Feel the magic The NY Times reports that Christie thinks he can win. Hookay. I doubt it very seriously because the campaign is already chock full of assholes and there really isn’t room for another one. But he can perform a useful service. He’s going to go after Trump and DeSantis: Allies of former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey have formed a super PAC to support him in the nascent Republican primary, as he makes preparations for a likely campaign kickoff in the next two weeks, according to an official with the group and others briefed on the matter. Mr. Christie’s candidacy is likely to to focus in part on drawing a stark contrast with former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Christie supported Mr. Trump in 2016 and worked with him during his presidency, but they split over Mr. Trump’s claims on election night in 2020 that the race was stolen from him. People who have been close to Mr. Christie for years are leading the outside group, Tell It Like It Is, which is laying the groundwork for an imminent announcement, one of the people briefed on the matter said.
They’re at each others’ throats This is my daily dose of schadenfreude. Remember: snitches get stitches… With three anticipated indictments, two ongoing court cases, and an ever-expanding cadre of lawyers, former President Donald Trump is at a critical juncture—and yet his legal advisers are starting to turn on each other. According to five sources with direct knowledge of the situation, clashing personalities and the increasing outside threat of law enforcement has sown deep divisions that have only worsened in recent months. The internal bickering has already sparked one departure in recent weeks—and that could be just the beginning. As Trump’s legal troubles keep growing—with criminal and civil investigations in New York City, Washington, and Atlanta—so too does the unwieldy band of attorneys who simply can’t get along. The cast of characters includes an accused meddler who has Trump’s ear, a young attorney who lawyers on the team suggested is only there because the former president likes the way she looks, and a celebrity lawyer who’s increasingly viewed with disdain.
And it doesn’t always stick “WTF?!” a niece’s glance shot my way from down the pew. Graduation ceremonies at her cousin’s Christian high school followed the Pledge of Allegiance with a second pledge, this time to the Christian flag. Wait. What? There’s a Christian flag? It was a suburban church school, not the home-schools of the Washington Post profile, “The revolt of the Christian home-schoolers.” But it was a subculture related to the one Christina and Aaron Beall grew up in: Aaron and Christina had never attended school when they were children. Until a few days earlier, when Round Hill Elementary held a back-to-school open house, they had rarely set foot inside a school building. Both had been raised to believe that public schools were tools of a demonic social order, government “indoctrination camps” devoted to the propagation of lies and the subversion of Christian families. At a time when home education was still a fringe phenomenon, the Bealls had grown up in the most powerful and ideologically committed faction of the modern home-schooling movement.
“I somehow thought (the war) was far away” At least eight drones hit Moscow on Tuesday, leaving only minor damage to two residential buildings and minor injuries but also uneasiness in Russia. The Guardian reports: There has been no suggestion that US-made drones or munitions were used in the attacks on Moscow. There has been speculation that at least one of the drones involved was a UJ-22 produced by a Ukrainian company. Another Guardian report on the attacks: According to Russian authorities and media, eight drones were involved in the attack, with five shot down or otherwise disabled with jamming technology. Russian media close to the security services said the number was many times higher, with more than 30 drones participating in the attack. […] The attacks seem designed to bring the war home to Russia’s capital, underlying both the fact that Ukraine is capable of skirting Russian air defences repeatedly and that it has the capacity to strike deep inside Russia. Axios reports: Podolyak posted to WhatsApp that “Ukraine is not directly connected to the nighttime drone attack in Moscow.
Army Talks fact sheet Once again, Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American offers up a historical reference germane to our times that, as the saying goes, rhymes (as does the adjective). So I’m dropping her comments in full right here: Beginning in 1943, the War Department published a series of pamphlets for U.S. Army personnel in the European theater of World War II. Titled Army Talks, the series was designed “to help [the personnel] become better-informed men and women and therefore better soldiers.” On March 24, 1945, the topic for the week was “FASCISM!” “You are away from home, separated from your families, no longer at a civilian job or at school and many of you are risking your very lives,” the pamphlet explained, “because of a thing called fascism.” But, the publication asked, what is fascism? “Fascism is not the easiest thing to identify and analyze,” it said, “nor, once in power, is it easy to destroy. It is important for our future and that of the world that as many of us as possible understand the causes and practices of fascism, in order to combat it.” Fascism, the U.S.
Wisconsin Democrats shifted their strategy The Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin is where Whigs, Free Soilers and Democrats met in 1854 to form the anti-slavery Republican Party. After its recent relocation, it’s been delisted by the National Register of Historic Places. Politico’s David Siders reports that it “now sits across from a vape shop, near a car dealership, a Culver’s restaurant and a sewage treatment plant.” Hope this next makes you laugh out loud too. In the wake of his party’s faltering in the spring elections, Timothy Bachleitner, chair of the Fond du Lac County, Wisc. GOP commented, “It kind of looks like a circus show now,” he said.
Looks like Trump misled his lawyer. Again. Trump told Corcoran not to look in his office: Donald Trump’s lawyer tasked with searching for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago after the justice department issued a subpoena told associates that he was waved off from searching the former president’s office, where the FBI later found the most sensitive materials anywhere on the property. The lawyer, Evan Corcoran, recounted that several Trump aides had told him to search the storage room because that was where all the materials that had been brought from the White House at the end of Trump’s presidency ended up being deposited. Corcoran found 38 classified documents in the storage room. He then asked whether he should search anywhere else but was steered away, he told associates. Corcoran never searched Trump’s office and told prosecutors that the 38 papers were the extent of the material at Mar-a-Lago.
The polls are all going in the wrong direction for DeSantis: Nearly half (45%) of Republican voters – including those who lean toward the GOP – say Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat President Joe Biden in 2024, and another 18% think he is probably the strongest candidate. Just one-third of GOP voters say another Republican would definitely (13%) or probably (19%) be a stronger candidate than Trump. Among voters who name Trump as their top-of-mind preference for the GOP presidential nomination, 74% say he is definitely the strongest candidate the party can put up against Biden and 21% say he probably is. Among those who express support for another candidate or have no choice at this stage, nearly 4 in 10 still feel Trump is either definitely (23%) or probably (16%) the strongest nominee the GOP can field. Only 22% of this group says the strongest Republican contender would definitely be someone other than Trump and 33% say it would probably be another candidate.
Buckle up From what I’ve read, the Rules Committee is considered the Speaker’s Committee. It is stacked with members of the speaker’s party and is considered to be a rubber stamp for anything he or she wants to bring to the floor. This is the case regardless of party. So this little mess is unusual: Rep. Chip Roy accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday of cutting a deal that could complicate negotiators’ efforts to pass a bill to raise the US debt ceiling this week. But McCarthy’s allies quickly refuted the Texas Republican, underscoring the tension ahead of a key meeting of the House Rules Committee on Tuesday – and putting new pressure on a conservative holdout, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who has yet to take a position on the plan. Roy contended that McCarthy cut a hand-shake deal in January that all nine Republicans on the powerful panel must agree to move any legislation forward, otherwise bills could not be considered by the full House for majority approval.
Enjoy Steve Benen fills in the background: If this subject sounds at all familiar, it’s not your imagination. In October 2019, while campaigning in Iowa, Biden was asked whether he might follow Gerald Ford’s example in pardoning Richard Nixon after Watergate, at a time when the Republican still faced possible prosecution. Biden said he would choose a different course. “It wouldn’t unite the country,” Biden said, adding, “I think President Ford, God love him, he’s a good guy, I knew him pretty well. I think if he had to do it over again, he wouldn’t have done it.” The topic returned to the fore in May 2020, when Biden joined Stacey Abrams for a virtual town hall-style event on MSNBC, and a voter, referencing the Ford/Nixon example, asked Biden whether he’d publicly commit to a more hands-off approach and leave such matters in the hands of prosecutors. “Absolutely, yes,” the future president replied. “I commit.” Of course, in 2019 and 2020, the prospect of Trump being indicted was entirely hypothetical.