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A Meaningless Debate
Plus: A Civil Case May Have Just Cost Trump His Business.
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CHARLIE SYKES: Actually, We’re All a Little Bit Dumber
JOE PERTICONE: The Biden Impeachment Inquiry Starts With a Flop 🔐
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NICHOLAS GROSSMAN: In Trump’s Shadow, a Meaningless Debate.
HOSTED AT THE REAGAN LIBRARY, Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate billed the primary race as a “time for choosing,” but avoided discussing the choice that matters most. It felt like a broadcast from an alternate dimension—one where the Senate had convicted Donald Trump in the January 6th impeachment and barred him from office, freeing up Republicans to leave Trump and all his baggage behind them and hash out serious policy questions.
A.B. STODDARD: Pro-Life Voters Will Eat Whatever Trump Serves Them.
DESPITE BEING HANDED A PRIME OPPORTUNITY to rip at former President Donald Trump, the candidates on stage at Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate had little to say about the frontrunner’s recent dismissal of abortion bans.
Only Ron DeSantis, who was asked directly about the issue of abortion, criticized Trump. “The former president, you know, he’s missing in action tonight,” the Florida governor said. “I want him to look into the eyes” of people “who have been fighting this fight for a long time” and explain his views.
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KIMBERLY WEHLE: A Civil Case May Have Just Cost Trump His Business.
ALTHOUGH ALL EYES ARE ON the four criminal indictments against Donald Trump, Trump himself is undoubtedly seething over what just happened in the civil case brought against him and his companies by New York Attorney General Letitia James. On Tuesday, state court Judge Arthur F. Engoron entered a judgment against Trump on one of seven fraud-related counts. This one involves exorbitantly inflated or deflated property valuations made in statements of financial condition (SFCs), which reported his businesses’ assets, liabilities, and the value that would be returned to investors if they liquidated in a given year, for purposes of securing financing and insurance between 2011 and 2021.
MONA CHAREN: The Fear Factor in Republican Politics.
Now Trump has upped the ante by including a reference to the death penalty, which is in fact a punishment available in cases of treason, not just “in times gone by.” Trump knows full well that some of his more rabid followers may interpret this as an invitation to assassination, just as the January 6th crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence.” That thuggishness, that play of the finger near the trigger, places Trump in a category all his own in American politics.
Happy Thursday! I know lots of Republicans are eager to make Glenn Youngkin for President a thing, but the timeline does not work. And in sports news, Tito Francona got a proper send off in Cleveland, and the USFL and the XFL are merging.
Gavin Newsom… Is piling on after last night’s FoxBiz circus on Ron DeSantis, who is seemingly quite excited to debate… him? Meanwhile, the health department of the “Free State of Florida™” is showing how unserious it is.
The sound of hypocrisy… Women Accuse Tim Ballard of ‘Spiritual Manipulation, Grooming, and Sexual Misconduct’.
The GOP Primary is an Overcooked Turkey… Reed Galen argues that “Ronna Romney and Co. Have Rigged the Game for Trump.”
A Scottish travel horror story… When taking the train.
The legend of Brown Smear… In Newfoundland.
Peter Daou’s Theory of Election Interference….by Democrats?
She challenges one school book a week... She says she’ll never stop. Interesting stat from the story: “The majority of all school book challenges in the 2021-2022 school year came from just 11 people.”
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.