Tag: Donald Trump

Parsing the Trump Indictment


The headlines are consumed with the multiple lawsuits against Donald Trump for the misdeeds that he allegedly—I use the term cautiously—committed both in and out of office. By far the most serious of these cases is the indictment brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith against Trump for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The attacks against these cases move along two parallel tracks. The political track is that Trump is the victim of a political ambush that began with the Steele dossier and continued with the Mueller investigation, followed by two dubious impeachments. In other words, they are efforts to discredit him in the eyes of the voters. Yet at the same time, goes the argument, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (with son Hunter in tow) receive kid-gloves treatment for crimes of equal or greater magnitude. Trump’s ability to maintain his standing in the polls stems from the conviction of his supporters that the motives of his accusers matter far more than the guilt or innocence of his actions. So the worse the case looks, the more hysterical Trump’s denunciations of Smith, the stronger his support.

But there is also the legal side to contend with, and here Trump also has defenders of the legality (or at least non-criminality) of his actions. Alan Dershowitz, one of his unhappy defenders, refers to Trump’s “inexcusable, but in [his] view constitutionally protected, role in the terrible events of January 6.” I agree with Dershowitz on the first part of the charge but disagree with him on the second. Even by the high standard associated with prosecutions, the core of this case falls, to use the now common phrase invoked by David Rivkin and Lee Casey, outside “the outer perimeter of his official responsibility.” And the actions here are so far beyond that line that none of the possible defenses seems credible as a matter of law.

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On January 20, 2017, in an episode of the Ricochet Podcast recorded mere minutes after Donald Trump took office, Jay Nordlinger stated that Trump’s inaugural speech was “disgusting” and reminded him of a “beer hall putsch.” In other words, Trump is Hitler™. It’s not a nuanced or smart take, but it’s all Jay Nordlinger could […]

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Trump’s 5-Point Plan to DeStroy DeSantis Has Little Chance


Axios reported the hot scoop that Donald Trump doesn’t much care for Ron DeSantis. After endorsing Florida’s two-term governor in 2018, Don’s taken all responsibility for Ron’s landslide re-election — despite Trump’s inability to pull off his own.

The piece includes Trump’s super-secret five-point plan to deep-six Meatball Ron DeSanctimonius once and for all. (If only Trump had a plan to defeat Biden.) Anyway, here’s the strategy:

  1. DeSantis’ past support for changes to Social Security and Medicare, including votes as a U.S. congressman to raise the eligibility age for Medicare.
  2. Disloyalty to Trump after he helped DeSantis get elected governor in 2018. Trump also plans to pound DeSantis on likability.
  3. Trump wants to cast DeSantis as a lackey of former House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Trump’s social-media site, Truth Social, he attacked Ryan this week as a loser who “couldn’t get elected dogcatcher,” and said he should resign or be fired as a Fox Corp. board member.
  4. DeSantis’ response to COVID is a top Trump target, even though the governor is known for resisting mask mandates. Trump plans to attack DeSantis’ caution in the earliest days of the pandemic — and try to fight the issue to a draw. A March 2020 headline in the Tampa Bay Times said: “DeSantis orders major shutdown of beaches, businesses in Broward, Palm Beach.” (DeSantis pushesbackonthis.)
  5. DeSantis took heat for muddled comments, in a Fox News interview last week, about whether to maintain financial and military support for Ukraine. Trump plans to portray DeSantis as wishy-washy on the war, while he toes the MAGA line of cutting aid.

Eh, I don’t see it working. Let’s go through them one by one.

In this episode, Dave sits down with Brian Rust, the host of Panama City Beach and Bay County’s most listened to talk show, The Brian Rust Show on News Talk@101FM. On the air weekdays from 5 – 8AM, Brian not only has a finely tuned sense of voter temperament, but he has the attention of the 2nd Congressional District’s Representative, among others. As the conversation progresses, Dave and Brian discuss the impact of President Biden’s economic prescriptions on voters in the Florida panhandle and across the country.   There’s more to the conversation, including Brian’s diagnosis of the GOP’s electoral prospects in the future.  

From Dave’s perspective on current events, to a fascinating discussion with one talk radio’s brightest lights, to some new plans for Dave’s podcast, this is a fast-paced and compelling show that you won’t want to miss. 

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I am tired of writing about Donald J. Trump, who has had an awful month. At least since November 8th, when many of his anointed and endorsed candidates either underperformed or lost their elections. But here we go again. Some things need to be said. Again. And probably not for the last time. Sigh. Some […]

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J.D. Vance: Don’t Blame Trump (Alone)


J.D. Vance owes his election to the US Senate from the Buckeye State to Donald Trump. Yes, of course, it was a majority of voters in Ohio who elected him. But the former president’s late endorsement in a crowded and competitive primary field that included 2018 GOP Senate nominee and former State Treasurer Josh Mandel was The Factor.

Vance, meanwhile, underperformed the rest of the statewide GOP ticket in Ohio. As previously reported, incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine won by 25 points over his Democratic challenger. The weakest of the three Republicans running for State Supreme Court won by 11 points. Vance won over US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) by seven points.

The U.S. men’s soccer team debuts their new woke jerseys. Also, Donald Trump doesn’t seem inclined to “drain the swamp” when it comes to Kevin McCarthy.

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Are Trump Supporters Ready for Change?


Most food packages come with one of two expiration dates. One says “best if used by” a date after which the quality slowly declines. The second one says “use by” or “expires by,” after which the product may be hazardous to your health.

It appears that Donald Trump may have hit his expiration date. It is hazardous for Republicans to nominate him for another White House run.

It’s Time for a Family Conversation, GOP


Dear fellow Republicans – especially those of you who remain loyal and ardently supportive of former President Donald Trump. We need to have a serious and frank family conversation.

I’m no “never Trumper.” I voted for Trump twice. Reluctantly the first time since I’d strongly supported my friend and former US Senator Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) candidacy for the GOP nomination, followed by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and then finally a vote in the Pennsylvania GOP primary in 2016 for US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Still, there was no way I was voting to help elect Hillary Clinton. Trump got my vote in 2016, Access Hollywood tape and all.

With contentious midterm elections coming up fast, Annika sits down with one of the best-known commentators and participants in the American political economy over the past four decades: Larry Kudlow.

Director Kudlow has had a long and storied career; in addition to great success both on Wall Street and as a political commentator, he served in the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981, and as the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump. He currently hosts the popular Larry Kudlow Show.

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There are plenty of odd moments in the 2022 election season. Thus are the times. New York Democrats played musical chairs following a topsy-turvy US House reapportionment debacle in the Empire State. The head of the House Democrats’ campaign committee, Sean Patrick Maloney, controversially bumped a progressive black incumbent out of one district and now […]

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This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with political scientist and author, Northeastern University Professor William Mayer, about the new book he has edited, The Elephant in the Room: Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party. They discuss how former president Trump has changed, and has been changed, by the GOP, and which path the Republican party is likely to take in the future.


‘Embrace the Suck’: It’s Time to Bridge What Divides the GOP


There’s nothing more zealous than a convert, goes the old saying. Conversions are deeply transformative. Converts more deeply embrace and evangelize their new faith, whether in religion or politics.

It doesn’t just happen with party switchers. Sometimes, someone wakes up and is politically charged when teacher unions keep schools shut down, or they read the homework assignments their kids bring home in utter horror. Or being unable to find infant formula at the grocery store for a newborn. Paying $5 per gallon of gas might do it, too.

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Two of my favorite acronyms are SNAFU and FUBAR. They’re not favorite federal agencies, although they could describe many of them. “Situation normal, all fouled up” is the first one. “Fouled up beyond all recognition” is the second one. Other renditions replace “fouled” with a more colorful f word. Preview Open

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Trump Just Did David McCormick a Big Favor


Former President Donald Trump hasn’t hidden his ambition for another return to the White House. Short of an announcement, he’s strongly hinted that his supporters will “like” his eventual announcement. His poll numbers look good right now.

Meanwhile, according to Ballotpedia, Trump has issued 442 political endorsements since leaving office. That includes 14 gubernatorial candidates and 16 US Senate contests. He previously endorsed author Sean Parnell for the GOP nomination for US Senate. But Parnell dropped out after losing an ugly child custody case to his ex-wife.

Creepy Porn Lawyer Convicted for Stealing $300K from Thicc Thespian


Former presidential hopeful and CNN commentator Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of stealing $300,000 from adult actress Stormy Daniels. This marks the second felony conviction in two years for Avenatti, who rocketed to fame in the early Trump years pushing lawsuits and #resist conspiracy theories. Avenatti stole two book advances from then-client Daniels that totaled nearly $300,000.

Stephanie Clifford, stag name Stormy Daniels, claimed she had been paid $130K in hush money to hide a lewd liaison with the former president. This earned her a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and Avenatti stole the lucrative advance payments. By the time Daniels asked him for the money, he had already spent it, apparently on shiny suits and body oil.

Avenatti bizarrely decided to represent himself in the trial and called Daniels to the stand for a thorough berating. It was to no avail, as the jury decided the porn star who talks to ghosts and receives messages from a doll named “Susan” was more credible than the disgraced lawyer.

Executive Privilege: Take It Seriously


It has certainly been a bad week for Donald Trump in the legal arena, as his many opponents and detractors have launched multiple criminal investigations and civil lawsuits against him in New York, Georgia, and elsewhere. But his worst moment was the Supreme Court’s eight-to-one drubbing in its short decision in Trump v. Thompson. Over the lone dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas, the court refused to entertain Trump’s claim of executive privilege, relying heavily on a similar decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which deferred to the House’s demand that a thorough investigation of the events that led to the Capitol riots/insurrection of January 6,, 2021, necessitated a refusal of the privilege. I think that both anti-Trump decisions are seriously in error. A visceral dislike for Donald Trump offers no grounds for making sound policy. The Supreme Court should reconsider its brief and hasty decision, which poses a genuine threat to the political stability of the presidency.

I am no Trump partisan. As early as February 2017—to much overt pushback—I asked publicly for Trump to resign for the good of the country. His divisive personality has created intolerable political confrontations, and all too often he put his enormous ego ahead of any decent conception of the public good. The (vain) hope of that exhortation was to make Mike Pence president of the United States. The plea was always tricky because contending with Trump’s multiple gyrations made it necessary to accept or reject his specific decisions under the principle of “Trump à la carte.” A man who can be deeply misguided on foreign trade and immigration nonetheless did very well, in my view, in his environmental responses to global warming and in certain key foreign policy decisions, such as moving the US embassy to the Israeli portion of Jerusalem and orchestrating the complex political deal between Israel and several Arab nations, thereby undermining the major Palestinian roadblock that had stood in the way of improved Arab-Israeli arrangements generally. So by 2020, I endorsed Trump over Joe Biden—a call that I do not regret.

Going forward, however, the nation and the Republican Party will suffer a devastating blow if an aging Donald Trump continues to harbor any pretensions for a second term. Such a nomination quest would block the emergence of younger Republican candidates and tar the party with his senseless confrontational posturing. Right now, Ron DeSantis looks like an obvious Republican front-runner, and Rich Lowry is right to exhort DeSantis to learn from some of Trump’s major shortfalls. These are not-so-subtle hints to Trump that he should gracefully step aside in the next presidential election—a suggestion he seemed to internalize by, thankfully, keeping a low profile during the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election when Republican Glenn Youngkin edged out Terry McAuliffe.

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This is the last installment of New Year’s Resolutions for others. Find the first chapters here and here.  I’m happy to offer a final few resolutions for our beloved social media giants, especially Facebook (now Meta), Twitter, Google (Alphabet), Amazon, and the growing legion of alternatives. Stay for a few more resolutions for all American […]

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