Convict Trump

Will the first President convicted of crimes be the first convicted felon re-elected as President?

As Steven Taylor noted from Paris, former President Donald Trump is now a convicted felon, found guilty of all 34 counts charged in the New York City tax fraud case. As noted Tuesday, when the trial was nearing its end, I thought the evidence that Trump was guilty pretty clear, I wouldn’t have been the least bit shocked had at least one juror insisted otherwise.

Now, we wait for sentencing (scheduled for July 11) and the inevitable appeals. Again, while I think the sheer number of counts on which he was convicted and his horrendous conduct during the trial merit significant jail time, I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t get it. Indeed, legal experts consulted by both NPR and CBS seem to think he won’t.

As to the politics . . . who knows? I can’t imagine this helps and, were I to hazard a guess, I’d say it hurts on the margins with the “double haters” who intensely dislike both Trump and Biden. That said, I doubt any regular OTB reader will change their vote as a result of this verdict. Most of us have long had Trump’s dishonesty and general loathesomeness factored in.

Benjamin Wittes, one of the most astute analysts of the American legal system (despite not being a lawyer) as well as one whose politics are damned near inscrutable, offers his “Thoughts on Donald Trump’s Conviction” at Lawfare.

Over the next few hours, days, and weeks, there will be countless “takes” about this man, as past and would-be president, and his convictions. There will be poll data. There will be denunciations of his prosecutors and the jurors who convicted him, and of the judge who presided over the case—many of these attacks will be reckless and ignorant, some of them dangerous. And there will be praise of all these actors too. We will hear technical claims about New York law and federal law and their interaction. We will hear claims that sound in fairness. We will hear claims that sound in politics and electoral horse race analysis. We will hear claims that sound in rage and in cries of justice and injustice.

[…]

It matters that the United States has had a more than two-century-long tradition of not prosecuting our presidents. And it matters that the United States has now had a president whose criminality was so relentless, so dangerous, and so unrepentant as to require the abrogation of that tradition.

It matters that the United States has a system of divided sovereignty such that the federal government’s decision not to prosecute Trump for this matter did not resolve the question of whether a District Attorney in Manhattan might choose to put a variant of the same fact pattern before 12 residents of the city.

As someone who personally sat through five weeks of this case, I also want to submit that it matters that Trump had to personally sit through the same five weeks of testimony as I did. That he had to spend every day in a dingy courtroom of no particular glamor. That he could not leave. That he had to listen to other people talk about his conduct in their own words. That he could not respond when he wanted to. That he had to rise when everyone else had to rise because a judge whom he hated was walking in or because a jury whom he was not allowed to talk about publicly was filing out. That he had to sit there while his conduct was evaluated, and that the decision-makers in that evaluation—both on the law and on the criminality of his conduct—was not him but other people whom he did not and could not control.

It matters that Trump will now face sentencing for his conduct, currently scheduled for July 11. It matters that between now and then, he will have to meet with a court probation officer who will prepare a presentence report about him. It matters that this process will be, within a reasonable margin of error, the same degrading process that every other convicted felon goes through. It matters that Trump’s fate is no longer entirely his own to control, that it is—in some meaningful sense—subject to the decision of the State of New York.

[…]

Does a criminal conviction of a past president, in fact, serve any significant democracy protective function in a prospective sense as that person seeks the presidency anew or is it just so much noise? Does Trump’s being convicted of 34 felonies make it any less likely that he will be elected president five months from now? Put another way, does the criminal law serve any meaningful role in shielding American democracy from its own populist instincts? Does it actually matter in a prospective sense?

We all once accepted as an article of faith that, of course, it matters. And there is at least some polling data that suggests a conviction will significantly change the presidential race.

[…]

Count me at least a little bit skeptical. Polling people about whom they support is hard enough. Polling people about whom they think they will support if some event happens sometime in the future is even harder. More fundamentally, Trump’s resilience in the polls and in his party’s leadership in the face of two impeachments, his attempted forcible retention of power, his serial abuses of power, and his repeated electoral setbacks make the answer to the question of whether a conviction will matter decidedly non-obvious.

[…]

But the prospective aspect of this conviction has other dimensions too. What would it mean for this country to have a criminal as a president? America has had its share of bad men before as leaders. We have elected leaders who—no doubt—have committed crimes. We have also had men commit crimes while in the office of the presidency. We have never, however, elected a person to the presidency in the face of a criminal conviction, let alone 34 of them, and we have never elected as president a person with an extant criminal sentence.

It is, to be sure, by no means certain that Trump will have a sentence outstanding at the time of his election—if elected he is—or his inauguration. But it is just as clearly not certain that he will not be on probation or, at least theoretically, serving time in jail.

There is no law guiding us on this question. No rule, no law, no provision of the Constitution says that we cannot put a felon in charge of our nuclear codes. Yet every instinct that restrains us from hiring mid-level national security officials who trigger minor polygraph discrepancies would seem to flash red lights about putting all of our national secrets in the hands of a man convicted of falsifying his company’s records by way of covering up payments to inconvenient women to keep them quiet.

And yet there is a powerful current in this country, perhaps a winning electoral coalition, that seems not to care. We’re about to find out exactly how much of that coalition is really committed to its apathy about Trump’s misconduct.

Writing at The Atlantic, erstwhile Republican speechwriter David Frum laments this as the “Wrong Case, Right Verdict.”

Donald Trump will not be held accountable before the 2024 presidential election for his violent attempt to overturn the previous election. He will not be held accountable before the election for absconding with classified government documents and showing them off at his pay-for-access vacation club. He will not be held accountable before the election for his elaborate conspiracy to manipulate state governments to install fake electors. But he is now a convicted felon all the same.

It says something dark about the American legal system that it cannot deal promptly and effectively with a coup d’état. But it says something bright and hopeful that even an ex-president must face justice for ordinary crimes under the laws of the state in which he chose to live and operate his business.

[…]

We’re seeing here the latest operation of a foundational rule of the Trump era: If you’re a Trump supporter, you will sooner or later be called to jettison any and every principle you ever purported to hold. Republicans in Donald Trump’s adopted state of Florida oppose voting by felons. They used their legislative power to gut a state referendum restoring the voting rights of persons convicted of a crime. But as fiercely as Florida Republicans oppose voting by felons, they feel entirely differently about voting for felons. That’s now apparently fine, provided the felon is Donald Trump.

What has been served here is not the justice that America required after Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election first by fraud, then by violence. It’s justice instead of an especially ironic sort, driving home to the voting public that before Trump was a constitutional criminal, he got his start as a squalid hush-money-paying, document-tampering, tabloid sleazeball.

If Trump does somehow return to the presidency, his highest priority will be smashing up the American legal system to punish it for holding him to some kind of account—and to prevent it from holding him to higher account for the yet-more-terrible charges pending before state and federal courts. The United States can have a second Trump presidency, or it can retain the rule of law, but not both. No matter how much spluttering and spin-doctoring and outright deception you may hear from the desperate co-partisans of the first Felon American to stand as the presumptive presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party—there is no denying that now.

It’s worth noting that there are other cases pending against Trump and that he may yet face justice for his attempts to steal the 2020 election. But Frum is likely right that if Trump is re-elected, he will do everything in his considerable power to ensure that doesn’t happen.

As to the relative triviality of this case, Wittes demurs.

Triviality is a matter of opinion, of course. But I confess that as I watched it, I did not find the case trivial. I found it nauseating, a grouping of some of the least attractive and sleaziest human beings I have ever imagined in proximity to the levers of power. And critically, these were people actively and consciously engaged in an effort to corrupt an election. I came away from the trial thinking it was actually important that Trump had to answer for this conduct, whether he was convicted of it or not.

[…]

The bottom line is that this was a more righteous case than a lot of people gave it credit for. And it has played an important role in a broader effort by multiple jurisdictions to use the criminal law as a democracy-protective instrument against Trump. It has put us in a position, five months before the election, in which we now get to find out whether the criminal law instrument is a meaningful one in the highest-stakes democracy protection efforts, either on its own or in combination with political forces. 

In the grand scheme of things, paying hush money to a porn star to avoid political embarrassment and then committing tax fraud in the service of that tawdry act is as easily dismissed as committing perjury about an illicit affair with a subordinate while testifying in a case about sexually harassing a different subordinate. Both are arguably disqualifying for high office and yet easily dismissed by supporters.

To be clear, while I thought Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were both morally unfit to serve as commander-in-chief before they were ever sworn in and had that reinforced by their behavior in office, the latter’s transgressions are considerably greater. While I thought Clinton rightly impeached for perjuring himself regarding Lewinsky, that was the height of his transgressions as President. Further, while I frequently disagreed with him on policy grounds, I have no reason to doubt that he spent his presidency trying to make the country a better place. Trump, by contrast, used his office as a personal piggybank and had no interest in anything but his own power and enrichment.

While I agree with Frum that a conviction for his crimes against the society as President would, therefore, be more satisfying, I also agree with Wittes that this ain’t nothin’. It further establishes what a reprehensible human being Trump is. And if this persuades just a few thousand would-be Trump voters in the swing states to sit November out, it’ll be close enough to justice for me.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, 2024 Election, Crime, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    He might be the first former president to have to perform community service like picking up trash in parks or on the highways. I’ll be happy with that and boy, he won’t!

    I realize there are more trials to come but Trump finally got a huge punch in the nose by jurors who in their private lives are the kind of people Trump would sneer at as beneath him. This is going to count with voters and shaving off single digit percentages in a few key states would damage him considerably.

    And he’s not going to win again, folks. Let’s put that idea to bed in the ground with a shovel.

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  2. Lounsbury says:

    Well it was a genuine surprise to see conviction on all counts, I had rather expected a hung jury on some or many counts.

    Conviction on all counts is rather a different… a surprise.

    Surprises do have a way of destabilising, which way this goes, does it feed martyrdom or can a narrative of fraud that reaches beyond the Pre Sold – this audience for example that are already convinced – be achieved.

    Songs sung to the tune of the non-Uni educated preferences would be good, but I am coming to doubt that the modern American Left can realise its own tone deafness despite the worrisome polls in the non-Uni educated demographics which were once a strong area.

    This is going to count with voters and shaving off single digit percentages in a few key states would damage him considerably.

    Maybe. Unclear it will in reality. Hopefully it does eat like acid at his non-core numbers so long as the Democrats can start to sell themselves outside of their online highly educated Lefty base to the non-Uni audiences polls indicate they are losing ground on

    But indeed small percentage changes in a few key geographies damage Trump immensely and that should indeed be the focus – the audiences of those geographies and specifically certain fractions.

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  3. DrDaveT says:

    and his horrendous conduct during the trial

    I genuinely can’t fathom how someone could think it’s a good idea to give nuclear launch authority to a man who demonstrably has both anger management and self-control issues. As in, effectively no anger management and no self-control.

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    If you’re a Trump supporter, you will sooner or later be called to jettison any and every principle you ever purported to hold.

    Is this really true though? I think it is more accurate to say that “If you’re a Trump supporter, you will sooner or later be caught out and reveal that the principles you truly hold are not the ones you profess.” There is a large body of Trump supporters who claim to value things that find their antitheses in Trump. Is it that they are blind to this? I don’t think so. Instead I believe they value something much more highly and all their professed values are just camouflage they hastily throw over their actual core beliefs. Is it not odd that someone cares little for camouflage and discards it and picks up new scraps from the forest floor whenever it is convenient.

    And what is it that they actual value? I believe it is a type of social structure that is antithetical to American ideals but has been the prevalent human society for thousands upon thousands of years: a sort of feudal state where social hierarchy is everything. In this type of society the infrastructure of governance serves two primary purposes: Preserve the supremacy of those in power, and enforce a rigid social structure that contains a large scapegoat class. If you take someone like Lindsay Graham and ascribe this value to him, the endless “Whatever happened to Lindsay” columns fall away, because the answer is “nothing”. The use of the mechanisms of the state to go after one of the powerful is antithetical to everything he was raised on. And for a large part of that prosecution/persecution to come from the scapegoat class (Alvin Bragg is black, a Yankee, and probably a liberal) is beyond the endurance.

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  5. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    And what is it that they actual value?

    They don’t have to all value the same thing(s); it’s a coalition of only partly-overlapping authoritarian (and anti-government) groups who each hope to be the one to emerge on top. The fascists, the Pharisees, the anti-feminists, the plutocrats, the LGBTQ-phobic, the racists, the anti-intellectuals, the nihilists, the IGMFY crowd… Trump is their guy. Even if they have no use for each other.

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  6. Lounsbury says:

    @DrDaveT: Eh. Virtually no one outside of egg-heads votes on such an analytical basis. Really, “fathoming” such things is not hard, one simply has to step outside of one’s own sociological circle and be modestly aware of extensive data showing mass electorates don’t vote the way the politically obsessed do and think others should.

    Humanity is what it is.
    @DrDaveT:
    The observation is correct in terms of multi-factions but again shows the general Lefty America Uni educated blindness to the rather painfully evident component of “labouring classes” – non-Uni educated (weighted male certainly) cultural reaction to the Left-Uni educated agenda, and a quite large sense of being devalued in favour of the Uni educated.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: I agree 100% that there are other types of Trump supporters. I’m only pointing out that a significant portion of his base are motivated as I outlined, and Lindsay Graham is a stellar example of that. But of course you have people (like one of our resident trumpers) whose primary motivation is racism, and Trump continuously validates their racist views. And I suspect there is a small but not insignificant group of men who are attracted to his horrendous treatment of women, up to and including rape. In fact, another one of our trumpers disturbingly falls into this category. And yet another significant group, maybe even larger than the feudal state crew I outline above unites those that for any of a multitude of reasons resent people, especially intellectuals, that oppose Trump, and therefore get behind him as a way to poke a finger in the eye of those they dislike.

    But despite these, and other, groups, I still contend that there is a significant portion of the United States, primarily but not exclusively in the Deep South, whose history can be understood as being motivated by an attempt to preserve feudalism, or at least a feudalistic society. And I think their liege lord is Trump and any attempt to pull him down to the level of a commoner offends their very being.

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  8. Charley in Cleveland says:

    Ironic that a habitual tax cheat declared a hush money payment as a business expense in order to get a tax deduction. If Trump had paid Stormy with his own money – versus Trump Org money – he never would have met Alvin Bragg. Despite all of his bombast about being wealthy, Trump is incapable of walking past a quarter he sees on the sidewalk.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I rather suspect that most voters in America had already accepted the fact that trump is a moral vacuum, a serial liar, and fully capable of committing any # of crimes. Some voters will think that is a good thing, but I doubt very much most.

    In recent months, I and a # of others who live in Red America have noticed a decided lack of enthusiasm for trump among his voters. (not everywhere, 2 counties south of here they are just as deranged as ever) He is now a convicted felon.

    I will go out on a limb and say it won’t help him and will probably hurt him. Not that anybody will vote for Biden instead, just that come 11/5 more than a few are just gonna say “Fck it.” and crack another beer and kick back in the La-Z-boy.

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  10. Jen says:

    @Charley in Cleveland: This is exactly right, and I wish more of his supporters understood this. He could have avoided most of this mess had he just paid out of pocket and not falsified business records. These are avoidable errors, and speak directly to his appalling lack of judgment.

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  11. Kylopod says:

    I want to remind people, before it goes down the memory hole, how many were convinced or fearful that a hung jury was inevitable because there had to be at least one stealth MAGAt among the jurors. I never bought that theory, first because I doubted such a person could sneak undetected past the screening process, and I figured that anyone somehow sophisticated enough to manage such a feat was not how I imagine the typical profile of a Trump cultist.

    Also, nothing like that happened in either of the E. Jean Carroll trials. Sure, the stakes weren’t as high for a civil case, but the theory of the stealth MAGAt should have applied anyway. They’d still be ruling against their orange god. The fact that all the trials so far have succeeded proves that the theory is flawed.

    The problem with the theory isn’t just that it’s paranoid, or that it underestimates the abilities of professional prosecutors with years of experience to sniff such people out. It’s also rooted in a somewhat black-and-white view of Trump supporters. I’m sure the juries in the hush-money trial as well as E. Jean Carroll included multiple individuals who voted for Trump.

    The fact is that there are millions of Americans out there who voted for Trump but who are not the freakazoids we see at the rallies or outside the courthouse or those being interviewed by Jordan Klepper and others. In fact, I would suggest that the cultists are a minority of the movement and always have been. I’m not saying the majority are all independent-minded, thoughtful, reasoned individuals–far from it. Nor am I making any excuses for voting for Trump, which I consider a moral failing with disastrous consequences, no matter what the motive. But it is a large and complicated coalition with lots of different types of people whose level of actual devotion to Trump varies greatly, and while there may not be anywhere near as many true swing voters in the populace as there were a couple of decades ago, they do still exist.

    Ever since 2016 there has been a fairly substantial number of Republican-leaning voters who find Trump personally gross but who “came home” in the end. Many of them did so in 2020 as well, and I expect that many will this year. But all? That remains to be seen.

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  12. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s hilarious watching the RW media reactions to his conviction. Reminds me so much of these two mooks. Making it worse is probably a black NYC prosecutor doing the work to nail him.

    Just to add: white America and its obsession with ‘black thugs’ and how dangerous and dysfunctional they are is projection by a huge swath of people who in fact identify with white gangsters. Trump and Giuliani and the MAGA people who hate crime but are indifferent when two black dudes with criminal records endorse Trump…it’s Howard Beach writ large and filled with resentment and bullies who feel victimized when somebody bigger hits them.

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @Charley in Cleveland:

    Trump is incapable of walking past a quarter he sees on the sidewalk

    In the runup to 2016 I commented a few times on how Trump is fundamentally a miser. No great observation of my own, but the commentary of the Manhattan investor and real estate class that were frequently interviewed for comments on his many failed business schemes. A recurring theme was that Trump left a pile of money on the table in his rush to screw his partners out of a dollar. He was simply incapable of seeing the long term play if there was a chance to grab something RIGHT NOW!

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  14. Kylopod says:

    @Modulo Myself: In the incident a couple of years ago when a woman in a hotel lobby assaulted a black teenage boy under the mistaken assumption he had stolen her phone, Bragg said in a statement, “As a Black man, I have personally experienced racial profiling countless times in my life and I sympathize with the young man victimized in this incident.”

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  15. JohnSF says:

    There is a upside for Trump:
    No one can now say he lacks convictions, or that he isn’t appealing. 😉

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  16. Scott says:

    I think what bothers me most is the reaction of our elected officials who swore an oath (most on the Bible no less) to uphold our Constitution and laws. Starting with the Speaker and Senators and Representatives on down, they violate their oaths to protect a convicted felon.

    My Representative Chip Roy on Facebook:

    he verdict was a foregone conclusion executed by a corrupt Manhattan legal regime for a specific desired political outcome. This charade has been nothing more than an affront to the rule of law and the fabric that has kept this country together. Republicans should remember that this is how the game is being played #Nov5th #DefundTyranny

    My response (not terribly elegant):

    Your comments are disgraceful and undermine this country’s rule of law. They also violate your oath of office to uphold this country’s laws. If you truly believe this you must resign.

    BTW, the real crime wave is white collar crime which you and your corrupt colleagues support.

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Gawd! That was absolutely terrible! (I will probably use it ten times today…)

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Ouch. 30 lashes with a wet noodle for you.

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  19. JKB says:

    On the other hand

    And if this persuades just a few thousand would-be [Biden] voters in the swing states to sit November out, it’ll be close enough to justice for me.

    Ignore all you want, but these show trials have revealed more about Democrats and Biden supporters than Trump. And those who might not vote for Trump do have an alternative in RFKjr.

    And the Biden campaign has realized this could backfire which is why they’ve cancelled Old Joe’s Oval Office address.

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  20. Modulo Myself says:

    @Scott:

    These complaints remind me of anguished questions of whether Derek Chauvin could get a fair trial. I mean, a cop slowly murders a helpless man on video and all of the metaphysical questions based on authority do vanish. We’re supposed to ask deep questions about cops killing a 12-year old with a toy gun, not just call them murderers and expect a jury to convict in four seconds.

    Same goes with Trump: the only acceptable way to convict a politician is over whether or not they had the authority to commit a crime or if it was justifiable due to circumstances. Drag in the founding fathers, etcetera.

    Going after obvious crimes is an affront, if you worship power to that degree.

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  21. Kathy says:

    We may hear a lot about the “on advice of counsel” defense, and how unfairly Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer was denied its use.

    TL;DR this defense requires waiving attorney-client privilege, as things discussed with counsel in confidence are the defense. All affirmative defenses require the defendant to prove it. Among other things, Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer wanted to use this defense without waiving privilege. That’s like saying you want to fly from JFK to LHR without using a plane.

    Judge Merchan ruled on this matter back in March.

    But, if his ruling was in fact wrong as a matter of law, that would be, once more, a golden basis for appeal.

    Me, I believe in the end it wasn’t used because Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer’s refusal to waive privilege, and also, very likely, because he either 1) did not seek advice of counsel, or b) acted against such advice.

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  22. Kathy says:

    @JKB:

    Did your brain go on vacation again and neglected to tell you?

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  23. Lounsbury says:

    @Kylopod: Well one need not have suspected a stealth MAGA to have felt – as I certainly did – that there was a solid risk of a hung jury given the overall context of the legal case. It was pleasant to see the result but expectation or fear of hung jury did not hang on how you have framed this.

    @JKB: Show trials, now that is quite the effort on trolling and baiting. Pathetic in real terms of course.

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  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Thanks for dropping by so we could laugh at you.

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  25. DK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    I am coming to doubt that the modern American Left can realise its own tone deafness despite the worrisome polls in the non-Uni educated demographics which were once a strong area.

    Same polls that had American Bothsidesers Performative Centrists assuring us Democrats were collapsing with black and Latino voters post-2020, only for Democrats to go on and win about the same share per usual in election after election?

    We’re now entering year eight of polls and pundits swearing Republicans’ diverse, multicultural working class coalition is just around the corner. But where is it?

    Democrats can start to sell themselves outside of their online highly educated Lefty base to the non-Uni audiences polls indicate they are losing ground on

    Red Wave 2022!!11!!!

    Meanwhile, over here in reality, Democrats just keep improving America with good policy, and keep
    winning elections.

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  26. Kylopod says:

    @Lounsbury:

    It was pleasant to see the result but expectation or fear of hung jury did not hang on how you have framed this.

    I never said it did. A hung jury was always a fairly plausible outcome–at least it was much likelier than an outright acquittal. But, as you said, it wouldn’t have been due to the stealth MAGAt scenario, which is what I was addressing.

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  27. JKB says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?

    Some say they will do that for Trump

    Do you think a partisan conviction on trumped up charges will change that?

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Some say they will do that for Trump

    That’s because they are complete, f’n, whakjob, looneytune, idiots.

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  29. drj says:

    @JKB:

    Although I have been reliably in the tank for the Democrat Party all my life, this gross miscarriage of justice forces me to vote for the only man who can save America from otherwise inevitable ruin.

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  30. @JKB: That’s quite a series of takes you’ve got there.

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  31. Scott says:

    This made me laugh (and we need it):

    Queens man convicted

    Former Jamaica Estates resident Donald Trump was convicted by a Manhattan jury on Thursday of 34 counts of falsifying business records in an effort to cover up a sex scandal he feared would ruin his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

    The jury’s verdict, which came after only two days of deliberations, makes Trump the first president from Queens – or anywhere in the United States, for that matter – to become a felon.

    The trial was overseen by another man from the World’s Borough, Justice Juan Merchan, who was raised in Jackson Heights.

    Despite their shared hometown, Trump had no love for his fellow Queens man following the trial’s conclusion on Thursday.

    Despite the conviction, Trump was released on his own recognizance Thursday, being spared a trip to Rikers Island, the home of the city’s notorious jail complex which happens to be part of the same borough the former president was raised in.

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  32. DK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    extensive data showing mass electorates don’t vote the way the politically obsessed do and think others should.

    What data? The more progressive candidate has won the popular vote in every presidential election except one in the last three decades. That’s a long time.

    But the electoral college sometimes does not vote the way the masses prefer. Ditto, the Senate.

    cultural reaction to the Left-Uni educated agenda, and a quite large sense of being devalued in favour of the Uni educated.

    What agenda is that? That gays and blacks deserve human rights, climate change needs to be urgently addressed, and the poor should not die from lack of healthcare? O! the horror!

    And who is devaluing laborers, and how? In America, its the educated who are always told they are automatically less American for committing the crime of obtaining degrees, or for living on the coast or in big cities. Relatively few ask the working class to step outside its bubble and empathize. Because in the West, it’s assumed the educated and upwardly-mobile deserve no empathy… unless they’re a hyperprivileged, racist or regressive rich guy.

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  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @Kylopod:

    The entire GOP spent several years going after Hunter and Joe Biden and came up with zilch. The Soros-backed Hamas-loving pro-crime black DA went after Trump and came back with a conviction.

    It’s just fear. They have money and voters but they don’t have any talent on their side. That makes it seem unfair. Hence, the wailing and rage.

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  34. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:
    Given that you posted this just a couple days ago… (and looking back predicted a Huge Trump victory 2020), perhaps, just perhaps you might want to slow down on the prognostication:

    Bragg was only able to revive the two NY misdemeanors whose statute of limitations had run out by tying them to a federal election law violation that the FEC and DoJ declined to pursue.

    Tell me you’ve not listened to knowledgeable commentators like Alan Dershowitz on this case but instead gone with MSDNC propaganda.

    And now apparently, Biden campaign surrogates are going to do media outside the courtroom.

    Trump is going to win so hugely. HUGE!

    Also, how’s good old reliable Alan Dershowitz’s predictions about the trial outcome working for you?

    Also, weren’t you predicting that this prosecution and the previous NYS one would destroy NYC too?

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  35. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Indeed, there’s a great difference between a deadlocked jury and jury nullification.

    In the first, one or more jurors can’t make up their minds for a variety of reasons, or have a different interpretation of the evidence. So either they can’t vote one way or the other, or will vote contrary to the majority of the jury.

    In the second, one or more jurors won’t vote to convict, or for that matter to acquit, based on considerations other than the evidence and the judge’s instructions.

    In this particular case, one deplorable juror, or more, would refuse to vote to convict Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer even if he confessed and his lawyers pleaded withe the jury to find him guilty (I don’t think this has ever happened).

    Of course, this isn’t the only reason. A juror could conceivably think a law is unfair, and refuse to convict even with overwhelming evidence. They might also know the sentencing guidelines or minimums, and consider the punishment disproportionate.

    The jury’s not supposed to judge the law or the sentence, only the facts.

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  36. DK says:

    @Kathy:

    The jury’s not supposed to judge the law or the sentence, only the facts.

    Ostensibly. Jury nullification is not illegal, though, no? In theory, a jury can judge the law, if it wants to.

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  37. Matt Bernius says:

    @Kylopod:

    I want to remind people, before it goes down the memory hole, how many were convinced or fearful that a hung jury was inevitable because there had to be at least one stealth MAGAt among the jurors.

    As someone who sort of fell into this category (I didn’t think it was inevitable, and my concern was more about the complexity of the charging theory mixed with someone who was partial to Trump), this is a good thing to remember.

    Again, its a good reason to not make big predictions one way or the other and wait for the process to play out.

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  38. Kylopod says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    These complaints remind me of anguished questions of whether Derek Chauvin could get a fair trial.

    The trick is always to get the entire GOP on one side of a legal conflict (the wrong side from any reasonable moral perspective), then when it doesn’t go their way, claim it was a political hit job. Once they politicize something, they can frame the other side as inherently political. It’s the go-to gambit for Trump’s legal woes, but it applies broadly within the party to various politicians as well as some non-pols like Chauvin.

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  39. Matt Bernius says:

    @DK:

    Jury nullification is not illegal, though, no? In theory, a jury can judge the law, if it wants to.

    100% to this. Juries do have the right to judge the law.

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  40. Scott says:

    @Modulo Myself: @Modulo Myself:

    It’s just fear. They have money and voters but they don’t have any talent on their side. That makes it seem unfair. Hence, the wailing and rage.

    I’m wondering if the wealthy are afraid that there is a growing movement to go after white collar crime. Just within the Trump world, there were convictions of the Trump organization, Allen Weisselberg, Michael Cohen and now Trump himself. Recently, Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in an astonishingly short indictment to conviction of little over a year. The wealthy in this country view white collar crime as just another cost of doing business. To see the judicial system take this kind of crime seriously is a deep threat to the billionaire class. They have an immense interest to undermine those laws.

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  41. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    show trials

    Please do fuck off with this bullshit.

    How was this a “show trial?” How was it “rigged” as Trump and his slobbering worshipers are fond of saying? Were his attorneys replaced with potted plants? Were the members of the jury mysteriously hypnotized by George Soros so that even Juror Number 2, who when asked where they got their news replied only with “Truth Social and X,” was compelled to vote Guilty?

    Please, do tell us how this trial, which was open to anyone who could get in line early enough, and reported on in painstaking detail for its entirety, was a “show trial.”

    And please do so without reverting to the great assortment of thoroughly-debunked claims made by Trump and his gibbering sycophants.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @DK:

    I think it depends in part on how jury selection is carried out.

    Let’s say you’re in the jury pool for a case that might end with a death sentence, and you oppose capital punishment for all cases*. If you’re asked for your views on the matter as part of the selection process and lie about it, then vote to acquit to foil a death sentence, that might be actionable legally. Not the vote itself, as I understand, but lying in court. I’ve no idea what the charge is, either.

    I’m not certain about any of the above, and it may only apply in federal court. I don’t even recall where and when I read about it. ut it does strike as reasonable, if very hard to prove.

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  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?

    Yes. And two miles to vote against the convicted felon, psychopath, racist, woman-hating traitor you worship. Which is rather more of an effort than all those Staten Island and Long Island MAGAts could manage in support of dear cult leader. Von Shitzhispants keeps begging for shows of support that never materialize.

    But on a more practical level we’ve just decided to set our political donations at $20,000 for this cycle. Unless we think still more will help.

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  44. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    The jury’s not supposed to judge the law or the sentence, only the facts.

    SCOTUS disagrees with you. c.f. John Jay’s instructions to the jury in Georgia v. Brailsford:

    It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumable, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.

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  45. Jen says:

    @JKB:

    Do you think a partisan conviction on trumped up charges will change that?

    This is delusional, even for you. You don’t get guilty on THIRTY FOUR CHARGES without there being substance behind them.

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  46. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I wouldn’t, for the simple reason that (a) it isn’t required (b) whatever my intentions or desire, I’d most likely sustain serious, possibly fatal, injuries that would prevent me from completing the journey (c) I live in New York, which, despite recent rumors to the contrary, is going to be easily carried by Biden regardless of my vote.

    All that aside, I will just make the observation that in 2020 Republicans pointed to polls indicating there was far more enthusiasm for Trump than for Biden–while neglecting to mention that those same polls indicated far more enthusiasm against Trump than against Biden. Despite widespread dissatisfaction with Biden as president, I believe the same dynamic applies today. Fear of small-d democratic collapse is the sort of thing that will get a lot of voters to walk a mile on broken glass to forestall. Will it be enough voters? We’ll have to see, but we already know it’s significant.

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  47. becca says:

    @Scott: So much this. Elon and other billionaires are reportedly lining up for the felon. Balzac said it best – “behind great wealth there lies a great crime”. They bought themselves a political party to protect their interests and have reaped the benefits for years. They will fight like hell to keep the status quo.
    The problem is, if the felon wins and regains the WH, these guys could suffer the same fate as so many Putin oligarchs. The felon won’t tax them, but he will require a percentage for himself. And the latter will be a lot higher than the former.

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  48. just nutha says:

    @JKB: I’m confused (no mystery, considering who I’m talking to) but how is Trump’s conviction going to persuade would be Biden voters to stay home out of the injustice of a (non) show trial? I’ve stayed out of this voting for people while holding my nose since I left for Korea, but I’m seriously considering registering to vote for Biden in Oregon–where my vote will merely be a drop in a very large Democratic Party bucket–simply out of spite towards you. Do you realize how much damage your incessant whinging does to alienate people you should be trying to persuade?

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  49. Kylopod says:

    @becca:

    Elon and other billionaires are reportedly lining up for the felon.

    I kind of wonder if the trial will provide the perfect excuse for wayward MAGA voters who were considering supporting RFK to return to their first love.

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  50. Modulo Myself says:

    @Scott:

    Most wealthy people aren’t like Trump or SBF. Trump was a notorious cheat in a world where everyone cuts a few corners and is out for number one. SBF was running an insane pyramid scam. More importantly, he was only caught when everything collapsed and he had no money to pay anybody. Whatever is motivating Bill Ackman to support Trump, I don’t think it’s fear of being locked up. America is a pretty great place if you have a lot of equity.

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  51. al Ameda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I rather suspect that most voters in America had already accepted the fact that trump is a moral vacuum, a serial liar, and fully capable of committing any # of crimes.

    As Dennis Quaid recently said of Donald Trump: ‘People might call him an assh*le, but he’s my assh*le.’ To me, that describes MAGA voters perfectly. They love his disrespect of everything, they love his in-your-face contemptuous style, and they love his willingness to disregard all norms, rules, and laws in the fight for political dominance.

    I believe that it, how people see Trump, is 97% baked in. So few people are truly ‘Independent’ or undecided. But … that 3% could well be the difference in those 5-7 swing states.

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  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Meant to ask you why you think Orange Jesus wimped out on testifying.

    I will! I will! I will! Waaaaah, I won’t.

    Brave Sir Donny ran away.
    Bravely ran away away.
    When danger reared it’s ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave Sir Donny turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    Swiftly taking to his feet,
    He beat a very brave retreat.
    Bravest of the brave, Sir Donny!

    I have a theory, let’s see if you agree: Trump is a coward and a weakling. Do you think Hitler would have pussed out like that? Hitler would have seized the opportunity! But not Trump. Trump just sat there stewing in his own sharts, trying to intimidate and failing, letting his needy ego subvert his own lawyers and making defiant noises then meekly submitting. And now he’s a convicted felon because he was too cheap and too stupid to just pay Stormy off out of his own bank account.

    Meanwhile, a real president, a man with courage and convictions just agreed to let Ukraine hit Trump’s alpha. And he just sent Marines to an island just six miles off the China coast.

    Then again, Biden is not peddling worthless NFT’s, blasphemous bibles or golden sneakers to his voters because Biden’s voters are not pathetic, weak-minded, morally depraved culties.

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  53. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Or they could see RFKJr as Trump without the baggage. Who the hell knows?! I have noticed that Vaccine Boy is trying to overtly appeal to Trump’s voters. I’ve heard speculation that he’s trying out to be Trump’s VP, but I suspect he has some internal polls that show he a bigger chance of coopting Trumpie’s voters than Biden’s.

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  54. becca says:

    @Kylopod: I doubt the trials will dissuade any maga at all. I do think independents and some old school republicans will vote Biden, other, or not at all.
    Funny how the felon’s followers are deemed populists, but are so in awe of the wealthy elite, isn’t it.

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  55. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:

    A show trial would require several of the following:

    1) forceful arrest
    2) incarceration in bad to terrible conditions
    3) beatings
    4) very little time to consult with counsel, who’d BTW be chosen by the state
    5) more beatings to elicit a confession
    6) a parade of witnesses presented by the prosecution, with limited ability of the defense to cross examine them
    7) the judge would grant everything the prosecutors asked for, and little or nothing that defense did
    8) more beatings to elicit a confession
    9) the identity of the jury would be kept secret from the defense, and they couldn’t be vetted before trial. Defense wouldn’t even know how many jurors there are, or even if there are any.
    10) no independent press coverage of the trial, only reports made by the state
    11) more beatings to elicit a confession
    12) verdict, sentence, and execution the same day.

    I may have left a few things out. But clearly we saw all of that happen, didn’t we? Or we would have, if we were deranged deplorables.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: Not a surprise, but RFK has slammed the verdict:

    “America deserves a President who can win at the ballot box without compromising our government’s separation of powers or weaponizing the courts. You can’t save democracy by destroying it first,” Kennedy wrote on the social platform X. “The Democrats are afraid they will lose in the voting booth, so instead they go after President Trump in the courtroom.”

    “I’m also running against President Trump in this election. The difference is I’m challenging him on his record. His lockdowns during Covid. His atrocious environmental record. His cozy relationship with corporate America,” he added, also listing Trump’s “support for the war machine” and “service to the billionaire class” as aspects of his record that should be scrutinized.

    I do definitely think he is aiming for that slice of the Trump movement who are more devoted to the conspiracy theories that have brewed around him ever since his rise in politics than they are to devotion to Trump himself. I imagine there are a fair number of Joe Rogan listeners as well as Elon-stans among his supporters.

    (I do find it a little interesting that he mentioned the lockdowns but didn’t mention Operation Warp Speed, the biggest point of contrast between Trump and parts of the far right.)

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    I do find it a little interesting that he mentioned the lockdowns but didn’t mention Operation Warp Speed

    Makes sense if his motivation is to attract Trump voters. Actually running Trump down would offend them. So
    Let others connect the dots. The words don’t have to come out of his mouth.

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  58. MarkedMan says:

    I’m slowly processing this whole trial and one thing is really starting to seep in: while I’ve long said that the most important thing to know about Trump is that he is a moron, in this case there is another but equally important thing: he is a miser. A candidate can donate as much as they want to their own campaign. He could have set up some innocuous sounding shell company, paid her through that from his own pocket, declared it as a donation to himself, and there would have been no crime. Instead, it looks like it never even occurred to him that there was an alternative to phony-ing it up as a tax deductible business expense. Liars gotta lie, thieves gotta steal, and misers gotta scam pennies. And given that DJT is all three, each will be done in the most stupid way possible.

    Trump doesn’t have it in him not to crime, at least when it comes to money, even when it’s literally change from a tenner. Who can forget when he wrote off Donnie Jr’s $7 Boy Scout membership fee as a tax deductible donation.

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  59. Gustopher says:

    @JKB:

    Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?

    What the fuck is your local election board doing?

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  60. Eusebio says:

    Maybe he went the phony tax deductible business expense route to avoid having to declare a gift to the IRS.

    As the grifter, he would have been required to report the payment, which was well above the annual exclusion amount and not for an excluded giftee or purpose, on an IRS gift tax form.

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  61. Kathy says:

    The real tragedy in all this is that most late night hosts took this week off.

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  62. Kingdaddy says:

    @JKB:

    Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?

    Maybe MAGA World should consider adopting the practices of the flagellants, or other medieval methods to mortify the flesh. You’re right, there’s no better way to demonstrate zealousness!

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  63. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Kimmel’s been on it.

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  64. Joe says:

    I am @ing you in this thread, Matt Bernius, just because I want to pick at your first offender analysis of lenient sentencing for Trump. I am thinking of the court services officer’s report of the interview with the convicted Trump about remorse and rehabilitation, let alone Trump’s treatment of the system over the course of the trial and his post-trial pronouncements. I don’t believe for a minute that he will be jailed or even detained ahead of the election (unless he starts doxing jurors), but I can well imagine Judge Merchan thinking (like the judge I clerked for a hundred years ago would occasionally whisper to us clerks on the way out of the courtroom after setting the sentencing date) “and bring your toothbrush.”

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  65. mattbernius says:

    @Joe:
    Fair point. I also need to dig into the sentencing guidelines for this one.

    And again IANAL (as my wife who is one always reminds me).

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  66. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    these show trials

    Cue Inigo Montoya…

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  67. Lounsbury says:

    @DK: No actually polls were in 2022 quite spot on (of course one has to have modicum of numeracy to understand such things, which mathematics challenged commentary typically doesn not). Actual polls – not the spin and commentary of pundits – were accurate as the 538 (numerate) analysis usefully summarises

    Mistaking punditry and opinion pieces for polling … well such is the action of the party political partisan in their pavlovian response to anything critical of own team.

    However you do like to do your My Team Spin, Just So Stories and Denialism, regardless of proper actual numbers.

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  68. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @Jen: @Charley in Cleveland:

    Back in the 1980s, Spy Magazine sent very small checks in decreasing amounts to various notables. The only two who cashed the 13 cent checks were some Arab potentate…and Donald Trump.

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  69. SC_Birdflyte says:

    I heard the glorious news while dashing to make a tight connection at DFW. If it had been Canada (where I flew in from), I would’ve let out a war whoop. Not a smart move in Texas.

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  70. Lounsbury says:

    This opinion piece in the NYT feels quite accurate in analytical terms, although my own legal exposure in USA is purely corporate

    Now of a broader utility is the insight into the generally structured poor judgment of Trump when faced with strategic positioning where mere bullying of a weak party is not in play.

    This corresponds with his track record of being a colossal failure in opérational management of all of the real operating companies.

    His sole genius, but not a trivial one – in fact the most dangerous, is in marketing to the rubes, see JKB, but the marketing appeal to the rubes he is a world class genius (or well has world class animal cunning as I suppose genius incorrectly ascribes an intellectual analytical aspect to him)

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  71. Slugger says:

    I listened to the first minute of Trump’s speech today. He said that millions of people from jails and insane asylums were pouring into our country and that Joe Biden is working to take away our cars. I didn’t listen to any more. Did he ever say anything exculpatory? Did he explain why he didn’t testify? I think that he can’t resist the temptation to say something dumb and self incriminating, but is this obvious fact the reason?

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  72. Kylopod says:

    @Lounsbury:

    No actually polls were in 2022 quite spot on

    Almost all the Senate and gubernatorial races–and literally every single one in the key presidential battleground states–underestimated the Democratic candidate. The average underestimation was within the MOE (2.9 points according to my calculation), but it was pretty consistent (with a few big misses in individual races, such as Gretchen Whitmer and Patty Murray doing over 10 points better than their polling averages), and a reversal of previous recent cycles where the Republicans were underestimated. In 2016 and 2020, the level of polling error has also been exaggerated in popular memory due to not understanding the concept of MOE–though in both cases, the error, while small from a statistical standpoint, pretty consistently underestimated the Republicans. (The 2018 midterms were mixed; the generic ballot was pretty accurate, and while some Senate races underestimated Republicans, others underestimated Dems, with the avg showing a slight underestimation of Repubs.)

    It is true, though, that polling for the House races in 2022 (like in 2018) were quite accurate; the generic ballot was pretty spot-on. The 538 article acknowledges this discrepancy:

    Interestingly, the weighted-average errors of Senate and gubernatorial races were only slightly lower than usual last year. Polling of the 2021-22 cycle mostly owes its success to a low error in House races. This past cycle was the first time since the 1999-2000 cycle that House polls were more accurate than Senate and gubernatorial polls. But this isn’t as impressive as it sounds. The “House polls” group includes district-level polls of individual House races and national generic-congressional-ballot polls. And something we noticed early on in 2022 was that pollsters were conducting more generic-ballot polls and fewer district-level polls.

    tl;dr The closest thing to a national popular vote in 2022 (the generic ballot) was pretty accurate, the state-level races somewhat less so.

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  73. JKB says:

    SHAUN MAGUIRE: I just donated $300k to Trump. I’m prepared to lose friends. Here’s why.

    Back in 2016 I had drunk the media Kool-Aid and was scared out of my mind about Trump. As such I donated to Hilary Clinton’s campaign and voted for her.
    By 2020 I was disillusioned and didn’t vote – I didn’t like either option.

    Now, in 2024, I believe this is one of the most important elections of my lifetime, and I’m supporting Trump.

    I know that I’ll lose friends for this. Some will refuse to do business with me. The media will probably demonize me, as they have so many others before me. But despite this, I still believe it’s the right thing to do.

    I refuse to live in a society where people are afraid to speak.

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  74. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But imagine how Colbert and Meyers feel.

    Oliver and Stewart have to wait til Sunday and Monday, but that’s their usual slot.

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  75. Scott says:

    @JKB: Now who exactly is afraid to speak? Name them. I suspect wealthy creatures like Shaun Maguire (whom I have never heard of before) confuse “I’m wealthy and successful and therefore, you must listen to me” with “You refuse to listen and therefore, you must be cancelling me”.

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  76. Barry says:

    @Modulo Myself: “Whatever is motivating Bill Ackman to support Trump, I don’t think it’s fear of being locked up. America is a pretty great place if you have a lot of equity.”

    Ego. Note how many of these people demand @ss-kissing as their right.

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  77. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    I refuse to live in a society where people are afraid to speak.

    “…so I’m voting for the Fascist candidate.”

    That’s a helluva non-sequitur.

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  78. Scott says:

    A temper tantrum:

    Eight Senate Republicans vow to oppose all Biden nominees, Democratic legislation

    Eight Senate Republicans, led by Mike Lee (R-Utah), are vowing to oppose major legislation and Biden nominees led by the Democratic Senate, following guilty verdicts for former President Donald Trump in New York.

    The usual suspects:

    Signatories of the letter include Lee and fellow Republicans J.D. Vance (Ohio), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Eric Schmitt (Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).

    Being good Christians all, I offer to them 2 Thessalonians 3:10:

    “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

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  79. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott:

    Now who exactly is afraid to speak?

    At a guess, Maguire is afraid to say what he thinks because he knows people will either make fun of him for being a moron or criticize him for being contemptible. He wants to be free to be a contemptible moron exempt from criticism. Which is to say, he actually does want to live in a country where people are afraid to speak… about him.

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  80. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott:

    Eight Senate Republicans, led by Mike Lee (R-Utah), are vowing to oppose major legislation and Biden nominees

    Another day ending in “Y”…

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  81. Kylopod says:

    @Scott:

    wealthy creatures like Shaun Maguire (whom I have never heard of before)

    I had to look it up. He’s some venture capital guy, not to be confused with the English actor Sean Maguire.

    One thing to understand about the people who claim to be canceled is, despite everything they claim, they’re almost never intentionally sacrificing anything in terms of their career. There’s a big market available to them. They’re just trading one set of “friends” for another.

    That said, there are plenty of examples of “canceled” celebs/businesspeople unintentionally harming themselves with their hamfisted behavior. I don’t think Gina Carrano intended to get fired by Disney, and I don’t think Elon Musk intended to throw X and Tesla stocks down the garbage chute.

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  82. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:
    For a guy who claims to hate over educated PhDs and Venture Capitalism you really turn simp for any one that agrees with you.

    Sad!

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  83. Kathy says:

    @Scott:
    @DrDaveT:

    I wonder what their record is in supporting Democratic legislation and Biden’s nominees.

    Meantime, the House Subcommittee on Wasting Everyone’s Time, wants Bragg and Coalngelo to testify

    I fail to see any kind of legislative purpose. The good things is the targets are lawyers, and should be aware of the legal options to refuse to subject themselves to being raked over the coals.

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  84. Roger says:

    @Kylopod: Count me as one who thought the most likely outcome was a hung jury. Glad to have been proven wrong.

    I wish I shared your confidence in the ability of voir dire to (1) sniff out hidden bias and (2) convince the court that the bias you’ve found is enough to merit a strike for cause or (3) leave few enough biased members on the panel that you’re able to remove them all with your limited number of peremptory challenges. That hasn’t been my universal experience, though maybe that just speaks to the fact that jury selection is not one of my strengths when trying a case.

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  85. @JKB: And therefore?

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  86. Jen says:

    @Scott: I absolutely detest this kind of performative nonsense. Every single one of those US Senators knows that this was a case in the State of New York. Every one of them. “Punishing” Biden makes no sense at all, but they are after the headlines so ends, means, something something.

    Grrrrr.

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  87. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Well, this means that Biden lost the rich douchebag vote. And without the rich douchebag vote, well, he doesn’t have a chance.

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  88. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: I know that I’ll lose friends for this.

    And $300K I just threw down the toilet, but nobody said you had to be smart to be stupid.

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  89. wr says:

    @JKB: You forgot to mention that you were 100% wrong when you insisted that he would be acquitted on all charges. Forgive me if I don’t start quaking at your new predictions.

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  90. wr says:

    @JKB: “Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?”

    See, here’s the funny thing about this country. I don’t actually have to walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden. I only have to walk about six blocks to a satellite branch of the New York Public Library to vote for Biden, then walk across the street to The Modern — Danny Meyer’s fabulous restaurant in MOMA — where my wife and I will have a couple of cocktails and share a bucket of fried chicken and shoestring fries, making a lovely evening out of voting.

    And here the kicker — my vote counts exactly as much as the vote of the asshole impaling himself on glass shards.

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  91. wr says:

    @Scott: It’s very clever of them to force the Democrats to eliminate the filibuster in the next congress…

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  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Your scripture quotation won’t phase them at all; the passage in II Thessalonians is about how the welfare system should work not about standing up to oppression. That passage is “We ought to obey God rather than man.”

    But it’s nice that y’all try to match witlessness with proof texters. I doubt that you’ll ever fully get the cognitive dissonances that they work through every day.

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  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yeah. Everybody leaves out the implication part. I saw that in a lot of student writing back while I was teaching. I finally started teaching a script/scaffold that compelled students to include the “and therefore.”

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  94. Franklin says:

    @JohnSF: Leave it to the Brit, thank you

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  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr:

    And here the kicker — my vote counts exactly as much as the vote of the asshole impaling himself on glass shards.

    Unless, of course, that voter is impaling himself on glass shards in Wyoming, Montana, or South Dakota. 😉

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  96. DK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    No actually polls were in 2022 quite spot on (of course one has to have modicum of numeracy to understand such things, which mathematics challenged commentary typically doesn not).

    Are you okay? Why are you raving about the accuracy of the polls in response to criticism of oversimplistic statements like “The polls show Democrats are losing key constituencies.” The dispute is about the accuracy of the analysis — not of the polls.

    Anyone with a healthy dose of intellectual honesty knows the difference. Said difference is only lost on humility-challenged individuals who think pompous prose hides flaws in their reasoning.

    As we are hearing now in 2024, we heard before in 2022 and beyond “Something something leftists something something Democrats are alienating core constiencies something something polls.” The question is not about the accuracy of the polls, the question is about the intelligence and sanity of those who keep cherry-picking data to repeat a false narrative.

    Screeching about polling accuracy and mathematics in response is a very strange non sequitor.

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  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Enough already!

    FIRST ON FOX: Former Vice President Mike Pence reacted on Friday to the criminal conviction of former President Donald Trump in a New York City courtroom and said a “terrible message” has been sent.

    “The conviction of former President Trump on politically motivated charges is an outrage and disservice to the nation,” Pence told Fox News Digital.

    “No one is above the law, but our courts must not become a tool to be used against political opponents,” Pence continued. “To millions of Americans, this was nothing more than a political prosecution driven by a Manhattan DA who ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president and this conviction undermines confidence in our system of justice.”

    I weep for the country. /facepalm

    ETA @DK: You left out the reference to Uni bias and discounting working class people. Be best!

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  98. gVOR10 says:

    @Kathy: There’s a clear legislative purpose for the Committee on Wasting Everybody’s Time (I’m so gonna steal that) to want to talk to Bragg and Colangelo. I read Trump’s already pushed Johnson for a law automatically moving a state case against a prez or ex prez to federal court.

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  99. Kathy says:

    @gVOR10:

    Yeah, that’s a terrible idea.

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  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: DOA. A little thing called the constitution stands in the way.

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  101. gVOR10 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was being a bit tongue in cheek. But Trump has asked for it. However, the Constitution is whatever five Federalist Society justices say it is.

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  102. Lounsbury says:

    @DK: I am perfectly fine of course, although your habit of constructing distracting Straw Men and hand waiving to disguise your ever shifting arguments is quite boring.

    Illustrative straw man: you false pretend quote

    “The polls show Democrats are losing key constituencies.”

    is not a quote from me at all – it is your straw man, as of course what I wrote was rather different – inconveniently so I suppose for the party political partisan most interested in own-side own-sub-fraction cheerleading.

    What I actually wrote, illustratively was “worrisome polls in the non-Uni educated demographics which were once a strong area.” – this is in fact a real quote from what I wrote above, not a made-up straw man.

    And as it is quite clear from actual numbers that
    (1) Democrats have indeed lost ground over the past decades in labouring class non-Uni educated demographics, the “blue collar labour” to be inexact, which was once upon a time a “base” but amongst notably men has shifted away, and notably in key geographies which put the Electoral College at risk.
    (2) It is equally the case that the Left side Democrats base has shifted heavily to the Uni educated white collar class, the professional classes, and similar, once a centre Republican strong-hold statistical records tell us.
    (3) finally it is the case unambiguously that sub-national level that the socio-economic tranches are differently structured, that is in certain geographies the labour / non-Uni educated are signficantly heavier voting weight than in the Democrats strongholds, and the ongoing and numerically undeniable erosion of Democrats voting share in the non-Uni educated labour socio-economic classes represents an electoral risk.

    This is utterly different than the pseudo-made-up not-actual quote.

    Finally of course you keep deceptively crowing about Red Waves and the like – a real and actual Pundit error certainly, but not a polling error, and either through sheer maths and statistics illiteracy or deliberate self-deception, or some combination of the two. All to engage in cheerleading and own-fraction promotion. Rather similar, in fact rather an inverted image of the MAGA.

    Of course for the party political team cheerleading crowd, all that matters is shouting and and cheering Own Team. Quite boring really, repetitive and boring, but perhaps I have simply never been a teams person myself and am congenitaly disinclined to Team Think / Group think.

    Now of course if one is capable of actual joined-up reading the focus of a comment on Non Uni educated labour and erosion of voting support does not at all suggest non-Left positions – in fact rather the contrary insofar as economic Left side appeals focused on labour (different than poverty although the Uni educated do tend to conflate) have general international track records of being effective.

    What it does say is Uni educated policy discourses and priorities in framing are not best mode of sales to win support to such demographics – which the fact of erosion of support rather says is the case.

    Of course for the modern US “progressive” Left centered on the agenda of the Uni educated principally urbane urban – the BoBo left as we say in French – is utterly deaf to this as your responses consistently show.

    [and noting none of this implies policies that I might personally favour from my own immediate class interest]

    @Kylopod: It is rather well-documented that sub-national polling in your country faces higher levels of issues (of which the simple resources for execution) – but the main point is that if one is numerate in statistics it is quite clear that overall with variations with Margin of Error are not a gross error and the ranting on by Team Promo commentators about supposed error – delibreately conflating the actual Pundit error on ‘red wave’ with polling error, rather deliberately I think to provide mental support to hand-waive away worrisome data [which rather highlights in the end that whatever flaws data based analysis faces, and they are numerous given the challenges of the quality of the data – and they are not to be underestimated certainly – the Pundits / Innumerate Journos errors further highlight that non-data driven approaches are the worse choice]

    Now the structured performance on one cycle is something that analytically may be reflecting the demographic flip between the MAGA and the Democrats where the Uni educated have migrated to the Left and the Uni educated are much higher propensity voters in all cycles – or it may be a one cycle effect – one does rather suspect there is a real effect relative to the High Propensity voters but to count too much on this is making a rather large bet.

    My points – not the strawmen erected by the usual suspect – have simply been that in the “battleground states” as your national phrasing goes, that is the key sub-national constiuencies of the electoral college, attention to the weak demographics and effort to mitigate.

    If one is not engaging in denialism, it’s clearly quite possible, Mr Fetterman of Pennsylvania seems to provide useful example of making an actual effort not to cede the male labouring class vote to MAGA and having attention to agendas drawing on perspective soutside of the Uni educated Lefty-Left cultural perception.

    Now the only reason I care in the least is I don’t want you lot to return Trump to the Presidency, else I should be quite happy to be privately amused by the mental contortions of certain denialist fractions of the Left. But as Trump and MAGA are terrible world risks, well I am concerned.

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  103. rachel says:

    @JKB:

    Will you walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to vote for Biden?

    Some say they will do that for Trump

    Once someone has chosen to abandon their wits and their morals, they’re not likely to decide matters wisely or well going forward.

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  104. wr says:

    @Lounsbury: Hands up — did anyone here actually make it through this entire endless string of meaningless words? Did anyone get halfway through?

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  105. Lounsbury says:

    @wr: I see your tedious childish junior school whinging and blithering doesn’t change. Boring really

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  106. Zachriel says:

    @James Joyner: committing perjury

    Bill Clinton was found to be in civil contempt. A conviction for perjury would have been unlikely as the judge ruled the testimony wasn’t actually material to the case after all.

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  107. DK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Finally of course you keep deceptively crowing about Red Waves and the like – a real and actual Pundit error certainly, but not a polling error

    Again, are you okay? If Red Wave talk was wrong (and it was, as is the tedious bleating about Democrats bleeding demographic support), then to say so cannot be deceptive. Which is it?

    And, again, why do you keep banging on with your polling errors strawman in response to me? Are you responding to a ghost — because my comments have nothing to do with the accuracy of the polls. Are you hearing voices? Or just changing the subject, as when you screech about decades-long realignments?

    But to the point, despite your sneering, dismissive bigotry towards and hatred of them, both left-wing and college educated people matter as voters and have value as people. That said, Hillary and Biden won households making less than $50k by double-digits over Trump and there remains no sign in the actual voting of any significant, acute recent erosion in the Democratic coalition — voting results, which are real “maths,” show the Democratic coalition expanding in the last decade, not shrinking.

    But the facts conflict with the preferred narrative of performative centrists on Team Stubborn Bothsidesism / Team Reflexively Fence-Straddle. All that matters to them is a) their hatred of left-wingers who committed the crime of getting educated and b) pushing false equivalencies, like claiming a liberal rejecting their groupthink bothsidesism is equivalent to rightwing support of fascism and white supremacy. Stupid.

    A robotic default to splitting difirrences does not make one special of smart. It’s just that those who cannot think critically aren’t capable of contributing further than disagreeing with everyone.

    Also, your writing is awful. Full of overlong sentences and incomplete clauses. The team you need to join is Team Edit.

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  108. just nutha says:

    @wr: He’s one of a bunch of people I no longer read long posts from unless I’m in a trolling frame of mind.

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  109. Lounsbury says:

    @DK: merely for the clarity

    If Red Wave talk was wrong… then to say so cannot be deceptive

    The rhetorical device here is known as the Red Herring, a logical fallacy and rhetorical gambit evidently quite Dear to you given your extensive usage (giving you the presumption that in fact your reasoning is not so weak as to be lacking).

    The straw man strategy in a galloping Evocation of the supposed Red Wave error in polling (as in fact a pundit error) and then knocking down strawmemmn as a means if lashing out and distraction from the statistical reality of Democrats loss over past decade plus of support in the non Uni educated labour/ working class demographics, especially men.

    Of course it could be the case that in fact your thinking is so coloured and muddled by partisan political ideological reaction that you do not even quite grasp the fallacious foundations, but I do rather suspect not.

    So again for clarity, the pundits error of 2022 and ranting on about despised “centrists” as is your wont is a Red Herring as a response, a rhetorical gambit at distraction and perhaps comforting self déception in partisan team cheerleading

    @just nutha: oh well dear, how terrible.. oh wait no rather how boring junior school whinging sniffery.

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  110. DK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    So again for clarity, the pundits error of 2022 and ranting on about despised “centrists” as is your wont is a Red Herring as a response, a rhetorical gambit at distraction

    Again: you’re spreading misinformation, in service of your blind, bigoted hatred of leftists and the college educated. Not only do Democrats continue to win working class households by a double-digit landslide in the national vote, Republicans are ramping up efforts to subvert democracy and suppress votes precisely because the Democratic voter base is expanding, not shrinking.

    Those ignoring this whole truth are selling half-baked narrative based on cherry-picked polls. Just like the Red Wave 2022!!11! crowd did. The comparison is valid — that’s why it triggered you. It hit a nerve.

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  111. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Lounsbury: I disagree on your red herring assertion. It looks more like 2 people talking past each other where the one whose American vernacular is somewhat lacking is deliberately misunderstanding the other’s point of view–thus contributing more to the talking past part of the phenomenon.

    Then again, I’m Uni educated (and for half of my career Uni employed for that matter), so if you decide to talk past my point by saying that I’m simply part of the conspiracy, feel free. We both will know what’s going on.

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  112. wr says:

    @Lounsbury: “I see your tedious childish junior school whinging and blithering doesn’t change. Boring really”

    Two sentences with only fourteen words! And only two word with more than two syllables! You should get pissy and defensive more often — your writing would be much clearer and sharper!

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