Expecting a Trump Indictment, Republicans Attack the Prosecutor
Plus: Is Ukraine’s Window for Victory Closing?
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DENNIS AFTERGUT: Expecting a Trump Indictment, Republicans Attack the Prosecutor.
Over the weekend, MAGA Republicans trotted out their talking points on the anticipated New York indictment of Donald Trump for the $130,000 hush-money payment he made to Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. If the allegations are true, buying her silence to prevent a second Access Hollywood-type scandal—the payment was allegedly made days after that infamous recording was released—may well have preserved his ultimately successful bid for the presidency.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy dubbed any charges against Trump from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “political vengeance.” As Joe Perticone noted yesterday in his Bulwark newsletter, Republican House committee chairs Jim Jordan, James Comer, and Bryan Steil called the expected indictment “an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.” This is a bit rich coming from the guys who’ve abused their congressional oversight authority on “cheap stunts run by partisan grandstanders,” as national columnist Al Hunt put it.
Using a page from his well-worn playbook, Trump framed the narrative about the Manhattan grand jury case on his terms. Plus, the white boy frat party atmosphere at the Tucker Carlson show. Michael Steele joins Charlie Sykes today.
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WILLIAM NATTRASS: Is Ukraine’s Window for Victory Closing?
Slowly but surely, tension is ramping up among Ukraine’s Western allies over a counteroffensive to be launched by Kyiv this year. It’s unclear when the expected attack will begin, or where it will fall, but hopes are high that it will turn the tide of the war decisively in Ukraine’s favor.
Successful Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions last year mean there is cause for optimism, and new military aid packages from the West include equipment that will be vital in a successful counteroffensive.
But as anticipation grows, nervousness is building too. Russia has had months to fortify defensive positions, and President Vladimir Putin presumably hopes that by denying Ukraine victory in 2023, he can erode Western resolve to support Kyiv as next year’s U.S. presidential election draws nearer.
MONA CHAREN: The Grim Trends on Loneliness and Mortality.
You might think that this is an excellent time to be surgeon general of the United States. After all, we’ve just exited the worst pandemic in 100 years. We’re still sniping at one another over what precautions were right and wrong, but today, wherever you go, masks are mostly off, fear has abated, hospitals are resuming normal operation, schools are in session, and theaters, bars, and restaurants are back in business.
I recall imagining, back in 2020, that when COVID-19 was finally in the rearview mirror, we would witness a global party of epic proportions. If the “Roaring Twenties” were partly a reaction to the ebbing of the Spanish flu, perhaps the 2020s would feature a similar eruption of animal spirits and devil-may-care antics (albeit, alas, without the flapper dresses and headbands).
But as Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has observed in a series of interviews, not only are we not kicking up our heels, we are immersed in various forms of psychological misery.
Are you ready for the Sweet 16? My bracket is ranked 100 out of ~120, so I’m beyond busted. Good luck to those in contention! While predicting the madness may not be my forte, I did pull off 1st place in my LearnedLeague rundle, which I didn’t expect!
The cruelty is the point… A TX representative, Tony Tinderholt, was glad to vote against a resolution celebrating Ramadan (which begins today) and eager to explain why. His 22 year old chief of staff is intent on turning America into a Christian theocracy. Ramadan Mubarak to those who observe it!
Utah has a new flag! The old one was not great, but apparently, some people really liked it.
The World Baseball Classic… Showed the world where to find its joy.
The Fed… Is raising rates. Hopefully the measured hike will combat inflation but won’t sink any more banks.
Fraud doesn’t pay… The FL legislator who authored the “don’t say gay” bill is facing potential prison time for six figure COVID fraud.
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