CONCERNS: On MoJo, Rubin defines the crime!


But then, up jumps the Times: As far as we know, President Lincoln never voiced concern about the future of "our democracy." 

His moral insights and intellectual skills came from the realm of the gods. In one of his two most famous speeches, he used language which was more evocative to give voice to that same concern:

LINCOLN (11/19/63): The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here...It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

"Our democracy" is a somewhat fuzzy construct. By way of contrast, this president spoke of government of and by and for the people.

Of the people, by the people? They're around us every day.

Today, we're engaged in a great tribal war. Citizens of both Americas—Red and Blue—say that they're concerned about our democracy. 

So people said in that new CNN poll, the survey released just this week. In yesterday's report, we noted the numbers:

"Among Democratic-aligned voters," 67 percent of respondents called protecting democracy an extremely important issue in this year's White House campaign. "On the GOP-aligned side," the number was somewhat smaller, but still stood at 54 percent. 

As with Lincoln's other most famous address, so too here. In effect, the two sides are "praying to the same God"—but they don't agree on what our democracy needs protection from.

Their concerns are our concerns, though only in a sense. Before we return to the western world's first poem of war, we want to review a basic question which has arisen in recent weeks.

There were no elections in the late Bronze Age, Agamemnon, lord of men, never faced an electorate.

Today, elections are a very major component of what we regard as "our democracy"—and in the current election campaign, one of the major party candidates is locked up in a New York City courtroom, charged with 34 felony counts.

This has never happened before. The question which has arisen is this:

With what crime—with what manner of felony—does Defendant Trump stand charged?

With what manner of felony does Donald J. Trump stand charged? In a situation which speaks to our basic capabilities, it's remarkably hard to find out.

Yesterday morning, on Morning Joe, legal analyst Lisa Rubin offered an explanation of this knotty matter. To watch videotape of the exchange, you can start by clicking here

With what crime does Trump stand charged? Where the rubber met the road, this is what Rubin said:

RUBIN (4/29/24): The crime that the former president has been charged with is falsification of business records as a felony. And in order to establish that he's committed a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor, you have to show that he falsified business records with the intent to conceal another crime. And that's where David Pecker comes in.

David Pecker is critical to the establishment of the conspiracy to promote Trump's election through unlawful means where at least one act was taken in the direction of those unlawful means. 

David Pecker was there for the formation of the conspiracy. David Pecker helped execute the conspiracy. David Pecker's payment to Karen McDougal, which he understood would pose campaign finance law problems, was that unlawful means.

So through David Pecker, prosecutors have gotten a lot of what they needed to establish that this was felonious and not just your, you know, everyday garden variety misdemeanor.

As far as we know, everyone agrees with Rubin's basic construct. To show that Trump engaged in felonious conduct, you have to show that he "falsified business records with the intent to conceal another crime."

The prosecutors will have to prove that Trump did falsify business records. According to Rubin, the additional crime he was allegedly trying to conceal was Pecker's payment to McDougal.

(For reasons we haven't seen explained, McDougal wanted to "tell her story," such as it was, in the midst of our 2016 White House campaign. Also, she wanted a big sack of cash for telling her story, and Pecker showed her the money.)

As of yesterday morning, the additional crime Trump was trying to conceal was Pecker's payment to McDougal. That's what we the people were told on yesterday's Morning Joe.

Rubin's analysis aired at 6:15 a.m. It was rebroadcast during the 8 o'clock hour. Meanwhile, a guest essay appeared at the New York Times which seemed to say something substantially different. 

The guest essay appeared beneath this headline, with this pair of author identity lines:

I Was an Attorney at the D.A.’s Office. This Is What the Trump Case Is Really About.

By Rebecca Roiphe
Ms. Roiphe is a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.


Rebecca Roiphe, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, is a law professor at New York Law School.

We're not sure we've ever read a less coherent essay. Along the way, the essay seems to offer a different set of views concerning the additional crime the defendant is charged with trying to conceal.

Along the way, the essay calls into question the capabilities of an array of elites within our own Blue America. It calls into question the capabilities of the New York Times itself, but also of our assistant district attorneys and of our law professors.

In our view, the essay by Professor Roiphe is very hard to parse. That said, along the way it makes such statements as these:

Mr. Trump is accused of creating 11 false invoices, 12 false ledger entries and 11 false checks and check stubs, with the intent to violate federal election laws, state election laws or state tax laws. The number of lies it took to create this false record itself helps prove intent. His defense attorneys will claim that he was merely trying to bury a false story to protect his family from embarrassment. The timing of the payments—immediately after the potentially damaging “Access Hollywood” tape was released and right before the election—makes that claim implausible.


More important, jurors are particularly good at applying common sense. Mr. Trump didn’t go to all this trouble just to protect his family members, who might have known about accusations of his involvement with the porn star Stormy Daniels or similar ones. We may never learn which crime the jurors believe Trump was seeking to commit or cover up, but they can still conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that this was his intent.


For the prosecution, the elements of the crime in this case do not require a finding that Mr. Trump interfered with the 2016 election. Nor does it matter whether he had sex with Ms. Daniels. Instead, the real elements concern the way Mr. Trump used his business for a cover-up. By emphasizing the crime he was intending to conceal rather than the false business records, the prosecution also risks confusing the jury into thinking about whether the lies affected the election. It might lead them to wonder why Mr. Trump wasn’t charged with this alleged election crime by the federal government—a talking point that he has promoted publicly.

Start with that first excerpt. The defendant is charged with falsifying business records "with the intent to violate federal election laws, state election laws or state tax laws?"

Or state tax laws? That one small word seems to suggest that, even now, we don't know what additional crime Trump is charged with trying to conceal. And sure enough:

In that second excerpt, we're told that we may never know which crime the jury came to believe he was trying to cover up! In the third excerpt, Professor Roiphe seems to assert that Trump did in fact "use his business for a cover-up"—but she herself doesn't specify the additional crime she has in mind.

We may never know! Along the way, Roiphe says this about the New York State law under which Trump is being prosecuted:

Lawmakers in New York, the financial capital of the world, consider access to markets and industry in New York a privilege for businesspeople. It is a felony to abuse that privilege by doctoring records to commit or conceal crimes, even if the businessman never accomplishes the goal and even if the false records never see the light of day. The idea is that an organization’s records should reflect an honest accounting. It is not a crime to make a mistake, but lying is a different story...

Prosecutors and New York courts have interpreted this law generously, with its general purpose in mind. The element of intent to defraud carries a broad meaning, which is not limited to the intent of cheating someone out of money or property. Further, intent is often proved with circumstantial evidence, as is common in white-collar cases. After presenting evidence, prosecutors ask jurors to use their common sense to infer what the possible intent may be, and New York jurors frequently conclude that a defendant must have gone to the trouble of creating this false paper trail for a reason.

As she starts, Roiphe agrees with Rubin's basic construct. That said, is it possible that prosecutors and New York courts have interpreted the law in question too generously—have let "the element of intent to defraud" carry too broad a meaning? 

It seems amazing to hear that we may never know the basis on which the defendant ends up being found guilty by a Gotham jury. For the record, these strange pronouncements are part of what is routinely denounced when Red America's citizens listen to the legal analysts on the Fox News Channel.

Such complaints are standard of Fox. It's hard to say that these complaints are crazy.

Rubin says that Trump is charged with the attempt to conceal a crime by David Pecker. Other observers have said and suggested that Trump is charged with trying to conceal—well, elsewhere the explanations can get very confusing.

Along comes the former assistant D.A., published in Blue America's leading newspaper. She says we may never know what the defendant will be found to have tried to conceal! 

We're on Day 9 of the "hush money" trial, and this is a peculiar measure of our basic capability.

Coherent behavior by the justice system is one basic part of government of and for the people. It's a basic part of "our democracy"—and in this instance, it's a basic part of an ongoing White House election campaign.

We're in Day 9 of an unprecedented criminal trial. Can anyone define, with any certainty, the felonious conduct with which the defendant stands charged?

In Blue America, we talk "hush money" all day long. The hush money payment to the porn star has become our leading concern.

Within this somewhat puzzling mess, is there an echo of the concern at the heart of the western world's first war poem? Can we learn to see ourselves more clearly if we revisit that earlier Bronze Age war?

Tomorrow: Just one thing on their minds


  1. "It seems amazing to hear that we may never know the basis on which the defendant ends up being found guilty by a Gotham jury."

    Basis-schmaisis, what difference does it make? Either they do get Trump this time, or they don't.

    1. the republican nominee for President of the United States of America: "you'll never get me, copper".

      Don't worry, Magat, Alito, Gorsuch and Beer-bong-Brett are making sure he'll never face a jury. They're busy right now adding a few paragraphs to the Constitution.

    2. That's because Alito, Gorsuch, and Beer-bong Brett are Constitutional Originalists. (hat tip, mainstream media).

    3. Somerby is distorting what was said. With 34 counts and several liaisons being covered up, we may never known which crimes a jury found compelling (or which jurors believed what) in order to convict Trump. Further, some of the counts were relevant to state tax laws but others may not have been. This is not to say that there will be any doubt about what happened, if Trump is convicted. Somerby tries very hard to create a smokescreen so that he can imply that there were no crimes and that Fox is correct that this is a political prosecution. The number of counts and the applicability of different counts to different statutes does not make Trump innocent, nor does it mean this is political, except in the sense that Trump committed these crimes to cover up affairs that might have ruined his chances of election.

      I am very sick of Somerby twisting straightforward legal matters in order to pretend Trump is not guilty. Today, he omits the question Rubin was answering (her own, not Somerby's question) and pretends that Roiphe is addressing the same points as Rubin, then via excessively literal reading, implying that if not all counts have tax implications, then there must be some terrible confusion involved.

      Today's essay merely shows why Somerby could never have been a lawyer.

      Somerby says: "We're in Day 9 of an unprecedented criminal trial. Can anyone define, with any certainty, the felonious conduct with which the defendant stands charged?"

      As has been noted several times here in comments, the charges are listed in the indictment and they are clear. They do not depend on Somerby's understanding for their existence. The jury will decide based on evidence presented -- that is what a trial is for. Again, it doesn't matter whether Somerby is convinced of Trump's guilt or not, nor does it matter whether Rubin uses the same words as Roiphe -- neither woman is part of this trial.

      Meanwhile Somerby shouts: If the charges are complicated you must acquit. What a moron Somerby is, but even worse, he thinks his readers are all morons too, that it will be so easy to convince them that if TV says something "wrong," Trump must go free.

    4. I, a reader of Somerby, am a moron.

  2. According to the Root, some Blacks feel Biden's support for the war in Gaza and role in the 1994 Crime Bill make him an undesirable candidate. Which is a salient point.

    1. He's the incumbent President, fuckface. He wiped the floor with Donald J Chickenshit once and he'll do it again, Boris.

    2. Tell it to the Root, tough guy.

    3. Some people feel that small-government Republican voters still pledging to vote for Trump after his role in having the government make women's reproductive choices for them, are full of shit about their hate for big-government.
      Which is a salient point.

    4. The amount of support that Biden gets from those identifying as Black, is the same amount historically given to most Dems, about 90%.

      The phony concern over minority support for Biden is a head feint from desperate right wingers over losing their power to oppress others.

    5. Nothing says "small government" like having your President immune to all laws of the land.

    6. Many Blacks feel that the Democratic Party takes their support for granted and fails to deliver on their needs and concerns. They are increasingly questioning their loyalty to the Democratic Party and considering alternatives, including former President Donald Trump.

    7. Black people don't like it that Trump dismantled his minority outreach offices and replaced them with sex toy stores.

    8. Many White rich people feel that the Trump version of the Republican Party takes their support for granted and fails to deliver for them, and are increasingly questioning their loyalty to the Republican Party.

      As interesting as some find that fact, the facts are that Trump will retain historic levels of support from White rich people, just as Biden will retain the same level of support from Black people.

    9. As a rich White man, I love Trump. He cuts my taxes and rescinds regulations that affect my business.

    10. As a middle class/lower middle class White man, I love Trump because even though he has not cut my taxes and did worse with the economy than Biden, he has emboldened my urge to feel superior over others. I will take that emotional high over economic success any day.

    11. Do folks know that the Biden administration is allowing employer contributions to your 401K to match your student loan debt payment? There are hundreds of good things for little people this Admin has done, but all folks know is Biden is old and Trump is the populist. The press is fucked up in ways Somerby never gets close to examining.

  3. In typical long-winded, and increasingly incoherent manner, Somerby today expresses his chivalrous defense of Trump and Trump being held to account for his illegality, primarily by taking a fairly straightforward case and making it seem murky.

    Somerby is a champion of Trump's honor, and even moreso of manufacturing ignorance.

    1. No fair. Somerby is pretending to run a media criticism blog, not a law blog.

    2. In addition to an increasing incoherence and advocating for Trump by taking a fairly straightforward case and making it seem murky, Somerby notes legal analysts have provided different explanations to describe the fairly straightforward case.

      Somerby seems to think the lack of clarity and coherence in the case, raises concerns about the justice system and its impact on democracy.

      Somerby is an asshole.

    3. There is clarity and coherence in the case. There are not problem with the justice system. The problem for Trump is that the justice system if finally being applied to address his wrongdoing. Somerby is trying to help Trump out by pretending the case is confusing when it is not (so far).

      Yes, Somerby is an asshole.

  4. Somerby intones the multifaceted charges against former President Trump, stemming from his alleged falsification of business records with the intent to conceal another crime, represent some kind of incoherence unbefitting a modern day justice system. Specifically, he suggests that Trump engaged in a series of deceptive actions related to payments made by David Pecker, a key figure in the case, potentially to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. These actions are a clear violation of federal election laws, or possibly state tax laws.

    The crux of the matter revolves around Trump's alleged falsification of business records. Notice Somerby indicates that Trump is accused of creating false invoices, ledger entries, and checks or check stubs—actions that collectively paint a picture of an elaborate cover-up without any evidence. The intent behind these falsifications is believed to be the violation of specific laws, and the sheer number of false records created is suggested as evidence of intent n ot unlike James Biden's multi million dollar deals with China. This is a critical point in the case, as proving intent is often pivotal in legal matters, especially in white-collar cases like this one.

    People say Trump has an uncommon love for the common man and godly wisdom resides in the least of things so that it may well be that the voice of the Almighty speaks most profoundly in such beings as
    lives in silence themselves. One of the key arguments in the content is that Trump's defense attorneys may claim that the falsifications were an attempt to protect his family from embarrassment. Trump timed the actions—immediately after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape and right before the election. This is evidence against this defense like when enormous yard fowl are dried and blackened post harvest. The implication is that the timing makes it judiscially implausible that the sole purpose of the falsifications was to protect his family's reputation, suggesting a more nefarious intent related to the election or other legal matters.

    The role of jurors in determining Trump's intent may never be definitively known, jurors are expected to use their common sense to infer his intent. This highlights the complexity of the case and the challenges prosecutors face in proving Trump's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Another interesting aspect of the case is the interpretation of New York law. According to the content, New York considers access to markets and industry in the state a privilege for businesspeople. It is considered a felony to abuse this privilege by doctoring records to commit or conceal crimes, even if the false records are never exposed. This interpretation of the law is seen as generous, with a broad definition of intent to defraud that includes more than just monetary or property-based fraud. This broader interpretation poses additional challenges for Trump and his legal team.

    The content also touches on the confusion surrounding the charges. While legal analyst Lisa Rubin suggests that Trump is charged with falsifying business records to conceal the crime of Pecker's payment to McDougal, Rebecca Roiphe's essay in The New York Times presents a different perspective. Roiphe suggests that Trump's intent was to violate federal or state election laws or state tax laws, but she also acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding the exact nature of the crime Trump is charged with concealing. This ambiguity underscores the complexity of the case and the challenges in defining the charges with certainty.

    The charges against former President Trump are centered on his alleged falsification of business records with the intent to conceal another crime. The specifics of this alleged crime, whether related to election laws, tax laws, or other legal matters, remain somewhat unclear. The case highlights the intricacies of white-collar crime and the challenges in proving intent and guilt in such cases.

    1. Well said. Bob plays all three monkeys who can see, hear, and speak no evil. It’s all just too confusing. And besides Trump said that one off hand comment that forgives all the criminal bile. And besides he might really think he didn’t do anything wrong. And besides he might be mentally ill. And besides one juror might put the fix in for him. And besides that MSNBC gang, some of them were once Republicans. And besides SOME of the things Cohen went to jail for didn’t have to do with Trump. And besides blacks like Shane Moss and Ruby Freeman are not with mentioning. And besides some polls say Biden is behind and he was too indigent with his Son, and every time I try to emphize immigration a liberal will mention the Republicans killed their own
      bill on Trump’s orders to keep it going as an issue so I have to change the subject. And besides if he sexually assaulted any women they probably deserved it.

    2. Pecker's payment to McDougal is not a violation of state tax laws. That part applies to the reimbursement of Cohen's money paid to Pecker/Daniels, which were listed in Trump's business books as "legal services" (a legitimate deducation for tax purposes) when no such services were provided. Payoffs (and Trump's reimbursement to Cohen for the payoffs) are not legitimate business expenses. That is the state tax fraud part. The word "or" arises because not all of the concern payments that were described that way, not all were fraudulently concealed as "legal services." If those payments were also shown on tax returns as business expenses then there was also state tax fraud. That has nothing to do with Pecker.

    3. Actually, Pecker's payment to McDougal is a breach of state tax laws. That's related to Cohen's reimbursement, recorded as "legal services" in Trump's business records (a valid tax deduction) despite no such services being rendered. Payoffs (and Trump repaying Cohen for them) are legit business expenses, constituting state tax fraud. The word "or" comes in because not all concern payments were fraudulently labeled as "legal services." If those payments were also claimed as business expenses on tax returns, there's additional state tax fraud, unrelated to Pecker, illuminating the path to a parallel universe where tax laws are just suggestions written in invisible ink. Pecker and Cohen are just pawns, their actions mere shadows of a larger, more absurd truth.

      Pecker's payment essentially becomes a tax deduction for grooming services, and Cohen's reimbursement is a charitable donation to the campaign.

      Meanwhile, Trump is a mere spectator. The crowd cheers, unaware that they're the punchline in a joke nobody understands.

    4. Rubin and Roiphe are in agreement over the major points of the trial, Somerby even explicitly states this:

      "Roiphe agrees with Rubin's basic construct"

      Somerby goes on to wonder if NY too broadly interprets intent, but it is of no consequence how Somerby personally feels about this case, his emotions have no bearing; the fact is NY historically has a broad interpretation of intent in these circumstances, indeed this type of case is routinely prosecuted in NY, it is referred to as the "bread and butter" of the NY DA.

    5. @12:15 -- You seem to have some details confused. Your confusion does not support Somerby's argument that this is all too complicated. It seems like you may be deliberately muddying the water in Somerby's aid, but even if you are personally mixed up, the court is not, the lawyers are not, the judge is not, and the jurors will not be confused about the charges and the evidence being presented.

    6. 1:04 PM

      McDougal, and Cohen pleaded guilty. In the weave of legal discourse and fiscal electoral intrigue, the concept of obligation under Roman law serves not just as a legal construct but also mirrors the complexities of modern financial controversies. An obligation, or vinculum juris, traditionally binds two determinate individuals in a bond of legal necessity, encompassing duties like paying a debt or fulfilling a contract. However, when we transpose this ancient framework onto the modern stage where figures like Pecker, McDougal, and Cohen play their parts, the narrative becomes rich with legal nuances and tax entanglements.

      The essence of obligation in Roman terms centered around the creditor and debtor dynamic, a relationship where the creditor is entitled to a right and the debtor bears a corresponding duty. This classic interpretation takes a dramatic twist in contemporary scenarios involving alleged state tax fraud and questionable business expenses. Here, obligations morph into a murky dance of monetary transactions labeled under "legal services" on business books, where no actual services were rendered. Such dubious entries cunningly sidestep legal boundaries, masquerading as legitimate deductions while essentially representing payoffs.

      Yes, Roiphe suggests that Trump's intent was to violate federal or state election laws or state tax laws but the juxtaposition of traditional legal duties and modern fiscal maneuvers reveals a complex ballet of legality. In Roman times, obligations were neatly categorized and were a part of one's estate, clearly defined as either personal or proprietary rights. Fast forward to today, and we see obligations blurred with strategic financial declarations meant to shield one from tax liabilities. The term 'creditor' expands beyond the simple lender of money to include entities like corporations maneuvering through tax laws, while 'debtor' encompasses those obligated by unwritten rules of corporate governance and clandestine financial agreements.

      The narrative thickens when considering the state tax implications of these transactions. Payments made under the guise of business expenses, which are in reality payoffs, highlight a sophisticated manipulation of the system. The distinction between legitimate business expenses and fraudulent tax entries becomes a critical point of contention. The obligations once clear in the ancient legal sense now manifest in convoluted financial statements designed to navigate through, or outright evade, modern tax regulations.

      The broader implications of such financial practices extend beyond individual actors like Cohen, Pecker, or Daniels, touching the very fabric of corporate ethics and governance. Each transaction, while individually justifiable under the cloak of "legal services," collectively sketches a larger picture of systemic exploitation of tax laws by Eric Trump. This not only questions the legality but also the moral obligations corporations hold towards honest financial reporting.

      What you fail to understand is the concept of obligation, richly rooted in Roman law as a simple bond between creditor and debtor, has evolved into a complex framework in today's financial world. It encapsulates a range of duties and rights that extend beyond straightforward financial transactions to encompass elaborate schemes designed to optimize or evade fiscal responsibilities. As these obligations traverse the realms of legality and morality, they challenge us to reconsider the boundaries between right, duty, and deceit in the modern corporate landscape.

  5. Vincent O’Sullivan has died.

  6. Biden's Hispanic Problem
    By Taegan Goddard
    Political Wire

    History is clear. Hispanics tend to favor the Democratic presidential candidate over the Republican. That why it’s surprising and alarming many people that Biden dropped so far down in the last poll of Hispanic voters. And that Donald Trump is rising.

    A decreasing number of Latinos have a favorable opinion of Biden, according to the poll published last month by the Pew Center. Biden dropped to 37 percent while Trump rose to 34 percent, a virtual tie. And that is new.

    “Hispanics are less likely to hold favorable views of Biden now than they were two years ago, and they are slightly more positive about Trump,” the Center concluded. “In July 2022, 54% of Hispanic adults held a favorable view of Biden. Today, that share has dropped to 37%. At the same time, Trump’s favorability among Hispanic adults has ticked up, from 28% in July 2022 to 34% now.”

    All that raises a question. How is it possible that a candidate like Trump – who has made racist comments about immigrants, who has called some of them “animals,” who faces 90 charges in various courts, who still denies he lost the 2020 election and calls the people jailed for the insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 2021 “hostages”– is rising in polls of Hispanics?

    The most obvious answer is that we have normalized Trump’s words and behavior, that what once appeared scandalous and anti-democratic has become an everyday thing. The initial rejection of Trump has been turning into a slight resistance and, in some cases, even acceptance.

    On Biden’s side, his drop among Hispanics has many explanations, aside from his 81 years of age. Inflation has hit Latinos and immigrants particularly hard. Prices are higher, and salaries are not keeping up. What’s more, the president has put aside, at least publicly, his fight to legalize millions of undocumented migrants and is even considering closing the border with Mexico. For many, that sounds just like Trump. And among the young there’s a strong rejection of his support for Israel on the war in Gaza.

    Biden’s fall among Hispanics has been steep. Let’s take a look at the last four presidential elections, compared to latest Pew Center poll:

    -2008 Barack Obama 67%
    -2012 Barack Obama 71%
    -2016 Hillary Clinton 66%
    -2020 Joe Biden 59%
    -2023 Joe Biden 37%

    Of course there can be different explanations for those numbers. Perhaps many voters are still undecided, perhaps it’s a long way to the November elections. What’s more, Trump’s trial in New York and his other legal problems could turn the campaign on its head very quickly. But anyone on the Biden team looking at these numbers has to know there’s a problem. A Hispanic problem. And it’s not a methodology problem. For this column I used mostly data from the Pew Center, a respected non-partisan organization that has been correctly measuring the pulse and sentiments of the Hispanic community for decades.

    Something is changing among Hispanics. There’s a growing trend to the right, but it’s still too early to say if it’s the result of the Trump effect or something else.

    Perhaps, as some experts have always suggested, the longer we live in the United States the more Hispanics vote like the rest of the country. Former President George W. Bush and his advisor, Karl Rove, always dreamed of winning half the Latino vote. Today, there’s still a debate over whether Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2004 election, or only 40 percent. No matter the real number, something has changed this century: No one can win the White House without the Hispanic vote.

    In this year’s presidential election, more than 36 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, nearly 4 million more than in 2020. And we are growing in those states that might decide the winner. That’s why this Biden drop among Hispanics is to significant.

    Biden has a Hispanic problem. And how he handles it could decide his reelection campaign.

    1. I did a search of Political Wire and Taegan Goddard's postings and did not find this one. It doesn't come up using Google either. I believe this is manufactured disinformation.

      The date is not supplied, so I suspect this was made up as propaganda, with Goddard's name falsely attached to it.

      Pew results for the past four elections do not show a steep decrease in Hispanic support. Only the figure for 2023 (which is not an election result) shows a decrease, but that is a survey result, not an election result. The polls have not been tracking the actual election results very closely. The entire claim hangs on the difference between a single Pew survey and actual voting.

      Please cite the specific source for this comment. I subscribe to Goddard's blog. This wasn't posted there. It is also not his writing style. If this was created using Chat GPT, it is a fraudulent use of someone else's name and persona. He can sue you, if he didn't write it.

    2. One of the issues some are having with the Hispanic vote is misinformation.

      Here are the actual percentages of the Hispanic over time:

      1980 D_56
      1980 R_35

      1984 D_61
      1984 R_37

      1988 D_69
      1988 R_30

      1992 D_61
      1992 R_25

      1996 D_72
      1996 R_21

      2000 D_62
      2000 R_35

      2004 D_58
      2004 R_40

      2008 D_67
      2008 R_31

      2012 D_71
      2012 R_27

      2016 D_65
      2016 R_29

      2020 D_66
      2020 R_32

      What is clear from the data is that Trump and Biden are getting about the historic average of the Hispanic vote. Bill Clinton and W Bush both received significantly more of the Hispanic vote than Biden or Trump, otherwise there is no significant shift in the Hispanic vote that is occurring.

    3. It was delivered only to paying subscribers.

    4. I am a paying subscriber. Please provide a link or the date for these two posts attributed to Political Wire.

      Meanwhile, here is one that contradicts what you are saying, from Political Wire (Taegan Goddard):

      "After the surprise of the 2016 election, Democrats quickly settled on two possible strategies that their 2020 nominee would have to use to win back the White House.

      The first theory suggested that Trump won by attracting white working class Obama voters and the 2020 nominee would have to appeal to them.
      The second theory was that Trump won because the Obama coalition of women, minorities and young voters failed to turn out and the 2020 Democratic nominee would have to rebuild this coalition.
      Interestingly, neither is how Joe Biden actually won the election.

      The problem with both theories is they also assumed Trump had maxed out his support among non-college educated and rural voters. If Democrats could lift turnout dramatically, the thinking went, they would win in a landslide. That turned out to be very wrong.

      First, early evidence suggests the Obama-Trump voters mostly stuck with Trump this year, despite Biden’s supposed working class appeal.

      And second, Biden actually received a smaller share of the Obama coalition — particularly Black and Hispanic voters — than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. It turns out the socioeconomic similarities between non-college educated voters– regardless of race — made Trump a more attractive candidate than Democrats anticipated.

      That suggests, as Nate Cohn points out, that Biden won using pretty much the same 1990s Democratic establishment playbook that Clinton used. It’s just that he was a more appealing and less polarizing candidate."

    5. The comment directly above is from:

      "Biden Won Using Clinton’s Playbook
      November 20, 2020 at 10:18 am EST By Taegan Goddard"

      I posted my link. Now you post yours.

    6. No, it is a fake article and the data is inaccurate.

    7. No, it is a fake article and the data is inaccurate.

      *referring to the original comment*

    8. There was link embedded in the original post.

    9. 12:43

      Taegan Goddard is a respected journalist who does not post fake articles. His aforementioned article is replete with accurate data and salient points.

    10. I have reported this situation to Taegan Goddard at Political Wire.

    11. Taegan Goddard is a dumb, fat, temperamental has-been, with a drinking problem.

    12. Goddard owns the copyright on his own writing.

    13. The original comment is fake; however, the real analysis from Goddard has issues, as it ignores the significance of Covid diminishing the ability of Republicans (and other bad actors) to suppress votes. Biden won handily in 2020 primarily due to the highest voter turnout rate since 1900.

      The percentage of different cohorts' vote among the electorate is largely in line with historic trends, and the referenced shifting is relatively insignificant.

      There has been a trend since 2018 of Dems outperforming in elections, this is likely due to a newer strategy from Dems of highlighting progressive values.

      Trump is a once in a century candidate, he had a unique personality that was able to motivate voters with a certain personality trait, but his "charm" has been fading as he has aged and has to face up to his corruption and illegality. It is unlikely Republicans will ever have a candidate like Trump again, whereas Dems do not require such a candidate as their votes are based on meeting material needs more than emotions.

    14. I doubt Trump would have won without the influence of Comey at the last minute, the hacking and publication of emails on Wikileaks, unbalanced media coverage (such as Clinton Cash) and the Russian voter suppression campaign in the 3 key Democratic states that were lost by small margins (WI, MI, PA). Animosity against Hillary ginned up by Bernie & Trump should not be attributed to Trump's charisma, in my opinion. And there was sexism too.


    15. ░▒▓████████▓▒░▒▓████████▓▒░░▒▓██████▓▒░ ░▒▓██████▓▒░ ░▒▓██████▓▒░░▒▓███████▓▒░ ░▒▓██████▓▒░ ░▒▓██████▓▒░░▒▓███████▓▒░░▒▓███████▓▒░ ░▒▓██████▓▒░░▒▓███████▓▒░░▒▓███████▓▒░
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  7. From Taegan Goddard at Political Wire:

    Trump is in a strong position to win the White House if the election were held tomorrow, according to pollsters and campaign veterans.

    Biden's re-election campaign is currently in trouble, with low approval ratings, concerns about his policies and leadership, and a splintering coalition of voters.

    1. More disinformation. For one thing, Biden has been winning the polls lately and his numbers are going up while Trump's are going down. Secondly, Trump has been underperforming relative to his polls numbers. In recent primaries he is about 10 pts below prediction, largely due to the loss of Nikki Haley supporters, even though she is no longer running. Third, the election is not being held tomorrow and there are indications that if Trump is convicted in his criminal trial he will lose quite a few Republican supporters. Fourth, the paragraph above is lying about Biden's approval ratings, which have been imporving and it fails to mention that he has hugely out-raised Trump in campaign funding. No one thinks Trump is going to do well if he doesn't campaign and so far, he has been unable to do so.

      Taegan Goddard doesn't produce right wing campaign propaganda. He largely excerpts published articles from other sources and provides his own, less biased analysis. That is why it is pretty obvious that some troll is now using his name (without permission).

      This is consistent with the latest tactic that Trump has been using. He has been revising already published articles by other people, then posting the ammended versions on Truth Social under the original author's name without mentioning the changes. This would get an actual journalist fired, so it can be looked at as a journalistic crime, if not an actual literary theft.

      That trolls are now doing something similar here suggests that this may have been adopted official as a campaign tactic, by the right wing or Trump's campaign specifically.

      It is dishonest, but what else is new when it comes to right wing propaganda and disinformaton. Somerby shouldn't be tolerating it here, but he doesn't seem to be doing anything about it.

    2. I have reported this situation to Taegan Goddard at Political Wire.

  8. Somerby : We're not sure we've ever read a less coherent essay.

    That settles it. It's long been clear he never edits his rambling, repetitious, word-salad posts. Now we know he never reads them at all. Personally, I come here to see just how bad writing can be. Admittedly that's a sordid pleasure - something like ogling a gory car wreck as you drive by.

    1. To ogle is to stare at in a lecherous manner. So as you criticize Somerby's writing, you yourself, in one short paragraph, have blundered (unless gory car wrecks turn you on).

    2. Sadly, it was not always so. Bob did once take apart memes and group think if the political press, on both the left and right.

  9. Biden's Problems
    By Taegan Goddard
    Political Wire

    It was almost like one of Cecil B. DeMille’s great crowd scenes or footage from some rock festival film like Woodstock or Monterey Pop. They came staggering across the parking lot in the still, brackish Michigan dusk and advanced on Pontiac Stadium – one of those monstrous modern sports arenas – like a boozy army of hard hats whose intention it was to dismantle the place. They looked like hell. Nobody dresses up for concerts anymore.

    They gobbled reds and chug-a-lugged beer. Some fell on their faces and tumbled down the hill. The oldest among them could not have been much more than 18 years old, but there wasn’t an illusion left in the crowd. You had to get close enough to see the reds of their eyes to realize that this was a generation whose rock & roll rituals had been raised up out of the ashes of Altamont rather than the bright muck of Woodstock.

    Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, looks like Carly Simon‘s kid sister and carries himself the way the pope probably would if he were 24 years old and had grown up in Yonkers. Onstage, he becomes the most Beardsleyesque character on either side of the Atlantic today. He has a voice that makes Alice Cooper sound like Vic Damone.

    Tyler has a fetish for scarves. They trail from his nubile form like unraveled mummy wrappings and from the microphone stand that he flails like a staff as he prowls about the stage, bawling and spitting like an irritable enfant terrible. The total effect is a caricature of a caricature, but Aerosmith‘s legions eat it up and regard Tyler’s fashions the ultimate in déclassé dishabille. And while the costumery is clearly his own, he owes the best part of his image to Mick Jagger.

    “I can remember a few years ago when I was just another kid from Yonkers going to Madison Square Garden to see the Stones and looking down and saying, ‘Wow, man, is that tiny little figure … all the way down there … really Mick … Jagger?”‘ Tyler says this with an ingenuousness which remains in the cheap seats. Yet Aerosmith’s fame is already such that countless other kids must gaze down from those same bleachers of the faithful, dreaming, of Steven Tyler …

    In order to see this top new heavy-metal group in their natural element, I had been told I’d have to travel out into the industrial areas surrounding the fabled Motor City, where rock & roll animals, whose fathers labor on assembly lines, have been known to eat opening acts for an appetizer. Aerosmith began to gather their constituency in tank towns like Pontiac while playing second bill to bigger bands. But now that they’ve sold more than 4 million records, they’re headlining in all the large halls from coast to coast.

    David Krebs, one of their managers, readily admits that he built Aerosmith’s word-of-mouth reputation by seeing to it that they invariably opened for headliners suffering from tired blood – bands that would be sitting ducks for the sucker punch of Aerosmith’s youthful energy. “The first time I let this band out of the box I got burned,” says the swarthy, perennially smirking Krebs. “I let my booking agent talk me into having them open for the Mahavishnu Orchestra – which, on a scale from zero to a hundred, turned out to be a definite minus. But we learned to play our market so that Aerosmith opened for acts that were slightly on the downslide – bands whose audience we could cop. Even if we didn’t blow them off the stage every time, we could at least count on some to buy an Aerosmith album.”

  10. Today Kevin speaks for David:

  11. Teagan Goddard has died.

  12. An electric force can be attractive or repulsive, but gravity is always attractive.

  13. Bob’s favorite excuses for Trump:
    A) the poor man is mentally ill.
    B) these cases are too hard to understand
    C) it’s mean to put people in jail.
    D) He didn’t know what he did was illegal
    E) He really might believe what he did
    was not illegal.
    F) Nicole used to work for Bush.
    G) sometimes in the middle of one of his
    long, hateful rants, he will throw in a
    disclaimer (he said be peaceful!! )
    H) Even when Trump says something like
    the courthouse is in lockdown to keep his
    supporters away, it’s mean to say someone
    is lying.
    I) it’s outrageous to claim someone has engaged in forgery even if they end up going
    to jail.
    J) you should never consider the victims of
    someone’s crimes because that makes it
    harder to send them to jail which is mean.
    K) Not enough Republicans on the committee.

  14. $500 Russian drones are destroying $10 million U.S. Abrams tanks. "“Welcome to the 21st century — it’s unbelievable, actually.”

    By Taegan Goddard
    Political Wire

    1. I can't believe it's the 21st Century, either. It seems like only yesterday we were in the 1700s.