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Never Seen It Before
Both shocking and surprising.....
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The Gang of 500 has seen it all before.
The news headlines might often seem new to inexperienced eyes, but it takes a lot to get the attention of the grizzled vets who have come to believe, through experience, that there ain’t nothing new under the sun that rises over the Potomac, the Pacific, or the East River.
In other words, it takes a lot to get Vin Weber to raise an eyebrow – or to get Tom Daschle to do a double take. Or to get either Lorraine Voles or Blaise Hazelwood to spit take their Starbucks.
For this world-weary crowd, every headline they see when they scan the papers or the chyrons reads like these (mostly) fake ones:
JLo and Ben Affleck seen arguing while out shopping in L.A.
A sinking Venice mulls closing doors to tourists
Leonardo DiCaprio debuts new model gf, 21; couple flies private to a climate change conference in Ecuador
What is distinctive about the current news cycle is that there are in fact a bunch of stories and storylines that are fresher than a 6am 7-11 cardboard tray of toquitos.
In fact, the news word of the day is “UNPRECEDENTED.”
* This document disclosure case has so many elements that we have never seen before, from the profile of the alleged “leaker,” to the gamer site and cast of members, to the press coverage leading up to the arrest, to the nature of the documents, to, of course, the red gym shorts. And we are going to learn a lot more about the chat group’s membership and activities soon, which will add some additional new new new elements.
* The way Ron DeSantis has arrived at this moment in his presidential quest and the way he continues to go about his business has no analogue in memory.
He was in Ohio Thursday and heads to Virginia and New Hampshire today. That’s all pretty normal.
And all these stories about his fans now being concerned that the Sunshine State topper is waiting too long to get into the race (when he is already doing more presidential travel than almost anyone – and much more than Donald Trump), can seem a bit confusing. Like this one from the Miami Herald.
And this paragraph from a similar Wall Street Journal story makes up the day’s most important 2024 sentence, and has embedded in it all sorts of unprecedented realities:
Mr. DeSantis is also preparing to introduce himself more on a personal level, aides say, drawing on his modest upbringing, athletic and academic achievements, military service and as a husband and father of three young children.
And, finally, the New York Times’ essential reading look at the challenge DeSantis faces running against Donald Trump contains this bit of never-before-seen dynamics:
As he prepares a presidential campaign, Mr. DeSantis has had to determine how to persuade Republicans to peel away from Mr. Trump and support him instead. If Mr. DeSantis attacks Mr. Trump, which he has so far largely avoided, he may alienate supporters who still hold the former president in high regard. But if he campaigns as the heir to the mantle of Trumpism, he risks repelling one-fifth of Republicans who say they don’t like Mr. Trump.
The Florida governor’s choreography of this political two-step will color every speech he delivers and each bill he signs.
* Never before in the Roberts Court era has the pro-choice side been as dependent on the Supremes to protect abortion rights as it is right now.
* The latest NoKo launch is a first of its kind, per the Associated Press, which could get the attention of both Jamie Rubin and Ric Grennell:
North Korea said Friday it flight-tested a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, a possible breakthrough in its efforts to acquire a more powerful, harder-to-detect weapon targeting the continental United States.
* The Dominant Media fascination with the Bidens' Irish journey notwithstanding, can anyone recall a president of the U.S.A. spending this many consecutive days in an allied country on official business? I didn’t think so….
* So much about Donald Trump is always unmatched, but let’s go in this news cycle with: SEVEN HOURS IN THE SAME ROOM AS TISH JAMES!!
* The Rays can break the modern baseball record for wins at the top of the season today.
My conclusion: We live in an interesting news cycle, if not necessarily always in interesting times.