Notes on the Twitter Files (11)

Featured image Matt Taibbi posted two more Twitter Files threads yesterday afternoon. They are the eleventh and twelfth such threads posted by the journalists to whom Elon Musk has opened the files of old Twitter. Taibbi has taken the lead in documenting The eleventh thread includes 33 tweets that can be accessed via the first (below). 1.THREAD: The Twitter FilesHow Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In — Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, »

Dynamics of the omnibus

Featured image Seeking to provide a perspective other that might contribute to an understanding of the massive omnibus spending bill Congress is about to pass, I asked a knowledgeable source about the dynamics underlying Republican support for it. This is what I understand to be the Republican case for the bill on the Senate side. I pass it on for the sake of those trying to gain some perspective on what we »

Sinema’s sayonara

Featured image Politico’s Burgess Everett reports this morning that Senator Kyrsten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party, changing her party affiliation to independent. In so doing, she is “delivering a jolt to Democrats’ narrow majority and Washington along with it.” Reading Everett’s account of his interview with Sinema, I can’t figure what difference her departure from the Dems will make: In a 45-minute interview, the first-term senator told POLITICO that she will »

After last night

Featured image This is a postscript to my November 9 installment of “After last night” on this year’s midterms. • In a perfect coda to the disappointing outcome of the 2022 midterm elections, Raphael Warnock won reelection to the Senate from Georgia last night. He did it by taking 51.4 percent of the vote in his runoff against Herschel Walker for a full six-year term. Walker fell about 100,000 votes short out »

Wray wriggles

Featured image Students of ancient history may recall that FBI Director Christopher Wray wriggled away from the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing this past August 4 when he claimed he had a flight to catch. It turned out that the flight was on the Gulfstream jet dedicated to the Director’s use and he was headed off on vacation. Senator Josh Hawley followed up on Wray’s wriggle today at a hearing before the »

A footnote on Dr. Oz

Featured image When Dr. Oz narrowly won the Pennsylvania Republican primary — by fewer than 1,000 votes — I lamented the result in “Oz versus Fetterman.” I blamed Trump for an endorsement that, given the closeness of the race, must have pushed Oz over the top. I thought former Trump Treasury Under Secretary David McCormick, Oz’s opponent in the primary, made for a far better candidate against John Fetterman in Pennsylvania’s general »

Blue wave blues

Featured image The Arizona and Nevada Senate races have been called for Democratic incumbents Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto, respectively. With only the Georgia Senate runoff election outstanding, the Democrats appear to have maintained their 50-seat majority in the Senate (with Vice President Harris breaking ties). Democrats can enhance their majority to 51-49 with a victory in the Georgia runoff or maintain the status quo with a loss. The AP’s story »

A Nevada update

Featured image I have been following Jon Ralston’s postelection Twitter updates on the outstanding votes and related results in Nevada’s Senate race. In my morning-after comments on the midterms, I assumed that Blake Masters would lose in Arizona and hoped that Adam Laxalt would pull it out in Nevada. Ralston is hostile to Laxalt and pulling for incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, but he is an expert on Nevada politics. Take his »

Fetterman for president

Featured image In a perfect coda to the midterm elections, MSNBC is touting Senator-elect John Fetterman — his doctor said he was better, man — to run for president. It is an ingenious attempt to build a seamless transition from President Biden to the Democratic future. Fetterman should indeed be the face of the Democratic Party, or at least its neck. The future beckons. The possibilities are limitless. Unfortunately, we have plenty »

From the Fetterman rally

Featured image Brain-damaged Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate brought in the big guns, if I may use that term, to whip up turnout in their strongholds yesterday. When I say Fetterman is brain-damaged, that is a statement of fact. When I say “big guns,” that is a metaphor. The flags behind Fetterman fell as he introduced his biggest gun. Some choose to see the perfect timing of the flags falling as a metaphor. »

Tea leaf of the day

Featured image I’ve been serving up tea leaves in advance of the midterm elections this week. I am not an optimist by nature, prepared to be disappointed, do not believe in predictions, and hope only to be a fair broker of the most reliable polls and information I can find. I take my motto from George Eliot’s narrator in Middlemarch: “Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” However, I »

Selling Fetterman

Featured image I think this ad posted by the Fetterman campaign may be the worst of the cycle this year. You be the judge. It seems to me that everything about it is wrong. Thinking of Fetterman’s clothes — he throws a shirt to the grateful kid — is gross. He is gross. The ad takes off on the 1979 Coca-Cola ad featuring the Steelers’ Mean Joe Greene. This ad worked. They »

Tossups? I Don’t Think So

Featured image Breitbart has an article on New Hampshire’s Senate race, where General Don Bolduc–of whom I admit I had not heard until recently–has come storming from behind to overtake incumbent mediocrity Maggie Hassan. At Breitbart, Wendell Husebo points out that neither Joe Biden nor Barack Obama has set foot in New Hampshire to campaign for Hassan. I infer that Hassan doesn’t want to be associated with Biden, while Obama doesn’t want »

Tea leaf of the day

Featured image The movement of the movable portion of the electorate seems to be heading toward Republican candidates. Incumbent Senate Democrats have struggled to clear the 50 percent bar in polls — a factor suggesting that they may have a problem. Incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan is a worthless zero, but incumbency has its advantages and New Hampshire is something of a swing state. Hassan lucked out when incumbent Republican Governor Chris »

Five for Fetterman

Featured image I adapted a famous translation of one of the Roman poet Martial’s epigrams to comment in limerick form on Dr. Oz’s victory in the Pennsylvania Republican primary. I now offer five lines of verse to comment on Dr. Oz’s opponent in the Pennsylvania Senate election. We support Dr. Oz — a better man than Fetterman. Indulge me if you can with these five lines for Fetterman. A candidate named John »

FACT CHECK: Fetterman’s speech

Featured image In my comments on Tuesday evening’s Oz-Fetterman debate, I noted the disparity between Fetterman’s obvious cognitive disability and Dr. Clifford Chen’s doctor’s note released last week by the Fetterman campaign. It is embedded in the tweet below. News: @JohnFetterman releases an updated medical report after a visit with his primary care doctor. Letter via his campaign 👇 — Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 19, 2022 Everyone saw Fetterman’s inability to »

Well, that was weird

Featured image John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz are contesting for the Pennsylvania Senate seat to be vacated by Republican Pat Toomey. It’s a marquee matchup that has taken on horror-movie elements as Democrats and their media adjunct seek to push Fetterman over the finish line. Hobbled by the aftereffects of a severe stroke, Fetterman is obviously unfit for high office. He is fit for the doctor’s office. They met last night »