April 23, 2024

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Not Over Yet?

Republicans in the Nebraska legislature failed last night to pass a bill that would have awarded the state’s electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis – a change that would likely cost Joe Biden one vote in what could be a close 2024 election.

The Trump-backed move to change the rules of the game in Nebraska had been dormant for some time before it suddenly ramped up this week at the urging of right-wing gadfly Charlie Kirk.

The legislative session doesn’t end until April 18, so the measure could be brought back up for a vote again. But the procedural mechanics and the way it failed last night suggest this may be the end of the road for it. The legislator who facilitated bringing it to a vote tweeted last night that she thinks it’s over:

Keep an eye on this one.

What’s Up In Wisconsin?

Both constitutional amendments passed this week by voters in Wisconsin grew of out bats*** election conspiracy theories. But it’s the second of the two referenda, which allows only designated election officials to administer elections, that is particularly worrying, experts tell TPM’s Khaya Himmelman.

Trump On Track To Stand Trial

The hush-money trial remains on track to start April 15 after the trial judge rejected Trump’s latest immunity argument.

Trump has filed new motions to recuse the judge and to delay the trial die to pretrial publicity, but neither is likely to go anywhere or derail the planned start of the trial.

Pretty Much

Picking Through The Aileen Cannon Mess

Everyone is still digesting the filing by Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago case which failed to disguise prosecutors’ incredulousness at U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon:

  • Aaron Blake: Jack Smith puts Judge Aileen Cannon on notice
  • Harry Litman:

Profiles From Inside Trump World

  • NYT: Trump Defense Lawyer Todd Blanche Gambled a Gilded Manhattan Career to Represent Him
  • WaPo: How Steve Bannon guided the MAGA movement’s rebound from Jan. 6
  • NYT: Trump’s Bond Benefactor Don Hankey Earned Billions From Subprime Car Loans

Hardening The Fed Gov’t Against Trump II

The Biden administration is taking new steps to make it harder for a Trump II presidency to strip civil service protections from federal workers via Trump’s long-planned Schedule F scheme.

Law And Order

  • Meet some of the violent Jan. 6 rioters Donald Trump keeps calling “hostages.”
  • An Iowa woman who tried to boost her husband’s unsuccessful 2020 congressional bid through a voter fraud scheme was sentenced by a federal judge to four months in prison.
  • The Shvartsman brothers plead guilty in Trump Media insider-trading scheme.

Ya Don’t Say?

One of the brothers just referenced above, Michael Shvartsman, makes a cameo in this new piece from The Guardian: “Donald Trump’s social media company Trump Media managed to go public last week only after it had been kept afloat in 2022 by emergency loans provided in part by a Russian-American businessman under scrutiny in a federal insider-trading and money-laundering investigation.”

2024 Ephemera

  • NBC News: Several Trump supporters involved in Jan. 6 are running for office this year
  • Politico: Democratic tactics against RFK Jr. are rattling his campaign
  • NYT: Many Democrats Are Worried Trump Will Beat Biden. This One Isn’t.
  • AP: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) recovering from blood clot surgery.

White House Still Thinks Ukraine Aid Is Doable

Politico: “For all their frustration with the painstakingly slow pace in the House, administration officials are privately hopeful their approach could result in Congress starting to move on an aid package later this month.”

The Etta James Soundtrack Is Perfect

I tend to be wary of post-disaster videos flying around on social media, but this one seems well verified (here, for example):

Phew, That Was A Journey

I flew to Pittsburgh yesterday to surprise my son on his 21st birthday with a bottle of Scotch that I bought the day he was born.

Back then, I figured the hardest part would be keeping the bottle intact for 21 years, but it turned out to be lot easier than keeping him in one piece. After his last two years – broken pelvis, broken femur, broken spine, and broken brain across two different traumatic accidents – that whiskey tasted so, so good.

Thanks for indulging me a brief personal celebration.

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