July 31, 2023 • 9:20 am

I got zero hours of sleep last night. Zero. That’s twice in four days, so you can well imagine that my neurons are somewhat gummed up.  Let’s have a discussion while I recover (and feed the ducks).

Here’s the new result of a new NYT Siena Poll for the GOP candidates:

With all the indictments against him pending, Trump still looks unbeatable.  My question is this: readers have already prognosticated that there’s no way Trump could see jail time. And even if he’s multiply indicted, I don’t see anybody in the lineup moving ahead of him. This is above my pay grade, but can Trump still be elected President, and serve as President, if he’s convicted of a felony?

Also, do you think any of the candidates above can overtake him? If not, will he beat Biden?

109 thoughts on “Discussion

  1. Trump may get the Repub nominations, and may be campaigning from jail. But the members of the Repub party is an ever shrinking segment of American voters. As long as the youth get out the vote, the man in orange doesn’t stand a chance.

    1. In a Biden-Trump match, the election will be very close. Youth will not come out in droves for Biden, and Republicans will fall over each other to get to the polls for Trump. It will be another very very close election, and this time the Republican voter-suppression regulations are even more extensive than before.

          1. Inaccurate. Your link chart ends in 2016, seven years ago. That’s a lifetime in American politics. Youth turnout has has been sharply up since, due to revulsion with Republicans’ increasing Trumpism, corporatism, hate, and fascism.

            Young voters comprised a majority of the 2018 and 2020 electorates, fueling Democratic gains, and likely saved Democrats from a blowout in 2022.

            See: Youth turnout spiked in the last three elections (July 6, 2023)

            1. Yeah, well, I’ll believe it when I see it. Remember, the claim is “all the young ‘uns signing up means they’ll vote the bastards out of office”. We hear it every election, but that line doesn’t change. The youth of this country are exactly as reliable as one might expect.

              1. Lower turnout compared to other age groups is entirely consistent with a large increase in youth turnout. The Independent and Brookings reports do not, at a glance, contradict one another.


        1. Regarding younger voters: The abortion issue is immediate for college-age voters. The gun violence issue is also at the forefront.
          They know that Republicans are into the Bible, forced birth, and discrimination. They’re pretty good at Punking/sabotaging Trump’s rallies via Tiktok. I wouldn’t count on their support.

      1. My wife continues to be active in local Dem committees and anecdotally is adamant that this generation of youth is energized and already active. While not data, her anecdotes are certainly of more vale than my lazy, traditional cynicism. So here’s hoping!

      2. The newly registered, young voters don’t like fascism. They’ll support the Democratic nominee. They are tired of the gun violence.

    2. The question is whether he can squeak it out in the few swing states that matter. Given the solid number of Americans that support him, it is not impossible that either he does that directly or that some chance event intervenes to push the odds in his favor. It is, unfortunately, a very dangerous situation.

  2. Yes, he can serve if convicted of a felony. There is no constitutional bar to this. The trickier question is whether he can serve if he is behind bars. Again, the answer seems to be yes, although such a situation would be awkward at best. Once taking office, he could try to pardon himself. The Supreme Court would have to rule on this. My sheer guess is that it would say he could. Clearly, an elected Trump, a convicted felon behind bars, would create an unprecedented constitutional, legal, political and moral crisis for the country with no conceivable resolution looking good. But, MAGA Republicans would not care. They would be waiting eagerly waiting for the savior to wreak revenge against the millions of people that have wronged him. Satisfaction of their cultural resentments is all that would count. And, of course, for some folks that did not vote for Trump, democracy would become a fond memory.

    1. He can certainly run if convicted. The question is whether he could serve if incarcerated. I think there would be a good case to be made that that would prevent him from carrying out his duties. I also don’t think self-pardoning would fly. Hopefully, none of these questions will have to be answered.

      1. Were Trump to be elected president, it would likely force the courts (meaning, ultimately, the US Supreme Court) to address two heretofore unresolved issues of constitutional law:

        First, whether a sitting US president can be prosecuted criminally while in office. (The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel has previously issued memoranda saying that a sitting US president cannot be. The DoJ considers these memoranda binding on itself, but they’re not binding on state prosecutors, meaning that New York — if the case against Trump has not yet been resolved by the time he takes office — and Georgia — assuming the Fulton County grand jury returns an indictment — will likely endeavor to proceed with their prosecutions even while Trump is in office. Also, there is some question whether the reasoning in the Office of Legal Counsel’s memoranda survives SCOTUS’s decision in Clinton v. Jones, holding that a sitting US president can be made to defend against a civil lawsuit while still in office.) Any way you cut it, this issue would likely wind up in the courts.

        The second unresolved constitutional issue is whether a US president can pardon himself. (The issue is unresolved because the nation has never before had a convicted federal felon in the Oval Office.) It has generally been considered something of a quid pro quo for the president’s immunity from prosecution while in office that he cannot pardon himself. But, as I say, none of this is explicit in the US constitution; nor has it ever been tested in court, so we may have to find out. (Keep in mind that, if the federal criminal cases against Trump have not yet resulted in conviction by the time he takes office, Trump would not need to resort to the pardon power, but could simply direct the US Justice Department to dismiss the cases.) Also, Trump is certain to require a pledge from his eventual vice-presidential running mate to pardon him, should the need arise. If it is ultimately determined that Trump cannot pardon himself, he will no doubt contrive to have himself declared temporarily unable to perform his presidential duties — by, for example, undergoing a medical procedure requiring that he be put under anesthesia — and to have himself pardoned while the powers of the presidency have been temporarily transferred to the veep.

        1. Wow. Evil genius in your last sentence, Ken. If I ever need an attorney, I want you! Can’t believe nobody else has commented on it yet.

      2. I think it depends on what he’s charged with. If it’s fraud and espionage, I don’t think he can run for POTUS, especially if he’s given the choice to get a shorter sentence in exchange for agreeing to drop out of the race.

    2. I had recently looked up the requirements for serving as president. I did not see any reference regarding having a criminal record and that particular position, which seems a strange oversight.
      But perhaps there are laws that restrict one from being in a lower federal office if you are convicted of a federal crime. For example, can you work in the US postal service with a federal criminal record? I don’t know, but it seems like that is something that should be on the books. If so, then perhaps that restriction would also translate upward, all the way to the top.
      There ought to be a law, that is for sure! I hadn’t read the comments above before I wrote this, btw.

      1. An interesting question is whether it IS an oversight, or if it is an intentional omission. It does prevent a sitting, corrupt administration from just jailing the opposition to keep them from winning, as is so common throughout the world.

  3. DeSantis has a fighting shot if he ups his game and starts going on mainstream media outlets. He’s knowledgable and articulate on policy. He’s abrasive and strong-manny. What he lacks is entertainment value. If he could be couched to up his anty on this, he’d capture the hearts of those who like Trump for the entertainment value. He’s correct that he’s got a shot at winning independents and some Democrats. I’ve voted Democrat all my life and recently switched my registration to Republican just so that I can vote in Republican primary. I will not under any circumstance vote for Biden and couldn’t stomach RFK Jr. I have family in Florida who despise DeSantis and some of his steps with the Board at New College have felt autocratic to me, but I actually prefer DeSantis over everybody else out there that’s running. And I say this despite his pro-life policies, which I am against. Since Biden has flipped me Rightward, I know there are others like me. But he can’t rely on distaste for Biden to capture the hearts of MAGA. He must show integrity without the trappings of seriousness that come from his years in academia. He still comes off as an eliteness prick to MAGA. He’s an academic! No good. So, if he can lighten up and be well, more like Trump, he’s got a good shot.

      1. * ante not anty (less obvious?)

        Just curious, lifelong Democrat, how Joe Biden has hurt you. Because…

        If you don’t vote for Biden, Trump wins. Stay at home and sulk, Trump wins. Vote 3rd party, Trump wins. I know the “woke” culture wars are hard to stomach, but 2024 is about democracy vs. authoritarianism.

        * DeSantis is 2016 Ted Cruz
        Christie is 2016 Jebra Bush

        1. Meh, I had more than the typos caught by me and you in the post I penned in a hurry at my day job earlier. But I chimed in when busy and hit sent quickly anyway as the topic interests me and I felt bad for Ceiling Cat’s lack of sleep. To comment on your other remarks to me, I disagree that 2024 is about “democracy vs. authoritarianism” where democracy is framed as pro-Biden and authoritarianism as pro-Trump. Trump lacks perhaps all of my Enlightenment ideals, but I’m vastly more keyed into Biden and his staff misusing the powers of government to control the media and the education system than I am with Trump’s outbursts. Biden and friends appear vastly better at psyops and censorship than Trump could ever be with all of his narcissism. And there you have it. MAGA (and more) think Biden manipulates, lies, and suppresses speech. Trump, however, though he blatantly makes crap up, comes off as incapable of organized, mass deceit. Did he lead us into WW3? No. Did he make policies that angered Democrats? Yes. Did he refuse a peaceful transfer of power? Yes. But was he correct that the election was rigged against him? Yes. He was. It was — not in the ways he believed. Not with the voting machines or the count of votes. But his odds of reelection sure as heck were impacted by the suppression of the Hunter-Biden laptop story, by the bias against him in mainstream media, and by the direct suppression of people on Twitter who supported him. (Anyway, Alan, if you respond to me, I’m not going to write back because I’m concerned I’ve already left too many comments on this feed today.)

          1. I didn’t see any specifics about how POTUS Biden controls the education system, so I’ll leave that. Hunter Biden trading on his famous dad’s name is an unfortunate feature of many failsons, but the Burisma stuff is an empty sesame seed bun. A nothing burger.

            And last I checked, (((Joe Biden))) doesn’t own TwiXXer or the media. Were you shadow banned? Talk to @jack or Elon about your Qonspiracy theory.

            You write off Trump’s antics as the chaos of a goofball, but want to ascribe full agency to Biden for inconsequential things. You’re going to give us Trump II, and find out that maybe he’s more dangerous than just a little light treason.

    1. DeSantis has a fighting shot if he ups his game …

      DeSantis’s only chance is if someone figures out how he can get a personality transplant.

      1. Hahahahah! Yes, you said it better than me. The issue is personality. But he’s smart. Maybe he could smoke some pot before all his interviews? 🙂

    2. You are on an interesting journey there. My impression of DeSantis from afar is that he is trying to be farther right than even Trump. His schtick seems to be all about the culture war, and that does not strike me as an issue that is motivating enough to flip many voters.

      1. Yes, I think you are correct that DeSantis’ positioning himself as solidly conservative (over against Trump’s opportunistic use of the RP) won’t be enough to sway mainstream Democrats. My Democratic family in Jacksonville, Florida, plush with trial attorneys, despise him! And it’s certainly not enough to sway MAGA. He’ll get some disaffected independents, people like me who are sick on all fronts of the Biden/Harris socialist/woke/pick-your-term-for-it takeover of academia. And I voted for Biden! But as a woman at Harvard and in biotech and as a geneticist, I am inundated by how supposedly racist I am. It’s exhausting. And don’t get me started on the sex binary. I can’t open my mouth in either of my jobs without fear of losing a job. I am frankly relieved by some of DeSantis’ actions. I hope I don’t regret that statement as much as I regret having Biden in office! I’m also not committed to voting for DeSantis. We’ll see. Vivek is what got me to switch my registration to Republican, as I thought I’d at least want to weigh in on the options. If the choice comes down to Biden vs Trump in the main election, I will simply not vote. And I won’t feel guilty about it. What a contrast from before when I’d have sold organs to keep Trump out. I just don’t see Biden as being “for Democracy” anymore. I distrust him. And what a position to be in!

  4. Sorry to hear about the sleep problem. I would start this off with a small joke. I do not think Trump could get a female in a women’s prison if he had a hand full of pardons. There are more indictments coming down this week or next. Some reasonable republicans are saying they better consider an alternative to this guy. I don’t know and could care less. I don’t think the party has a chance regardless. In the end they will likely lose both house and senate. The very stable genius will eventually go away. To believe he does have a chance you have to believe the GOP has really restricted voting in many states and maybe they have. You also must believe the independents and democrat will not come out and vote. This is the usual voting plan in the U.S. You vote against someone more than voting for someone.

    1. >I do not think Trump could get a female in a women’s prison if he had a hand full of pardons.

      Doesn’t have to— Trump identifies as a female, and moves in with them. And why not? Trump only cares about himself, and to T’s supporters it would be a superb way to “own the libs.”

  5. I am very sorry to hear of your continuing serious sleep problems. I know that you are getting significant professional help and do not want suggestions. Well, I have no suggestions, but can say that I suffered similar problems off and on for a couple of years. They eventually abated but I have no idea why: either why they started or why they abated. Hopefully yours will go away as i think they did once in the past and as mine did…at least for the past year or so. Of course you and I are the same age and job status in case that might have meaning.

  6. My biggest concern is Biden’s health over the next year. I don’t think Trump can beat Biden. Unfortunately, I do think Trump can beat Harris, since most of our electorate still lives in the mid-Pleistocene when it comes to imagining a woman (and a woman of color, no less) as president.

    1. I’m a tad more optimistic about the electorate, but Harris hasn’t exactly covered herself in glory as VP and she has a lot of baggage from when she was AG of California, particularly around wrongful convictions and arguing against early release of prisoners who served as firefighters.

      Can’t both major parties just start fresh?

  7. The Constitution does not bar a president from serving after a felony conviction, or even from serving from prison. My predictions, based on nothing but my own gut feel based on watching things unfold: 1). The Republication nomination process will get weird, really weird, in the same way that Trump’s post-presidency has continued to grow in weirdness. Stuff like physical fights at debates and/or during state nominating conventions. Some states will be unable to produce an uncontested slate. Caucuses will be challenged, alternative ballots proposed, lawsuits filed. The hate various and constantly shifting Republican factions have for each other will grow. We might see a murder or two. 2). But Trump will be the nominee, and 3). he will lose to Biden. Not by much, though. A horrific number of Americans will vote for him, regardless of or even thanks to his convictions, because he is at his core a destroyer, and they no longer believe in America in its current form and want it destroyed (from the Constitution on up) and remade. 4). Trump will fade away, due both to age and his clearly-established inability to win, but that won’t matter. 5). A third of Americans and a majority of the Republican Party will continue to seek destruction, followed by the remaking of the nation as a theocracy, straight white patriarchy, a libertarian paradise, laissez-faire survival of the fittest, some combination thereof etc.

    1. “…the Republican Party will continue to seek…laissez-faire survival of the fittest”

      This forever fascinates me. Many conservative Christians absolutely do not believe in evolution. They believe humans to be superior beings that stand above evolution. But they love their base, simplistic, ignorant concept of survival of the fittest. It’s as if their fear of being an “inferior animal” becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

      1. The Republican mindset may be summed up as all the ideal behaviors for survival in the wilderness as the member of a small clan. Fetishisms of hierarchy, weaponry, masculinity, reproductive efficacy, hatred of the other, strict superstitions etc. probably served clans well. Oddly, the better humans do as we move past these obsolete inclinations, the more furious the lingering minority become.

  8. I wouldn’t bet on any of my own predictions, but here they are.

    As crazy as the RP is these days I think they would go with Trump as the RP nominee if he continues to hold such a large lead in the polls. As fractious as the RP has become, it also wouldn’t surprise me to see them try to disqualify Trump because of the indictments, and especially if any guilty sentences come down before the election. I’d purely love to see that happen, as I’d expect the RP to explode if it did.

    Can he be elected, as in legally possible? I have no idea and I bet it’s not clear. No doubt many will argue that since there is nothing in law specifically forbidding it that it is possible. In any case, this is the kind of issue where I don’t think established law and precedent matter very much. At this level those things only matter if enough of the players, congresspersons, senators, SCJs, are of a mind to abide by the rules. And it’s pretty obvious that many do not.

    I do think it is possible that some other candidate could overtake Trump. I’ve no specific idea about who or how, I only say so because it is very common for drastic changes to occur during a campaign. Quite often early frontrunners fall out of contention by the time the finish line is in sight. Things can change damn near overnight. So far Trump seems to be immune, but you never know. And Trump spews out possible triggers at a rate unparalleled in modern US history.

    If he is the candidate would he beat Biden? I don’t think so. But it is way too early to tell. No doubt there are plenty of paths that could lead to another Trump administration. One example, Biden begins to show signs of obvious decline after the primaries but before the general. I wouldn’t bet that Trump would win even then, but it would certainly improve his odds.

  9. On the constitutional position I have some questions.

    Firstly, if Trump is on trial during his campaign but he gets elected, can the trial continue? Much play was made during his last term of the fact that he was immune from prosecution whilst still serving as president.

    What about if he is convicted and then gets elected? Or if he is elected but then convicted before his inauguration?

    If he is in prison but also president, can he pardon himself?

    Guess I need to have a read of your constitution

      1. Does what Paul Torek posted at #16 ** not mitigate what the Politico article says, when it comes to an insurrection?

        **”No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, …

        Thus spake the 14th Amendment. I hope this helps you sleep tonight.”

        1. In the modern era, surely, the state election commissions would only disqualify a candidate under the 14th Amendment if he had been convicted of insurrection or rebellion under 18 U.S. Code § 2383. It wouldn’t suffice to have a bunch of his political opponents shouting loudly that he was “guilty, open-and-shut, dead-to-rights” of insurrection, which is all we have so far.

          The decisions by state election officials to disqualify (or not) would be subject to judicial review requested by one side or the other. Trump would surely argue that a Reconstruction-era amendment intended to keep Confederacy renegades from holding office in the reconstituted United States didn’t apply to cheap-ass little insurrections like his. My bet is that the Supreme Court would be unwilling to meddle in the political process, especially close to Election Day and would quash 14A disqualifications of candidates who had not bombarded Fort Sumter.

        2. You and I both know he committed insurrection on Jan 6th 2021, but has he been indicted for insurrection and, if he has, will he be convicted before he takes office if he wins?

    1. It just occurred to me that all possible roadblocks to Trump at every stage will probably end up with the Supremes. The big crowd of conservative justices seem to think that impeachment and trial in the Senate is the only constitutional way to dump the guy. So, in the event there is an attempt to block him, he will be given a pass. The only question then is which party controls the legislature.

  10. I predict a Trump victory. Head-to-head, Biden wins, but we are going to have a No Labels ticket and a Green Party ticket in most states. All they have to do is pull 2-4 percent of the total vote in a few key states, and Trump wins.

    As for the media, Trump=$$$, and there will not be enough oxygen left over for Biden to land punches. Expect the coming 15 months to be a breathless Trump clown show.

    1. I’d forgotten the performative Left’s historic function, that of helping to elect governments of the Right. Recalling the Green Party’s brilliant work to this end in 2000, we can guess that Jill Stein & Co. are licking their chops over how important they might be in 2024. On the other hand, we also now have a symmetric phenomenon: the performative Right is busy destroying the GOP. It all makes one wonder how democratic institutions, such as they are, have survived this long in the USA.

      1. Yes, but this time around they’re toying with running Cornell West, a much more high profile candidate.

  11. I’ll put 10,000 quatloos on Chris Christie.

    Not a Christie fan by any stretch, but he’s a straigforward, old school Republican. He’s got experience as governor, he can articulate policy, he’s not a raving grifter (so far as I know) and he doesn’t advocate conspiracy theories or engage in culture wars. Christie has been loud and accurate calling out both Mango and Meatball Ron for the pandering grifters they are.

    Sure, Christie is polling low, but politics turns on a dime. I think my bet has good odds.

    1. I agree about your characterization of Christie & that’s why I expect him not to win. He’s too normal for the RP now.

      1. Yes, but he’s looking pretty good to Democrats who are fed up with Biden being in bed with the TransActivists and gutting Title IX.

  12. Let’s hope Fani Willis indicts Trump soon and expedites the trial down in Georgia. Trump can’t pardon himself of a state crime.

  13. … can Trump still be elected President, and serve as President, if he’s convicted of a felony?

    Sure he can legally (though he’ll be prevented from voting in Florida, where he is registered, so long as he’s serving any kind of sentence, including probation).

    But there’s never been anything else like it in US history, where a major political party has nominated the likes of Donald Trump to be its candidate for the presidency. And let us hope there will never be anything like it in US history again.

    1. Lets stop fixating on the one person for a minute and talk about what the conservative, republican party is all about today. It apposes abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage and transgender rights. It is pro capitalism, pro guns, pro capital punishment and pro religion if it is the right flavor. For low taxes for the rich regardless of the debt, pro Russia and pro defense. Prayer in schools and tax money to pay for religion in the schools. They have no use for our number one problem, climate change and global warming and plan to dismantle all of the things already started and make the EPA nearly useless. These things are already being planned by the conservatives. They are for voting laws going back to the 1850s. These are just a few of their priorities and the democrats need to be putting these front and center. Beat them with their own ideas and ideology and make them clear to all voters. Enough with Trump.

  14. I think that poll is very interesting. In actuality, 54% is not much of a lead. It only appears that way because the field is so fragmented. If a single challenger were to emerge in the primaries, I think they would have a decent change to shift that percentage. On the whole, it’s very early in the process.

    1. If Trump were to lose the nomination through the vote in the GOP primaries, Trump will tear the Republican Party apart. Trump is unable to admit to failure on any level. He will claim that the primaries have been rigged against him by RINO members of the Deep State. He may even run as a third-party candidate (since he sees a return to the presidency as his best bet for fighting off the pending, and likely to come, indictments). Trump will certainly not endorse another Republican nominee. If he doesn’t run as a third-party candidate, he will likely tell the deadenders in his base to stay home on election day.

    1. No! Don’t shoot!
      Trump might be rescued from his legal morass by some unexpected medical disaster. Maybe his heel spurs will suddenly stop his run…poor dear.

      1. I Still think his official campaign song should be the Kay Kyser version of “Jingle Jangle Jingle”

        It would be a refreshing minim of truth from him

      2. Trump would use any ploy to get out of serving time, so any physical or mental ailment could easily manifest itself.

  15. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, …

    Thus spake the 14th Amendment. I hope this helps you sleep tonight.

    1. That’s great but if not convicted prior to the election it means nothing. The indictment is still to come and the trial is miles away.

    2. Thx. I wonder how is “insurrection” quantified? Are all cases of “insurrection” felonies? Does it matter? I heard somewhere than Trump could be found guilty of misdemeanors and that might not change his eligibility to be president. Who decides what constitutes insurrection?

  16. Sorry about the insomnia. It sounds serious. The questions you pose contribute to mine, but I don’t intend to trivialize your circumstances by comparison to my tossing & turning around personal failings and the follies of the world.

    I agree with Jon Gallant, above. Never mind the W-word — cluelessness of self-styled “progressives ” gives me the heebee-jeebees.

    The dog — I get the expression, the joke — I guess we all do. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  17. I think he’ll win the Republican nomination, but lose the election again. Especially as more and more details come out in the investigations. Reasonable people will be convinced that he’s a grifter.

  18. I read the post about the debate teams earlier today, about how many young people argue that the US society is rotten to the core and needs to be burned down. I wonder how many conservatives are driven by the same basic sentiment, and point to woke students as evidence of the rot? How else could you justify voting for a guy who has proven what an amoral, blustering, inept narcissist he is for four years, AGAIN, unless you really want the country to go to hell so you can rebuild it?
    (I’m still hoping for a biological solution to the issue. Trump is obese and out of shape, with a notoriously bad diet, and not really young anymore either.)

  19. OK – here is my prognostication, all of which I hope are proven wrong:

    1.As to the indictments, I seriously doubt any of them will go to trial before the election.
    2.If Trump wins the nomination, and I think he will, all of the Republicans that ran against him will fall all over themselves to get back in his good graces, including Christie.
    3. He will pardon himself on day one if elected. Even if he is in custody, they will have the papers ready to sign and give to a Trump appointed federal judge to visit him and administer the oath and then sign the pardon papers. The college of cardinals on Scotus will not go near this issue unless a circuit coat says self pardons are unconstitutional.
    4. As to the state charges, The Gov of Georgia has said he will support Trump. I don’t know the pardon powers of GA, but if he can, he will.
    5.As to the NY charges, as a former prosecutor that was trained to prosecute cases, not people, I like most prosecutors wouldn’t go near a case with a porn star and convicted perjurer as the crucial witnesses, unless there is an extraordinary amount of corroborating evidence.
    6.Even if he is tried, it only takes one juror to nullify a case. The prosecution will have to work very hard to keep Trumpites off a Jury. Chances are better, I suspect , in NY and DC, not so much in FL and GA. AS to FL, even if Trump is convicted there, Judge Cannon can still overturn a jury verdict.
    7. As to the election, this case will be decided I suspect by about 100,000 votes spread out over AZ, NV,WI,MI, GA and PA. With voter suppression, indications that minorities are going more for Trump, the growing stalemate in Ukraine, the general ambivalence of young voters, a likely third party ticket, the general malaise that has infected the Democratic party with Biden and Harris, (and the Hunter Biden deal…he is getting a very good one) I think the election goes to Trump. I think all he needs to do to assure victory is go to San Francisco or any other City run by liberals and show what happens when liberals are in charge.
    8. A big factor in the wings will be if the Government is shut down before the election. I have no idea how that would play out politically, but it looks like it might happen.

    Just my 2 cents. Don’t lose any sleep over it.:-)

    1. As to the state charges, The Gov of Georgia has said he will support Trump. I don’t know the pardon powers of GA, but if he can, he will.

      In Georgia the pardon power rests not with the governor but with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles (although the governor appoints the members of the board).

  20. Like anyone else accused of a crime, even Trump should be presumed innocent until proven guilty; no one is below the law. Perhaps we should also be considering what effect it would have on Trump’s chances if he’s tried and found not guilty? Just a thought.

    1. It would truly be shocking if Trump were acquitted on all counts (of which there are or will be many) in the four likely indictments. What is much more likely (but still not very likely) is that assuming he is not acquitted on all counts in all trials (very unlikely) is that he is found not guilty on some counts and a hung jury on the others. Trump would take this result as a victory. I doubt that prosecutors would want to retry on the hung counts. However, I think what is the most likely of all the possible scenarios is that at the very least he will be found guilty on a few counts in at least one of the trials.

  21. I am still firmly optimistic that the citizens of this country will not elect Trump as president again. But if they do at least I will have seen the beginning of the end of civilization.

  22. Canadian gastronomy comes to Africa ?

    In today’s Houston Chronicle there’s a picture of a pro-Russian
    demonstration in Niger. The sign in the photo reads:

    “Abas la France. Vive Poutine”

    1. That’s just the French transliteration of Putin. I guess since the name is originally in Cyrillic, every language is free to spell it how it best fits the pronounciation rules.
      I don’t think that betting on Russia is a smart move for African nations, seeing how Russia is going to bleed dry in Ukraine, but wisdom has never been a strong suit of postcolonial African leaders.

  23. I’m utterly terrified at the prospect of another Trump Administration. It will signal the removal of the US from the world as a stabilizing influence. With the collapse of NATO, Russia will move to take over Europe. They have been weakened, but with no united front against them, they’ll eventually prevail. China will overrun Taiwan. North Korea will attack Japan. I fear that the US will annex the country I live in, Canada, for our fresh water. And as for Climate Change, what we are seeing this summer will be just a taste. Mass starvation, wars over fresh water and entire countries dying from the heat will be the norm. In short, if Trump makes it into the White House, the world as we know it, ends.

    1. I agree with you 100%. If Trump wins in ’24, I’m going to be very glad I’m old and don’t have much time left.

    2. A Canadian wringing his hands over a U.S. President undermining NATO is a little rich considering that Canada has been free-riding on the alliance since the 1960s and the Leftist policy platform is to withdraw from NATO (and NORAD). Why is it OK for Canada to tell rich populous Europe to fend for itself but not OK for the United States to? It is not the job of the United States to stabilize the world except insofar as it is in America’s interests (not Canada’s) to do so. Protecting the sea lanes is one thing. Keeping the Russians out of Norway (or out of Canada’s high Arctic) is quite another.

      No one at the IPCC sees whole countries dying from climate change. Where did you get that idea? Besides, European and North American electoral politics have no influence on the energy policies of China, India, and Southeast Asia, which are heavily committed to the expansion of coal at least past 2050 by their own public forecasting. They don’t care what John Kerry or Donald Trump thinks. No reason we should either. Climate change is out of our hands. The less we burn, the more they will.

      If the United States ever wants our water badly enough (and if they can figure out a way to make the rivers flow uphill), they’ll just take it. That’s a fate that eventually befalls all rich countries that won’t defend themselves. It won’t matter who’s in the White House. It’s just the way the world works.

      1. Canada has gotten far closer to the NATO budget directives than most of the other member countries have. That old Trump taunt doesn’t hold any water any more. Canada is in the thick of it, contributing arms and training. In fact, 2 weeks ago Canada pledged to double its NATO-mandated deployment in Latvia to try to secure the vulnerable Baltic region against any Russian aggression.

        As for ‘free-riding’, and calling Canadians ‘leftists’, you betray that rather nasty streak of arrogance, ignorance and jingoism that forced me leave the US 18 years ago. Saying the US will ‘just take’ our water (because we ‘won’t defend ourselves’ ) through the doctrine of Might Makes Right is precisely the one that Vladimir Putin followed in attacking Ukraine. I can see why Americans on the right side of the political spectrum are so enamoured with him.

        As for the IPCC, they have had to revise their thinking, due to the fact that what they warned about 10 years ago has come 10 years earlier than was predicted. Their most recent report states:

        “Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people (high confidence). Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected (high confidence).”

        Climate Change 2023 – Synthesis Report
        Summary for Policymakers

        Many of the refugees making their way Northward from Africa and the Middle East are doing so because of famine and drought, so if you don’t think countries aren’t already dying, you are ignoring reports from throughout the globe as well as the IPCC.

  24. I think it is likely that neither Trump nor Biden will be on the ballot in 2024.

    I think the latest charges against Trump show clear consciousness of guilt and this will eventually undermine Trump’s support among most Republicans.

    I think that spillover from Hunter’s influence peddling operation will eventually cause Joe not to seek re-election.

    It used to be said that “Democrats fall in love — Republicans fall in line.” I’m not sure this is true any longer, but it would certainly be good for the GOP if they could get past the appeal of Trump’s personality to a significant number of voters.

    Finally, I think it is important for the U.S. to have two healthy political parties that are accepted as legitimate by both sides. I think the “pied-piper” strategy started by Hillary Clinton was at least partly responsible for giving us Trump. This strategy was continued by the Dems in 2022 when they donated money to the most extreme GOP candidates. They should really stop doing this.

    1. This strategy was continued by the Dems in 2022 when they donated money to the most extreme GOP candidates. They should really stop doing this.

      I find your prediction that neither Trump nor Biden will be on their respective parties’ presidential tickets farfetched.

      Nevertheless, I do agree with the sentiment you express in the quote above. It seems to me vaguely unpatriotic. Plus, as much as I endeavor to eschew the superstitious in all aspects of life, it strikes me as bad juju.

  25. I have an adjacent question, if that is alright.
    What about the redistricting situation in Georgia? There you have a recent ruling from the very conservative Supreme Court that Georgia must fix its gerrymandered district maps to lend more power to black voters. In at least a couple districts, areas where black people are concentrated are split by district lines so that votes from white (and mostly Republican) people tend to decide the election outcome in those districts. Hence the ruling from the SC that Georgia must redraw its district lines to be more fair. The Georgia legislature has openly defied that ruling.
    So what is next for the state of Georgia? I was wondering even if the voting results in those districts could even be counted.

    1. The same is true for Alabama. They are defying the court and refusing to redraw. Unless we open a path for succession they will probably be redrawn for them. It is really nullification and that takes us back to South Carolina in the 1800s. The South will never learn. The only way they lose control is when you send in the troops.

      1. But how can the districts be drawn for them? The states are the ones who are given the power to decide the districts, so how can the federal government just step in and take that over?

        1. If the federal courts said the districts you have are unconstitutional and they must be changed you must change them and try again. If you refuse the court can appoint someone to redraw the districts for you. In a few states they have a commission that does just that. They do not leave it to the politicians of the majority party to draw the districts. I know that Iowa has a commission that does the maps in that state.

    2. Not counted how though? In a state-wide contest like a presidential/electoral college election, gerrymandering doesn’t figure. There are no electoral districts per se to carve up. All the votes count for the whole state. So the illegal map for House Representatives doesn’t affect the presidential contest or U.S. Senate. Given that the two districts are heavily black, not counting the votes in those districts would have the desired effect of black voter suppression. The Democrats are unlikely to agree to that as a remedy for Georgia’s defiance!

      (Here I’m assuming from context we’re talking about the electoral prospects of the two parties to take Georgia as a state.)

  26. Been reading all the interesting comments. My 2 cents:

    Either Trump will win the Republican nomination (the most likely scenario) or the rest of the Republican hopefuls will (collude to or be pressured to) clear the field giving one of the non-Trump candidates a shot.

    It Trump wins the Republican nomination he will probably lose in the general to Biden (fingers crossed). If Trump loses the Republican nomination, the Republican nominee will beat Biden on youth alone.

    Lots of the folks seem to be hoping for Trump to win the Republican nomination so that he can be eliminated in the general. I’m not willing to play Russian roulette. After all, as in 2016 Trump could actually win. I want Trump out as soon as possible—*before* the Republican nomination—and would be willing to live with a Republican in the White House. Getting Trump out of the news, out of the conversation, and out of relevance is more important than whether a Democrat or a Republican ends up in the White House.

    1. It is a common prediction that it will be Biden vs Trump again, and there are factors that can make this next one even closer than the previous. So that worries me bc the @$%# electoral college seems weighted for the Republicans if there is a sluggish voter turnout.

  27. Andy Borowitz at the New Yorker sums it up best: “After the special counsel Jack Smith brought new charges against Donald J. Trump, political experts agreed that the former President is but a few indictments away from clinching the Republican nomination.” He goes on: “the pressure is on DeSantis to get indicted for something—and fast.” But, it may be too late for him.

    If you don’t know who Andy Borowitz is, go to the New York site to find out.


  28. I thoroughly agree with your last sentence, and hadn’t realized that is my underlying sentiment until reading it just now

  29. The latest news of an attempted cover-up (Trump wanted a security tape to be erased) is a significant game-changer.

    He won’t be re-elected. He’ll eventually be placed under house arrest at the very least.

    1. Hell, #45 says he’d be happy to be voted in as a dictator, and his supporters don’t bat an eye. With everything Trump has done, if this country can’t figure out a legal way to keep a Trump from running, we don’t have a working government.

  30. We should note before this discussion is over that there really is no primary election for the GOP. There is just one candidate and that is the indicted guy. The rest should save whatever money they have left and go home. Trump will be spending all the big money he raises on lawyers. He is not even going to the first debate because he does not have to. The republicans have only one dance to take to the party and he will be making lots of appearances in court.

  31. As in every Presidential election, a lot will be riding on the economy and “Bidenomics.” The majority of Americans care more about the pocket book than the POTUS. In that regard, things are looking good: the recession doom talk is fading, inflation ebbing, low unemployment, healthy stock market, unions gaining strength, infrastructure investments being realized, and America is leading the post-Covid world economically, a stark difference from countries that leaned towards austerity/conservatism. I laughed when Marjorie TG disparagingly compared Biden to FDR and LBJ. “He’s trying to finish what they started!!!” WTF? Who are these new Republican clowns, anyway? FDR was the most popular POTUS in recent history. You don’t get elected 4 times if not. This GOP brand might make a lot of dosh since they’re backed by billionaires and such, but they are sincerely clueless.

    If Trump is the nominee, don’t worry folks, the kids will vote in large numbers. Especially if Dems are able to tag him with “he ended abortion access for millions.” “He causes suffering.” “He thinks global warming is a hoax.” The abortion issue is especially important and won’t be lessening anytime soon…esp. not by 2024.

    Trump’s recent unhinged speeches are an indictment in themselves and create their own commercials for Dems who should rightly portray him as the authoritarian asshole that he is. Same goes for DeSantis.

    As always, if Trump gets the nomination, it’s a “slamdunk,” for the Dems, yet only the Dems can fuck it up.

  32. With no skin in this game… If ol orange gets anyway pipped, sunk, shut out, or comes out a loser, read as, any form of loss to his fascistic ego, all hell will spurt forth… you’ll end up with a hypoventilating tomato with a good chance of blowing a fu fu valve. It won’t be pretty.
    Biden needs better counseling but from afar I think he may get a second shot given that it is unusual NOT too… can tRump jump you again, that seems unlikely, does the rest of the planet deserve another around of that, you can bet your boots we don’t.

    1. Agreed. The more (deserved) punishment comes to the Orange Man, the more his cult is enraged, and the more the Orange Man loses, the more his cult is enraged. That’s a lot of enragement. Fu fu valves will indeed blow, no matter what. It’s either that or The Orange Man wins and the US ceases to exist as a democracy. Neither outcome is particularly pleasant, but if violence is the alternative to dictatorship, we should all grit our teeth and prepare for the nastiness.

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