69 Comments

Please add notes about the music you play!

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May 31·edited May 31

‘North American Scum’ by LCD Soundsystem. You might also like ‘call the police’ by the same artist.

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If Trump wins, then the Georgia Case is gone. It will likely be tabled instead of dismissed but there is zero chance that a Georgia prosecutor can try Trump while he is in office. Never mind the prudential argument, the provincial argument is clear and not even the craziest prosecutor would risk trying a president in court when a national security event can happen.

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I'm sorry Tim & David but I do not think that people like Kash Patel are unable to be confirmed. If Republicans secure 53-54 senate seats, which is a possibility given the current senate map, there may only be two Republican senators (Murkowski & Collins) that will vote no on these nominees. Mitt Romney is done. So is Bill Cassidy. Other Republicans voting for impeachment or considering it (Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, Richard Burr, Pat Toomey) are long gone. So if Republicans get to 52, that is the magic number for us to MAGAfy the cabinet.

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I don't believe this. The Senate is not as easy to push around as the House.

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May 31·edited May 31

Trump had a reliable 45+ votes for the worst people during his first term. It was Murkowski and Collins in particular that McConnell had to first check with before Trump nominated some of these people to positions.

Just think after this cycle we are likely to have a Republican Senate that would contain zero members (outside of Murkowski & Collins) willing to impeach after January 6th. If you are confident that they will somehow block Jim Jordan as Attorney General, then I share none of that confidence. There is a big difference between getting to 51 and getting to 52.

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Regrettably, that's not saying much nowadays.

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David Frum has so much integrity that he is a natural fit for the Bulwark. You can agree with him on an issue, disagree with him on an issue, but can never question his integrity and can be sure that his opinions are genuine and well thought while showing the humility to change over time. He has all this in common with the Bulwark contributors.

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Speaking of new Bulwark contributors . . . This week's WaPo article about The Bulwark revealed that Adam Kinzinger is slated to become a regular Bulwark contributor.

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founding

Brilliant discussion. David Frum’s thoughts have given me pause. I had conceived of Trump simply ignoring our institutions. I had not considered the chaos approach. In many ways it would be worse. I am horrified about the Glenn Beck method of research. Foolish of me not to realize how very low the right had sunk.

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Enjoyed the podcast this evening—thank you!

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David worried about the jury convicting only on the misdemeanor. However, Renato Mariotti on the "It's Complicated" podcast explained that the statute of limitations on the misdemeanors have run out. Therefore, the verdict will be a felony or nothing.

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David is right about the chaos element, but fails to have enough imagination on the inner workings of congress. These people won't respect the filibuster - they'll toss it the moment they have enough and think they can keep a permanent minority rule, then cram every insane rule down our throats.

Then again, I am a cynic...

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Thank you for the podcast. Regarding Canada...I just want to say that it's a lovely evening in Toronto as I write this. Spring is too brief here, but it's really quite wonderful.

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May 30·edited May 30

I'll stipulate that Trump won't take over the United States as fast as he took over the Republican Party. After all, he doesn't start with 80% of the electorate in his pocket.

But - especially if he creates a "permission structure" by luring Marco Rubio on to the ticket - it will be plenty fast enough.

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founding

I really appreciated the detour through the Mexican Presidential election. Thanks for leaning into it, Tim.

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founding

News outside the US is something we never here.

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Hey Tim and David,

I have an idea for the Biden campaign. It relates to Senator Roger Wicker's article this morning in the New York Times, in which he outlines a plan to expand and modernize the U.S. military (weapons, ships, etc) up to 5% of GDP in the coming years (as a deterrent measure against Chinese and Russian aggression).

Wicker is from Mississippi, and his article made me think of the economic benefits of a military expansion for states like Mississippi which have suffered economically since 2008.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago, Amazon announced a $10 billion project to build one of the world's largest hyperscale data centers (for the upcoming expansion of AI) in Jackson, Mississippi. Amazon (AWS) officials said that the $10 billion figure is merely a minimum level of investment in Jackson and that the actual figure over the next 7-8 years is likely to be several times that amount (so let's say roughly $30 billion).

Also in the past couple of months, it was announced that just outside Hattiesburg, Mississippi a company is developing America's first "green steel" plant, which will be located next to what will essentially be an underground reservoir of "green hydrogen". The green hydrogen will be produced on the Mississippi Coast and transported via pipelines to underground salt caverns near Hattiesburg, for use by new industries built adjacent to the hydrogen reservoir, starting with the new green steel plant. Mississippi is emerging as a major center for green hydrogen-based industries in the U.S.

The point is that AI and climate-friendly energy projects are already beginning to deliver major economic growth to places such as Mississippi that lack the corporations and institutions that are delivering growth in other places (e.g. banking in Charlotte, healthcare management in Nashville, elite universities in Raleigh, NASA in Huntsville, giant seaport in Charleston), all of which incidentally are heavily funded by government dollars from taxes paid by citizens of all states, not just from those lucky few.

If Senator Wicker's proposal for a major expansion of U.S. military capability were enacted, the new industries accompanying this expansion would likely utilize AI technology and alternative energy sources such as green hydrogen. This military expansion therefore would tie in perfectly with the new industries already arriving in states like Mississippi, such as data centers (for AI) and green hydrogen.

If Biden were to announce his vision for a major, very high-tech expansion of the U.S. military, with a focus on bringing AI- and alternative energy- based industries to states like Mississippi across the heartland of the U.S., I imagine that such a plan would generate huge excitement across the heartland of the nation - which has heretofore been left out of the nation's economic growth for the past 15 years.

I myself am excited about the all the huge new expansions in Mississippi (another is a $2 billion battery plant for electric trucks outside Memphis and a $2 billion aluminum plant in Columbus), so I can imagine how elated Americans in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin might be over the bold new vision for restoring the American military's world dominance while delivering the latest high-tech industries such as AI and hydrogen-based manufacturing to America's heartland.

Such a plan would finally give Americans a reason to vote for Biden, as opposed to only focusing on getting them to vote against Trump.

Lee Rone

Memphis

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It sounds good to me, but I'm afraid Putin's propagandists will figure out a way to persuade MAGA that increasing defense spending is woke.

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I love David and Tim but today I think I almost disagree with everything he said:

1. Constitutional crisis: I just don’t see it. Sure the evil libs will think this but I don’t think the institutions will act accordingly. First, the justice department will just drop the charges and they will tell the states you can’t charge a sitting president. Easy peasy. It’s not like any of these things will go to court or be finished at the appeals court by Election Day. Everything will just stop.

2. He only needs 50 senators for his cabinet. After everything David has seen (and I agree with Tim that the senate will be 50 +1) that he thinks these idiot republican senators won’t confirm anyone Trump nominates? I don’t but I hope I am wrong. I mean my bet the judge down in Florida gets a PROMOTION. Take that to the bank.

3. Mexico: yes it is creeping towards authoritarianism. I just am surprised that David thinks we have any actual control over that situation. The absolute best thing we could do for Mexico is deal with guns and drugs….and we all know that ain’t happening.

4. Supreme Court: first, if David doesn’t think that this court will rubber stamp Trump’s crazy decisions I got a bridge in Alaska to sell you. Second, even if they wanted to I think they would be to scared to do anything because they know, as we all know, that Trump would just…not listen.

5. I just don’t think there was much jb can do at the border without congress. Yes, he could have done more on margin but even if immigration decreased by 20% (like it has been the last few months) it’s not like it is going to make a difference in the election. It’s a counterfactual I know but they run the same playbook on every dem president. They ran on this in 2012 when immigration was low!!!

6. Protests like in Israel: I think we all can’t imagine what Trump will do to protesters but it won’t be pretty. It will get ugly but I doubt it leads to change or an impeachment.

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May 29·edited May 29

Can you have Ben Rhodes on for another perspective? I appreciate what you guys do but a lot of progressives do listen to your network and I’m afraid you may be underestimating the electoral liability of the war in Gaza. Yes it’s Inflation , yes it’s economic pessimism but also…war, money for war, money for a war a lot of Americans across the political spectrum see as shortsighted; many see it either as morally questionable or as lost opportunity cost.

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I’m not sure the war ranks as the top on anybody’s list except for a few people. In the Harvard Youth Poll people 18-29 ranked the war 13th amongst their concerns.

Are the people you know voting for Trump then? I’m sincerely curious what their calculus is?

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My 33 year old kid and friends are planning on voting for "Gaza" in the DC primary as a protest vote.

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May 29·edited May 29

What a great discussion. I do disagree with David about the ease with which Trump will consolidate power, primarily because I believe that the filibuster, at least for presidential nominees, likely won’t survive beyond March, 2025 and there is basically zero chance of the Dems taking the Senate for the next decade or so. Once the filibuster is gone, Trump can appoint whomever he wants, and I frankly don’t expect a lot of pushback except for, well, us. I suspect the general public will greet it with the same yawn that they have in response to most of Trump’s other outrages.

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I don't believe Trump would be able to find 50 Republican senators to confirm a flagrantly unqualified nominee. Senators, unlike House members, still have some pride. But we already know what Trump would do: He would abuse the provisions for recess appointments and "acting" officials, just as he did in his first term.

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founding

If Republicans win the senate, the filibuster is gone.Take it to the bank.

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Filibuster doesn’t work on the cabinet or judges. Get ready for some crazy shit

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founding

A Republican senate will approve any Trump nominee for cabinet. But should that not happen, Trumpster will simply go to a recess appointment. He has said that recess appointments give him "flexibility" to do anything he wants.

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Frum is absolutely wrong in his belief that institutions will restrain Trump. Many comments expressed my opinion in more detail than I care to.

I hate to mention it but Frum was one of the strong supporters of the war I Iraq. What could possibly go wrong?

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Can’t go to recess without the minority. He will just make them temporary. That’s his out

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founding

And this podcast…wow- David Frum. So very good.

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