Alex Kingsbury | Who Is Financing Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ Caucus? Corporations You Know. – The New York Times

Mr. Kingsbury is a member of the editorial board.

“Immediately after the Jan. 6 attack, hundreds of corporations announced freezes on donating money to Republican lawmakers who had voted against certifying Joe Biden’s victory. “Given recent events and the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are assessing our future PAC criteria,” a spokesperson for Toyota said a week after the attack.

For many corporations, that pause was short-lived.

“By April 1, 2021, Toyota had donated $62,000 to 39 Republican objectors,” the journalist Judd Legum wrote in his newsletter, Popular Information. That included a donation of $1,000 that Toyota gave to Representative Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona who is a close ally of Donald Trump and a fervent devotee of the “big lie.”

In July 2021, Toyota reversed course and announced another hiatus from donating to lawmakers who voted to overturn the election results. Six months later, the money started to flow again. The company, in a statement to The Times, said it donates equally to both parties and “will not support those who, by their words and actions, create an atmosphere that incites violence.” (Corporations aren’t allowed to give directly to campaigns but instead form political action committees that donate in the name of the company.)”

“. . . . In the year and a half since the attack, rivers of cash from once skittish donors have resumed flowing to election deniers. Sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes just a thousand. But it adds up. In the month of April alone, the last month for which data is available, Fortune 500 companies and trade organizations gave more than $1.4 million to members of Congress who voted not to certify the election results, according to an analysis by the transparency group Accountable.US. AT&T led the pack, giving $95,000 to election objectors.”

“. . . . All told, as of this week, corporations and industry groups gave almost $32 million to the House and Senate members who voted to overturn the election and to the G.O.P. committees focused on the party’s congressional campaigns. The top 10 companies that gave money to those members, according to CREW’s analysis of campaign finance disclosures, are Koch Industries, Boeing, Home Depot, Valero Energy, Lockheed Martin, UPS, Raytheon, Marathon Petroleum, General Motors and FedEx. All of those companies, with the exception of Koch Industries and FedEx, once said they’d refrain from donating to politicians who voted to reject the election results.

Of the 249 companies that promised not to fund the 147 senators and representatives who voted against any of the results, fewer than half have stuck to their promise, according to CREW.

Kudos aplenty to the 85 corporations that stuck to their guns and still refuse to fund the seditious, including Nike, PepsiCo, Lyft, Cisco, Prudential, Marriott, Target and Zillow. That’s what responsible corporate citizenship looks like. It’s also patriotic.”

Frank Bruni | Liz Cheney Will Not Tolerate Trump’s Lies – The New York Times

Contributing Opinion Writer

“I keep waiting for Liz Cheney to flinch.

I keep looking for some sign that her nerve is faltering, that the attacks are getting to her and that the loneliness of her situation — unconditionally contemptuous of Donald Trump, emphatically committed to a Republican Party beyond him — has become unbearable.

But no. She’s all in and she’s all steel. It could well be the political death of her. Or it could give her a kind of immortality more meaningful than any office.

Cheney, who represents Wyoming in the House, is front and center this week, with a starring role as the vice chair of the House committee whose investigation into the Jan. 6 riot has reached a dramatic culmination in prime-time television hearings. She’s one of just two Republicans on the nine-member panel.

But while the other, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, isn’t running for re-election, Cheney is in the middle of a furiously contested primary battle against a prominent Wyoming Republican official who has welded herself to Trump. Just two weeks ago, Trump traveled to the deep red state, which he won by more than 40 percentage points in 2020, to command his supporters to oust Cheney when they vote on Aug. 16. He said that she had “thrown in her lot with the radical left.”

The Little Red Boxes Making a Mockery of Campaign Finance Laws – The New York Times

By Shane GoldmacherMay 16, 2022, 3:00 a.m. ETFacing a threat from his left flank, Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon wanted to send an urgent message to allies ahead of his upcoming primary: It was time to go on the attack.The challenge: Campaign finance rules bar candidates from directly coordinating with the very outside groups that Mr. Schrader, a top moderate in Congress, needed to alert. So instead, he used a little red box.On April 29, Mr. Schrader issued a not-quite-private directive inside a red-bordered box on an obscure corner of his website, sketching out a three-pronged takedown of what he called his “toxic” challenger, Jamie McLeod-Skinner — helpfully including a link to a two-page, opposition-research document about her tenure as a city manager.

Barbara McQuade | Five Key Midterms Races to Pay Attention To – The New York Times

Ms. McQuade, who teaches law at the University of Michigan, oversaw voting rights suits as U.S. attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District.

“The fate of our democracy doesn’t hinge on the battle for the House or the fight for control of the Senate, but on state elections for a once sleepy office: secretaries of state.

No elected officials will be more pivotal to protecting democracy — or subverting it — than secretaries of state. While their responsibilities vary from state to state, most oversee elections, a role in which they wield a tremendous amount of power. Secretaries of state own the bully pulpit on voting, and they control the machinery of elections.

They also have a platform to spread disinformation, such as false claims that voting by mail is not secure. A Republican secretary of state could reduce the number of ballot boxes or polling places in Democratic areas and limit staffing to create long lines that dissuade potential voters. They can also refuse to certify the results in particular counties or even the entire state. In a close presidential race, if even one secretary of state in a swing state were to put his thumb on the scale, we could see an election that really is stolen.

This has happened before. In 2000, Katherine Harris, Florida’s secretary of state, halted the recount process and certified George W. Bush, for whom she served as a campaign chairwoman, as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. But our current political moment is even more fraught, as Donald Trump casts doubt on the last election, whipping his supporters into frenzy while Republican field generals quietly maneuver conservative hard-liners into positions of power.”

Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward | What Democrats Don’t Understand About Rural America – The New York Times

Chloe Maxmin and 

Ms. Maxmin, 29, is the youngest female state senator in Maine’s history. Mr. Woodward ran her two campaigns. They are the authors of the forthcoming book “Dirt Road Revival,” from which this essay is adapted.

“NOBLEBORO, Maine — We say this with love to our fellow Democrats: Over the past decade, you willfully abandoned rural communities. As the party turned its focus to the cities and suburbs, its outreach became out of touch and impersonal. To rural voters, the message was clear: You don’t matter.

Now, Republicans control dozens of state legislatures, and Democrats have only tenuous majorities in Congress at a time in history when we simply can’t afford to cede an inch. The party can’t wait to start correcting course. It may be too late to prevent a blowout in the fall, but the future of progressive politics — and indeed our democracy — demands that we revive our relationship with rural communities.”

Christopher Caldwell | This Poll Shows Just How Much Trouble Democrats Are In – The New York Times

Mr. Caldwell is a contributing Opinion writer and the author of “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.”

“According to the Gallup organization, 47 percent of Americans now identify with the Republican Party and 42 percent with the Democrats. That sounds ho-hum: one party doing a tad better than the other. But the Gallup numbers may portend a political earthquake.

Republicans seldom lead on measures of party identification, even when they are doing spectacularly well in other respects. Since Gallup began tallying party identification in 1991, Democrats have averaged a four-point lead. Republicans did lead in the first year the poll was taken — the year of the first Iraq war. But since then, even when Republicans rack up midterm wins at the voting booth — the year after 9/11, for instance, or in the aftermath of the unpopular Obamacare bill eight years later — they tend to run roughly even with or behind Democrats.

Between 2016 and 2020 the Democratic advantage swelled to between five and six points. When Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump a year ago, Democrats held a 49-to-40 advantage. From nine points up to five points down in less than a year — it is one of the most drastic reversals of party fortune that Gallup has ever recorded.”

DL: Republicans were behind by 9%, now they are ahead by 5%. That is a 15% swing against a host of left wing talking points, and some mismanagement.

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | It’s Never a Good Time for the Hunter Biden Story – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are opinion columnists. They converse every week.

“Gail Collins: Bret, here’s one question I don’t think I ever asked you before: What do you think of daylight saving time?

Bret Stephens: About the same way I feel about Volodymyr Zelensky. The light of the West.

Gail: Your ability to have everything remind you of foreign affairs is awesome.

I was sorta impressed the other day when the Senate voted unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent, year-round. What’s the last thing they agreed about that easily?

Bret: Invading Afghanistan?

Gail: I think switching back and forth is stupid. But many sleep scientists seem to think standard time — winter time — is healthier. So I’ll go with them, just to be difficult.

Bret: This is a major difference between liberals and conservatives. Modern-day liberals are often quite happy to defer to the wisdom of experts, at least when it comes to subjects like public health or economics. Whereas those of us who are conservative tend to be — skeptical. We prefer the wisdom of crowds, or markets, to the wisdom of the purportedly wise. It goes back to William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous line that he’d rather “be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty.”

Gail: Do you happen to know what William F. Buckley Jr.’s position on daylight saving time was?

Bret: Given that daylight savings was initially signed into law by Woodrow Wilson, I’d have to assume Buckley would have been against it.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
The first half of this conversation was brilliantly light and funny. Hail to Gail and Bret.
Then Bret had to aim is ire at Hunter Biden, and Gail enabled his despicable behavior. Since Hunter hasn’t done anything illegal, and thousands of friends and family of the politically powerful have been profiting from that position for centuries, picking on Hunter Biden is a piddling distraction of the right, particularly, to keep people from talking about the real elephants in the room, income inequality, the climate crisis, and the extinction of species to name my top three. The biggest weakness of these two brilliant and funny opinion writers, is that they appear to not have even a small environmentalist’s bone in their bodies– articulate urban restauranteurs. I prefer to defend Hunter Biden, who has a work ethic and a strong resume. As an American MBA, working for a Ukrainian gas company, was helping support a critical ally of NATO as the cold war against the Russian Federation continued. These two cocktail comics should be more grateful for his service. Chastising Hunter for selling his paintings is also an example of silliness. So much modern, abstract art is sold for so much money, its embarrassing. But Hunter is just one of thousands of painters cashing in, and his work at least isn’t as bogus as virtual currency, that has an enormous carbon footprint, and is the preferred currency of criminals.
If Hunter Biden is found guilty of committing a crime, I will apologize to Gail and Bret.
David blogs at InconvenientNews.net

Opinion | There Are Almost Too Many Things to Worry About – The New York Times

“Bret: Ukraine’s courage under fire ought to be a reminder that Republicans and Democrats should also show the courage to compromise and that there’s a lot to be said for showing good faith toward political opponents, including our beleaguered but well-meaning president.

OK, who am I kidding? I’m sure there are some more post offices Congress can name before the name-calling resumes.”  -30-

David Lindsay:

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Not my cup of tea this week. One of my favorite conversations just got dull. How about bootin Putin for a topic that has relevance, and requires courage. How exactly could we get those Polish Migs to the Ukraine? Should we fly them in ourselves, with a NATO escort? I recommend Maureen Dowd this week. Zelenski Answers Hamlet

Takeaways From Texas’s 2022 Primary Elections – The New York Times

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“For nearly a decade, the refrain from Texas Democrats has been that they are on the verge of making their state competitive, even though no Democrat has won a statewide race since 1994.

Tuesday’s primary results illustrated that Democrats still have a long way to go.

With more than three-quarters of the votes counted, nearly 800,000 more Republicans than Democrats voted for a candidate for governor — a gap far larger than the one in 2018, the last midterm primary election in Texas.

To be sure, Republicans had a more competitive primary than Democrats. Gov. Greg Abbott’s contest against Republican challengers from his right may have been more of a draw than Beto O’Rourke’s glide path to the Democratic nomination. And Democrats will be quick to note that primary turnout is not always a predictor of big turnout in November.”

David Lindsay:  Here is an interesting comment.

Martine
Texas3h ago

You can vote in either primary but not both. I voted in the republican primary in order to vote against Paxton (current Atty Gen under indictment) and to vote against various other lunatic fringe Trumpers. To write this article as if only republicans vote in the Republican primary is mistaken and naive. And , footnote I will vote for Beto in the actual race but he won’t get elected….ever.

1 Reply87 Recommended
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DL:
Why is Beto unelectable in Texas?
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David LIndsay: My sister lives in Dallas, so I asked her about the comment above. She answered:

Beto is a tough sell because he is a progressive.  Some of his stances on climate change and medicare are too far too the left.  To win he has to appeal to the moderate republicans who don’t like how far right the party has gone and independents.  Most of them are still worried about the border, the health of the oil and gas industry (many jobs in Texas) and are more likely to go with what they know (Abbot) than what they don’t (Beto).  Also the Republican PACS  pour a ton of money into disinformation and sometimes outright lies. The Republicans are beating the democrats hands down in boots on the ground and community organizing.  Just read what is going on in South Texas, long a democratic bastion. The republicans are also better at a unified message.
I do think the democratic primaries were less contested than the Republican ones.  Those three guys at the top haven’t had serous  primary challengers before.  And I think a lot of democrats voted in the Republican primaries to try to get moderate candidates.  Several of the moderates in the state house retired or were targeted by Trump people.  Incumbents doing OK but in the contested seats the moderates lost big.  Very sad and demoralizing.
Elly
Our only chance is to get a ton of democrats to the poles.

Jamelle Bouie | Let’s Bring the Supreme Court Back Down to Earth – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“A new vacancy on the Supreme Court means a new round of political theater over the beliefs and qualifications of the president’s eventual nominee.

But what does it mean for a Supreme Court justice to be “qualified”? The Constitution is silent on the question, and there’s not much to take from the framers either. To the extent that “qualified” means anything to most people, it’s that the nominee has ample experience on the bench, a standard in keeping with the idea that the court is the final rung on the meritocratic ladder for judges and other legal elites.

If significant experience as a judge is what it means to be qualified for the Supreme Court, however, then most iterations of the court have been patently unqualified. Of the 108 men (and two women) to have served on the court before 2007, according to the legal historian Henry J. Abraham in his history of Supreme Court appointments, 26 had 10 or more years of experience on any court, state or federal. Thirty-eight justices had no judicial experience, and the remaining 46 had only token experience adjudicating disputes from the bench.”

Great op-ed, and comments after.