Gaming Out Whitmer vs. Trump and DeSantis.
Plus, How Rod Dreher Caused an International Scandal in Eastern Europe.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: This Is Not "Punching" Back
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AMANDA CARPENTER: Gaming Out Whitmer vs. Trump and DeSantis.
Gretchen Whitmer has said flat out that she will not run for president in 2024. Democrats should hope the Michigan governor changes her mind.
First, let’s get this out of the way: Her denials about running in 2024 are, at this point, politically obligatory. Imagine the backlash if she were to say, “Yes, I can’t wait to primary the current Democratic president who surpassed all expectations in his first term. My announcement is coming soon. Send money now.” Probably not great! Besides, she’s not a party insurgent. Biden vetted her to be his vice president in 2020, and she would have accepted the invitation to be his running mate had he offered. She’s podcast buds with Hillary Clinton. In her recent State of the State address, she offered an homage to her state’s retiring Democratic senior senator, Debbie Stabenow, by quoting an old motto of hers: “Michigan makes stuff and grows stuff.” She’s a team player.
GISELLE DONNELLY: Trump’s Escalation in the ‘Gender War’
Two months into the lackluster start of his 2024 presidential bid, Donald Trump rolled out the most reliable weapon in the MAGA arsenal: a full-scale attack on transgender Americans and the medical and therapeutic communities that care for them.
In a three-and-a-half-minute video screed first posted on his Truth Social platform, Trump announced an onslaught of gender-war measures going far beyond the questions raised in recent years about bathroom use, trans participation in women’s sports, or the prescription of puberty blockers or hormones for adolescents. “On day one,” vowed Trump, “I will revoke Joe Biden’s policies on so-called ‘gender-affirming’ care—ridiculous!”…
Merrick Garland likes to say that no one is above the law, but the DOJ’s own guidelines make it clear that some people are more equal than others. And no one exemplifies the disparities in our criminal justice system better than Donald Trump. Elie Honig joins Charlie Sykes today.
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BALÁZS GULYÁS: How Rod Dreher Caused an International Scandal in Eastern Europe.
Last week, Rod Dreher, the American author now living in Hungary, caused a diplomatic scandal that has gone largely unnoticed in his home country.
Dreher’s stay in Hungary is apparently financed, at least in part, by the Hungarian taxpayers. Last year, he was a visiting professor at Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), an institution engaged in training future government cadres that operates from public funds provided by the government of Viktor Orbán. The Hungarian edition of Dreher’s most recent book, Live Not by Lies, was published by the MCC Press. And this year, Dreher is a visiting research fellow at the Danube Institute, a conservative think tank founded by the Hungarian government.
JOE PERTICONE: The House COVID subcommittee has anti-vaxxers and some of the insurance industry's top allies.
Last week, Republicans announced their assignments for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, a range of lawmakers with different backgrounds in medicine, law, business, and the trafficking of conspiracy theories.
Some of the subcommittee’s Republicans have said they believe COVID vaccines are causing swathes of athletes to die (this is entirely false). Some have said the vaccines are to blame for nearly every new instance of heart problems across the United States (after all, it’s not like this is a country with a long history of poor cardiovascular health brought on by lifestyle, diet, and other factors). In reality, studies have demonstrated that there is a bigger risk of sudden heart problems in getting a severe case of COVID itself than in taking the vaccine.
Happy Thursday… On today’s episode of the new series FEALTY FACTOR™: 2024 GOP Primary Edition, Larry Hogan comes out and says he’ll support Trump if he’s the nominee. (Though he doesn’t think he will be.)
How to forge shells… For Ukraine’s military. From Scranton to the front line.
If it’s a day ending in Y… There’s more George Santos drama. And now there are apparently tapes!
Ted Cruz does not want to be a Senator anymore. He’s demanding hearings about private negotiations between Newsmax, OAN and AT&T, both of which he says do a “great job.”
There is no choice. Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant’s powerful trailer just dropped.
Rep. Omar stripped of committee assignment… Two House Republicans were overheard saying the vote was “stupid” and would backfire, turning her into a martyr. Here’s a crazy idea. Vote no if you think it’s stupid and bad tactics. They voted yes for #OurKevin.
Speaking of Kevin! He had to back the blue over Marjorie Taylor Greene’s batshit belief that Ashli Babbit was “murdered.”
Let’s check in on MTG’s Committee work! A grade school in Illinois apparently got $5.1 billion(!) for CRT. ONE. SCHOOL. Great work, GOP.
Your moment(s) of Zen. Matt Labash on a screwball troupe of Scandinavian, fly fishing jazz musicians can lighten your winter load. (If you’re not a member, subscribe today!)
In the “free state of Florida”… RonDeSantis is trying to hamstring Orange County taxpayers with over $100m in debt obligations over his gripe with his wedding venue.
When the “crime surge” happens at home… AOC’s fringy former opponent is finding out that a lot of the criming she blames AOC for is going on pretty close to home!
Inside the Casio G-Shock factory… How Japan’s ultra-tough watches are made.
The AI is gonna be a problem, cont’d. Here’s how fascist far right trolls are using the technology.
Don’t panic! But there is a high-altitude balloon from China over the Continental US right now in Montana.
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