,” well, we’re in broad company.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  237. I reject the premise that Trump considers himself a “servant”.
    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/3/2024 @ 7:35 am

    As do I, Paul. But the premise is POTUS being “likened” to a servant. I have seen Trump proven a good consigliare to the Electorate in his first (perhaps only term) term – no new wars.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  238. Oh, and Dustin, I forgot your honesty! Thanks to Demos for reminding me.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  239. Nikki Haley had no effect either. Back in April when DeSantis was at 30% and Trump was at 45%, Haley was at 4%. In September, when Trump was at 54% and DeSantis was at 14%, Haley was still at 4%…

    …Governor DeSantis lost it all by himself by being underwhelming in all respects.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 10:24 am

    Here, Kevin makes the classic mistake of using actual facts to try and argue true believers out of their narrative. Doesn’t work with the lefties. Won’t work with the MAGAts either, or the anti-anti-MAGAts who try to pawn blame for their eventual “reluctant” support of Trump onto people who wouldn’t support Governor Great-White-Nope (Mannequin-FL).

    Still, I respect his effort.

    Demosthenes (75ccd0)

  240. So, yes, federal legislation is not needed and it is a state matter. She’s a flipping federalist, what is so hard to understand?

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 10:10 am

    She should just say she’s fine with government (at any level) deciding if IVF treatments should be allowed and that frozen embryos are “extrauterine children” with all the protections of the law.

    The Alabama legislature caved under pressure from Trump and other Republicans who saw the political damage that would ensue if that happened.

    She wasn’t a “flipping federalist” when she proposed identity verification for social media accounts.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  241. And (Reagan) also signed one of the most restrictive gun laws, setting California on the path to virtually ban firearms for self-defense.

    Indeed. Banning open-carry in response to the Black Panthers demonstrating at the state capitol while armed.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/2/2024 @ 9:25 am

    Unfortunately laws apply to everyone, not just a disfavored group. We’re still living with the consequences.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  242. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 10:17 am

    “Neither” is a good choice. But What I proposed was not a false choice but, I will concede that it is an incomplete choice, and I should have included it, but where would the choices end? I could have included other past POTUS’, but no other past POTUS’ are running. You answered my question with good reasons for your choice of “neither.” Thank you.

    felipe (5045ed)

  243. Thank you for admitting you can’t make your case, Dustin. I appreciate your honesty.

    Demosthenes (7b76dd) — 3/3/2024 @ 8:25 am

    Obviously you’re upset you were ignored (a nice way to say you’re trolling), but this is a dishonest summary of my comments, and I request that you admit you were lying about my position, which I detailed quite clearly above, and was not “I cannot make a case.” If anything, your responses to NJ were merely insults and a lack of a real response.

    I believe those are the rules of this blog. Could have changed, as I simply don’t have the time for this kind of thing. It’s also just basic integrity. Your habit of behaving like this makes it unpleasant to discuss anything with you, because you just aren’t willing to do so in good faith. You want to be like Rip/DCSCA? Then I guess you’ll also have to continue complaining that folks like me tend to ignore you.

    I will occasionally wonder if the anti-mask lady who did not wear underwear because “things gotta breathe” would have voted for DeSantis.

    Not that I was ever likely to find out anyway, but that’s about the extent of my interest. He is Florida’s problem, and I have not been to Florida in fourteen years.

    nk (d105f6) — 3/3/2024 @ 8:36 am

    LOL… and yes, probably. The folks were were most upset about COVID responses like masking do seem to love Desantis the most. Hindsight is 20:20 and while I still don’t mind if someone masks up around me, which does happen from time to time, some folks really take it personally.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  244. Biden has my vote in the general, Dustin. No question.

    Patterico (ce9eb5) — 3/2/2024 @ 11:52 am

    Yeah. Except I think the democrats (in power, not the voters) see that as a wasted opportunity.

    Trump is horrible. Beyond ideology. Why not set up another incumbent? Biden isn’t very good at this, and he brings very little to the table other than his administration (which is polarizing). Newsom could run. He’s had more presidential debates than Trump and Biden combined this year. I certainly hope that isn’t what happens. He is a true believer and I disagree with him on everything.

    With the right VP choice (someone who isn’t kooky) and they will take more legislative seats.

    Another Biden v Trump election, which I’d imagine the vast majority of Americans do not want, makes this kind of move a lot less offensive than it would normally be.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  245. More Haley concern trolling. SMH. Whatever will Rip fixate on after Super Tuesday?

    Haley gets my vote because she’s normal and shares enough of my priorities: supporting Ukraine, having the courage to talk entitlement reform, toughening up our posture on the border, a sensible approach to regulation, a tougher stance against China, and a recognition that she’s running to be the President of everyone, not just Republicans or right-wingers. If you’re against Haley at this point, then you are either for Trump or against Republicans. She is the only normal Republican left.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  246. I still don’t mind if someone masks up around me, which does happen from time to time, some folks really take it personally.

    If I am wearing a mask, I am doing it for a good reason (probably because I am ill and don’t want to cough on you). If you object, I’ll take it off and cough on you.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  247. Haley gets my vote because she’s normal and shares enough of my priorities

    Why is this so rare?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  248. So, yes, federal legislation (regarding IVF) is not needed and it is a state matter.

    So you would be ok if other states declared frozen embryos “extrauterine children”, with all the protections of the law? Allowing parents to be prosecuted when they dispose of excess embryos? Or clinics/doctors if they mishandle embryos resulting in their “death”? Allowing states to appoint lawyers to represent the interests of “extrauterine children” in litigation?

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  249. Unfortunately laws apply to everyone, not just a disfavored group. We’re still living with the consequences.

    Well, sure, Reagan had, at times, the same feet of clay that most politicians have. He just didn’t do it a lot. Killing inflation, lowering the top tax bracket from 70% to 28%, making the world save for capitalism, jumpstarting the Long Boom and ending the Soviet Union were some fairly great accomplishments. Sure, some of it didn’t pan out, or had too much pain in the short term, but on balance he was a Great president.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  250. Whatever will Rip fixate on after Super Tuesday?

    I expect Haley to remain a candidate through the primaries, but if she does pull out, Donald Trump.

    Rip Murdock (37a45a)

  251. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:41 am

    I’m voting for Haley. Like Patterico, I don’t think she’ll get the nomination. Unlike Patterico, I’m voting Republican in the General. If Trump goes left on abortion before the general, I’ll write in DeSantis with a clear conscience.

    felipe (5045ed)

  252. So you would be ok if other states declared frozen embryos “extrauterine children”, with all the protections of the law?

    They won’t, because it’s incredibly stupid, both politically and actually. Even Donald Trump can see that.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  253. Do we need national laws to prevent states from being incredibly stupid? That what state voters are there to correct.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  254. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:47 am

    None of which has to do with Reagan as a social conservative, which was being discussed.

    Rip Murdock (37a45a)

  255. So you would be ok if other states declared frozen embryos “extrauterine children”, with all the protections of the law?

    They won’t, because it’s incredibly stupid, both politically and actually. Even Donald Trump can see that.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:49 am

    Alabama did without any prompting. I don’t see why those states that have sharply restricted abortion access shouldn’t take the next logical step.

    Rip Murdock (37a45a)

  256. Haley gets my vote because she’s normal and shares enough of my priorities: supporting Ukraine, having the courage to talk entitlement reform, toughening up our posture on the border, a sensible approach to regulation, a tougher stance against China, and a recognition that she’s running to be the President of everyone, not just Republicans or right-wingers. If you’re against Haley at this point, then you are either for Trump or against Republicans. She is the only normal Republican left.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:41 am

    It’s really over already. Most nevertrumpers would vote for a ham sandwich if it was that vs Trump in the primary.

    Frustrating the conservatives didn’t get a real choice.

    Haley would not reform entitlements and she would certainly not be effective on the border, albeit I can’t see how she wouldn’t be an improvement over biden. She’s simply going to go with the flow and not lead, except of course, she has no path, unlike the candidate she ran simply to thwart (And ensure Trump is the nominee).

    If you’re against Haley at this point, then you are either for Trump or against Republicans.

    Haley helped Trump get nominated. She was in his administration. She’s definitely on the short list to share his ticket. And who isn’t against republicans at this point?

    Dustin (c1324d)

  257. Do we need national laws to prevent states from being incredibly stupid? That what state voters are there to correct.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:49 am

    Assuming the voters disagree. For all we know the voters in Alabama supported their Supreme Court decision.As I said, I doubt the Alabama legislative vote reflects overwhelming support for IVF, it was made under political pressure.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  258. Haley helped Trump get nominated.

    Your arguments in support of this claim are tenuous at best. She never polled any where close to Trump until after everyone else dropped out. None of the Lilliputian candidates, including DeSantis, campaigned against Trump, they campaigned against themselves.

    She’s definitely on the short list to share his ticket.

    Haley has as much chance of being Trump’s VP as DeSantis.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  259. Haley has as much chance of being Trump’s VP as DeSantis.

    Rip Murdock (b97720) — 3/3/2024 @ 12:13 pm

    Actually DeSantis has a better chance of being Trump’s VP. He’s kissed the ring, and while I know he’s said he’s not interested, it may be the closest he gets to the White House.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  260. Haley supporting Ukraine isn’t the issue, it’s how will she convince the MAGA wing of the House Republican Caucus to support Ukraine.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  261. Pretty simple way to get Conservatives to support Ukraine. Secure our border first. Put penalties in place for false claims of asylum and illegally crossing the border. Deport people who are here illegally. Build the wall.

    Times a wasting.

    NJRob (e5c350)

  262. …this is a dishonest summary of my comments…

    It wasn’t a summary. It was an evaluation.

    …and I request that you admit you were lying about my position, which I detailed quite clearly above, and was not “I cannot make a case.”

    You detailed your position. I rejected it on two grounds, which I laid out quite clearly at #172. The door is still open for you to respond, if you wish. It’s all one to me whether you do.

    If anything, your responses to NJ were merely insults and a lack of a real response.

    True at #203, perhaps…although I maintain I was responding in kind to a fairly barbed comment. But emphatically not true at #224. Pointing out factors that people have not accounted for in their arguments IS a “real response.”

    Your habit of behaving like this makes it unpleasant to discuss anything with you, because you just aren’t willing to do so in good faith.

    Not the position that you have taken on my rhetoric during comment threads where we have agreed, I think it’s safe to say.

    You want to be like…DCSCA?

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/3/2024 @ 11:28 am

    Hmmmm. Okay. Message received.

    Demosthenes (75ccd0)

  263. felipe, I’ll just say that the worse consigliere is the one who attempted a soft coup to wrongfully and illegally keep his consigliereship.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  264. felipe, I’ll just say that the worse consigliere is the one who attempted a soft coup to wrongfully and illegally keep his consigliereship.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:12 pm

    No doubt.

    Hence my frustration the GOP let this happen. A little compromise would give us something much closer to what we want. Desantis is just one lame politician in a long line of them who was much closer to what you wanted than what you’re gonna get (good and hard, unfortunately).

    I actually think I first started explaining this in 2011 or 2012, so it’s probably getting old, but think about it. Really. 2028 is our next chance.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  265. Assuming the voters disagree.

    Then they are entitled to their stupid law, good and hard.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  266. It’s really over already.

    The Supreme Court will rule Monday on whether Trump is disqualified.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  267. None of which has to do with Reagan as a social conservative, which was being discussed.

    Wasn’t my claim.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  268. She was in his administration.

    Dustin, stop making that disingenuous statement. Do you think Mattis is a Trumpie?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  269. Haley has as much chance of being Trump’s VP as DeSantis.

    Both have declined.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  270. Haley would not reform entitlements

    Well she was the only Republican to take on the issue in the debates….and DeSantis has swerved from his views that he held in the House. DeSantis is now aligned with Trump.

    https://www.newsweek.com/ron-desantis-social-security-changes-younger-americans-retirement-age-cola-adjustments-1849269

    She’s simply going to go with the flow and not lead,

    Innuendo based on nothing substantive. You’re butt-hurt about DeSantis crashing and burning….boo hoo. If DeSantis was a better candidate, he might have done better and won over a few more MAGA. He wasn’t.

    except of course, she has no path, unlike the candidate she ran simply to thwart (And ensure Trump is the nominee).

    Right now Haley is hitting Trump far harder than DeSantis ever did. The problem is that 60% of the GOP doesn’t care. They are a pass-the-Jim-Jones-Juice-and-let’s-get-on-with-it group. Trump is their favorite TV mobster and they want to tune in for one more season. He is their political Jesus. They’re banking on the system constraining Trump. Now there’s faith…

    https://rollcall.com/2024/02/12/haley-faces-tough-road-back-into-gop-after-taking-on-trump-lawmakers-say/

    Haley helped Trump get nominated.

    DeSantis has endorsed Trump and immediately continued to bad-mouth Trump’s only opposition. DeSantis is on the Trump train. To his credit, he does not beclown himself like Scott…and he shot down the notion of Florida helping to pick up the Don’s legal tab.

    She’s definitely on the short list to share his ticket.

    Just as she floats out there that she might not support the nominee? Yeah, I think Trump needs someone who will go all-in on defending him against his indictments. DeSantis has a better shot at this point but his social awkwardness is probably not what Trump wants to market. It will be Noem, Gabbard, Stefanik, or Lake…in part depending on whether the J6 trial magically drops before November. If you listen to DeSantis, it sure sounds like he blames rallying around the indictments and right-wing media…more than Haley.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4422017-desantis-conservative-media-indictments-helped-trump/

    DeSantis has set himself to come back in 2028…provided the party is not enthralled with wacky populism and wants Tucker or Don Jr. It’s a ways away. I still see Trump facing accountability…eventually. What follows is unknowable.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  271. I should have included it, but where would the choices end?

    All lists eventually end in a “+”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  272. Just as she floats out there that she might not support the nominee? Yeah, I think Trump needs someone who will go all-in on defending him against his indictments.

    Probably true.

    But he’s gotta win. he has some very pressing legal reasons he’s gotta win. cynically, Tulsi would be a good choice. Haley would be his best choice as she’s largely been quite loyal to Trump in a way his other competitors haven’t been – certainly their campaign staffs have worked well together this year.

    DeSantis is on the Trump train.

    Obviously false, but I realize this blog has a certain lefty flavor these days unfortunately and you probably even believe this. Desantis technically endorsed Trump, but in the most mild way he could without breaking his pledge (an obligation he had). Trump has not hidden his outrage, and has been blasting Desantis as recently as yesterday. But no, Desantis is walking that tightrope successful conservatives are walking these days, and he’s doing it much better than anyone else is. Compared to Cruz, he’s great on this aspect, and Desantis’s criticisms of Trump were persuasive and in comparison really expose Haley’s fake campaign.

    DeSantis has set himself to come back in 2028

    I’m not big on this next in line thing. Desantis happened to be the conservative mandate this round, as Cruz was last round, and I guess Rick Perry? was in 2012. He is term limited and will likely run again, but whoever happens to be the compromise the Romney supporters are sneering at: that’s who it will take to fix the party. The GOP simply is not a coherent block and the awkward coalition requires compromise.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  273. She’s definitely on the short list to share his ticket.

    Just as she floats out there that she might not support the nominee?

    Playing Devil’s Advocate (the Devil being Trump), maybe she’s just playing hard-to-get. Trump is going to have a hard time holding on to Haley’s voters, and he needs them. Of course if she joins the ticket, SHE might not hold onto them either (let’s ask our host).

    Let’s see what the Court rules tomorrow.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  274. DeSantis has set himself to come back in 2028

    There might not be an election in 2028, and the rules for selecting the next Trump-for-Life might be wildly different.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  275. Aside to Simon: “The Sound of His Wings”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  276. Dustin, stop making that disingenuous statement.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:40 pm

    no

    She spent an insane amount of money on Desantis ads, and none on Trump, even though he was the quasi incumbent. There was no winning for Haley if she didn’t effectively campaign against Trump, and she wouldn’t, because winning the nomination was patently not her intention. And she was absolutely in Trump’s administration and can be held accountable. That’s as far from disingenuous as you can get. It’s a fact.

    Now a little test: Desantis probably will actually say some nice things about Trump at the convention. It will annoy me. But I am betting Haley is much more outspoken in Trump’s corner. I bet at some point she says she is open to being his VP.

    Let’s see if I’m wrong.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  277. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has endorsed Haley. She also told an NBC reporter (who said this on Meet the Press) that she would not vote for Trump, and also not for Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  278. 169,

    l: If Trump had done exactly what Biden did, including cooperating with rather than impeding the investigators, does anyone who has lived through the past three years believe that Jack Smith (or Alvin Bragg, or Letitia James, or Fani Willis) would not have charged him anyway?

    I think so, because it would look too political, and also they wouldn’t want the precedent (plus risk having the whole law invalidated upon appeal)

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  279. The Roman Republic had a number of close calls before Julius and Augustus.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  280. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:46 pm

    You are right, of course.

    felipe (5045ed)

  281. Haley would be his best choice as she’s largely been quite loyal to Trump in a way his other competitors haven’t been – certainly their campaign staffs have worked well together this year.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. I don’t think Trump would pick a “birdbrain.”

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  282. The Supreme Court will rule Monday on whether Trump is disqualified.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:36 pm

    It won’t be a close call; 7-2 or 6-3 overruling Colorado’s disqualification of Trump from their ballot, saying only Congress can make that determination. The Court doesn’t want to be the match that lights the MAGA powder keg.

    Rip Murdock (b97720)

  283. It won’t be a close call; 7-2 or 6-3 overruling Colorado’s disqualification of Trump from their ballot, saying only Congress can make that determination. The Court doesn’t want to be the match that lights the MAGA powder keg.

    Those are not the only two outcomes.

    1. They could uphold Colorado. They won’t, that way lies chaos.

    2. They could rule, as you suggest, that 14.3 is not self-executing and that Congress has to define a procedure for adjudicating claims. While this may seem likely, the history of 14.3 is that many people were disqualified after the Civil War with no such Congressional procedure. This could be any vote total.

    3. They could rule that either J6 was not an insurrection or that, given all available evidence, there is no proof that Donald Trump aided or participated in the insurrection. This is terribly unlikely.

    4. They could rule that J6 was an insurrection, that 14.3 is self-executing, and that they, the Supreme Court, have determined that Donald Trump did aid or participate in that insurrection and is therefore disqualified. This would have to be unanimous or nearly so. I give it a slight chance only because it’s the obviously correct thing to do.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  284. If they rule as #2, I actually expect a plethora of opinions ranging from full on “he should have been disqualified” dissents to some mealy-mouthed talk about presidents not being officers.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  285. The Court doesn’t want to be the match that lights the MAGA powder keg.

    “Cowardice” is a much shorter way to say that. And once again our institutions fail us against the wannabe Caesar. “Rubicon? What Rubicon?!”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  286. I don’t think Trump would pick a “birdbrain.”

    She has 50 IQ points on him.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  287. I bet at some point she says she is open to being his VP.

    “Sour grapes” are supposed to be about what YOU wanted, but could not have, not about what other people wanted.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  288. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/oct/09/nikki-haley-donald-trump-praise-each-other-after-her-resignation-video

    And then on Jan 7th she said much different things. I bet that Trump said nice things about Hillary once.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  289. Let’s see what the Court rules tomorrow.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:52 pm

    There’s nothing to see. There are few things as certain as that the Court will rule Trump isn’t disqualified.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  290. Two basketball records set this weekend:

    Iowa’s Caitlin Clark passes Pete Maravich for scoring record
    …………..
    On senior day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Clark entered the game against Big Ten regular-season champion Ohio State needing 18 points to pass Maravich, who scored 3,667 points in his three seasons at LSU from 1967 to 1970.

    She did that in the first half and then finished the game with 35 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in No. 6 Iowa’s 93-83 victory over No. 2 Ohio State. It ended the 15-game winning streak of the Buckeyes, avenged Iowa’s overtime loss at Ohio State in January and put Clark at 3,685 career points………..

    And in the NBA:

    LeBron James reached 40,000 points Saturday night, still going strong in his 21st NBA season as he tries to put the career scoring record out of reach.
    ………….
    James did it in 1,475 regular-season games, reaching double-digit points in each of the last 1,205 of them.…….
    ………….
    James’ combination of longevity and sustained excellence is what makes it entirely likely he could be the only player to ever reach 40,000 points.

    To put the feat in perspective, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic will need to average 25 points over his next 1,057 appearances to join James at 40,000 points. That would be nearly 13 full seasons without injuries or any other unforeseen circumstance, all the way past age 41 without a drop in production for the two-time MVP.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  291. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 4:03 pm

    The insurrection was barely mentioned at the Supreme Court’s hearing. I doubt it will be discussed much (if at all) in their opinion(s).

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  292. Haley has as much chance of being Trump’s VP as DeSantis.

    Both have declined.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 1:40 pm

    They say that now, but of course they haven’t been formally asked. If Trump did ask one of them to join the ticket (admittedly a long shot), either one could make the calculation that it would be in their political interest to do so to be there if Trump needed to leave office. They would also be the presumptive front runner in 2028.

    Of course, Haley would need to sell her soul, but she’s already sold quite a bit of it.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  293. The best thing I saw today: Gene Kelly and Sugar Ray Robinson.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  294. Gotta say that although he was the target of my insults that got me banned from this comment section two years ago, I’m really enjoying Dustin’s comments today. It’s great to read his full-throated defense of DeSantis.

    I can understand 100% why people don’t want Trump/BOAR any more than they want Biden. You all should see my X/Twitter feed as I am most definitely NOT Trump Train material. BUT… if you also don’t want DeSantis, then as far as I can tell, you enjoy having Democrats step on your neck. Anyone who thinks Ds aren’t at least as dictatorial and dismissive of what people actually want for the USA, lives in a fantasy world.

    Patterico, hope you’re reading. I’m willing to publicly apologize here to Dustin for a few years ago (and clean up my act for the future) if you’re willing to take me out of moderation.

    qdpsteve again (4c3ff7)

  295. Nikki Haley reports in emails that at one Missouri caucus location, her supporters were herded by organizer into the center of a room, where the were surrounded by Trump’s supporters and berated by the mob.

    It’s what’s coming, folks.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  296. The insurrection was barely mentioned at the Supreme Court’s hearing. I doubt it will be discussed much (if at all) in their opinion(s).

    Yes, at the end, the Trump lawyer was asked about that and basically didn’t want to discuss it. Do you think this is because the Court didn’t know if this was an insurrection or not?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  297. Of course, Haley would need to sell her soul, but she’s already sold quite a bit of it.

    Trump is the one who sold his soul, and long ago. Do you suppose that he gets so much evangelical support because they hope he’s the harbinger of the end times?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  298. @283, I’ll take a #4 with a fortune cookie

    AJ_Liberty (dc8045)

  299. Haley can now brag that she won a primary. Sure, it’s DC, but it’s a primary!

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  300. Yes, at the end, the Trump lawyer was asked about that and basically didn’t want to discuss it. Do you think this is because the Court didn’t know if this was an insurrection or not?

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 5:57 pm

    It was the elephant in the room that no one wanted to discuss.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  301. @q@296 Or they just aren’t big government conservative. I’m a moderate and a realist. I don’t want Desantis (I don’t want Trump more). I’d very much prefer Haley to be the R nominee because I can live with either Haley or Biden.

    (I understand that getting Haley as the R nominee is very unlikely unless there is a sudden change of Trump circumstances at some point, like maybe a change of life-state, but I’d still prefer her.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  302. Do you think this is because the Court didn’t know if this was an insurrection or not?

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 5:57 pm

    Since there was no factual record presented to the SC as to whether there was an insurrection or if Trump was an insurrectionist (witness testimony with cross examination, etc.) there was nothing in the record which would allow the justices to make a determination.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  303. Haley can now brag that she won a primary. Sure, it’s DC, but it’s a primary!

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/3/2024 @ 6:12 pm

    I’m torn as to how to react to this. On the one hand, DC is the smallest and least significant primary, since Republicans could never win it in the general. On the other hand, this does mean Trump can’t run the table. That will make Trump’s performance definitively less impressive than Biden, especially since Biden, one primary where he wasn’t even on the ballot.

    (This comment assumes that Biden survives primary season, of course. Which, you know, he probably will. But you definitely can’t take it for granted.)

    Since there was no factual record presented to the SC as to whether there was an insurrection or if Trump was an insurrectionist…there was nothing in the record which would allow the justices to make a determination.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce) — 3/3/2024 @ 6:26 pm

    Actually, I don’t think that’s true. The first judge in Colorado found that Trump had engaged an insurrection as a part of her findings, if I remember correctly. She declined to apply 14.3 to him because she didn’t think the text applied the disqualification to the presidency. The Colorado Supreme Court then ruled 4-3 to mostly uphold, and partly overturn, her decision. And I think the ruling on disqualification was the only thing they overturned. If true, that means there was a judicial finding that Trump engaged in insurrection, and it is a part of the trial record.

    IANAL, obviously. And the likelihood that the Supreme Court will disqualify Trump on these grounds is only mathematically above zero. But still, worth thinking about.

    Demosthenes (3ae2bc)

  304. Trump can just declare that the DC primary was rigged. Run by the Deep State to embarrass Trump.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  305. I had already thought of that, Paul. And I suspect I might hear it tomorrow.

    Demosthenes (3ae2bc)

  306. The hardest part of voting in a Republican primary is that you have to admit that you are a Republican.

    nk (4d0f74)

  307. Washington DC doesn’t want Trump. Now that comes as an absolute shock.

    Derp.

    BuDuh (a38941)

  308. Trump posted:

    I purposely stayed away from the D.C. Vote because it is the “Swamp,” with very few delegates, and no upside. Birdbrain spent all of her time, money and effort there. Over the weekend we won Missouri, Idaho, and Michigan – BIG NUMBERS – Complete destruction of a very weak opponent. The really big numbers will come on Super Tuesday. Also, WAY UP ON CROOKED JOE!

    Dana (8e902f)

  309. @305 “On the other hand, this does mean Trump can’t run the table. That will make Trump’s performance definitively less impressive than Biden, especially since Biden, one primary where he wasn’t even on the ballot.”

    Truly an impressive feat for Biden.

    But, keep crowing. Being the most popular Republican in DC is like being the most popular Israeli in Gaza.

    lloyd (f2d5d7)

  310. Tole ya! Nepotis (that’s The Niece in Latin) (Mitt Romney’s niece for those from Rio Linda) only held the primary to give Primo (as in Carnera) (as in Trump) cheap wins.

    nk (6c45b4)

  311. The hardest part of voting in a Republican primary is that you have to admit that you are a Republican.

    nk (4d0f74) — 3/3/2024 @ 6:55 pm

    I love your wit man, but I really do think 99% of the commenters here would make more of a difference if they voted in democrat primaries.

    Just vote for the least bad democrat, and after 2-3 election cycles, the really whacky stuff would be back on the fringe.

    Gotta say that although he was the target of my insults that got me banned from this comment section two years ago, I’m really enjoying Dustin’s comments today. It’s great to read his full-throated defense of DeSantis.

    I apologize for that. I have no memory of it, but I can definitely make some fine enemies.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  312. Since there was no factual record presented to the SC as to whether there was an insurrection or if Trump was an insurrectionist (witness testimony with cross examination, etc.) there was nothing in the record which would allow the justices to make a determination.

    The Colorado case below had a week-long adversarial trial of those facts. There was also the Senate trial. There is plenty of information to go on to arrive at what is a CIVIL determination.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  313. In 1868, all that was needed was examination of some records. Took oath, check. Served in Confederate government or military, check.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  314. The hardest part of voting in a Republican primary is that you have to admit that you are a Republican.

    It’s why I do it by mail

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  315. I really do think 99% of the commenters here would make more of a difference if they voted in democrat primaries.

    Hardly. Whether I vote for the gun-grabbing socialist who wants to outlaw private schools, or the gun-grabbing socialist who wants to prevent the return of pretrial detention for “alleged” murderers, I am still voting for someone I disagree with 99% of the time.

    Why should I do that? Even if I could more the needle, and I can’t, the needle is so far into “TILT” that it’s not worth worrying about.

    OTOH, I can easily pick between Trumpist stooge and #neverTrump. I may lose this time, but I’ll feel much better having made the effort.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  316. And, btw, DeSantis is now an official Trumpist stooge.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  317. The hardest part of voting in a Republican primary is that you have to admit that you are in the same party as Donald Trump.

    FIFY

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  318. Why should I do that? Even if I could more the needle, and I can’t, the needle is so far into “TILT” that it’s not worth worrying about.

    Um OK. Strange attitude to take if anyone who thinks Trump is better than Biden is a ‘stooge’ who cannot be supported.

    But the truth is that the fringe on the left is pretty small, and moderates entering the democrat party would overwhelm them in many local contests of great importance.

    The GOP going into the wilderness is only one benefit. The democrats used to be pretty reasonable (compared to both parties today).

    think about it.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  319. @320

    Why should I do that? Even if I could more the needle, and I can’t, the needle is so far into “TILT” that it’s not worth worrying about.

    Um OK. Strange attitude to take if anyone who thinks Trump is better than Biden is a ‘stooge’ who cannot be supported.

    But the truth is that the fringe on the left is pretty small, and moderates entering the democrat party would overwhelm them in many local contests of great importance.

    The GOP going into the wilderness is only one benefit. The democrats used to be pretty reasonable (compared to both parties today).

    think about it.

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/3/2024 @ 8:06 pm

    I legitimately cannot vote for any Democrats.

    Not when most are pro-open border and anti-2nd amendment.

    Dunno if you seen my story this last year here, but I’m effectively a single-issue voter. My son’s best friend OD’ed on fentanyl-laced weed and I have zero respect for any Democrat who says that they can secure the border and fight the narco-terrorists.

    (in before ya’ll get on my case for not supporting the Senate’s immgration bill recently… ya’ll go can go to hades. That bill was a monstrous grab-bag that would actually facilitate the mass migration)

    whembly (c88dc4)

  320. @283

    It won’t be a close call; 7-2 or 6-3 overruling Colorado’s disqualification of Trump from their ballot, saying only Congress can make that determination. The Court doesn’t want to be the match that lights the MAGA powder keg.

    Those are not the only two outcomes.

    1. They could uphold Colorado. They won’t, that way lies chaos.

    2. They could rule, as you suggest, that 14.3 is not self-executing and that Congress has to define a procedure for adjudicating claims. While this may seem likely, the history of 14.3 is that many people were disqualified after the Civil War with no such Congressional procedure. This could be any vote total.

    3. They could rule that either J6 was not an insurrection or that, given all available evidence, there is no proof that Donald Trump aided or participated in the insurrection. This is terribly unlikely.

    4. They could rule that J6 was an insurrection, that 14.3 is self-executing, and that they, the Supreme Court, have determined that Donald Trump did aid or participate in that insurrection and is therefore disqualified. This would have to be unanimous or nearly so. I give it a slight chance only because it’s the obviously correct thing to do.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 4:03 pm

    The path of least resistance AND least political is #2.

    #2 is probably the most justifiable outcome, as Congress did indeed define what *is* an insurrection.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  321. Dustin, I’ll take that as, you accepting my apology. Thanks for sharing grace. 🙂
    God knows the world needs it.

    qdpsteve again (4c3ff7)

  322. But the truth is that the fringe on the left is pretty small, and moderates entering the democrat party would overwhelm them in many local contests of great importance.

    Maybe in Texas.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  323. #2 is probably the most justifiable outcome, as Congress did indeed define what *is* an insurrection.

    No, they defined what the criminal penalties are for an insurrection. Disqualification is not a criminal matter.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  324. The path of least resistance AND least political is #2.

    The road to hell IS the path of least resistance.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  325. @172 *cracks knuckes*

    I’ll get it a shot Demo…

    My goodness, the DeSantis stans are out in force today! Must be a change in the weather.

    As someone who is a fan of neither Trump nor DeSantis, I reject any attempts to blame people like me for Trump’s forthcoming nomination because we would not accommodate ourselves to DeSantis as a means of stopping Trump. This rejection is based on two reasons. And if you agree with Dustin and his ilk, and can answer EITHER of my reasons with an actual argument (as opposed to NJRob and his garbage “You’re responsible for the death of America” schtick), I promise to hear you out.

    Here me out here…

    I’m not just blaming just you or any other not-DeSantis voter.

    I’m blaming ALL OF US. As in, all voters who either did or did NOT vote in the primary.

    There weren’t enough of us grassroots, donors and GOP elites who can plainly see that Trump was running in 2024 and can plainly see that not one anti-Trump candidate had the momentum to unilaterally fend off the other anti-Trump candidates and Trump at the same time.

    We needed to have a more strategic coordination to fend off Trump, and unfortunately that never manifested, and what we had was a traditional political brawl that benefitted Trump the most.

    The first is practical. The moment Trump was indicted in the hush-money case and saw his polling numbers get a bump, every other Republican campaign (including DeSantis’s) was either dead or on life support, assuming it wasn’t already. And that was almost ELEVEN MONTHS AGO now, during which time Trump’s support grew steadily. For DeSantis to clear the field — which I agree that he alone, of all the challengers, was capable of accomplishing — to force a one-on-one showdown with Trump, he would have had to be a near-perfect candidate running a near-perfect campaign. And if you try to tell me either one of THOSE is true, I will just laugh in your face.

    He did NOT run a perfect campaign.

    Which is very unfortunate, as it’s obvious the DeSantis kicked ass in Florida. It’s just that, he was late into campaign season jumping into a crowded field, which was perfectly fine with Trump.

    (As a corollary to the first argument, for people who are intent on saying that people like me not voting for Trump will result in Biden’s election — and we are responsible for that because we didn’t accommodate ourselves to DeSantis quickly enough [even though, good God, people, I haven’t even had the chance to bleeping VOTE yet] — I challenge you to outline a realistic scenario in which DeSantis’s nomination would not ALSO have resulted in a Biden presidency, given Trump’s well-known penchant for taking his losses with all the grace and poise of a housecat that just had its tail slammed in a car door…and his equally well-known willingness to tell his voters to stay home when his ego is bruised. I mean, I hope Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both sent Trump flowers to thank him for their Senate seats.)

    If DeSantis was the nominee… he’d win the Presidency easily.

    In fact, I think Democrats would panic and desperately try to push Biden out for a newcomer to take his place.

    The age differences and general competency alone would have been stark.

    The second argument is philosophical. Many people like me who will not vote for Trump take exception to his threats to weaponize government against his political adversaries, or his documented willingness (in word and deed) to subvert the Constitution when it suits him. So I challenge you to tell me why we should accept, as our champion against Trump, someone whose tenure as governor of Florida has been marked by the exact same tendencies. Is it just because he’s done it less, or on a smaller scale? Because I don’t think those are adequate rebuttals. Or is it because you DON’T think he would behave in the same way as president? Because…okay, maybe not, but that’s an argument you actually have to make.

    Its a moronic take to believe that DeSantis would be “just like Trump, only nicer and lighter”.

    It’s almost not worth responding to, because to me, the only way you would hold that sentiment is if you have some irrational animus towards DeSantis.

    So, I’ll instead, extend some grace and answer your question with another question:

    Please tell me how DeSantis would be a dictator, authoritarian or whatever you accuse of Trump now, that DeSantis would emulate?

    The whole point of DeSantis, was that he *could* have been that bridge between the MAGA voters and other GOP factions.

    Again, any arguments against mine will be read, evaluated, and treated with the respect I think they deserve. But let me just say in advance to people like Dustin that I think your primary quarrel is with the millions of Americans who love and support the coup-plotting felonious boor whose nomination you are currently trying to blame on people like me. As opposed to, y’know, people like me.

    Demosthenes (4a6853) — 3/2/2024 @ 10:20 am

    Am I frustrated with the MAGA voters pushing Trump?

    Yep.

    I want to win. It’s simple as that. And the Trump being the candidate is like playing a game at the hardest difficulty setting.

    We had choices, like Haley/DeSantis/Vivik, which would have fared better in the general election imo.

    But I don’t really place the full blame squarely at the MAGA voter’s feet.

    Anyone can see the Trump would be a viable and potent candidate during the GOP primary.

    And if Trump was someone that enough of us believed was such a non-starter, it would have been incumbent for all #NeverTrump to find the ONE candidate that can a) beat Trump in the primary and b) be electable in the General Election.

    Maybe that could’ve been Haley.

    Maybe DeSantis would be more effective, as I believed so.

    But, my point, is that before the start of the primary campaign, we need a “not-Trump” candidate, and for everyone else to stay out. The fact that we had a crowded field, and Trump refusing to debate… only helped Trump in the long run.

    So, yes Demosthenes I blame you.

    I also blame me.

    I blame Koch Bros.

    I blame Dustin.

    I blame Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Vivik R., Chris Christie and all of the GOP primary candidates.

    If you are nominally a GOP voter, yes, I blame you too.

    I. BLAME. THE. GOP. IN. IT’S. ENTIRITY.

    We had our chances, and for whatever reasons an anti-Trump candidate simply couldn’t generate the necessary momentum to credibly take on Trump.

    But here’s the thing: I refuse to take my ball and go home while the game is playing.

    To me, that cowardice.

    I’m stuck with a Trump GOP candidate.

    And I what the Democrats to lose. That’s my overarching goal.

    If that means voting for Trump… so be it.

    And if our esteemed host and others want to label me some “civic disaster” because I’m willing to look past Trump’s bad behavior… what you really should be thinking is:

    Why would Whembly vote for “the coup-plotting felonious boor” over Joe Biden’s Democrat party?

    Are the Democrat party really that bad? What does he see here that allows whembly to overlook Trump’s behavior?

    If you ask…

    …I just might tell you. 😉

    whembly (c88dc4)

  326. @324

    #2 is probably the most justifiable outcome, as Congress did indeed define what *is* an insurrection.

    No, they defined what the criminal penalties are for an insurrection. Disqualification is not a criminal matter.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 8:26 pm

    We’ll see tomorrow.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  327. My son’s best friend OD’ed on fentanyl-laced weed and I have zero respect for any Democrat who says that they can secure the border and fight the narco-terrorists.

    I’m very sorry.

    Fentanyl kills a lot of Americans. It’s basically warfare. Just one more reason to like Desantis, as I do think he sees the threat in real terms. If we started bombing cartel infrastructure I would be thrilled.

    The border is one of those areas where even Reagan was naive, but at this point, it’s not an accident. Frankly it is shocking how lenient the law is on fentanyl compared to meth (also a poison of course).

    I almost said something along those lines myself, that Biden’s record on the border is especially dangerous, and perhaps enough of a threat that Trump isn’t the no-brainer rejection. But alas, I really can’t support Trump. It’s so frustrating we’re being offered this choice. And the GOP totally could have avoided it, given the MAGA guys someone worthy of their support, and given the rest of the party someone with the respect for law and moral values I thought they were after.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  328. Most likely result in Trump qualification case:

    No clear majority, with 3 or more opinions concurring in part.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  329. Or a per curiam opinion for the court, with multiple opinions explaining the justices’ individual views.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  330. I’m blaming ALL OF US. As in, all voters who either did or did NOT vote in the primary.

    Trump has led polling among Republican voters long before the primaries began.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  331. Thank God that miracles like this still happen.
    And I agree with the rep from TX.

    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/texas-republican-says-fetterman-can-wear-whatever-he-wants-now-that-hes-come-out-in-favor-of-hr-2/

    qdpsteve again (4c3ff7)

  332. No, Trump didn’t say it was rigged.

    “I purposely stayed away from the DC Vote because it is the ‘Swamp,’ with very few delegates, and no upside. Birdbrain spent all of her time, money and effort there. Over the weekend we won Missouri, Idaho, and Michigan – BIG NUMBERS – Complete destruction of a very weak opponent. The really big numbers will come on Super Tuesday.”

    Regrettably, Trump is right about the no upside of DC and the greater importance of the other states. But the deutschebag is never far below the surface.

    “Birdbrain is a loser, record low performance in virtually every State. DeSanctus easily beat her in Iowa for a VERY DISTANT second place, and then she ran up to the podium, before he had a chance to do so, and claimed victory. I enjoy watching the Bird disavow her PLEDGE to the RNC and her statement that she would NEVER run against President Trump (‘A great President’). Well, she ran, she lied, and she LOST BIG!”

    Trump refused to sign the RNC pledge.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  333. Trump has led polling among Republican voters long before the primaries began.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce) — 3/3/2024 @ 9:12 pm

    Stupid is as stupid does, and stupid wants Trump.

    norcal (78a694)

  334. Stupid is as stupid does, and stupid wants Trump.

    I wish it was that simple, but it isn’t. There are many reasons why individuals are discontent and want to tear everything down. Trump is a very blunt instrument, but they don’t seem to care.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  335. You’re partly right though — Trump himself is a very stupid man, but he’s also canny and charismatic.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  336. There are many reasons why individuals are discontent and want to tear everything down.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/3/2024 @ 9:37 pm

    I should have said “ignorant” or “misguided”. These people are throwing political tantrums, and Trump’s namecalling is like catnip to them.

    I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like comparing Trump supporters and professional wrestling fans.

    norcal (78a694)

  337. I should have said “ignorant” or “misguided”. These people are throwing political tantrums, and Trump’s namecalling is like catnip to them.

    I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like comparing Trump supporters and professional wrestling fans.

    norcal (78a694) — 3/3/2024 @ 9:53 pm

    I tell you what, those wrestling fans are even bigger losers than ever because their wages have been pushed so low thanks to illegal immigration, and their expenses have been pushed way up through corporate and banking welfare, and loan forgiveness, and frankly all kinds of crap. Boomers are retiring early with social security these loser wrestling fans are paying for, but won’t enjoy. And many of them lost friends in the sandbox and the same leadership that said it was worth their lives gave up on the whole cause when it became expedient.

    I can’t imagine why these folks think the system is rigged, or why Putin was able to use our social media addiction against us.

    Losers! Who vote for some reason.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  338. Those are all valid issues, Dustin, but we don’t need to elect Trump in order to deal with them.

    norcal (78a694)

  339. @332 Don’t blame voters. Nikki Haley wins her first primary by 63% Super tuesday next.

    asset (52f291)

  340. Those are all valid issues, Dustin, but we don’t need to elect Trump in order to deal with them.
    norcal (78a694) — 3/3/2024 @ 10:27 pm

    I completely agree with you, norcal.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  341. “Trump has led polling among Republican voters long before the primaries began.”

    Yeah, it’s weird to suggest that DeSantis ONLY started to sink because of Haley’s negative ads in Iowa. It really does violate the time/space continuum. DeSantis briefly led Trump in early polling December 2022. However by July 2023, the NYT/Sienna College poll had Trump 54-17 over DeSantis. He never really got closer. Trump was first indicted March 2023 (hush money), then again in June (classified documents), then twice in August for federal and state election interference. They do appear to have created a circle-the-wagon effect that persisted. Haley’s ads may have started in late September/early October and were greeted in kind by DeSantis’. But he was already in the teens by this point. Voters had made their judgment on him….I guess nobody had told Dustin.

    AJ_Liberty (dc8045)

  342. “Birdbrain.”

    If Stormy Daniels ever performs at a strip bar near me, I’ll tuck a $20 in her garter. She was the only one who could publicly take on Trump at his own level.

    “He who builds on the people, builds on mud.” But pigs do well in mud with the fringe benefit that nobody wants to wrestle them in it.

    nk (edecf9)

  343. Court reverses Colorado. 9-0. Per curiam with two concurrences.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-719_19m2.pdf

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  344. Hey, remember when I said Section 5 of the 14th Amendment exists?

    https://patterico.com/2024/01/03/the-14th-amendment-should-be-enforced/#comment-2754935

    Turns out SCOTUS agrees.

    SaveFarris (79ab12)

  345. The 3 liberal justices argue that the majority errs in requiring Congress to provide a procedure for adjudicating claims under 14.3

    Yet the Court continues on to resolve questions not before us. In a case involving no federal action whatsoever, the Court opines on how federal enforcement of Section 3 must proceed. Congress, the majority says, must enact legislation under Section 5 prescribing the procedures to “ascertain what particular individuals” should be disqualified.

    [Ante, at 5 (quoting Griffin’s Case, 11 F. Cas. 7, 26 (No. 5,815) (CC Va. 1869) (Chase, Circuit Justice)). These musings are as inadequately supported as they are gratuitous.]

    To start, nothing in Section 3’s text supports the majority’s view of how federal disqualification efforts must operate. Section 3 states simply that “[n]o person shall” hold certain positions and offices if they are oathbreaking insurrectionists. [Amdt. 14] Nothing in that unequivocal bar suggests that implementing legislation enacted under Section 5 is “critical” (or, for that matter, what that word means in this context). [Ante, at 5] In fact, the text cuts the opposite way. Section 3 provides that when an oathbreaking insurrectionist is disqualified, “Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.” It is hard to understand why the Constitution would require a congressional supermajority to remove a disqualification if a simple majority could nullify Section 3’s operation by repealing or declining to pass implementing legislation. Even petitioner’s lawyer acknowledged the “tension” in Section 3 that the majority’s view creates. [See Tr. of Oral Arg. 31]

    Similarly, nothing else in the rest of the Fourteenth Amendment supports the majority’s view. Section 5 gives Congress the “power to enforce [the Amendment] by appropriate legislation.” Remedial legislation of any kind, however, is not required. All the Reconstruction Amendments (including the due process and equal protection guarantees and prohibition of slavery) “are self-executing,” meaning that they do not depend on legislation.

    [City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U. S. 507, 524 (1997); see Civil Rights Cases, 109
    U. S. 3, 20 (1883)].

    Similarly, other constitutional rules of disqualification, like the two-term limit on the Presidency, do not require implementing legislation.

    [See, e.g., Art. II, §1, cl. 5 (Presidential Qualifications); Amdt. 22 (Presidential Term Limits)]

    Nor does the majority suggest otherwise. It simply creates a special rule for the insurrection disability in Section 3.

    The majority is left with next to no support for its requirement that a Section 3 disqualification can occur only pursuant to legislation enacted for that purpose. It cites Griffin’s Case, but that is a nonprecedential, lower court opinion by a single Justice in his capacity as a circuit judge. [See ante, at 5 (quoting 11 F. Cas., at 26)] Once again, even petitioner’s lawyer distanced himself from fully embracing this case as probative of Section 3’s meaning.

    [See Tr. of Oral Arg. 35–36. The majority also cites Senator Trumbull’sstatements that Section 3 “‘provide[d] no means for enforcing’” itself. Ante, at 5 (quoting Cong. Globe, 41st Cong., 1st Sess., 626 (1869)). The majority, however, neglects to mention the Senator’s view that “[i]t is the [F]ourteenth [A]mendment that prevents a person from holding office,” with the proposed legislation simply “affor[ding] a more efficient and speedy remedy” for effecting the disqualification. Cong. Globe, 41st Cong., 1st Sess., at 626–627.]

    Ultimately, under the guise of providing a more “complete explanation for the judgment,” [ante, at 13], the majority resolves many unsettled questions about Section 3. It forecloses judicial enforcement of that provision, such as might occur when a party is prosecuted by an insurrectionist and raises a defense on that score. The majority further holds that any legislation to enforce this provision must prescribe certain procedures “‘tailor[ed]’” to Section 3, ante, at 10, ruling out enforcement under general federal statutes requiring the government to comply with the law. By resolving these and other questions, the majority attempts to insulate all alleged insurrectionists from future challenges to their holding federal office.

    “What it does today, the Court should have left undone.” [Bush v. Gore, 531 U. S. 98, 158 (2000) (Breyer, J., dissenting).]

    The Court today needed to resolve only a single question: whether an individual State may keep a Presidential candidate found to have engaged in insurrection off its ballot. The majority resolves much more than the case before us. Although federal enforcement of Section 3 is in no way at issue, the majority announces novel rules for how that enforcement must operate. It reaches out to decide Section 3 questions not before us, and to foreclose future efforts to disqualify a Presidential candidate under that provision. In a sensitive case crying out for judicial restraint, it abandons that course.

    Section 3 serves an important, though rarely needed, role in our democracy. The American people have the power to vote for and elect candidates for national office, and that is a great and glorious thing. The men who drafted and ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, however, had witnessed an “insurrection [and] rebellion” to defend slavery. §3.They wanted to ensure that those who had participated in that insurrection, and in possible future insurrections, could not return to prominent roles. Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section3 can bar an oathbreaking insurrectionist from becoming President. Although we agree that Colorado cannot enforce Section 3, we protest the majority’s effort to use this case to define the limits of federal enforcement of that provision. Because we would decide only the issue before us, we concur only in the judgment.

    It appears that the footnotes here were rushed. I’ve attempted to correct the formatting.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  346. @346

    Hey, remember when I said Section 5 of the 14th Amendment exists?

    https://patterico.com/2024/01/03/the-14th-amendment-should-be-enforced/#comment-2754935

    Turns out SCOTUS agrees.

    SaveFarris (79ab12) — 3/4/2024 @ 7:17 am

    Yup.

    Enjoy your “told ya so” moment.

    whembly (5f7596)

  347. Justice Barret also agrees that the majority erred in defining the federal role.

    This suit was brought by Colorado voters under state law in state court.It does not require us to address the complicated questionwhether federal legislation is the exclusive vehicle throughwhich Section 3 can be enforced.

    But she does not want to make a big issue out of it, and focuses instead on the 9-0 reversal.

    The majority’s choice of a different path leaves the remaining Justices with a choice of how to respond. In myjudgment, this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency. The Court has settled a politically charged issuein the volatile season of a Presidential election. Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the Court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine Justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  348. Kevin,

    so you are jumping on board with the leftists in the Supreme Court. Good to know.

    At least it should be clear to the left that they cannot invalidate the will of the people through their shenanigans.

    NJRob (d1bdb3)

  349. Hey, remember when I said Section 5 of the 14th Amendment exists?

    So? That does not mean the courts have no role in enforcing the plain text of the Constitution. Congress has the power to enforce, but it is not the sole power. Other amendments with the same language have not required specific statutory enactments. No statute was required to free slaves, for example.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  350. so you are jumping on board with the leftists in the Supreme Court. Good to know.

    When they are right. Barret also agrees.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  351. The Court had 3 choices:

    Reverse Colorado and

    1) do nothing
    2) support judicial enforcement of 14.3
    3) make 14.3 a dead letter

    They chose door number 3, so that the mob would stay away from their door. Lot would be so proud.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  352. They aren’t right as the Court decided

    NJRob (d1bdb3)

  353. No statute was required to free slaves, for example.

    An Executive Order was required. Proclamation 95, issued on 1/1/1863, to be exact.

    SaveFarris (79ab12)

  354. Then again, you also wished to ignore the Constitution to disqualify Trump as any third world dictatorship would do.

    So I can’t say I’m surprised.

    NJRob (d1bdb3)

  355. @352

    so you are jumping on board with the leftists in the Supreme Court. Good to know.

    When they are right. Barret also agrees.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/4/2024 @ 7:27 am

    No… Barrett doesn’t agree with the lefties. Otherwise, she’d joined with them.

    She essentially said that Presidents are not “officers” without explicitedly saying so.

    I agree that States lack the power to enforce Section 3 against Presidential candidates. That principle is sufficient to resolve this case, and I would decide no more than that.

    She takes the textualist view here and wanted to possibly the lightest touch here.

    whembly (5f7596)

  356. An Executive Order was required. Proclamation 95, issued on 1/1/1863, to be exact.

    No, an executive order was issued. Not “required.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  357. which one of these makes it morally acceptable to take preteen children whose parents can’t be found and ship them to another country without first making sure there is someone able and willing to take care of them?

    aphrael (cc095b) — 3/1/2024 @ 4:58 pm

    It’s not morally acceptable, but it goes with Russia’s war. Russia is not willing to turn them over to people in areas of Ukraine they do not control.

    They do allow, in many cases, family members to go into Russia (usually through Belarus I think) to pick them up.

    In some cases they may be taking the children out of danger – in other cases it may amount to tricking them into leaving. This is the least of Putin’s sins – but it does open him up to arrest should he leave Russia and go to any place which will honor the warrant.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  358. Then again, you also wished to ignore the Constitution to disqualify Trump as any third world dictatorship would do.

    Trump’s the guy who says he’d ignore it.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  359. An Executive Order was required. Proclamation 95, issued on 1/1/1863, to be exact.

    Gee, I just read this again and I’m sorry I accepted it as being meaningful.

    The Emancipation Proclamation was 3 years before the 13th Amendment, so it did not “enforce” it. It also had to do with states in rebellion. Slaves in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and several territories were unaffected.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  360. She essentially said that Presidents are not “officers” without explicitly saying so.

    Without saying so at all, Or implying it either. NO ONE suggested that “presidents are not officers” since that is moronic and the court, for all it’s faults, is not composed of morons.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  361. This case raises the question whether the States, in addition to Congress, may also enforce Section 3. We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency. …

    The respondents nonetheless maintain that States may enforce Section 3 against candidates for federal office. But the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, on its face, does not affirmatively delegate such a power to the States. The terms of the Amendment speak only to enforcement by Congress, which enjoys power to enforce the Amendment through legislation pursuant to Section 5.

    This can hardly come as a surprise, given that the substantive provisions of the Amendment “embody significant limitations on state authority.” Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427U. S. 445, 456 (1976). Under the Amendment, States cannot abridge privileges or immunities, deprive persons of life, liberty, or property without due process, deny equal protection, or deny male inhabitants the right to vote (without thereby suffering reduced representation in the House).See Amdt. 14, §§1, 2. On the other hand, the Fourteenth Amendment grants new power to Congress to enforce the provisions of the Amendment against the States. It would be incongruous to read this particular Amendment as granting the States the power—silently no less—to disqualify a candidate for federal office.

    Game.
    Set.
    Match.

    NJRob (d1bdb3)

  362. I agree that States lack the power to enforce Section 3 against Presidential candidates

    That is the simple statement that all nine agreed upon. It’s not hard to get there.

    What 4 of the justices had a problem with was the (effectively) 5-4 ruling that Congress needed to establish a procedure for adjudicating 14.3 claims. Three of them argued that this was within the judicial power, and Barrett argued that the Court didn’t need to go there and refused to sign on.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  363. @363: I agree with that, as did all 9 justices. Where I disagree (as did 4 justices) was the majority’s additional assertion that federal courts have no power to enforce 14.3 either.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  364. The telling argument for me, was where the partial dissent pointed out that under the majority ruling, Congress did not need a 2/3rds vote to “restore” a qualification. All it needed to do was NOTHING — a simple majority in one House would suffice — to block all such disqualifications. This is an absurd result.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  365. @365

    I agree that
    States lack the power to enforce Section 3 against Presidential candidates. That principle is sufficient to resolve this
    case, and I would decide no more than that.

    Any wagers when Jack Smith issues a supersceding insurrection indictment in DC?

    Imma give him a week…

    whembly (5f7596)

  366. @366

    The telling argument for me, was where the partial dissent pointed out that under the majority ruling, Congress did not need a 2/3rds vote to “restore” a qualification. All it needed to do was NOTHING — a simple majority in one House would suffice — to block all such disqualifications. This is an absurd result.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/4/2024 @ 8:20 am

    Where are you reading that?

    The majority made references that Congress may remove the disability by 2/3rd votes of both houses. I didn’t see the majority state “not need a 2/3rds vote to “restore” a qualification. “

    whembly (5f7596)

  367. whembly, that is the perception of the minority concurrance.

    It goes like this: If a Congressionally-authorized procedure is required to adjudicate 14.3 claims, then all that has to happen to prevent any such claim from being made is for Congress to fail to provide such a procedure — to do nothing.

    Congress excels at doing nothing; it’s their superpower. All it takes is 41 votes in the Senate and *presto* nothing.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  368. Before this ruling, someone could have sued Trump (or another candidate) in federal court under 14.3 and that federal court could have held a trial and ruled based on a preponderance of evidence (much as the Colorado state court did).

    What this ruling does is say that the Constitution cannot be enforced by the federal courts unless Congress permits it. Thankfully, they don’t say things like that a lot.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  369. Ironically, today is the anniversary of Lincoln’s inauguration.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  370. Federal court jurisdiction, except for a couple or three things reserved to the Supreme Court, is entirely the province of Congress.

    nk (b6c26f)

  371. reserved to the Supreme Court *in Article III*

    nk (b6c26f)

  372. Anyway, nobody should take what comes out of the banana republic DC swamp at face value. For all we know, this sop is camouflage for a more nefarious plot to keep Donnie from having a cookie.

    nk (b6c26f)

  373. And Donnie wants a cookie.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  374. I believe the court was trying to avoid a second January 6, where Trump is invalidated by the VP and the Dems in Congress because he insurrected at the prior 1-6. I don’t mind that result.

    Appalled (3d0078)

  375. Any wagers when Jack Smith issues a supersceding insurrection indictment in DC?

    Imma give him a week…

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/4/2024 @ 8:23 am

    Given the delays with his existing cases-never.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  376. @369 Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/4/2024 @ 8:41 am
    I’m totally missing the point… I think.

    I still don’t see what you’re trying to say.

    The authorized procedure to remove the 14.3 disability, is for both house to meet 2/3rd (a super majority).

    That didn’t change.

    In the post civil war era, it was easy to identify who were the confederates, and there were no other statute that 14.5 could be used at the time. Confederates were DQ’ed and some even had their disability removed.

    But, since then, Congress passed multiple laws defining what was an insurrection and has since evolved to the current criminal insurrection statute.

    In theory, Trump could be criminally convicted via that insurrection law in court, and at some point in the future, Congress could remove the DQ’ed disqualification so that he can run for office again.

    whembly (5f7596)

  377. @370

    Before this ruling, someone could have sued Trump (or another candidate) in federal court under 14.3 and that federal court could have held a trial and ruled based on a preponderance of evidence (much as the Colorado state court did).

    What this ruling does is say that the Constitution cannot be enforced by the federal courts unless Congress permits it. Thankfully, they don’t say things like that a lot.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/4/2024 @ 8:45 am

    But Congress did permit it.

    Via the criminal insurrection statute.

    whembly (5f7596)

  378. The authorized procedure to remove the 14.3 disability, is for both house to meet 2/3rd (a super majority).

    Yes, but there is no existing civil procedure for establishing such a disability. It is NOT a criminal matter, so the crime of Insurrection, while sufficient to establish such a disability is not necessary to do so. The post-Civil-War disabilities were generally not the result of criminal prosecution.

    So, by failing to provide a civil procedure, with the court now says Congress must do for 14.3 to be used, Congress has sued a simple majority in one House to effectively remove all such disabilities from everyone involved in J6. Couy Griffin should be able to overturn his disqualification on these grounds.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  379. with which

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  380. @380 Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/4/2024 @ 9:26 am
    Oh, NOW I see what you’re saying.

    I understand.

    The remedy, then, is for Congress to pass a civil insurrection law to that effect I would think.

    whembly (5f7596)

  381. Whembly, good luck with that. 🙂

    Congress can’t tie its own shoes anymore without stumbling into a fistfight.

    qdpsteve again (f8222d)

  382. We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency. …

    Not Section 3, but the Electors clause allows to them to do for any reason that does not rest on making a determination of a federal question, including vesting in some person or body of persons the power to disqualify a candidate that electors can be pledged to on the basis of an opinion as to what a federal court or Congress might decide, or on the same words contained in the insurrection clause and the state legislature, by law, could simply rule out a candidate, as long as they did it before Election Day or maybe before the voting started. I don’t think states will be so ready to do so.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  383. 16.This could be improved. But it still not 100% clear to me even that the convoy was heading north. I think it was.

    The trucks were not at a planned distribution point.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  384. Falling on his sword, again:

    Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury Monday in connection with testimony he gave during former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial.

    “Mr. Weisselberg pleads guilty to the charges,” his attorney, Seth Rosenberg, told a judge in court.

    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg recommended Weisselberg be sentenced to five months in jail and agreed to his release before sentencing, which is scheduled for April 10.

    The charges accuse Weisselberg of committing perjury in a deposition as well as in testimony in Trump’s civil fraud trial. Bragg’s office alleged Weisselberg lied in July of 2020 in claiming he only learned Trump’s triplex apartment had been dramatically overvalued after Forbes published an article detailing the issue, when in fact he had known about the overvaluation before then.

    Bragg’s office also said that as part of the plea, Weisselberg admitted that he committed conduct underlying other instances of perjury.

    In a statement Monday, a spokesperson for the district attorney said, “It is a crime to lie in depositions and at trial — plain and simple.”
    ……….
    In his 92-page ruling in the civil fraud trial, Engoron wrote that Weisselberg lacked credibility on the stand, saying that “his testimony in this trial was intentionally evasive, with large gaps of ‘I don’t remember.’” That rendered Weisselberg’s testimony “highly unreliable,” the judge added. “The Trump Organization keeps Weisselberg on a short leash, and it shows.”
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  385. Another guilty plea:

    Jack Douglas Teixeira, 22, of North Dighton, Massachusetts, a member of the U.S. Air National Guard (USANG) stationed in Massachusetts, has agreed to plead guilty to retaining and transmitting classified National Defense Information on a social media platform beginning in or around 2022 and continuing until his arrest in April 2023.

    Teixeira has agreed to plead guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to the national defense (National Defense Information).
    ……….
    “Today, Jack Teixeira admitted he retained and disclosed classified national security information, actions that benefit our nation’s adversaries and harm U.S. security,” said Executive Assistant Director Larissa L. Knapp of the FBI’s National Security Branch. “Individuals granted security clearances are entrusted with protecting our nation’s most sensitive secrets, and Teixeira knowingly betrayed that trust and put the country at risk. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to hold accountable anyone who would endanger our national security interests.”
    ………
    The charges of unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information each carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
    ………..

    Teixeira was charged under !8 USC 793(e), which is the same section that is cited in Trump’s classified information indictment. Teixeira’s plea agreement calls for a sentence of up to 200 months (16.66 years). Had he not pled guilty, he faced up to 60 years in prison. As there is no parole in the federal prison system, he would need to serve a minimum of 160 months, or 13.33 years.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  386. #317

    Voting is like urinating in the ocean. It doesn’t affect the ocean, but sure makes you feel better for the experience!

    Kenneth P. (1f45e0)

  387. Supreme Court temporarily blocks new Texas immigration enforcement law
    ……..
    In an order issued by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court froze a lower court decision that would have allowed the law to go into effect Sunday.

    The ruling is now blocked until March 13, giving all nine justices more time to determine what next steps to take.

    Alito also ordered Texas to respond to the Biden administration request by March 11.
    ………
    A federal judge blocked the law after the Biden administration sued, but the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a brief order it could go into effect March 10 if the Supreme Court declines to intervene.

    In Monday’s emergency filing, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the Texas law is “flatly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent dating back 100 years.
    ………
    “A surge of unauthorized immigration plainly is not an invasion within the meaning of the State War Clause,” Prelogar wrote.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  388. @ whembly, #327:

    Sorry for the late response. It’s been a busy last couple of days for me, between Job #1, Job #2, and House Reno. But I invited you, and others, to respond to my points in #172. Heck, I practically dared you. And you appear to be writing in good faith. So I feel I owe you a response, however belated.

    I’m not just blaming just you or any other not-DeSantis voter. I’m blaming ALL OF US. As in, all voters who either did or did NOT vote in the primary. There weren’t enough of us grassroots, donors and GOP elites who can plainly see that Trump was running in 2024 and can plainly see that not one anti-Trump candidate had the momentum to unilaterally fend off the other anti-Trump candidates and Trump at the same time. We needed to have a more strategic coordination to fend off Trump, and unfortunately that never manifested, and what we had was a traditional political brawl that benefitted Trump the most.

    Well. That response is…not what I expected. But it’s also — a little much, yes? Because what you are doing is spreading the blame for Trump’s impending nomination across literally millions of people for, if I understand you correctly, not coordinating with each other better. Like, the moment Trump made it clear in 2022 (well before his campaign announcement, I might add) that he was running again, we all needed to start finding ways to connect with each other, to pick a single candidate that most of us could live with, to shower that candidate with money, to build an organization to support him/her, and to make it clear that no one else who jumped in would get any momentum or splinter our vote. And that is, I am going to say politely, unrealistic in the extreme. Basically, you’re blaming millions of people for not having a pre-primary primary, which is where this winnowing-out-and-building-up process typically takes place.

    But you know who you don’t seem to be blaming? At least not very much? Trump voters. I mean, yes, you say you blame everyone who either did or did not vote in the primary. (Is it even worth pointing out anymore that “did or did not” is not the right phrasing? Even counting the states voting today, a majority of jurisdictions in this great nation of ours still have not had the chance to weigh in.) And you say later that you “don’t really place the full blame squarely at the MAGA voter’s feet,” which also implies that you place some blame there. But your initial formulation, which you repeat later in different words, implies that you are laying most the blame at the feet of those who wanted to stop Trump but couldn’t. I…do no. But I’ll save that for later.

    If DeSantis was the nominee…he’d win the Presidency easily.

    Would he? You see, you say this in response to my argument that he would not. But this isn’t a counter-argument. It’s just an assertion of something you’ve already said, and that I’ve already rejected. So again, I point out to you that in the scenario where DeSantis and Trump are both running, DeSantis being the nominee means that HE BEAT TRUMP. And do you think Trump would forget that, or forgive it? Do you think he would play the elder-statesman role and call for all his voters to “rally ’round Ron?” I mean…no. Obviously he wouldn’t. You can’t actually believe that.

    Or are you saying instead that you believe that Trump voters would ignore Trump, and rally to DeSantis anyway? Some of them would, sure. Maybe most of them. But many would not. Those people would vote third-party, or (more likely) they would stay home. Could DeSantis win without them? Maybe. But I’d have to see the numbers on how many stayed home before I could share your…I’m going to say, overoptimistic certainty.

    You want to know what would actually happen if DeSantis was on track to becoming the nominee? I’ll tell you. It’s not hard to figure out what Trump would say in response, because he said it when he lost to Cruz in Iowa in ’16…then he said it again when it looked like he would lose to Hillary…and he hasn’t stopped saying it since losing to Biden. He would say he only lost because he was cheated. This time, the Deep State and the RINOs and the GOP Elite had all conspired to make DeSantis the nominee. And some people would stop believing him at that point, sure. But enough would believe him to deny DeSantis the White House, whether to Biden or to a younger, fresher face.

    So, I’ll instead, extend some grace and answer your question with another question: Please tell me how DeSantis would be a dictator, authoritarian or whatever you accuse of Trump now, that DeSantis would emulate?

    So…here’s what I said that you were responding to. I just want to have my exact phrasing in front of me, and you, and anyone else who cares to read this. “Many people like me who will not vote for Trump take exception to his threats to weaponize government against his political adversaries, or his documented willingness (in word and deed) to subvert the Constitution when it suits him. So I challenge you to tell me why we should accept, as our champion against Trump, someone whose tenure as governor of Florida has been marked by the exact same tendencies.”

    Are you trying to tell me DeSantis has not championed legislation in the private sector, in the classroom, and online — which violated Americans’ First Amendment rights? Or targeting one of his state’s most iconic employers for daring to exercise their First Amendment rights? Or what about when he used his state’s resources to break federal immigration law, just to own the libs in Martha’s Vineyard? And those are just the ones I thought of sitting here. I’m sure there are others.

    Whether DeSantis was right or wrong on the merits of these issues is not the point. And for the record: I am not a fan of DEI, I don’t like progressive sermonizing in the classroom, I think Big Tech is often arbitrarily unfair to people who think like me, I don’t think Disney should have received those special benefits in the first place, and I want the border to be closed. So, on the issues at hand here, I am the kind of guy DeSantis is trying to appeal to. But Americans have rights. And we have laws to protect those rights. And Governor DeSantis doesn’t just get to go around subverting rights or laws whenever he has a culture war to wage.

    The whole point of DeSantis, was that he *could* have been that bridge between the MAGA voters and other GOP factions.

    Only in a world where Trump didn’t run again. See above.

    But here’s the thing: I refuse to take my ball and go home while the game is playing. To me, that cowardice. I’m stuck with a Trump GOP candidate. And I what the Democrats to lose. That’s my overarching goal. If that means voting for Trump…so be it.

    So…that’s your thing. Here’s mine.

    I’ve done a lot of thinking these last eight years about the intersection of choice and power in electoral politics. A niche subject, I know, but it interests me. And the fact is, as individuals, we…do not have a lot of power by ourselves. Still, we have a choice over how we exercise the little power we have. Our vote really doesn’t matter much. But since that’s true, then all that matters is how we vote — not because of the imperceptible difference it makes in the election results, but because of what it says about us.

    Let me give you an example. I voted for Marco Rubio in ’16. My vote didn’t stop Ted Cruz from winning my state, nor did it stop Trump from winning the nomination. And I knew before I voted that both of those things were likely to happen…and that Rubio was not a threat to stop either one of them from happening. But I voted for Rubio, because he was — of all the candidates then remaining (RIP, Scott Walker’s candidacy) — the one I most liked and wanted to win. If I had the vote to cast over again, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t vote for the spineless weasel again. But the thing is, he hadn’t yet proved himself to be a spineless weasel when I voted for him. Do I regret my vote? Not really. I think I was justified in voting the way I did.

    You know the vote I regret the most, of all the ones I’ve taken in my life? My vote for president in the 2020 general. I didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t vote for Biden. Instead, I voted for Jo Jorgensen. Did I think she could win? No, of course not. Did I think she would make a good president if she did? You know…I didn’t. It was the first time in my life my motivation for casting my ballot was totally about voting AGAINST someone — or more accurately, TWO someones. And I felt dirty afterward. If I had that vote to take over again, I just wouldn’t vote for anyone. It would be a cleaner way to express my disdain.

    I did not blame Trump voters for their votes, in 2016 or 2020. In hindsight, though, maybe I should have blamed some of Trump’s voters…and some of Hillary’s and some of Biden’s too, for that matter. I’m talking about the people who used their vote for one candidate as a vote AGAINST another. There is a very serious distinction — not just a semantic one — between the ideas “I am voting for you because I think you might not be a TOTAL disaster” and “I am voting for you because I think the other guy WOULD BE a total disaster.” There is an important difference between having even one half-hearted reason to vote “yes”…and only voting “no” as a veto. And it seems like that’s where you are. Because if your “overarching goal” is for Democrats to lose, then logically speaking, you would vote for Charles Manson if he won the GOP nod. (Of course, he would still have to be alive too, but I digress.) So it doesn’t really matter if you didn’t want Trump, because you’ll vote for him anyway. And your vote will count just the same as if you were the hardest hardcore MAGA who ever MAGAed. So you might as well be that, too.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: I do not believe I am responsible, even the slightest bit, for not stopping Trump from getting the nomination. But I do think you will be responsible, though obviously to a very small degree, for what the man does should he get back into office. Because your vote will have helped it happen. I do, however, hope you won’t have to carry that responsibility…and I’ll do what little I can to make sure that you don’t.

    Demosthenes (91b2cd)

  389. I don’t remember who Jo Jorgensen is, Demos, but I don’t regret for a second my voting for Gary Johnson in 2016 and Larry Hogan in 2020. Here in WA State, where Trump lost by solid double digits, there’s a place for protest votes when there’s an Electoral College. I’ll never vote for Trump, for character reasons, and I can’t bring myself to vote for a Democrat, for policy reasons.

    My last hope for a true historic event is if Nikki bails on the GOP and runs on a No Labels ticket. She’ll take votes from both of the old white guys, IMO, but whether it’ll be enough, that’s why we have elections. If she falls in line and bends the knee to Trump, I’ll be disappointed but not surprised.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  390. I don’t remember who Jo Jorgensen is, Demos, but I don’t regret for a second my voting for Gary Johnson in 2016…

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/5/2024 @ 7:56 pm

    I also voted for Gary in 2016, Paul. I would include him on my list of votes I do not regret. I didn’t agree with him on a lot, or with Bill Weld, but they had both been successful governors and capable administrators.

    Demosthenes (91b2cd)

  391. If she falls in line and bends the knee to Trump, I’ll be disappointed but not surprised.

    It will greatly depend on whether she thinks she has a future in THIS Republican Party, or whether she needs to do her best to strangle it in the crib.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  392. I voted LP in 2016 and 2020. I’ll do it again if I have to.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  393. The remedy, then, is for Congress to pass a civil insurrection law to that effect I would think.

    That is what the Supreme Court said it would have to do, although there is nothing in the Law or the Constitution (or historical practice) for them to hang their hat on.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  394. Those are all valid issues, Dustin, but we don’t need to elect Trump in order to deal with them.

    norcal (78a694) — 3/3/2024 @ 10:27 pm

    As usual, you are correct.

    Dustin (bde715)

  395. Haley wins vermont and gets her 30%+ in swing states of voters who are never trumpers. Trump did best in s*** hole alabama. Neil Young sings a great song about that state and does another good one on “Ohio”. 3rd party candidates may decide who wins 2024 election as they did in 2016.

    asset (85cb85)

  396. “But I do think you will be responsible, though obviously to a very small degree, for what the man does should he get back into office.”

    It’s shocking to me that the Republican base not only wants Trump to suffer no accountability for J6 and his other election meddling, but that it collectively believes that he must be trusted to wield executive power again. Fool me twice?

    You can’t say that they didn’t have a choice, though obviously right-wing media and the GOP infrastructure had their fingers on the scale. Cowardice, ignorance, and recklessness reigns. The GOP wants a mafia don who doesn’t take seriously the law and the perception that he’s above the law. They just don’t care…and I suspect it’s because they don’t see a negative consequence…and they specifically don’t see how it could negatively affect them personally.

    We are in hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil territory. The GOP doesn’t insist on Trump debating or even clearly laying out his agenda in any sort of adversarial environment. It’s almost like “whatever”. Do we know what he will do about Ukraine…and are we ready to accept the potential massive loss of innocent life that will follow from our national indifference? A functional party would at least publicly wrestle with the policy and insist on clarity from their nominee. Crickets. The GOP is content that Trump will solve Ukraine “in a day”, not that anyone knows what that means.

    We don’t even know exactly what Trump plans for the border which is probably the most unifying issue for the GOP. Detention facilities and mass deportations….dictator for a day. Is there any pause that any of this could truly be awful and illiberal? That we are going down a path that is materially changing who we are…and the aspirational beauty of America? It’s a hard concept to sell in today’s GOP, but we do actually need immigrants and that is getting lost in our over-heated anger and hatred. I’ll leave it there.

    We shouldn’t have to contemplate what it means for justice to consider a Presidential self pardon….and for further delay in his state charges. Are we being force fed that a President and ex-President does in practice have complete immunity? Are we truly conceding that we want a king without accountability….as the GOP Senate showed twice that it could not do the right thing. Maybe next time is not encouraging. In fact, it sounds delusional.

    Character is destiny. Lying, cheating, maligning, and breaking will come to roost. It just amazes me that so many want to gamble on it. No, I’m now persuaded that voters WILL own this result….

    AJ_Liberty (abf050)

  397. @398 republican base is now populist and has the same character flaws as trump. You being amazed. Well ok. For the umpteenth time trump hates the same people his supporters hate. Why should ignorant southern white trash ex-democrat populists not hate conservatives and establishment democrats/media?

    asset (85cb85)

  398. Nikki to suspend her campaign, but will withhold her endorsement, for political leverage reasons, it appears.

    As an American, a voter, a traditional conservative and barely a Republican, I am dispirited.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  399. I home nobody thinks less of me in my puissance if I say that I had nothing to do with it.

    nk (2a2d2f)

  400. Nikki to suspend her campaign, but will withhold her endorsement, for political leverage reasons, it appears.

    Whether Haley endorses Trump is irrelevant; she has no political leverage.

    Rip Murdock (cfd5ce)

  401. I do not regret a single dime I sent to Nikki for her guerilla campaign. Some windmills need a good tilt. I am glad she did not endorse him, and am hoping for a Haley/Sinema independent campaign.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  402. Trump is gracious in accepting Haley’s withdrawal.

    Oh, wait, he’s not, pointedly spurning her voters. I think I’ll start calling him “Little Tent” because, well, you know.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  403. Haley had not scheduled any campaign events past Monday (I guess except for hearing the results) nor any television ads, but I suppose she was too new to this to withdraw earlier, and wanted not to demoralize her volunteers or keep them away from the convention.

    Yesterday I heard on the radio that the prediction markets gave Vermont as her best chance – at an 87% probability for Donald Trump. But she won Vermont

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  404. (I) am hoping for a Haley/Sinema independent campaign.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/6/2024 @ 8:11 am

    LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  405. It’s not raining every Tuesday and Wednesday (twice a week) – it’s raining every other day or so

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)


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