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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Donald the Deranged

  Our books have discussed Trump's low character. New York courts have found that he is a rapist and a fraud.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Republicans Botch Impeachment Hearing

Some inside the GOP expressed frustration to CNN in real time with how the House GOP’s first impeachment inquiry hearing was playing out, as the Republican witnesses directly undercut the GOP’s own narrative and admitted there is no evidence that Biden has committed impeachable offenses.

“You want witnesses that make your case. Picking witnesses that refute House Republicans arguments for impeachment is mind blowing,” one senior GOP aide told CNN. “This is an unmitigated disaster.”

One GOP lawmaker also expressed some disappointment with their performance thus far, telling CNN: “I wish we had more outbursts.”

The bar for Thursday’s hearing was set low: Republicans admitted they would not reveal any new evidence, but were hoping to at least make the public case for why their impeachment inquiry is warranted, especially as some of their own members remain skeptical of the push.

But some Republicans are not even paying attention, as Congress is on the brink of a shutdown – a point Democrats hammered during the hearing.

“I haven’t watched or listened to a moment of it,” said another GOP lawmaker. There’s a shutdown looming.”

Debate and "Birdbrain"

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The the 2024 race has begun.

Zachary Basu at Axios:

Chaos reigned in the second GOP presidential debate, which brought together seven candidates who are collectively polling at around 37% — a full 16 points below former President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has paid no price for skipping the debates — his polling share has actually increased from 52% to 54% since the August affair — and he looks set to steamroll his way to the GOP nomination absent a political earthquake or consolidation of the field.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is clinging to second place after a summer reset, delivered perhaps the only appropriate response to the long odds he and every other candidate faces: "Polls don't elect presidents — voters elect presidents."
But as the two-hour spectacle wound down at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., strong performances from DeSantis, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott ultimately seemed unlikely to reshape the trajectory of the race.
4 takeaways
1. Trump's presence was felt.
  • DeSantis finally made his move at Trump after ignoring the former president during the first debate: "Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight," he declared, before returning to the well later on to attack Trump over positions on abortion.
  • The problem? DeSantis' reluctance to assert himself early on allowed former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has centered his campaign on taking down Trump, to make virtually the same point 90 seconds earlier.
  • Christie dubbed Trump "Donald Duck" for skipping the debates — a line that produced groans from the audience but achieved its apparent goal of trending on social media.

2. Haley flaunts "bring it on" mentality.
  • Haley, who saw the biggest polling boost after her first debate performance, was sharp on policy details and came prepared to brawl — including by launching the first attack DeSantis had faced in either of the two debates.
  • The former South Carolina governor had a heated exchange with Scott over who has better experience — at one point confidently responding, "Bring it, Tim" — and renewed her feud with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy over his foreign policy views.
  • "Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say," Haley snapped at Ramaswamy after he defended his campaign's decision to join TikTok.
  • In a sign that Haley has come to be viewed as a potential threat, the Trump campaign circulated a fact sheet in the middle of the debate titled, "The Real Nikki Haley."

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


 Our books have discussed Trump's low character. New York courts have found that he is a rapist and a fraud.

Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess at NYT:
A New York judge ruled on Tuesday that Donald J. Trump persistently committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets, and stripped the former president of control over some of his signature New York properties.

The surprising decision by Justice Arthur F. Engoron is a major victory for Attorney General Letitia James in her lawsuit against Mr. Trump, effectively deciding that no trial was needed to determine that he had fraudulently secured favorable terms on loans and insurance deals.

Ms. James has argued that Mr. Trump inflated the value of his properties by as much as $2.2 billion and is seeking a penalty of about $250 million in a trial scheduled to begin as early as Monday.

Justice Engoron wrote that the annual financial statements that Mr. Trump submitted to banks and insurance companies “clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business.”

While the trial will determine the size of the penalty, Justice Engoron’s ruling granted one of the biggest punishments Ms. James sought: the cancellation of business certificates that allow some of Mr. Trump’s New York properties to operate, a move that could have major repercussions for the Trump family business.

From the order:

Exacerbating defendants' obstreperous conduct is their continued reliance on bogus arguments , in papers and oral argument. In defendants world: rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting responsibility on another party exonerates the other party's lies; the Attorney General of the State ofNew York does not have capacity to sue or standing to sue ( never mind all those cases where the Attorney General has sued successfully) under a statute expressly designed to provide that right; all illegal acts are untimely if they stem from one untimely act ; and square footage subjective. 
That is a fantasy world, not the real world. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

More Threats

 Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.  Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellioncoups, and secession.  Trump posted a picture of himself holding a baseball bat, right next to a picture of DA Bragg. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Looming Shutdown

Katherine Tully-McManus and Adam Cancryn:
There is little optimism in most quarters for a last-minute rescue plan. And Republicans are feeling a keen sense of apprehension that their party will suffer badly should a shutdown transpire.

“We always get the blame,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a senior appropriator. “Name one time that we’ve shut the government down and we haven’t got the blame.”

 Liz Brown-Kaiser at NBC:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday that shutdowns are a political liability for his party as Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the government open.

At his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, McConnell, R-Ky., made it very clear that he’s “not a fan of government shutdowns.”

“I’ve seen a few of them over the years. They never have produced a policy change and they’ve always been a loser for Republicans politically,” he said. 

And a White House statement, with a state-by-state breakdown of the number of women and children at risk of losing critical nutrition assistance under an Extreme Republican Shutdown:

With less than one week before the end of the fiscal year, extreme House Republicans are playing partisan games with peoples’ lives and marching our country toward a government shutdown that would have damaging impacts across the country—including putting vital nutrition assistance at risk for nearly 7 million women and children who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—a program that serves nearly half of babies born in this country.
During an Extreme Republican Shutdown, women and children who count on WIC would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters, with a federal contingency fund drying up after just a few days and many states left with limited WIC funds to operate the program.



Sunday, September 24, 2023

Republicans and Vaccines

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

 Sally Goldenberg at Politico:

Ron DeSantis rose to national fame as the Covid-skeptical governor of Florida — giving voice to people frustrated by lockdowns, wary of facemasks and irate over vaccine mandates.

Now, with cases on the rise, the embattled DeSantis is leaning into his COVID strategy again. But this time Republicans don’t seem to care as much.

“Covid restrictions have gone from a dominant issue that got talked about all the time in the focus groups to one that never comes up. People just don’t talk about it anymore,” said Sarah Longwell, an anti-Trump Republican strategist who routinely conducts focus groups. “Covid cost [DeSantis] one of his calling cards.”


“He’s been given a platform because he’s running for president. He should make it clear what the vaccine can and cannot do … when he says I’m not getting any more vaccines,” said Paul Offit, a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and prior member of the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “I don’t even think he’s winking and nodding when he says RFK Jr. could be my head of CDC. I think he’s clearly embracing the anti-vax activists.”

“There is no denying that this vaccine works to prevent symptomatic infection, especially serious infection,” said Offit. Offit, who is 72 years old, said he has “never” seen such a politicized reaction to a medical vaccine during his lifetime, adding: “I can safely say that this is the first virus in human history where you’re far more likely to die if you are Republican than if you are Democrat.”

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Trump and Milley

 Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.  Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellioncoups, and secession.

Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic:

Joseph Dunford, the Marine general who preceded Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had also faced onerous and unusual challenges. But during the first two years of the Trump presidency, Dunford had been supported by officials such as Kelly, Mattis, Tillerson, and McMaster. These men attempted, with intermittent success, to keep the president’s most dangerous impulses in check. (According to the Associated Press, Kelly and Mattis made a pact with each other that one of them would remain in the country at all times, so the president would never be left unmonitored.) By the time Milley assumed the chairman’s role, all of those officials were gone—driven out or fired.


In the weeks before the election, Milley was a dervish of activity. He spent much of his time talking with American allies and adversaries, all worried about the stability of the United States. In what would become his most discussed move, first reported by Woodward and Costa, he called Chinese General Li Zuocheng, his People’s Liberation Army counterpart, on October 30, after receiving intelligence that China believed Trump was going to order an attack. “General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley said, according to Peril. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you. General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise … If there was a war or some kind of kinetic action between the United States and China, there’s going to be a buildup, just like there has been always in history.”

Milley later told the Senate Armed Services Committee that this call, and a second one two days after the January 6 insurrection, represented an attempt to “deconflict military actions, manage crisis, and prevent war between great powers that are armed with the world’s most deadliest weapons.”

Trump has responded with a not-so-veiled death threat.


More on Specials

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and local elections

Nathaniel Rakich at ABC writes about the D win in a NH special election:

“Hang on,” you might be saying. “Only 2,800 people voted in this election.” (New Hampshire House districts are really tiny.) “Does that really mean anything?” On its own, no — any single special election can be influenced by any number of factors, including candidate quality or parochial issues. But Democrats have been posting special-election overperformances of that magnitude all year long, in all kinds of districts. And on average, they have won by margins 11 points higher than the weighted relative partisanship of their districts.
That’s more than just an impressive streak — it’s a potential sign of a Democratic wave election in 2024. In each of the past three election cycles, a party’s average overperformance in all special elections in a given cycle has been a close match for the eventual House popular vote in the eventual general election — albeit a couple of points better for Democrats.

 And according to Daily Kos Elections (albeit using a different methodology), the correlation between special-election results and the House popular vote has been strong since at least the 1989-90 cycle — though, importantly, there have been some exceptions, like 1997-98.


Friday, September 22, 2023

Trump Rigs GOP Rules

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The the 2024 race has begun.

Seema Mehta at LAT:
Strategic, surgical efforts by former President Trump’s campaign to overhaul obscure Republican Party rules in states around the nation, including California, have created an opportunity for the GOP front-runner to quickly sew up his party’s presidential nomination.

The former president’s aides have sculpted rules in dozens of states, starting even before his 2020 reelection bid. Their work is ongoing: In addition to California, state Republican parties in Nevada and Michigan have recently overhauled their rules in ways clearly designed to favor Trump.

This election, “despite a large number of candidates, only the Trump campaign went out and did the really hard grunt work of talking to state parties to try and get them to meld their rules to Donald Trump’s favor,” said Ben Ginsberg, a veteran GOP attorney who represented the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush — notably during the 2000 Florida recount — and Mitt Romney.


But the work started in earnest years ago — changes were made in 30 states and territories in 2019, according to Josh Putnam, a political scientist who focuses on the presidential nomination process and runs FrontloadingHQ. Among the rules changes were switching from proportional delegate allocation, where multiple candidates can win delegates in a state, to winner-take-all. In some states, delegates are also being awarded based on the outcome of party-run caucuses among GOP activists, many of whom remain loyal to Trump, rather than official state primary elections.

They have had a number of successes: Nevada will award all of its delegates based on the results of a Feb. 8 in-person caucus, two days after a meaningless all-mail state primary — an uncommon scenario. The primary may be canceled if no candidate files to appear on the ballot, and there is talk of the state party not allowing any candidate who appears on the ballot to compete in the caucus. Michigan will allocate most of its delegates through caucuses on March 2 rather than the state’s primary on Feb. 27. Colorado and Louisiana are considering revamping their rules so delegates are bound to a candidate during a second round of voting if no candidate receives a majority during the first round.

Operatives in California, Nevada and elsewhere say they were forced to change their rules to align with national Republican Party requirements, which include mandating some proportional delegate allocation opportunities in states where contests take place before March 15. Though they claim these modifications do not benefit any candidate, most political experts are skeptical, partly because the leaders of many of these groups are Trump loyalists.

In California, the state GOP voted in late July to award all of their 169 delegates to a candidate who receives more than 50% of the vote in the March primary, and to allocate them proportionally based on the statewide vote if no candidate clears that benchmark. The state previously awarded them by congressional district, theoretically allowing candidates to target certain regions without having to advertise across a state that contains some of the most expensive media markets in the nation.

The change is largely viewed as making the state less competitive for candidates who can’t afford to blanket the airwaves before California and 14 other states vote on March 5, Super Tuesday.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

DeSantis Skyfall

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

DeSantis is doing very very poorly.

Ron DeSantis is in freefall in New Hampshire.

The Florida GOP governor, who once polled ahead of former President Donald Trump in the first primary state, has now fallen solidly back into the pack, competing in a crowded race with biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for second place in a new survey.

Support for DeSantis cratered to 10 percent in the CNN/University of New Hampshire poll released Wednesday, his worst showing in a public poll of Granite Staters yet, according to the list compiled by polling aggregator Real Clear Politics. He’s down 32 points from the January UNH survey in which he led Trump 42 percent to 30 percent. He now sits 29 points behind the former president.

“The campaign for Ron DeSantis is on life support,” veteran New Hampshire GOP strategist Mike Dennehy said in response to the poll. “He has one shot at resuscitation and that is the debate next week.”

DeSantis finished fifth in the survey, behind Ramaswamy at 13 percent, Haley at 12 percent and Christie at 11 percent. But because of the poll’s margin of error, the candidates are statistically in a four-way tie for second.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


 Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and local elections

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Kevin's Gate

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good.  Disarray threatens the GOP's tenuous grip on the House.

Kimberly Leonard at Politico:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is gunning for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, attacking the embattled GOP leader from the right and aligning himself with insurgent conservatives in Congress who are threatening a government shutdown.

What started as a private strategy session last week between DeSantis and House hardliners has now erupted into a frontal attack on McCarthy. On Monday, DeSantis ridiculed McCarthy’s record on government spending and accused him of being complicit in running up a massive federal debt balance. On Tuesday, the governor’s campaign sent out an email admonishing McCarthy all over again while urging House Republicans to buck the speaker in the current government funding negotiations.

  Melanie Zanona, Haley Talbot and Manu Raju, CNN:

Tensions are flaring inside the House Republican conference as it barrels toward a government shutdown, with the infighting spilling out into public view and growing increasingly nasty.

“This is stupidity,” New York Rep. Mike Lawler said of GOP hardliners’ demands on spending, prompting the Republican freshman to privately float a new plan to work with Democrats and force a vote keeping the government open past September 30.

At the center of much of the drama: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, attacking Speaker Kevin McCarthy in personal terms. But he’s also engaged in social media spats with fellow hardline conservatives who helped broker a House GOP plan to fund the government first revealed on Sunday evening.

Rep. Byron Donalds, also a Florida Republican, shot back at Gaetz’s criticism of the plan, writing on social media: “Matt, tell the people the truth. … What’s your plan to get the votes to defund Jack Smith? You’ll need more than tweets and hot takes!!”

Rep. Chip Roy, a conservative from Texas who helped reach the deal, also slammed hardliners’ opposition, saying on a conservative radio show: “I don’t know whether we’ll have the votes or not, because I’ve got a lot of conservative friends who like to beat their chests and thump around going, ‘Oh, this isn’t pure enough.’ “

Monday, September 18, 2023

Trump to Jews: Support Me, or Else

Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Trump has praised Vivek Ramaswamy, done interviews with Tucker Carlson, and dined with Nick Fuentes.

Trump has previously warned Jewish voters that they should support him, or else.

Ken Meyer at Mediaite:

Donald Trump marked the Jewish New Year by posting a meme that trashed “liberal Jews” and claimed he deserves more political support from Jewish people.

As observers took the weekend to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Trump posted the meme to Truth Social on Sunday, which said “Just a quick reminder for liberal Jews who voted to destroy America & Israel because you believed false narratives! Let’s hope you learned from your mistake & make better choices moving forward! Happy New Year!”

That was hardly the end of it:

Wake Up Sheep. What Natzi / Anti Semite ever did this for the Jewish people or Israel?

#1 Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem which is Israel’s true capital. No other president had the balls to do it.

#2 Trump recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

#3 Trump recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over settlements in Judea & Samaria.

#4 Trump signs an executive order for Judaism to be a nationality in addition to a religion so it would fall under the category Title

VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs receiving federal financial assistance. Institutions that violate Title VI may lose their federal funding. This means that BDS will have a hard time harassing Jewish students on college campuses.

#5 May 2020 – Trump Signs the ‘Never Again’ Education bill into law which aloocates millions of dollars to expand Holocaust awareness and create websites with curriculum tools for teachers

Clearly, one of the greatest Anti Semites of our time!


Trump has an established style of giving passive-aggressive holiday greetings to his various political foes, though he also has a known history of complaining about his lack of support from Jewish American voters. There have been numerous past instances where Trump has called Jewish people ungrateful, ignorant, and disloyal for opposing his agenda, or for criticicing the Israeli government. The latter falls under the dual-loyalty trope.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

GOP Behavior Issues

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good.  

On a near party-line vote, the Texas Senate failed to convict the indicted Ken Paxton from his post as attorney general.Zach Despart at The Texas Tribune:

The dramatic votes capped a two-week trial where a parade of witnesses, including former senior officials under Paxton, testified that the attorney general had repeatedly abused his office by helping his friend, struggling Austin real estate investor Nate Paul, investigate and harass his enemies, delay foreclosure sales of his properties and obtain confidential records on the police investigating him. In return, House impeachment managers said Paul paid to renovate Paxton’s Austin home and helped him carry out ­and cover up an extramarital affair with a former Senate aide. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023


In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's record of disregarding the rule of law.  Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.   Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie.


Since the grand jury returned an indictment in this case, the defendant has repeatedly and widely disseminated public statements attacking the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses. Through his statements, the defendant threatens to undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool, in contravention of the “undeviating rule” that in our justice system a jury’s verdict is to “be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence.” Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 351 (1966) (quotations omitted). In accordance with the Court’s duty to “protect [its] processes from prejudicial outside interferences,” id. at 363, the Government requests that the Court take the following immediate measures to ensure the due administration of justice and a fair and impartial jury: (1) enter a narrowly tailored order pursuant to Local Criminal Rule 57.7(c) that restricts certain prejudicial extrajudicial statements; and (2) enter an order through which the Court can ensure that if either party conducts a jury study involving contact with the citizens of this District, the jury study is conducted in a way that will not prejudice the venire. The Government obtained the defendant’s position from counsel for the defendant, and he opposes this motion. Case 1:23-cr-00257-TSC

Friday, September 15, 2023

Romney on the GOP

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution.

“A very large portion of my party,” he told me one day, “really doesn’t believe in the Constitution.” He’d realized this only recently, he said. We were a few months removed from an attempted coup instigated by Republican leaders, and he was wrestling with some difficult questions. Was the authoritarian element of the GOP a product of President Trump, or had it always been there, just waiting to be activated by a sufficiently shameless demagogue? And what role had the members of the mainstream establishment—­people like him, the reasonable Republicans—played in allowing the rot on the right to fester?

What bothered Romney most about Hawley and his cohort was the oily disingenuousness. “They know better!” he told me. “Josh Hawley is one of the smartest people in the Senate, if not the smartest, and Ted Cruz could give him a run for his money.” They were too smart, Romney believed, to actually think that Trump had won the 2020 election. Hawley and Cruz “were making a calculation,” Romney told me, “that put politics above the interests of liberal democracy and the Constitution.”

But as Romney surveyed the crop of Republicans running for Senate in 2022, it was clear that more Hawleys were on their way. Perhaps most disconcerting was J. D. Vance, the Republican candidate in Ohio. “I don’t know that I can disrespect someone more than J. D. Vance,” Romney told me. They’d first met years earlier, after he read Vance’s best-selling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy. Romney was so impressed with the book that he hosted the author at his annual Park City summit in 2018. Vance, who grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family in Appalachia and went on to graduate from Yale Law School, had seemed bright and thoughtful, with interesting ideas about how Republicans could court the white working class without indulging in toxic Trumpism. Then, in 2021, Vance decided he wanted to run for Senate, and re­invented his entire persona overnight. Suddenly, he was railing against the “childless left” and denouncing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a “fake holiday” and accusing Joe Biden of manufacturing the opioid crisis “to punish people who didn’t vote for him.” The speed of the MAGA makeover was jarring.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

House GOP Disarray, continued

 Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.

Disarray threatens the GOP's tenuous grip on the House.

 Zachary Basu at Axios:

  • The House was forced to cancel a vote Wednesday on advancing funding for the Pentagon — typically viewed as the least controversial appropriations bill — after Freedom Caucus Republicans rebelled over spending levels.
  • Another typically uncontroversial appropriations bill funding agriculture has been scrapped entirely over an internal GOP debate about abortion policy, pitting moderates against conservatives.
  • McCarthy's announcement of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden — which he bet would mollify conservatives itching for a government shutdown — appears to have backfired, with some Republicans trashing it as a "distraction."
  • GOP leadership now is advocating for a short-term continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30. But if McCarthy puts such a bill on the floor, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has vowed to trigger daily votes to oust him as speaker.

Meanwhile, Lauren Boebert -- who won reelection by the narrowest of margins -- has not exactly helped her prospects for a third term.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Biden's Real Problem

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policyBiden has a problem.

 From the Census Bureau:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income in 2022 fell in comparison to 2021. The official poverty rate of 11.5% was not statistically different between 2021 and 2022. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate in 2022 was 12.4%, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from 2021. This is the first increase in the overall SPM poverty rate since 2010. Meanwhile, 92.1% of the U.S. population had health insurance coverage for all or part of 2022 (compared to 91.7% in 2021). An estimated 25.9 million or 7.9% of people did not have health insurance at any point during 2022, according to the 2023 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). That compares to 27.2 million or 8.3% of people who did not have health insurance at any point during 2021.

Real median household income fell by 2.3% from $76,330 in 2021 to $74,580 in 2022. Income estimates are expressed in real or 2022 dollars to reflect changes in the cost of living. Between 2021 and 2022, inflation rose 7.8%; this is the largest annual increase in the cost-of-living adjustment since 1981. This year’s report is the first in which the Census Bureau used the Chained Consumer Price Index to adjust prior year income estimates for inflation. You can find more in-depth analysis in our recent Random Samplings blog.

The real median earnings of all workers (including part-time and full-time workers) decreased 2.2% between 2021 and 2022, while median earnings of those who worked full-time, year-round decreased 1.3%. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of full-time, year-round workers increased by 3.4%, compared to a 1.7% increase in the number of total workers. This suggests a continuing shift from working part-time or part-year to full-time, year-round work in 2022.

The official poverty rate in 2022 was 11.5%, with 37.9 million people in poverty. Neither the rate nor the number in poverty was significantly different from 2021. The SPM rate in 2022 was 12.4%, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from 2021. This increase can be attributed to key changes in federal tax policy, including the expiration of temporary expansions to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as the end of pandemic-era stimulus payments. This is the first increase in the overall SPM poverty rate since 2010.

In 2022, 7.9% of people did not have health insurance at any time during the calendar year. Private health insurance coverage continued to be more prevalent than public coverage, at 65.6% and 36.1%, respectively. Some people may have more than one coverage type during the calendar year. Of the subtypes of health insurance, employer-based insurance was the most common subtype of health insurance, covering 54.5% of the population for some or all of the calendar year, followed by Medicaid (18.8%), Medicare (18.7%), direct-purchase coverage (9.9%), TRICARE (2.4%), and VA and CHAMPVA coverage (1.0%).

These findings come from three Census Bureau reports: Income in the United States: 2022, Poverty in the United States: 2022, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2022. While the official poverty measure is based on the concept of money income, which is pretax and does not include stimulus payments and tax credits, the SPM is a post-tax and transfer poverty measure. The SPM provides an alternative way of measuring poverty in the United States and serves as an additional indicator of economic well-being. The Census Bureau has published poverty estimates using the SPM annually since 2011 in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Congressional Republicans in Disarray

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

To distract attention from Trump's indictments, some House Republicans want to impeach Biden.

Carl Hulse at NYT:
Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s job is on the line as the House returns on Tuesday to confront a funding impasse that could lead to a government shutdown or a challenge to the California Republican’s hold on the top post in the House.

Far-right Republicans are refusing to back a measure to keep the federal government funded past Sept. 30 without substantial spending cuts and stringent new border policies that stand little chance of becoming law. They are also threatening to depose Mr. McCarthy should he turn to Democrats for assistance in scrounging together the votes he needs to avoid a shutdown.

Intensifying the pressure, Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and frequent critic of the speaker, planned to deliver a floor speech on Tuesday outlining the arch-conservative case against Mr. McCarthy, laying the groundwork for a potential move to oust him. The criticism was to cover what Mr. Gaetz and others see as Mr. McCarthy’s failure to live up to promises he made to win the speakership, including his handling of the budget process and continuing investigations of President Biden and his family.

“Stay tuned,” Mr. Gaetz said on Monday night when reached for comment, though he declined to elaborate.

In a bid to hold off his detractors, allies of Mr. McCarthy said he would tell House Republicans this week that he endorsed an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden, a plan reported earlier by Punchbowl News. The move is intended to rally conservatives behind him, but it is unclear whether it would be sufficient to protect him from a challenge should he cross the right wing in the spending negotiations.


Melanie Zanona and Annie Grayer at CNN:

Conservative Rep. Ken Buck is just one of several House Republicans standing in the way of the right’s push to impeach President Joe Biden.

But his high-profile seat on the key House Judiciary Committee, recent outspoken interviews railing against the House GOP’s investigative efforts, and long track record of bucking his own party have put a target on his back in conservative circles.

Now, there is a serious effort underway to find a candidate to mount a primary challenge against Buck in his solidly red district in eastern Colorado, three GOP sources told CNN – the latest sign of tension as the House GOP grapples with internal divisions over everything from its agenda to former President Donald Trump.

Alexander Bolton at The Hill:

“It really comes to how do you prioritize your time? I don’t know of anybody who believes [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] will take it up and actually have a trial and convict a sitting president,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate GOP leadership team.

Cornyn noted that House Republicans could investigate the Bidens without launching a formal impeachment inquiry because they control the lower chamber.

Since they got the majority, they got the chairmen of the various committees, they could do all of that now without going to a formal inquiry,” he said. “Members of the House don’t really care what I think. All I can tell you, it’s unlikely to be successful in the Senate.

“Rather than doing something they know is unlikely to end the way they would like, maybe they want to emphasize other things.”

Cornyn is far from alone in his assessment.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) on Monday expressed reservation about linking a bill to avoid a government shutdown to a vote on launching impeachment proceedings.

“Well, obviously they can launch [a formal inquiry] there without tying it to government funding. Hopefully they can work all that out, how they want to handle those issues in the House,” he said.

Asked if there’s enough evidence to impeach Biden, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), another member of the Senate GOP leadership team, replied: “I do not.”