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Where Things Stand: You Made Your Bed, Boys

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has been going off the deep end with the best of them the last several days, hyping various conspiracy theories oozing out of the public comment section of a Maricopa County meeting that took place before election officials certified the midterm results in Arizona’s most populous county this week.

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ICYMI: Trump’s Hell Week

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! Last week, Josh and Kate discussed the many woes of Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy.

Listen to the full episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

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Remember Perla? 

Remember Perla Huerta? She was “Perla,” the head recruiter in San Antonio, Texas for that DeSantis migrant hoodwinking operation back in September that ended with 50 migrants stranded on Martha’s Vineyard. She, along with DeSantis’s chief of staff, James Uthmeier, and his “pubic safety czar,” Larry Keefe, have had their names added to a federal class action lawsuit which alleges that they and others tricked the migrants into getting on that plane.

DeSantis himself gets top billing. You can see the amended complaint here.

For many this story seems like old news, yet another in the endless stream of outrages or scandals which hold the stage for a few days or weeks only to be replaced by another in endless rotation. It also doesn’t seem like a problem for DeSantis since his target audience is voters who want to stick it to immigrants and the triggered libs who hypocritically come to their defense. After all, he just cruised to a landslide reelection victory, right? But I don’t think either assumption is true. Never did.

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The Great Pearl Clutching

TPM Reader JS’s note is very much internal to the world of American Judaism, discussions of Zionism in the context of American politics. If you’re not Jewish, a few of the references may be obscure. (The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is a century-old organization once led by Louis Brandeis which for the last thirty years has been owned and controlled by one guy, Morton Klein, who basically uses it as a cudgel for right-wing politics in the U.S.) But the general points should be familiar and they’re correct. A lot of folks have suddenly found out Trump might be a bad guy just as the stink of a loser is all over him.

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I’m Not Seeing It 

I’m seeing headlines from all the insider newsletters announcing an “avalanche” of criticism of ex-President Trump over the West-Fuentes hoedown at Mar-a-Lago. But somehow I’m not quite seeing it. There does seem to be some mild uptick or rather a continuation of criticism from Republican senators. But they tend to be what remains or are now called middle-of-the-road Republicans — Romney, Moore Capito, Kennedy. I see mean names. Marco Rubio called him an “ass clown.” But the “him” was Nick Fuentes, not Trump. The strongest rebuke appears to be coming from Mike Pence, who has called on Trump to apologize for the meeting, something which in the Trump universe is almost like telling someone to jump off a bridge. But again, it’s Mike Pence.

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The True Nodes of Power 

The ongoing drama at Twitter — along with all the antic heat — has also helpfully illustrated where key power points in our society and economy really reside. Because Twitter is now a private company — no market reactions to worry about — and has no board, Elon Musk can, at least in the short run, do pretty much anything he likes. That’s part of the drama and craziness of the moment. Yoel Roth is the former head of safety at Twitter. He held on for the first few weeks before eventually resigning. Afterwards he wrote an op-ed about the situation in the Times. It’s a very interesting piece, filled with more information than indignation. It’s worth reading. But one thing he noted had gotten very little attention so far in the coverage of the Musk-Twitter story. Twitter is deeply reliant on access to the Apple and Android (owned by Google) app stores.

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Silenced 

Here are some revealing comments from Rep. James Comer (R-KY), a big player in the incoming GOP House majority, on resistance to Kevin McCarthy. Note specifically the references to Ryan and Beohner. As we’ve discussed, post-midterm Washington conventional wisdom is that Trumpism is toxic at the ballot box and Republicans are looking for a new leader. But the argument from House Republicans is that the problem for McCarthy is that pro-Trump/Freedom caucus voices have been, are being silenced.

Here’s Comer, a McCarthy supporter, explaining continued resistance to McCarthy’s elevation to Speaker.

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Jury finds Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy; returns mixed verdict for other members

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Jury has reached a verdict in the Oath Keepers Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy trial

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