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JUNE 15-16,  2023

WHERE DOES TRUMP STAND?  We'll be seeing more polling than usual at this point in the presidential race because of the odd position that Donald Trump occupies – former president, current candidate for the same office, and indicted citizen.  I don't think you could write this in a novel and get it published. 

A new poll shows public opinion on Trump taking shape.  From Fox:

Republicans are rallying behind former President Donald Trump's 2024 presidential campaign, according to a new poll that reveals an increase in support among the GOP following his two indictments.

After being indicted on charges related to alleged mishandling of classified documents, a Marist Poll survey found that 56% of Americans — the majority being Democrats and independents — think Trump should halt his 2024 presidential campaign, while 43% think he should remain in the race.

But the poll reveals strong GOP support for Trump, with 83% of Republicans supporting his run for president amid the investigations, while 87% of Democrats and 58% of independents think he should drop out of the race.

The majority of Republicans, 76%, reported having a favorable opinion of the former president, increasing from 68% in a February poll.

"As former President Trump deals with his latest legal woes, Republicans are mostly standing with him, while Democrats are calling for him to exit the 2024 campaign," Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, said alongside the polling results. "Time will tell if this pattern holds, but for now, Republicans are grounded on where they stand on Trump regardless of these unfolding events."

Trump received a boost in support from Republicans around his indictment, with 50% believing he did nothing wrong, up five points from 45% in a March poll.

Looking forward to 2024, 64% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they will support Trump in his campaign if he does not drop out, while 32% said they are going to support another GOP candidate.

The poll also revealed a decrease among Americans who believe Trump did something wrong in the indictment, dropping from 75% in March to 73% in the June survey.

The results suggest that 78% of Democrats and 50% of independents believe Trump broke the law.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  Trump's legal problems are a continuing, fast-moving story.  Numbers can easily change quickly.  But the fact that Trump's indictments have come so close to the presidential campaign understandably raises suspicion that the timing isn't accidental, but part of a political plot launched by the Biden side.  True or not, that suspicion can help Trump maintain support.  But for how long is the question?

Stand by for more.

June 16, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENDGAME FOR JOE?  One effect of last week's Trump indictment has been the newly energized campaign by Republicans to get to the bottom of Joe Biden's highly suspicious "business" dealings.   The campaign seems to be making some progress.  From PJ Media: 

This week we learned that there are reportedly multiple recordings of Joe Biden accepting a $5 million bribe while he was vice president from Mykola Zlochevsky, co-founder of Burisma Holdings — a detail that the FBI deliberately tried to hide from Congress, no less.

Despite the efforts to protect Biden, the word is out, and Biden was unable to avoid reporters asking him about the recordings.

On Tuesday, when Biden was leaving the White House East Room after an event, New York Post reporter Steven Nelson questioned him about the alleged audio recordings.
“Are there tapes that you accepted bribes, President Biden? Is that true?” Nelson asked as Biden walked by. He clearly heard the question, stopped, and turned with a grin and a chuckle, but said nothing, before turning back and continuing on his way.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) revealed the alleged existence of the recordings on Monday in a speech on the Senate floor.

“The foreign national who allegedly bribed Joe and Hunter Biden allegedly has audio recording[s] of his conversations with them,” Grassley said. “17 such recordings. […] 15 audio recordings of phone calls between him and Hunter Biden […] two audio recordings of phone calls between him and then-Vice President Joe Biden. These recording[s] were allegedly kept as a sort of insurance policy for the foreign national in case he got into a tight spot.”

That Biden stopped at all in response to the question was very telling, but his laughing it off was actually quite insulting. This isn’t a situation that Biden can just laugh off and pretend doesn’t exist. A longtime FBI informant revealed the existence of these recordings to the FBI; it is highly unlikely that this informant was making this up. The FBI knew of these recordings from the FD-1023 report that it first refused to provide to the House Oversight Committee.

It wasn’t until after the House Oversight Committee threatened FBI Director Wray with contempt that the bureau finally showed the document to the committee, with the mention of the recordings redacted. When you consider the facts, it’s easy to conclude that the recordings do exist and that the FBI knows they exist.

This won’t be the last time Biden will face questions about the recordings. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about it on Tuesday and avoided the question.
‘Senator Chuck Grassley made some statements yesterday on the Senate floor, saying that this foreign national on the FBI 1023 form apparently has 15 recorded conversations with Hunter Biden and claims to have two with the president,” a reporter asked. “Is there — is the White House aware of any recordings in which the President might be on tape speaking to a Burisma executive?”

“So the President spoke to this,” Jean-Pierre claimed. “I think he was shouted a question about this at the Thursday press conference.  And I’m just going to quote him and say, ‘It’s malarkey.'”

COMMENT:  One president's malarkey is another's impeachable offense.  Stand by.  The Republicans seem serious this time. 

June 15, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

JUNE 13-14,  2023

BLM LOSES SUPPORT:  Black Lives Matter is on a continuous track downward in public support.  I'm not shocked.  The more we learn about BLM, the less there is to like.   From Pew Research: 

Ten years after the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag first appeared on Twitter, about half of U.S. adults (51%) say they support the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Three years ago, following the murder of George Floyd, two-thirds expressed support for the movement.

In assessing the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, 32% say it’s been highly effective at bringing attention to racism against Black people. Smaller shares say the same about increasing police accountability (14%), improving the lives of Black people (8%) and improving race relations (7%). Overall, 31% of Americans say they understand the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement extremely or very well.

Views of the Black Lives Matter movement vary by:

• Race and ethnicity: 81% of Black adults say they support the movement, compared with 63% of Asian adults, 61% of Hispanic adults and 42% of White adults. White adults are more likely than those in other racial and ethnic groups to describe the movement as divisive and dangerous (about four-in-ten White adults do so, compared with 30% or fewer among the other groups), and they are the least likely to describe it as empowering.

• Age: 64% of adults ages 18 to 29 support the movement, compared with 52% of those 30 to 49, 46% of those 50 to 64 and 41% of those 65 and older. Some 41% of young adults (ages 18 to 29) say empowering describes the movement extremely or very well and 27% say the same about inclusive, larger than the share of adults ages 30 and older who say those words describe the movement well. And while 49% of young adults say the movement has been highly effective at bringing attention to racism, 32% of those ages 30 to 49, 27% of those 50 to 64 and 22% of those 65 and older say this.

• Partisanship: 84% of Democrats and Democratic leaners support the movement, while 82% of Republicans and Republican leaners oppose it. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say the words empowering (42% vs. 11%) and inclusive (27% vs. 11%) describe the movement extremely or very well. Republicans, in turn, are more likely than Democrats to say the words dangerous (59% vs. 9%) and divisive (54% vs. 19%) describe the movement well.

COMMENT:   I haven't seen any evidence that the presence of Black Lives Matter – the organization, not the phrase – has improved the black community.  The group has a manifesto, largely suppressed by a sympathetic media, that is filled with racial resentment, anti-capitalism, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.  From what I understand, it is very difficult to trace the millions contributed to BLM since the George Floyd incident. 

I have never seen a single example of BLM improving the education of the black community, which is key to its progress.  But that is just my own observation.

June 14, 2023       Permalink

 

THE ATTENTION OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS FOCUSED HEAVILY ON FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S APPEARANCE IN A FEDERAL FLORIDA COURTROOM, WHERE HE PLED NOT GUILTY TO EACH OF 37 COUNTS OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S INDICTMENT AGAINST HIM.

It was, of course, unprecedented.  Never before in this country's history had a former president faced federal criminal charges.  It wasn't a happy moment for any sincere patriot, and, inevitably, partisans of Mr. Trump consistently raised their suspicion that this was a politicized case, an effort by President Biden's Department of Justice to drive Biden's main rival out of the 2024 presidential contest. 

On the other hand, even some supporters of the former president conceded that a number of the legal charges against him were serious and appeared to contain some merit.  A jury will decide that.

As for Mr. Trump himself, he remained defiant, pledging never to give up his assertion that he is an innocent man.  From Fox: 

Former President Trump cast his "sham" federal indictment as "election interference" by the Biden administration, slamming it as a "the most heinous abuse of power in the history of our country."

Trump, the current 2024 frontrunner, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Miami, Florida Tuesday to 37 federal felony counts stemming from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records at Mar-a-Lago.

The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.

Trump, making remarks Tuesday night from his property Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, slammed Smith as a "deranged lunatic," and slammed President Biden for having "his top political opponent arrested and charged." He said he had undergone "political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation."

Trump said President Biden will "forever be remembered as not only the most corrupt president in the history of our country, but perhaps more importantly, the president, together with the band of his closest thugs, misfits and Marxists trying to destroy American democracy, channeling real anger and charging the President of the United States under the Espionage Act of 1917."

Trump was, in part, charged with willful retention of national defense information—charges that fall under the Espionage Act.

"The Espionage Act has been used to refer to traitors and spies," Trump said. "It has nothing to do with a former president legally keeping his own documents."

Trump defended himself, saying it is, instead, the Presidential Records Act that applies to his case.

Trump said he is being threatened with 400 years in prison for "possessing presidential papers, which just about every other president has done."

"The Presidential Records Act does not confer any mandate, duty or even discretional authority on the archivist to classify records under the statute," Trump said. "This responsibility is left solely to the President of the United States—so that’s the decision taken here." 

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.   I believe that, considering his history, Trump is serious, and will try to fight on for as long as he can.  I can even see him running for president while on trial.

It is a mess.  We are in uncharted waters, and I sense very little effort by the mainstream media to provide the necessary charts. 

June 14,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

JUNE 11-12,  2023

WHERE AMERICA STANDS ON TRUMP:  The polls will be fluid, and, as we've said, we use polls to suggest trends rather than precise numbers.  From Fox: 

While nearly half of Americans support the second indictment of former President Donald Trump relating to his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office, many also believe it was politically motivated.

On Thursday, Trump announced he was indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith on 37 federal counts relating to the unlawful retention of classified documents, describing the investigation to Fox News Digital as "the greatest witch hunt of all time."

A recent ABC/Ipsos poll conducted after the shocking indictment found that 48% of Americans think Trump was rightfully charged in the classified documents case, while 35% do not think he should have been indicted. About 17% reported feeling unsure about whether the former president should have been indicted the second time.

Among political parties, 86% of Democrats and 45% of independents said they support the indictment, while the majority of Republicans, 67%, disagree with the charges against Trump.

The unsealed indictment states that during his presidency, Trump "gathered newspapers, press clippings, letters, notes, cards, photographs, official documents, and other materials in cardboard boxes that he kept in the White House." Smith also claimed Trump showed classified documents to others twice in 2021.

According to the poll, 47% of Americans think the charges against Trump are politically motivated, 37% said they do not think that politics are driving the investigation, and 16% do not know.

About 42% of American believe the charges are very serious, while 28% do not think the charges against the former president should be taken seriously.

While the former president says he will plead not guilty, the poll suggested that 46% of Americans think that given the charges, Trump should halt his 2024 campaign for president. Despite some concern, 38% believe he should continue his campaign, while 16% did not have an opinion.

The survey also revealed that 2024 contenders Trump and President Joe Biden both have a favorability rating of 31% among voters. The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted from June 9-10, 2023, in English and Spanish with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.  

In March 2022, the FBI launched a criminal probe into alleged unlawful retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, seizing 102 documents with classification markings from Trump's Florida home during an unexpected raid in August 2022.

COMMENT:  I think what the numbers show is what we should reasonably expect – that no matter
how much Americans believe that the proceedings against Trump are politically motivated, they are impressed with some of the specifics of the charges against him.  What Americans seem to be asking Trump is, "We know this is all about politics, but did you actually do these things?"  It is a wearing down process.  The Israelis call it "salami tactics" - one slice at a time.

It's impossible to say how long Trump can last as the GOP frontrunner, given his legal woes.  And there are more woes coming.  Will there be a point where even his strongest supporters, and pro-Trump operatives in the Republican Party, will say, "We love you, Mr. President, but we must win the 2024 election, and another candidate is needed." 

Richard Nixon, during Watergate, was persuaded to leave the presidency by a committee of Republicans who told him he would not survive an impeachment trial.  Is such a committee in Trump's future?  What would he say to them?

And will Joe Biden falter medically, raising the most profound questions about whether he can head the 2024 Democratic ticket?  Will the Democratic race open up?

The coming year will not be boring.

June 12, 2023       Permalink


REMEMBER, THERE'S A WAR ON, AND WE ARE INVOLVED AS A SUPPLIER.  FROM REUTERS

Ukraine said on Sunday its troops had recaptured three villages from Russian forces in its southeast, the first liberated settlements it has reported since launching a counter-offensive this week.

Kyiv‘s forces posted unverified videos showing soldiers hoisting the Ukrainian flag at a bombed-out building in the village of Blahodatne in Donetsk region and posing with their unit’s flag in the adjacent village of Neskuchne.

“We’re seeing the first results of the counter-offensive actions, localized results,” Valeryi Shershen, spokesperson for Ukraine‘s “Tavria” military sector, said on television.

Ukraine‘s army also retook Makarivka, the next village to the south, and advanced between 300 and 1,500 meters in two directions on the southern front, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said in a statement.

“No positions were lost on the directions where our forces are on the defensive,” Maliar added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday gave his strongest signal yet that Kyiv has launched its long-awaited counterattack to seize back land in the east and south, confirming that “counteroffensive and defensive operations” were taking place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that a Ukrainian military push was well underway, but that it had failed so far to breach Russian defensive lines and taken heavy casualties.

Kyiv officials have imposed a strict period of operational silence and urged Ukrainians not to disclose any information that could compromise the operation.

With so little information out of Kyiv and scant independent reporting from the front lines, it has been almost impossible to assess the battlefield situation.

The video from Blahodatne showed Ukrainian troops inside a heavily damaged building as the sound of artillery rumbled in the distance.

COMMENT:  That's a big part of the problem here, accurate information.  We can't base our policy on claims and morale-boosting announcements.  We hope the Ukrainians push the Russians out, but hope is not a policy. 

Stand by for more.

June 12, 2023       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
     - Schiller

 

 

 

 



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