Archive of Articles in the "Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Hannibal Lecter Makes A Campaign Appearance

[ Posted Friday, May 17th, 2024 – 18:17 UTC ]

Presidential debate announcements, Michael Cohen testifying, and The Jerry Springer Show breaking out in a House committee -- it's been an eventful political week all around, folks!

But we have to begin today with a very sobering piece of data, just to put everything in some perspective. We (rather obviously) personally live and breathe the political scene, and it is a fair assumption that anyone who regularly reads this column all the way to the end (a weekly marathon, 'tis true...) is also pretty plugged in to the follies of the everyday political landscape as well. We all pay attention, in other words. Not just to the large and meaningful events, but also to the small and amusing. But it cannot be repeated enough: this is not exactly normal. Most Americans just don't pay all that much attention to politics. Like, at all.

Read Complete Article »

Debates Confirmed

[ Posted Friday, May 17th, 2024 – 14:08 UTC ]

So it's now official: the presidential debates are on! Well, two of them at any rate -- and a lot earlier than normal. On June 27th, before the two men are even officially nominated by their respective parties' national conventions, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump will debate on CNN. Then on September 10th, they will meet again with ABC hosting. There will also be an additional vice-presidential debate, but as of yet no date has been announced for it. And Biden has already indicated that two will be the limit -- there won't be a third or fourth debate, these two will be it for this campaign season.

Read Complete Article »

Watching Maryland

[ Posted Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 – 15:39 UTC ]

Today my eyes have turned towards Maryland, and not just to watch the video clips of the explosive demolition of part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (which was indeed fascinating to see). The plans to fully reopen the port seem to be moving forward on schedule, which is doubtlessly some very welcome news for both the city and the whole state. But tonight I'll be watching Maryland for a different reason, since they are holding their primary election today.

The big race worth watching here is who will win the Democratic primary for an open Senate seat. The Republican primary became a foregone conclusion with the entry of the state's former governor, Larry Hogan. Which Democrat will face him could be crucial to control of the Senate this November, though.

Read Complete Article »

Michael Cohen Takes The Stand

[ Posted Monday, May 13th, 2024 – 16:50 UTC ]

Today was probably the key day of the prosecution's testimony in the trial of Donald Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former "fixer," became the prosecution's star witness as he took the stand, since he is the one who can best tie together all the threads of the case introduced so far. Tomorrow will continue to be key, as the prosecution is likely to finish their direct questions and the defense will begin Cohen's cross-examination. The entire case could very well hinge on how the jury reacts to his testimony these two days, and whether or not they find him believable.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Not Unlike Mr. Trump

[ Posted Friday, May 10th, 2024 – 17:40 UTC ]

You'll have to forgive us, but nobody really has any experience with this sort of thing -- an adult film actress/director testifying under oath in a criminal trial about a sexual encounter with a man who would go on to become president. Even Bill Clinton's got to be shaking his head in disbelief somewhere, one assumes.

Read Complete Article »

The Split-Screen That Wasn't

[ Posted Thursday, May 9th, 2024 – 16:21 UTC ]

What we should all really be seeing, at this point, is a drawn-out split-screen moment. Call it a "split-screen couple of weeks," maybe. However, this hasn't really been the case, for two reasons. The first is that cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom of the first criminal trial of an ex-president in American history. So even following the trial at home is a once-removed experience: following along with the New York Times liveblog (who seems to have the most comprehensive coverage of all the newsfeeds I have sampled) as they document each development in the case, whether monumental or simply mundane. Snippets of what is going on in the courtroom appear all day long, from the jousting of the lawyers and the witnesses to the reactions of the judge and jury to whether Donald Trump seems to have fallen asleep again or not. Fascinating stuff, but not exactly the same as it would have been on live television.

Read Complete Article »

Greene Plows Ahead, Fails To Remove Johnson

[ Posted Wednesday, May 8th, 2024 – 16:55 UTC ]

Today, Greene decided to perform her stunt even knowing full well it was going to fail. And it did fail -- spectacularly. A preliminary vote was held on a motion to "table" (or "ignore," essentially) Greene's motion. If the preliminary vote had failed, the House would have then moved to vote on Greene's motion to vacate the chair. But the preliminary vote was overwhelmingly in favor of ignoring Greene and for keeping Johnson as speaker. In the end, only 11 Republicans voted against Johnson, which is not much of an uprising. The final tally was 359 to 43, with 196 Republicans voting to table the motion along with a whopping 163 Democrats. Only 32 Democrats voted against tabling the motion, while seven Democrats merely voted: "Present."

Read Complete Article »

Greene Backs Down

[ Posted Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 – 16:15 UTC ]

And so Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's doomed attempt to take down yet another Republican House speaker appears to have ended with a whimper, not a bang. After meeting with Speaker Mike Johnson twice (both yesterday and today), she appears to have backed off -- at least for the foreseeable future. With Greene, you never really know what she'll do next, but at least for the time being she appears to have been talked out of forcing her "motion to vacate the chair" onto the House floor this week.

Read Complete Article »

Trump Gaslights On Abortion

[ Posted Monday, May 6th, 2024 – 16:44 UTC ]

It's always impossible to know, when Donald Trump settles on a new worldview, whether he actually believes it is reality, or whether he's fully conscious of gaslighting everyone with a made-up story that just conveniently always makes himself out to be the good guy (who never does anything wrong). Gaslighting seems the obvious answer, but Trump seems to buy into his own fantasies so deeply (see: the 2020 election results) that you have to wonder how attached he is to the reality that everyone else lives in. But we'll just leave any diagnosis to trained mental health professionals, because whether he actually believes his gaslighting or not is kind of irrelevant to the rest of us. And in the past few months, Trump has developed a new mental construct where the issue of abortion is, as he put it in a recent interview, "not that big of an issue" any more.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- A Grown Man Running Against A Six-Year-Old

[ Posted Friday, May 3rd, 2024 – 18:08 UTC ]

Again, we open with a joke or two. From last weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Joe Biden got off a few good burns on the man he's running against:

Read Complete Article »