What A Day: Tonight's the night(mare) | Crooked Media
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What A Day: Tonight's the night(mare)

The spin room at Georgia Institute of Technology's McCamish Pavilion is seen in Atlanta, Ga., June 27, 2024, hours before President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to meet in a debate hosted by CNN in its nearby studios. (Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images)

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The spin room at Georgia Institute of Technology's McCamish Pavilion is seen in Atlanta, Ga., June 27, 2024, hours before President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to meet in a debate hosted by CNN in its nearby studios. (Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images)


President Biden taking drugs for tonight’s debate. It’s yet another attempt to undermine a fair contest — “Stop the Steal,” in miniature.

  • It’s typical MAGA nonsense, but it tells you something. First, it’s a sign Trumpworld is nervous. They’ve spent years caricaturing this president as borderline braindead. Now, they seem worried that they’ve set expectations too low. Republicans are more excited about this debate than Democrats, according to a new poll, suggesting many believe their guy will demolish the elderly Democrat they’ve dismissed as completely senile. If President Biden doesn’t literally fall asleep in the middle of the debate (y’know, the way Trump did in his criminal trial), Trump’s fans will need a way to square all that hyped-up “Dementia Joe” rhetoric with reality.

  • These right-wing drug fantasies kicked into hyperdrive in March, when President Biden’s energetic State of the Union address left Republicans cornered by their own bullshit. Tens of millions of viewers tuned in to see President Biden — to be sure, an 81-year-old man, now half-a-step slower than he once was — deliver a sharp, feisty speech full of effective jabs at his bad-faith detractors and real-time rebuttals for his hecklers. Biden’s SOTU performance did a lot to quell liberal hand-wringing about his age. Right wing media scrambled. They had to give their shocked and disappointed viewers an explanation. But… it wasn’t a lie! It was Adderall! Or cocaine! Or… uh, Mountain Dew! Yeah! That’s it! The old fellah must be hopped up on goofballs!

This same breathless delusion lay at the heart of Trump’s infamous “Stop the Steal” movement after his 2020 election defeat.

  • Trump spent much of 2020 claiming that only cheating could cost him the election. When he lost, he leaned into “Stop the Steal,” endorsing wild lies about election fraud. Tonight, in the Trump comic universe, Trump can only lose if Biden knocks back a fistful of Adderall with a bucket of Mountain Dew.  

  • Trump himself has explained this game in the past. Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes asked Trump in 2016 why he insisted on repeating the “tired” trope of “fake news.” Trump replied: “I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.” This classic example of Trump’s narcissistic candor also explains why his team has relentlessly attacked tonight’s CNN moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Trump maligns any fact-based source of information that makes it harder for him to lie. It’s yet another way to immunize his supporters from any disappointment over his own performance. 

  • At the same time, Trump’s years of outrageous behavior have succeeded in making the mainstream political media lower the bar for him. This week, former Dem nominee Hillary Clinton warned: “Expectations for [Trump] are so low that if he doesn’t literally light himself on fire on Thursday evening, some will say he was downright presidential.” It’s possible Biden may falter, or seem off his game. Perhaps, in a rare spasm of self control, Trump may manage to seem normal-ish for 90 minutes straight. Much of this debate will be about whether Trump can avoid sounding deranged, whether Biden can speak clearly and vigorously, and how they each react to the unexpected. After all, on live TV, anything can happen.

But when the debate is over, keep an eye on right-wing media. If they’re outraged and screaming about drugs and biased moderators, or the supposed unfairness of debate rules that Trump himself agreed to — that will be the surest sign they know Trump lost.

- The painfully awkward legal disclaimer placed over the conservative Newsmax network's interview with Trump.


The Supreme Court allowed women in Idaho to receive emergency abortions when their health is at risk, for now, after releasing the official version of a decision that had been accidentally published on Wednesday. This ruling isn’t final, however, and legal wrangling will continue in lower courts. Cool! Thanks for temporarily allowing women to receive abortions if they’re dying! So generous!

The court also rejected a nationwide opioid settlement with Perdue Pharma that would have shielded members of the Sackler family from civil lawsuits, but would have also generated billions of dollars to fight the nation’s drug epidemic and provide aid to people battling addiction and their families.

The justices stripped the Securities and Exchange Commission of an important enforcement tool for fighting fraud, ruling that anyone accused of wrongdoing by the financial regulator should get a jury trial instead of the agency’s in-house proceedings. Left-leaning Justice Sonia Sotomayor slammed the decision in a dissent as a “power grab” that will lead to “chaos.”

The high court also paused a plan by the Biden Administration to fight air pollution that drifts across state lines, while lower courts fight that one out.

The court did NOT drop its most-anticipated rulings on the scope of Trump’s criminal liability, averting a potential pre-debate bombshell. Instead, that decision may be coming on Friday or sometime next week, possibly right before the July 4th holiday.

Trump had creepy things to say about Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian in newly-released audio from interviews with an author. Trump called Swift “beautiful” over and over. He said Kardashian, an outspoken criminal justice reform advocate, refused to vote for him after working with him on that issue just “to be cool in Hollywood.” Idk man, Kim is friends with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and is a literal billionaire. Her politics can’t be that good.

All schools in Oklahoma will immediately be required to incorporate the Bible and the Ten Commandments into their curriculums, the state superintendent announced. It’s the latest example of flagrant challenges to separation of church and state clearly meant to provoke an eventual Supreme Court battle.

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