One More Sign That Special Counsel Jack Smith Is Dead Serious
Plus, The Eerie Familiarity of California’s Boom-Bust Cycle
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DENNIS AFTERGUT: One More Sign That Special Counsel Jack Smith Is Dead Serious.
This weekend brought the strange news that Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating Donald Trump, asked the grand jury to issue a subpoena to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office for an empty folder. Why?
The Guardian reports that last month, Smith subpoenaed the folder, marked “Classified Evening Briefing,” even though Trump’s lawyers told him it had nothing in it. This tells us something important: that Smith is serious about pressing forward with a case against Trump for his 18 months of obstructing government efforts to get back all government documents he stashed at his Florida estate.
RALPH S. CLEM: That Land Is Their Land.
Almost all wars, regardless of what rationales are invoked to legitimize them, wind up being about land. Russia’s horrific war against Ukraine, now almost nine years old, is no exception. The question then becomes one of how claims to land are justified, and here there are two choices: established international norms or brute force. Ukraine stakes its claim on the former, whereas Russia has chosen the latter.
Ukraine’s entitlement to the moral and legal high ground is unimpeachable. David Kramer, writing almost a year ago, made a strong case for the illegality of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. Yet there is still talk about the need for Kyiv to be “realistic” about negotiated outcomes, to accept some combination of “win/lose” to end the war.
What is flying above us? Is it more than sky garbage? Meanwhile, the House GOP radar is against whatever Joe Biden does. Plus, Trump’s opinions about women’s clothing, and the former first family feeding at the teat of MBS. Will Saletan’s back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
Ready or not, it looks like Joe Biden is running for re-election. Our swing voters liked his State of the Union speech this week, but they’ve got concerns under the surface. Peter Baker, Chief White Correspondent for The New York Times, joins Sarah to listen to Trump-to-Biden voters and make a broader assessment of the Biden administration’s political standing.
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BRENT ORRELL: The Eerie Familiarity of California’s Boom-Bust Cycle.
On January 24, 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey who had taken up residence near Sutter’s Fort in northeast California, was attempting to establish a timber mill to feed burgeoning construction in nearby Sacramento and, farther afield, the settlement at San Francisco. While surveying the building’s progress, Marshall happened to notice some “sparkling pebbles,” which he initially dismissed as quartz. He noticed more of the pebbles later that day and picked a few of them out of the riverbed. Marshall discovered the rocks “could be beaten into a different shape, but not broken,” meaning they were definitely not quartz—they were likely gold. He brought samples to his business partner, and together they conducted a few more tests. Marshall was right about what he’d found. News of his discovery spread. The California Gold Rush was on.
What happens in California rarely stays there; it tends to find its way into every corner of American life.
LIAM KERR: Socialism Sux.
Three years ago “socialism” was the most important subject in American politics. On the Democratic debate stage days before the New Hampshire presidential primary, candidates were asked if they would be concerned by a socialist nominee.
Amy Klobuchar was the only candidate to raise her hand. Asked later about standing out, Klobuchar replied, “The question should be why didn’t everyone else raise their hand?”
During that debate Klobuchar correctly noted that “Trump’s worst nightmare is a candidate that will bring people in from the middle.” Her polling average on the night of the debate was just 8 percent. Four days later, she earned 20 percent of the vote.
Happy Monday! Unless you’re an Eagles fan, which I was last night for Jonathan. Last? Ok, well, that contributed a little. He is my boss and a great friend. Jonathan Gannon is a guy I went to high school with, and he’s defensive coordinator for the Eagles. And he has quite the story. We weren’t friends or anything, but I remember him as a good guy, and I really wanted him to hoist the Lombardi trophy. I suspect he’ll have another shot. If you’re a KC fan, congrats on the win!
Only a few more weeks until the USFL is back, and I’m decided which upcoming DC Defenders game to attend. So, football isn’t entirely gone.
The best ads? The ones with dogs. Nobody denies this.
Blockbuster’s last stand… If you paid attention to the Super Bowl ads online, you may have read that the last Blockbuster in Bend, Or. had a commercial. Our pal Matt Labash dug into his archives to bring us his remembrance of the late behemoth.
Do you have balloon mania? Well, you can track them yourself right here.
How “Bronze Age Pervert”… Seduced far-right thought leaders. (It wasn’t very hard.)
The Trump Catch-22. When DeSantis stans are mad about the “meatball” insult, their Byron Yorkian pearl clutching might be hilarious, but it highlights a problem for those who’ve gone along with MAGA:
Marty the robot… Escapes his grocery store prison!
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