Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Biden Was Right to Call MAGA Republicans "Semi-Fascist"

The other day Bill Kristol tweeted something that I found fascinating. Someone had tweeted a picture of "manly man" Seb Gorka holding a rifle. Kristol responded with this: 

Other than recognizing the name, I didn't know anything about Umberto Eco. I was curious what he meant by "Ur-Fascist," so I googled and found the article Eco had written about it. He was born in 1932 and grew up under Italy's Mussolini. Most of the article contains references to various forms of fascism with specifics that - not being a historian - I am not acquainted with. But eventually it comes down to this central point he was making (emphasis mine):
The contradictory picture I describe was not the result of tolerance but of political and ideological discombobulation. But it was a rigid discombobulation, a structured confusion. Fascism was philosophically out of joint, but emotionally it was firmly fastened to some archetypal foundations...Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist.

So Eco invented the word Ur-Fascist.

[I]n spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

He goes on to list 14 features of Ur-Fascism, one of which is quoted by Bill Kristol in the tweet up above. Here they are:

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition...As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism...The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism...

4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism...For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups...

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism...

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies...However, the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak...

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world...

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people of the world, the members of the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party...

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death...The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons—doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say...For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter...There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak...All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.

According to Eco, those are the 14 features of Ur-Fascism. Please note what he said: "it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it." I was struck by the fact that every one of them could be applied to MAGA Republicans - some more obviously than others. 

We are witnessing one of the two major political parties in this country coalesce around what Eco described as Ur-Fascism. I am not someone who is given to fiery rhetoric, so that isn't a fear-mongering statement. It is simply a fact. In other words, President Biden was right.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

After Success With the Clintons in 2016, Right Wingers Fail to Sell Their Lies About the Bidens

In the coming months, House Republicans have made it clear that Hunter Biden's laptop will be the new Benghazi. They'll hold endless hearings and proclaim outrage ad nauseam. But here's the kicker: given that right wingers have been in possession of copies of the laptop for 2 1/2 years (which they claim to be authentic), they haven't produced a shred of credible evidence that implicates President Biden in any wrongdoing. If they had anything of substance, they would have been shouting it from the rooftops incessantly. 

Instead, the story they are more interested in has to do with claims that the media suppressed the story about the laptop. In some respects, they're right. Mainstream media hasn't jumped on the bandwagon...this time. What's interesting to note is that the same players and strategies that were successful in getting the media to buy into the lies about the Clinton Foundation in 2016 didn't work this time. 

You might recall that in 2015, Steve Bannon's business partner Peter Schweizer published a book titled "Clinton Cash." The premise was that Hilary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to garner millions of dollars that flowed to the Clinton Foundation. 

Bannon and Schweizer were able to get the New York Times to publish a front-page story repeating these claims as if they had merit. After that, the story quieted down for awhile, until Bannon - via Breitbart - released a movie version on YouTube just before the Democratic Convention in 2016. 

After that, major outlets like the Associated Press and Washington Post picked up the story and ran with it. The Berkman Klien Center at Harvard documented how that happened in a report titled: "Dynamics of Network Propaganda: Clinton Foundation Case Study."

Even after the election, these same players refused to let the story go. Using his platform at The Hill, John Solomon continued to spread the lies relentlessly. It was at that point that Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed a special counsel to look into the story. Of course, he found nothing.

In a profile of Steve Bannon, Joshua Green wrote rather extensively about this strategy. Here is what it all comes down to:

The reason [Bannon] does this is because it’s the secret to how conservatives can hack the mainstream media. [Wynton] Hall has distilled this, too, into a slogan: “Anchor left, pivot right.” It means that “weaponizing” a story onto the front page of the New York Times (“the Left”) is infinitely more valuable than publishing it on…

The same players (along with a few new faces) tried the same thing in the lead-up to the 2020 election. The roots of the whole laptop story are embedded in the idea that, as vice-president, Joe Biden used his position to stop the Ukrainian investigation into Burisma, a company that was paying Hunter Biden to sit on its board. You'll never guess where that one a book written by Peter Schweizer titled "Secret Empires."

We don't know if Bannon and Schweizer shopped that story around to major news outlets, but we do know that the New York Times and other organizations published stories about the unsavory nature of Hunter Biden's business activities. 

Then in 2018, a new player came on board - Rudy Giuliani. While he was traveling around trying to get dirt on the Biden's, Solomon was writing articles filled with lies about the family's ties to corruption in Ukraine. By the spring of 2019, Giuliani, Schweizer, and Solomon became regular guests on Fox News to peddle their lies, but that's about as far as things went...until Bloomberg News busted the entire premise of their claims in May. Their reporters gathered evidence that Ukrainian prosecutors were not, in fact, investigating Burisma at the time that VP Biden called for their removal from office.

That should have been the end of it. But as we all know, that July Trump attempted to pressure Ukrainian President Zelensky into investigating the Bidens by withholding military support. With impeachment, it looked like the whole story had backfired. 

But six months after the Senate failed to convict Trump, Giuliani somehow found himself in possession of a copy of the hard drive from Hunter Biden's laptop. We know that he shopped that story around to multiple outlets - who all refused it - before finally getting some folks at the New York Post (one of Rupert Murdoch's right wing publications) to run with it. 

In response, some reporters at the New York Times published an article titled, "Their First Try Backfired, but Giuliani and Allies Keep Aiming at Biden." They open the piece by reporting that, on the weekend that the NY Post published their story about Hunter Biden's laptop, Giuliani and Bannon met in the apartment of one of their collaborators - Guo Wengui - to celebrate the resurgence of the story they'd been trying to sell for years. But these reporters weren't buying it (emphasis mine).

Mr. Giuliani and his allies — operating in parallel with a loosely linked network of conservatives — are in effect trying to recreate the blueprint Mr. Trump and his allies employed in 2016...But, as the anti-Biden forces quickly discovered, 2020 is not 2016.

While the president has promoted the material relentlessly, many of the Trump-friendly news outlets and other organizations that sustained the effort four years ago have been diminished or sidelined. Their 2020 replacements have had less reach, and the anti-Biden material they have been pumping out has been met with heightened skepticism from traditional news outlets and social media platforms determined to avoid being seen as abetting dirty tricks.

It would have been nice if these reporters had acknowledged the fact that the news organization they work for had been used for these "dirty tricks" in 2016.  But alas, that seems to be a bridge too far. 

So after their success with the Clintons in 2016, the right wing cabal totally failed to get mainstream media to bite on their lies about the Bidens. That's why, with an assist from Elon Musk and his "Twitter Files," the whole story has evolved into one about suppression. They're trying to "work the refs." However, as far as I can see, that one isn't working either. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Getting Rid of Trump Won't Save Republicans

With Raphael Warnock's win in Georgia on Tuesday night, the 2022 midterms are over and pundits will turn their attention to the 2024 election. When it comes to the presidential race, the question on the right is, "if not Trump, then who?"

In order to understand the dilemma Republicans face, it is important to look at how they got here. The two major moves were (1) the Southern Strategy, which aligned the party with white racists, and (2) the use of abortion and gay marriage to align the party with white evangelicals. From the 1970s to 2008, those issues were used to rile up the party's base, while the establishment implemented their policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, and a hawkish foreign policy. That worked for the GOP, until the disaster of the George W. Bush presidency. By the end of his two terms, those policies had given us the Great Recession, two seemingly endless wars in the Middle East, and a horrific response to Hurricane Katrina.

In 2008, we elected Barack Obama - the country's first African American president. Given the abject failure of their policies, Republicans decided on a strategy of total obstruction. No matter what the issue, if Democrats were for it, they were against it. That not only relieved them of having to actually articulate an agenda for governing, right wing news outlets fanned the flames of racism to justify the obstruction. It was suggested that President Obama was a secret Muslim who didn't love America. That worked to keep their racist white evangelical base fired up.

In 2012 Mitt Romney ran on the party's failed policies of the past and lost. Republicans also lost two seats in the Senate and eight in the House. That is when the GOP performed an autopsy, which suggested that the party needed to do more to reach out to people of color, women, and young voters. Those recommendations were totally rejected as Republicans simply doubled down on their racism and obstruction. 

After giving the Democrats a "shellacking" in 2014, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. But other than ousting Boehner as Speaker and installing Paul Ryan, they failed to get much of anything done.

In June 2015, Donald Trump announced that he would run for president as a Republican. He did so after spending three years spreading racist birther lies about Barack Obama. During his announcement speech, he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals - then went on to talk about banning Muslim immigrants. In other words, he overtly tapped into the racist fears and hatreds of the GOP base. Along with an assist from mainstream media and FBI Director Comey, Trump was successful in spreading lies about "crooked Hillary" and won in the Electoral College.

Since then, Republicans have struggled in 2018, 2020, and 2022. So what now? Trump has already announced that he will run again in 2024. But he's old and is facing possible criminal charges on several fronts. While he still maintains a loyal base, some in his party are getting tired of losing - and blame him. 

If Trump was removed from the equation, the question I would pose to the GOP is not so much "who?" but "what?" When it comes to actual policies, the ones embraced by the party in the past are still unpopular - that includes those focused on economic issues or foreign policy. What's left are the so-called "culture wars." While the Republican take on those issues is also unpopular, they still fire up the base of racist white evangelicals.

Here's the problem Republicans face when it comes to the culture wars. They aren't fought over ideas, but emotions (hatred, fear, grievance, etc). Those emotions not only need to be fed constantly, the impact wears off after a while and the effort to ignite them needs to be ramped up. Like alcohol/drug addiction, a tolerance develops and dosage needs to be increased to get the same high. 

How far can the GOP go with this trajectory? In 1981, Lee Atwater described the "dog whistle" element of the Southern Strategy.

By 1968 you can't say "n****r"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

As recently as 2006, anti-civil rights activist Edward Blum wrote that "Republicans don’t want to be branded as hostile to minorities, especially just months from an election."

Ten years later, a Republican presidential candidate called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He went on to win (at least in the Electoral College) and recently had dinner with people who openly brag about the fact that they love Nazis. 

If Republicans reject Trump, their base is certainly not going to respond to candidates who talk about repealing New Deal programs to reduce the federal deficit. More tax cuts for the wealthy aren't going to cut it. All they've got are the culture wars, which means they need to ramp up hatred and fear of the "enemy." How someone does that by taking things up a notch from where Trump left off is hard to imagine. 

Monday, December 5, 2022

Was Twitter Right to Ban the Hunter Biden Laptop Story?

For the last couple of years, I've pretty much ignored the whole Hunter Biden laptop story. That's because I don't really care much about what private citizen Hunter did/didn't do. But now that Elon Musk owns Twitter and Republicans gained a majority in the House, it is clear we're going to be hearing about the president's son nonstop. So I decided that it was finally time to get some information to debunk the lies that are spreading like wildfire.

When it comes to the ridiculous "expose" from Musk and his buddy Matt Taibbi, I'll simply note that the only way they've shown that Joe Biden intervened on Twitter was to provide examples of his campaign asking the site to review pornographic tweets. That's it. Perhaps the best response to that one came from Tim Miller in an article titled "No, You Do Not Have a Constitutional Right to Post Hunter Biden’s Dick Pic on Twitter." Here's my favorite line from that one:

Why MAGA Republicans and Elon Musk are so adamant that people be able to post photos of Hunter’s johnson is something that should probably be explored with their respective preachers or psychiatrists, but it is certainly not a matter for constitutional scholars or litigators.

But Taibbi also included a few emails of discussions at Twitter about their decision to ban references to New York Post stories about Hunter Biden's laptop. A lot of people are saying that the social media site made a mistake in doing so. I would suggest that it is important to look at the context in which they made that decision - something that Philip Bump did last March. Here's a timeline that helps do that:

May 2017: In addition to their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, Russian intelligence hacked Emmanuel Macron's campaign and leaked data - as well as fake information - to social media sites 36 hours before the French election. This mixing of hacked data with fake information is worth noting.

Nov. 2019 - Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the Ukrainian company that had hired Hunter Biden.

Oct. 2019 - U.S. intelligence warned Trump that Rudy Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence. In attempting to dig up dirt on the Biden's, the president's lawyer had several meetings with Andrii Derkach (a Ukrainian legislator), who was sanctioned as a Russian agent.

December 19, 2019 - the FBI receives Hunter Biden's laptop based on a subpoena. All subsequent news reports are based on copies of the hard drive.

Aug. 2020 - Guiliani is in possession of material from the hard drive of the laptop. He shops it around to news outlets, all of whom passed on it - even Fox News. After the New York Post took it, Giuliani said, "nobody else wanted to take it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it [ie, vet the material] before they put it out." Multiple reporters at the New York Post turned the story down too.

Oct. 11, 2020 - New York Post gets the material and publishes their first story three days later on Oct. 14. One of the two reporters whose names appeared on the byline didn’t realize she would be included as a coauthor until after the stories ran. When other news outlets asked to review the material on which the story was based, the New York Post refused to share it with them.

Oct. 20, 2020 - Fifty national security experts, who had served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, signed on to a statement that included this:

[T]he arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.

We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement -- just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.

That is the context in which Twitter made the decision to block the spread of the New York Post story. In hindsight, did they do the right thing? A couple of pieces of information that have surfaced since then validate that, at minimum, they were right to be skeptical of the story.

First of all, last spring the Washington Post finally got a copy of the material from the hard drive in order to analyze its authenticity. 

We had multiple experts examine the contents of a hard drive that purported to contain the laptop’s contents, validating tens of thousands of emails as likely to be legitimate. But an enormous amount of the material on the drive couldn’t be validated as legitimate, in part because of the game of telephone that the material had undergone by the time it reached us...

“The experts found the data had been repeatedly accessed and copied by people other than Hunter Biden over nearly three years,” our report explained, with those we spoke with being unable to “reach definitive conclusions about the contents as a whole, including whether all of it originated from a single computer or could have been assembled from files from multiple computers and put on the portable drive.”

Secondly, last April Philip Bump found this from an interview with the owner of the computer repair shop - John Paul Mac Isaac - who gave Giuliani a copy of the material on the hard drive.

"I do know that there have been multiple attempts over the past year-and-a-half to insert questionable material into the laptop as in, not physically, but passing off this misinformation or disinformation as coming from the laptop,” [Mac Issac] said. “And that is a major concern of mine because I have fought tooth and nail to protect the integrity of this drive and to jeopardize that is going to mean that everything that I sacrificed will be for nothing.”

In other words, Mac Isaac says that he has seen claims about what the laptop contains that don’t actually reflect what he saw on the laptop at the outset.

So Twitter - as well as everyone from Fox News to a few reporters at the New York Post - were right to be skeptical about the Hunter Biden laptop story. Two years later, that skepticism is still warranted. Those are the facts.

I'll just add that the stakes of getting this kind of thing right are enormous. A few years ago,  Peter Pomerantsev wrote about how Vladimir Putin was taking propaganda to a whole new level. The line that stuck with me was, "This is why it’s so important for Moscow to do away with truth. If nothing is true, then anything is possible." I thought of that when I heard Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa explain how all of that is connected to the threats being posed to democracy.

Here's her formula: Facts + Truth = Trust. Without those elements, we have no shared reality and democracy is imperiled. When people like Elon Musk use claims of "free speech" to spread lies, he doing what Ressa suggested: using free speech to stifle free speech. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Disney's "Woke" Leader Returns, Which Doesn't Bode Well for DeSantis

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been some developments in the whole story about DeSantis vs Disney. First of all, Disney's board of directors fired their current CEO, Bob Chapek, and rehired the guy who preceded him in that position, Bob Iger. I didn't pay much attention to that news until I saw this tweet from Christopher Rufo (the right winger who is central to their culture wars). 

My first thought was that this could provide the excuse Gov. DeSantis needs to get out of the mess he created with Disney. He could claim that, with new leadership, it's time to bury the hatchet. That would solve the problem of Disney's $1 billion in bond debt falling on Florida taxpayers if he follows through with revoking the company's special district status.

Yesterday a report in the Financial Times confirmed my suspicions. It is titled, "Florida prepares U-turn on Disney’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ punishment." Apparently they got the scoop from one of the Florida Republican legislators who wrote the initial bill.

[S]tate lawmakers are working on a compromise that would allow Disney to keep the arrangement largely in place with a few modifications. Some believe the return of Bob Iger as CEO last month will help pave they way for a resolution, according to people briefed on the plan.

Randy Fine, the Republican lawmaker who drafted the law to end Disney’s control over the 25,000-acre Reedy Creek property, said that Chapek’s removal from executive office last week improved the chances that “something will get sorted out” over the district.

You have to read to the 12th paragraph of that story to hear about the $1 billion in bonds - which the Financial Times notes as an aside. The emphasis is all on the idea that Iger will be more open to compromise.

That story prompted me to do a little digging to learn more about Chapek and Iger. The latter stepped down from his position as CEO of Disney in 2020, after 15 years of running the company. Chapek only ran the company for two years before being replaced by his predecessor. 

The Florida "don't say gay" bill was passed on March 8, 2022 and signed by DeSantis on March 28 - all during Chapek's term as CEO. As the bill was being discussed, Iger tweeted this in February:

During an interview on CNN a couple of weeks later, Iger said this about that tweet. 

“A lot of these issues are not necessarily political,” Iger told CNN+ host Chris Wallace. “It’s about right and wrong. So, I happen to feel and I tweeted an opinion about the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida. To me, it wasn’t about politics. It is about what is right and what is wrong."

Chapek refused to take a stand and sent this email to employees on March 7th, the day before the bill was passed. 

“As we have seen time and again, corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds,” said the Disney exec in an email sent out to staff this morning. “Instead, they are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame,” Chapek added. “Simply put, they can be counterproductive and undermine more effective ways to achieve change.”

In response to that message, Disney employees began to protest, staged walkouts, and created a website aimed at their boss called The CEO knew he had a big problem on his hands, so he reached out to DeSantis asking the governor to put a pause on the legislation and sit down in a meeting with himself and Disney officials representing the LGBTQ community. In a message to shareholders, Chapek indicated that DeSantis had agreed. 

But the meeting never happened. That's when Chapek finally spoke out publicly and Disney took at stand against the "don't say gay" bill. 

But the phone call from Chapek seemed to motivate DeSantis. The day after it took place, Fox News suddenly found themselves in possession of this video:

Thus began DeSantis's war on Disney. By April, the governor had signed a bill revoking the corporation's special tax status. Here's how Michael Kranish described the set-up:

The conflict also highlights the careful political calculus of DeSantis, who had previously said little publicly about gay rights issues.

“When Disney stumbled, DeSantis pounced,” said a person familiar with the episode who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions. “They served it up to him on a silver platter.”

We'll probably never really know how big of a role all of this played in Chapek getting fired. But I assume that it was a major factor, as this paragraph from the Financial Times article indicates:

Iger’s full-throated opposition to the legislation, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, put pressure on Disney to reverse course this spring and come out against the bill after initially refusing to take a stand. The vacillation helped fuel a sense Chapek was struggling to make big calls as CEO.

That vacillation is what DeSantis saw...and pounced on. 

Meanwhile, Iger (who is actually responsible for Disney's messages about diversity and inclusion) is continuing to make his position perfectly clear. Here's what he said recently during a discussion with Disney employees:

“This company has been telling stories for 100 years, and those stories have had a meaningful, positive impact on the world, and one of the reasons they have had a meaningful, positive impact is because one of the core values of our storytelling is inclusion and acceptance and tolerance, and we can’t lose that,” Iger said Monday.

For his part, DeSantis is denying the recent report in the Financial Times. A spokesman said that the governor "does not make U-turns" and that a plan for dealing with the revocation of Disney's special status is "in the works." One would have thought that a governor who "knows how to get things done" would have come up with a plan before pressuring the legislature to pass something this reckless. But let's wait and see what he can conjure up after-the-fact.

All I know is that, going forward, Florida's governor will be dealing with a whole different breed of corporate CEO. If this boils down to a battle between DeSantis and Iger, my money is on the latter. 

When it comes to the presidential race, are polls all that matter?

A little more than five months from the 2024 presidential election,  conventional wisdom  suggests that  Biden is losing . But according to ...