Leading The Bulwark…
Trump’s GOP is Increasingly Racist and Authoritarian—and Here to Stay
Richard North Patterson: Having already forsaken Republican principles and policies, his supporters are now willing to forsake reality, too.
🎧 On the Pods… 🎧
Berny Belvedere on Truth in the Age of Trump
On today’s Bulwark podcast, Berny Belvedere from Arc Digital joins Charlie Sykes to discuss truth in the age of Trump, media silos and seeking out safe spaces, and the future of right-leaning analysis and opinion.
Programming note: Yesterday’s Overtime incorrectly stated there’d be no podcast on Friday. There will be a Black Friday podcast!
From The Bulwark Aggregator…
Roger Stone-Tied Group Threatens GOP: If Trump Goes Down, So Does Your Senate Majority – Lachlan Markay and Will Sommer, The Daily Beast
Trump relents as administration begins Biden transition – Matthew Choi, Gabby Orr, Meridith McGraw and Nancy Cook, Politico
Dianne Feinstein will relinquish role as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee – Todd Ruger, Roll Call
How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories – Sheera Frankel, The New York Times
Data Heroes of Covid Tracking Project Are Still Filling U.S. Government Void – Drew Armstrong, Bloomberg Businessweek
Biden’s Sleepily Reassuring Appointments – Graeme Wood, The Atlantic
A Fox News Host Got COVID, and Staffers Say They Were Never Told – Diana Falzone, Lloyd Grove, and Justin Baragona, The Daily Beast
In today’s Bulwark…
Summit for Democracy: Go Big
Shay Khatiri: Biden’s ambitious foreign policy proposal raises thorny questions.
We’ve unlocked JVL and Charlie’s newsletters for those who aren’t yet members of Bulwark+. Please enjoy these two entries, and consider becoming a member:
The GOP Isn't Dead Yet
Jonathan V. Last, from today’s Triad newsletter: “[A]s a matter of national popularity, the Republicans are in a deeper hole today than Democrats were after the Civil War.”
Charlie Sykes: [N]ow we enter the next phase of the transition. What can we expect?
🚨 OVERTIME 🚨
Dark money and “phantom candidates.” A reader shared this CNN investigation, and it’s interesting to see:
But it also reminds me of one of the funniest movies ever made about Washington and politics: The Distinguished Gentleman.
Time to break out the 2019 Bulwark Thanksgiving Cookbook!
If you missed it last year, you can still read some of the recipes here. One we’ll be breaking out this year? White Castle stuffing:
White Castle Turkey Stuffing
10-12 White Castle® Sliders, no pickles
1 1/2 cups Celery, diced
1 1/4 teaspoons Thyme, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons Sage, ground
3/4 teaspoon Black pepper, coarsely ground
1 or 1/4 cup Chicken broth (See Directions)
1. In a large mixing bowl, tear the Sliders into pieces and add diced celery and seasonings.
2. Add 1 cup chicken broth, toss well
3. Add ingredients to Casserole Dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
4. Or to stuff the ingredients into the cavity of the turkey, prepare ingredients as noted above, but reduce chicken broth to 1/4 Cup, then cook as you normally would.
5. Makes about 9 cups (enough for a 10-to-12-pound turkey). Note: Allow 1 Slider for each pound of turkey, which will be equal to 3/4 cup of stuffing
Note from Jim: An anonymous reader submitted this, but if nobody did, I was going to do it anyway. While Cleveland’s White Castles were all shuttered a few years ago, this stuffing used to be a Swift family favorite. You can use the frozen versions if there isn’t a White Castle near you.
Sidney Powell served a purpose. To further demonstrate how many people on the right are decidedly unserious, as Matt Lewis highlights in The Daily Beast:
[Tucker] Carlson faced backlash from his fans and fellow conservatives for (the sin of) daring to question this kooky story. Raheem Kassam, co-host of Steve Bannon’s “war room” podcast, suggested that Carlson went after Powell in order to “keep his job.” Conservative comedian Steven Crowder said it was “petty and selfish” for Tucker to attack her credibility when she was saving her “evidence” for court. Social media personality Mike Cernovich tweeted, “Bow to Tucker. He can dispense holy communion,” and right-wing podcaster Wayne Dupree said Tucker “dug himself a really deep and dark hole…”
If Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham can’t get MAGA world to accept reality, well, you must wonder why these well educated and smart people who promoted the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party are now surprised that the leopards are now eating their faces. A $hocking mystery that will have people wondering for ages.
McCormick expands its hot sauce offering. Cholula is not my favorite hot sauce (that’s OG Tabasco), but they make a great sauce that’s pretty versatile. And Baltimore-based spice giant McCormick, which this year created Old Bay hot sauce, which is pretty much Frank’s, which they own, plus Old Bay, is expanding and bought the brand. That bodes well for the future of Old Bay hot sauce, which was so popular it quickly sold out on the east coast and fetched absurd price levels on eBay.
Will Trump run again in 2024? The conventional wisdom is probably. The smart money is on that he’ll at least run a permanent campaign in exile, but might turn it over to one of his children or hand-chosen candidates. After all, Trump loves wielding power and influence and always has, and at his high water mark, how likely is he to change? (Remember when Republicans thought the gravity of the office would change him? LOL. Good times.)
But one of my old college professors has a counter theory, and it’s worth examining. Assuming President Trump is alive, or not facing legal woes, Chris Lawrence argues:
[Trump is] not going to want to disclose his tax returns after those rules get substantially beefed up or not going to want to put his businesses in a blind trust once those rules are beefed up.
There’s good precedent for this. In 2006, congressional ethics were a big concern for voters. Republicans got slaughtered. In 2007, Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
It ultimately passed 83-14 in the Senate. (The initial Senate margin was 96-2, but the legislation changed…) In the House? 411-12.
Congress, especially Republicans, have all the incentive in the world to come up with legislation that would a.) not only be good policy, but b.) make it unlikelier that President Trump would run again. Call it a coward’s way out, since nearly all Republicans who will be in office next January have chosen that route for four years rather than stand up to Trump. Even still, for all of this reporting that they privately loathe the guy but want to avoid being put on full blast, I’ll take it. If this is the way to shiv the guy en masse that’s not impeachment and the base won’t likely flip out about, because this stuff is bureaucratic and boring, there is good odds they might do it.
The Democrats just have to play their hand carefully in pushing the legislation so as not to spook the votes they need—and will likely get—but they need it to be a pretty overwhelming margin like the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.
Not even the “mainstream” right wing spin machine, assuming where it is at such a point in the indeterminate future, will be able to easily spin reforms about beefing up disclosure as some grand conspiracy. The OANs, Sidney Powells, and Breitbarts, and others, of course, will try.
The big questions are: 1.) enforcement and Constitutionality, and 2.) How much political capital from their small-m mandate do the Democrats want to use to basically do the GOP a favor?
We’ve seen years of Trump and his toadies flaunt the law since government used to largely operate on two things: 1.) the honor system and 2.) the ability to be shamed. Well, insert a guy with no honor, and no ability to be shamed, and that system gets destroyed. And that poses very new, and unknown legal questions for how you put teeth in things.
But, there’s also the question of saving your enemy from destroying itself. It runs contrary to the old adage “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.” But what is worse? Finding a way to improve the law, our elections, and make it unlikely that Trump runs again, or let Trumpism run rampant in the GOP and hope the party self-immolates? These are questions only Congressional Democrats and the Biden team can answer, and I’m leaving it to them to answer them.
SkyNet is getting ever closer… Amazon is introducing a new network called “Amazon Sidewalk.” Here’s more:
Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network with the help of Sidewalk Bridge devices including select Echo and Ring devices. These Bridge devices share a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors. And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger.
Just remember your Terminator 3:
By the time Skynet became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms; everywhere. It was software; in cyberspace. There was no system core; it could not be shutdown. The attack began at 6:18 PM, just as he said it would.
The battle has just begun.
What happens if Billy Beane leaves Oakland? 10 moments from his career with The Athletics that are worth remembering, as he helped change baseball for the medium-term future.
An OAN host is helping Rudy with their long-shot legal challenges… From The Daily Beast:
Christina Bobb chairs the Weekly Briefing on OAN. She’s also a lawyer by trade. And in recent days, she’s been spotted by several Trump officials at their office in the conference room with the rest of the president’s team. Her presence has caused a bit of confusion among actual campaign staff, who wondered if she was there to embed with the Trump legal “strike force” as a reporter.
It’s not the first time Rudy has worked with OAN personalities, either. How far some people fall.
Well, that’s it for me today. Hope your Thanksgiving week is shaping up to be a good one. Stay safe, and drop me a line if you have any questions, thoughts, or observations. You know how to reach me: email@example.com.
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