Joe Biden is bored

Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Katharine Jackson, “Senator Graham says he will not cooperate with Georgia Trump election probe,” Reuters, July 6, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/senator-graham-says-he-will-not-cooperate-with-georgia-trump-election-probe-2022-07-06/

Gilead competitive authoritarian regime project

Some of this stuff is so sickening I can barely bear to read about it:

The independent state legislature theory is fewer than 25 years old, and for most of its life, it’s been relegated to the fringes of academia. But it was widely promoted by former President Donald Trump and his allies as they attempted to first undermine — and then overturn — the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. And several Supreme Court justices have already suggested that they’re on board with the theory. During litigation over election laws in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2020, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch endorsed some version of the idea that state legislatures should have nearly unfettered power over how federal elections are run, and earlier this year, they said in an emergency-docket ruling that they would have ruled in favor of the North Carolina legislature [which sought to overturn its own Supreme Court ruling on a gerrymandered election map].[1]

Imagine, if you can bear to do so, a white Christian nationalist Pennsylvania state legislature with unfettered power to redraw electoral maps.[2] The very idea makes me want to retch.

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Nathaniel Rakich, “How The Supreme Court Could Turbocharge Gerrymandering — Just In Time for 2024,” FiveThirtyEight, July 7, 2022, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-supreme-court-could-turbocharge-gerrymandering-just-in-time-for-2024/

Joe Biden’s bipartisan delusions

When Joe Biden ran for president a lot of people feared he’s fail to see the reality of an increasingly extremist right wing and, indeed, considering he was Barack Obama’s vice president, he was extraordinarily slow to learn the lessons of the Obama presidency.[3] But it looks like Biden’s problem is even more serious than that.

In the “Today on TAP” newsletter of the American Progress, in which Harold Meyerson highlights Ryan Cooper’s article, Meyerson writes that he would

go a step further. Even the issues that are in his wheelhouse haven’t rated a full presidential treatment, either. Consider, for instance, what happened with his Build Back Better program, clearly the centerpiece of his hopes and plans for his first years as president. Biden didn’t even dominate the discourse on BBB. Joe Manchin did. And despite BBB’s potential for establishing a Biden domestic legacy that could be spoken of in the same breath as the domestic legacies of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt, Biden never made a prime-time Oval Office case for the bill, or even for its very popular particulars.

And that, sadly, is the emerging signature of Biden’s presidency: He simply doesn’t dominate the discussion of virtually any issue, whether it’s outrageous right-wing overreach, horrific acts of violence, or his very own agenda. Like Prufrock, he’s not the protagonist in his own play; for that matter, he doesn’t even swell the progress of his own legislation.[4]

While I think Meyerson raises an interesting and valid point, Cooper doesn’t actually talk much about “Biden’s wheelhouse.” Cooper rather talks about what Biden finds interesting; in short, if it doesn’t interest Biden, he doesn’t pay attention and he seems to dither,[5] when in fact, he just doesn’t give enough of a damn to actually make a decision. But on this, as so much else, it isn’t just Biden. It’s the entire mainstream of the Democratic Party: They just really don’t want to confront the Republicans.

Ryan Cooper, “President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard,” American Prospect, July 7, 2022, https://prospect.org/politics/president-biden-is-not-cutting-the-mustard/


(dis)United Kingdom

Prime minister

I am a bit perturbed that actual news articles (so-called “live reports,” with their continually changing content, headlines, and authorship, do not, for me, count) indicating that Boris Johnson has agreed to resign—he’s not stepping down immediately—came to me first from U.S. sources.[6] I’m subscribed to numerous U.K. newsletters and they had indeed confirmed the reports, but I’d yet to see an actual article prior to the Telegraph‘s comparison of Johnson’s duration to other prime ministers.[7] The Telegraph article, as such, is in fact a bit premature: The exact length of Johnson’s tenure has yet to be determined since he’s not stepping down immediately.[8]

But now that it’s happening, do not be too terribly surprised if Johnson suffers a premature death from natural causes. I don’t mean this in any way cynically. In my time, I’ve seen a few who, deprived of power, rapidly declined and died, probably earlier than if they’d never been in power. Richly deserved as this humiliation may be, it’s a hard thing for a man to take and I have observed that it can have detrimental effects on physical health.

Harry Lambert, “Why Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak finally lost patience with Boris Johnson,” New Statesman, July 5, 2022, https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/conservatives/2022/07/why-sajid-javid-and-rishi-sunak-finally-lost-patience-with-boris-johnson

Graham Russell and Martin Farrer, “‘Johnson on the brink’: what the papers said about Boris Johnson’s cabinet resignations,” Guardian, July 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/jul/06/johnson-on-the-brink-what-the-papers-said-about-boris-johnsons-cabinet-resignations

Heather Stewart, Rowena Mason, and Jessica Elgot, “Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak quit – throwing Boris Johnson’s future into doubt,” Guardian, July 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jul/05/sajid-javid-and-rishi-sunak-quit-throwing-boris-johnsons-future-into-doubt

Telegraph, “This political crisis must be resolved,” July 5, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2022/07/05/political-crisis-must-resolved/

Kieran Devine, Daniel Dunford, and Ganesh Rao, “Boris Johnson suffers more ministerial resignations in one day than any PM in history,” Sky News, July 6, 2022, https://news.sky.com/story/boris-johnson-suffers-more-resignations-in-one-day-than-any-prime-minister-in-history-12647012

Nick Gutteridge, “Boris Johnson drops heavy hints of snap election – but the Queen could block the plan,” Telegraph, July 6, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/06/snap-general-election-what-will-call-boris-johnson-confidence/

Times, “The Times view on Boris Johnson’s position: Game Over,” July 6, 2022, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-times-view-on-boris-johnsons-position-game-over-t83xkkts6

Max Colchester, “U.K.’s Boris Johnson to Resign After Scandals Grow Too Great to Handle,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-boris-johnson-quits-after-scandals-grow-too-great-to-handle-11657183819

Karla Adam and William Booth, “Boris Johnson expected to resign amid party revolt,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/07/uk-boris-johnson-resignation/

Ben Riley-Smith, “Mortally wounded Boris Johnson defies Cabinet demands to quit,” Telegraph, July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/06/mortally-wounded-boris-johnson-defies-cabinet-demands-quit/

Telegraph, “The only three PMs who had shorter tenures than Boris Johnson,” July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/07/boris-johnson-resignation-makes-among-top-four-shortest-serving/


Twitter

Here’s something entirely meaningless:

Now that [Elon] Musk’s team has concluded it cannot verify Twitter’s figures on spam accounts, one of the people said, it is expected to take potentially drastic action. The person said it was likely a change in direction from Musk’s team would come soon, though they did not say exactly what they thought that change would be.[9]

The phrase “expected to take potentially drastic action” is a helluva way of not saying much of anything at all:

[T]he terms of the deal mean it wouldn’t be easy for [Elon] Musk to walk away. Musk has agreed to complete it unless something major happens to Twitter’s business, and legal experts doubt the bot issue would qualify.[10]

So what is “potentially drastic action?” Nobody seems to know. Twitter intends to complete the sale; Elon Musk would need a judge to go along with any desire to get out of it and then would still owe Twitter $1 billion.[11] We’ll see what happens when it happens. All the rest of this is bullshit.

Faiz Siddiqui and Gerrit De Vynck, “Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/07/elon-musk-twitter-jeopardy/


  1. [1]Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Nathaniel Rakich, “How The Supreme Court Could Turbocharge Gerrymandering — Just In Time for 2024,” FiveThirtyEight, July 7, 2022, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-supreme-court-could-turbocharge-gerrymandering-just-in-time-for-2024/
  2. [2]Jonathan Lai, “Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-redistricting-republicans-constitutional-amendment-20220110.html
  3. [3]Perry Bacon, Jr., “Does Biden Really Think Republicans Will Work With Him? And Could He Be Right?” FiveThirtyEight, January 19, 2021, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/does-biden-really-think-republicans-will-work-with-him-and-could-he-be-right/; Eric Bradner and Gregory Krieg, “Joe Biden predicts a post-Trump ‘epiphany’ for Republicans,” CNN, May 14, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/14/politics/joe-biden-republicans-trump-epiphany/index.html; Moira Donegan, “What does Biden have in common with Trump? Delusional nostalgia,” Guardian, June 21, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/21/joe-biden-trump-sexism-delusional-nostalgia; Matt Ford, “Someone Please Tell Joe Biden That Bipartisanship Is Dead,” New Republic, June 12, 2019, https://newrepublic.com/article/154183/someone-please-tell-joe-biden-bipartisanship-dead; William Rivers Pitt, “Mitch McConnell Says Bipartisanship Is ‘Over.’ Believe Him,” Truthout, July 7, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/mitch-mcconnell-says-bipartisanship-is-over-believe-him/; Matt Viser, “Biden once asserted Republicans would have an ‘epiphany.’ Now he admits he doesn’t understand them,” Washington Post, May 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-once-asserted-republicans-would-have-an-epiphany-now-he-admits-he-doesnt-understand-them/2021/05/06/a8204a84-ae77-11eb-acd3-24b44a57093a_story.html; Paul Waldman, “Joe Biden still hasn’t learned the lessons of the Obama presidency,” Washington Post, December 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/06/joe-biden-still-hasnt-learned-lessons-obama-presidency/
  4. [4]Harold Meyerson to Today on TAP list, “The Silence of the Joe,” American Prospect, July 7, 2022, https://americanprospect.bluelena.io/index.php?action=social&chash=253f7b5d921338af34da817c00f42753.1579&s=1e9c8da033986e0d1f0baa630b5bb784
  5. [5]Ryan Cooper, “President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard,” American Prospect, July 7, 2022, https://prospect.org/politics/president-biden-is-not-cutting-the-mustard/
  6. [6]Karla Adam and William Booth, “Boris Johnson expected to resign amid party revolt,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/07/uk-boris-johnson-resignation/; Max Colchester, “U.K.’s Boris Johnson to Resign After Scandals Grow Too Great to Handle,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-boris-johnson-quits-after-scandals-grow-too-great-to-handle-11657183819
  7. [7]Telegraph, “The only three PMs who had shorter tenures than Boris Johnson,” July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/07/boris-johnson-resignation-makes-among-top-four-shortest-serving/
  8. [8]Karla Adam and William Booth, “Boris Johnson expected to resign amid party revolt,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/07/uk-boris-johnson-resignation/; Max Colchester, “U.K.’s Boris Johnson to Resign After Scandals Grow Too Great to Handle,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-boris-johnson-quits-after-scandals-grow-too-great-to-handle-11657183819; Telegraph, “The only three PMs who had shorter tenures than Boris Johnson,” July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/07/boris-johnson-resignation-makes-among-top-four-shortest-serving/
  9. [9]Faiz Siddiqui and Gerrit De Vynck, “Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/07/elon-musk-twitter-jeopardy/
  10. [10]Faiz Siddiqui and Gerrit De Vynck, “Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/07/elon-musk-twitter-jeopardy/
  11. [11]Faiz Siddiqui and Gerrit De Vynck, “Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/07/elon-musk-twitter-jeopardy/

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