The Trump legal team’s final gambit to derail the Stormy Daniels hush money case failed on Thursday, 15 February 2024, when Judge Juan Merchan rejected a motion to dismiss, reaffirming the trial date already set for 25 March. The case involves election interference, in the paying of hush money to Stephanie Clifford, AKA porn star Stormy Daniels, and to Playboy model Karen McDougal, to cover up sexual liaisons with Trump, just before the November 2016 presidential election. Trump, via his lawyer Michael Cohen, allegedly used campaign funds to buy Daniels’ silence, while American Media fronted the cash for McDougal. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was the first to bring criminal charges against the former president, nearly a year ago, and will now be the first (but certainly not the last) to attempt to bring Trump to justice.
Tag archive: NOT
On Tuesday, 13 February 2024, New York’s Third Congressional District held a special election to fill the seat vacated by serial fabulist George Santos, ousted from the US House of Representatives last December. The election in the swing district was viewed by many as a bellwether, an omen of things to come in the general election come November. Though polling showed a tight race, Democrat Tom Suozzi trounced Republican Mazi Pilip, 54%-46%. The victory shifts yet another House seat from R to D, giving GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson just a two-vote majority.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to suspend his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on 21 January 2024 came as a shock to … no one, actually. Following a dismal finish in the Iowa Caucus six days prior, with Donald Trump thirty points ahead of him and fellow contender Nikki Haley nipping at his heels, just two points behind, it seemed only a matter of time before he pulled the plug. And with DeSantis polling in the single digits in the New Hampshire Primary two days hence, now was the time.
I’m not sure why anyone pays attention to the Iowa caucuses anymore, considering its Republican voters have only picked their Party’s eventual presidential nominee twice since the 1960s, and only one of those went on to win the general election. But Iowa is the time-honored kickoff to the quadrennial American presidential passion play regardless, and one must observe the conventions and traditions that make the country what it is.
If the implications of the situation weren’t so dire, and the dysfunction of the Republican House caucus so manifest for the world to behold, I’d love to have the popcorn concession for what’s playing out now on Capitol Hill. It’s certainly must-see political theater, as Republicans continue to set records for ineptitude and incompetence, becoming the poster children for inability to govern, even themselves, let alone the country.
After a grueling nine months as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, attempting to herd the mangy strays of the GOP caucus, on September 3, 2023, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) lost the job he had coveted all his adult life, as a motion to vacate passed by 216-210, booting him from the Speakership. Eight MAGA Republican radicals joined Democrats to remove McCarthy from his lofty perch, the first time ever that a sitting Speaker has been fired.