November 30, 2022: Bushed at the Water Cooler


Former Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush came to the defense of former President Trump in a Wall Street Journal op-ed slamming the recent New York civil fraud court case that ordered the 45th president to pay a $354.8 million fine plus interest. "Every American has a right to be critical of Mr. Trump's politics," reads Bush's op-ed, titled "Elon Musk and Donald Trump Cases Imperil the Rule of Law." "If these rulings stand, the damage could cascade through the economy, creating fear of arbitrary enforcement against entrepreneurs who seek public office or raise their voices as citizens in a way that politicians dislike," the former governor continued.

A frequently made observation about the trial was that inflating the on-paper value of real estate is a rather common thing among New York City developers. Judge Engoron seemed to concede that when he wrote, "Indeed, the common excuse that 'everybody does it' is all the more reason to strive for honesty and transparency and to be vigilant in enforcing the rules." That seemed to be a concession that yes, overvaluing real estate is not a rare occurrence. It also appears to be an inadvertent admission from the judge that the lawsuit was an example of selective prosecution.

Trump (R): "Trump's demographic problem" [Axios]. "If America were dominated by old, white, election-denying Christians who didn't go to college, former President Trump would win the general election in as big of a landslide as his sweep of the first four GOP contests…" Those who went to the polls reflected Trump's strengths: This was the oldest South Carolina GOP electorate this century. (Chuck Todd) 60% of primary voters were white evangelical or born-again Christians. (CNN) That group isn't remotely big enough to win a presidential election. He would need to attract voters who are more diverse, more educated, and believe his first loss was legit. South Carolina exit polls show he didn't do that. That's why Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate's only Black Republican, remains on Trump's short list for V.P.

Haley (R): "Nikki Haley says she's a voice for dissatisfied voters: 'I'm not doing this to be VP'" [USA Today]. "Haley's not giving up, despite losing every primary contest thus far to former President Donald Trump. The former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has chosen to continue standing for the significant number of Americans who aren't satisfied with the current front-runners. In South Carolina, she garnered roughly 40% of the vote, as she did in New Hampshire." If you think the social norming among Republicans to vote for Trump is as strong as the social norming not to mask, then 40% is not a bad number.

Biden (D): "Biden's immigration silver lining" [Axios]. "Foreign-born workers now constitute nearly 19% of the labor force, up from 17.3% when President Biden took office. The recent surge in unauthorized migrants will lead to 1.7 million more workers in 2024, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis. Those new arrivals will help the U.S. economy grow by about $7 trillion over the next decade. More than 3 million migrants are still in the country who were encountered at the southern border during the Biden presidency. An additional one million arrived via ports of entry through new Biden programs relying on the expansive use of parole — a legal mechanism that allows migrants without visas

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