What A Day: The great deflaters | Crooked Media
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What A Day: The great deflaters

UNITED STATES - MAY 14: Angela Alsobrooks, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Maryland, is sheltered from the rain while greeting voters on the state's primary election day at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

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UNITED STATES - MAY 14: Angela Alsobrooks, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Maryland, is sheltered from the rain while greeting voters on the state's primary election day at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

QUALITY CONTROL

Republican dreams of recapturing the Senate are shining a little brighter today, after primaries in West Virginia and Maryland handed nominations to less-crazy-than-usual candidates.

  • Republicans have a longstanding tradition of picking (how can we put this…) unfortunate candidates for key Senate races. Just think back to the doomed Georgia campaign of the, um, mercurial football star, Herschel Walker, in 2022. Or the downright goofy candidacy of Dr Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania (who can forget the time he wandered around a grocery store, on camera, as if he’d never seen one before). Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is on record saying the GOP has a big problem with what he calls “candidate quality.” 

  • The GOP made no such self-defeating fumbles on Tuesday. West Virginian Republicans nominated Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) to flip the seat of departing Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). In Maryland, they picked former Governor Larry Hogan, who will face off against Democrat Angela Alsobrooks, a county executive of Prince George’s County. Hogan is pretty well-liked among moderate voters in this blue state, making him a tough matchup for Alsobrooks, who is looking to become Maryland’s first-ever Black female senator. Dems are defending a wafer-thin 51-49 majority, and will likely have to hold Maryland in a tough fight to stay in power. And it matters who runs the Senate, especially for future Supreme Court vacancies. Things may be turning around for Money Mitch.

  • Disgraced former President Donald Trump, however, didn’t have such a great night. He  just can’t seem to outrun Nikki Haley’s zombie presidential campaign, which brought in 20 percent of the vote in Maryland and almost that much in Nebraska. As we’ve noted before, the fact that lots of GOP voters continue turning out in primaries to vote for Haley, who isn’t even running anymore, is not a good omen for Trump.

The persistent Haley support, months after she quit the race, suggests plenty of lingering unease among moderate Republicans about Trump. The question becomes what those voters will do in November.

NEWS NEWS NEWS

The old boys have decided to duke it out face-to-face once again. The Biden v. Trump debate showdown is confirmed, at least for now, for June 27 on CNN. They even agreed to meet again on September 10. Both candidates had scoffed at participating in the traditional schedule from the Commission on Presidential Debates, and have now opted in to at least two network events. RFK Jr. said he feels excluded. Poor thing. Must be tough! We are surely in for a respectful classy healthy debate amongst gentlemen, right?

The publicity around Trump’s criminal trial led a majority of Americans (52%) to believe, for the first time, that he did falsify business records, according to a new poll, endorsing prosecutors’ key charge against him. The big question now: will the jury agree? Also, how is this guy ahead in the polls???

The number of abortions in the U.S. actually grew during the 18 months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to a report by the Society for Family Planning. A major factor: telehealth visits, which are now responsible for 19% of all abortions in the U.S., compared to 4% in mid-2022. Research has found telehealth abortions are as safe and effective as in-person visits.

Oligarchy alert: just 50 American billionaire families have dumped over $600 million into the 2024 election, according to a new report by the progressive nonprofit Americans for Tax Fairness. Almost 70% of those contributions went to (you guessed it) conservative candidates and causes. C’mon, rich folks, shouldn’t you spend that dough on a new set of polo ponies or something? Dressage horses? Whatever freaky stuff you guys like.

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico remains in critical condition after he was shot multiple times in what officials are calling an apparent political assassination attempt. The 59-year-old pro-Russian leader was shot in the abdomen and is still in the hospital.

A jury has been sworn in for the bribery trial of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). A prosecutor told the court on Wednesday that Menendez “put his power up for sale.” A defense attorney countered that Menendez was “not as an agent of the Egyptian government,” took no bribes, and is “an American patriot.” Then a bunch of gold bars fell out of Menedez’s pockets.

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) scorched his fellow Republicans for “prostrating themselves” outside Trump’s hush money trial in Manhattan this week. Romney said: “I think it’s a little demeaning to show up in front of the courthouse — and particularly one where we’re talking about an allegation of paying a porn star. And it’s really, really very difficult to watch.”

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