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  • 🇺🇸 DeSantis v. Newsom

🇺🇸 DeSantis v. Newsom

Plus, space symphony.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Monday. A baby who was left alone in the woods just one hour after she was born now has a forever family — thanks to deputies and residents who brought the child to safety nearly a year ago.

Plus, a collaboration between NASA and musicians has seen a photograph of the Milky Way from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory turned into a musical piece after they matched the wavelengths of light to wavelengths of sound in order to show our home galaxy in a whole different light — namely a musical one.

Also, make holiday hosting a breeze with Wildgrain!

Right: Why America’s 'Great Rip-Off' Hurts Everyone Karol Markowicz, New York Post

Right: The Pro-Hamas Crowd's Ignorance of History, Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness.

Right: More Nails in the Coffin of Biden's Censorship Regime, James Bovard, New York Post

Left: Biden's Struggle Among Latino Voters Is Real Mike Madrid, Los Angeles Times


Santos Expelled, Red Sea Attack, Volcano in Indonesia

US: GOP tensions run high after House vote to expel George Santos (Axios)

US: Speaker Johnson says he believes GOP has the votes for Biden impeachment inquiry (CNN)

US: Swing-state Muslim leaders launch campaign to ‘abandon’ Biden in 2024 (POLITICO)

US: DeSantis loses another super PAC official, the second in the last 2 weeks to leave his presidential campaign (FOX News)

World: Three US commercial vessels in Red Sea reportedly attacked by Yemen drones (The Guardian)

World: Israel-Gaza war: Israeli forces pushing into south Gaza (BBC)

World: Towns blanketed with ash as Indonesia’s Marapi vocano erupts (CNN)


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DeSantis v. Newsom

Last Thursday evening, GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) attended an often contentious debate with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) Thursday night, moderated by Fox News (Right bias) host Sean Hannity.

Reporting from the Right: DeSantis-Newsom debate leads to online firestorm as congressman calls Cali 'a warning for the nation' (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Sparks flew behind the scenes at the Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom debate (NBC News)

From The Flag: Billed as “The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate,” the prime-time program addressed topics like tax policy, education, immigration, President Joe Biden, abortion, and China. Towards the end, Hannity said the debate would extend from 90 minutes to two hours, but upon returning from a commercial break, he said the governors couldn’t stick around. Here’s what both sides are saying.


Mixed: Praise and Criticism for DeSantis and Newsom

  • This was a clear and resounding win for DeSantis who has improved on his stage presence and was more effective in his arguments.

  • DeSantis should have pulled his moves from Trump’s playbook like Newsom has, which is why Newsom has faired better politically.

  • DeSantis had a good night with a stronger performance against Newsom who was facing a tough crowd.

Top takeaways, real winner of DeSantis, Newsom debate, Liz Peek, FOX News: “Against all expectations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis absolutely destroyed California’s Gavin Newsom in Thursday night’s Red State-Blue State debate moderated by Sean Hannity on Fox News. Yes, the governor of Florida had a stronger hand – his state has seen a massive inflow of residents attracted to the better quality of life offered by the Sunshine State, while people have been fleeing California. On issue after issue raised by Hannity, DeSantis could roll out statistics that prove the success of the conservative common-sense policies he has implemented in Florida. But the surprise was in his strong and persuasive presentation. DeSantis is generally perceived to be a wooden speaker and campaigner; maybe his run for president has made him more effective. Newsom, on the other hand, is reputed to be the Democrat’s smooth-talking, politically clever president-in-waiting, the likely successor to Joe Biden should the president drop out of the 2024 race.”

Gavin Newsom Is Running The Campaign Ron DeSantis Should Have Run, Aaron Decorte, The Federalist: “There is no escaping that Trump’s communication style and effectiveness have altered what we expect from our candidates. … Trump’s communication style is effective because anyone can understand his point, and that makes him very hard to follow for professional politicians, even good ones like DeSantis. … What DeSantis failed to realize is that his opportunity wasn’t to declare and run the standard playbook to try to become the nominee; he needed to take a sober look at the landscape he was wading into. …. The person who didn’t make that mistake is Gavin Newsom. … If DeSantis could be granted a do-over, he would never have announced. Instead, he would have pulled a Newsom — be visible, but deferential to the party’s (unofficial) head and hang back. Waiting. Watching. Ready to jump in if need be or even better, be asked to jump in. Imagine the power DeSantis would have today if he had never declared, raised money, advertised, or debated.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Four takeaways from DeSantis-Newsom debate: 'Lion’s den' Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner


Not a Great Night for DeSantis

  • “For Gavin Newsom, the TV exposure had a clear logic. But for the Florida governor, all that was apparent was his psychic need.”

  • Even with the odds stacked in DeSantis’s favor, he was unable to accomplish anything meaningful in the debate.

  • “It was billed as the ‘Red State vs. Blue State Debate’ by moderator Sean Hannity, but DeSantis was thoroughly trounced by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.”

Ron DeSantis’s Mad-Bull Strategy, David Frum, The Atlantic: “For the Democrat Newsom, the angle is pretty straightforward. He’s a presidential aspirant trying to elbow his way past a serving vice president to establish himself as his party’s heir apparent to the 81-year-old incumbent. Newsom accepted the Fox invitation with one simple plan: to create video moments on unfriendly ground that would cause loyal Democrats to think, We want this guy to fight for us. … For Fox News, the angle is obvious too. People might watch, which is good for business. … The mystery pertained to the third participant, DeSantis. What did he have to gain? The Florida governor is in the final stages of a faltering presidential run. … Why would DeSantis waste time and energy squabbling on TV with someone who is not running for anything this cycle? DeSantis’s contest is here and now, against Trump and Haley, not Newsom. If DeSantis loses against Trump, whom he once tied in Republican polls and whom he was earlier out-fundraising, there will be no political future for him.”

Fox News Helped Ron DeSantis As Much As It Could in His Debate With Gavin Newsom. It Wasn’t Enough., Alexander Sammon, Slate: ”Newsom is not running for higher office, for one thing, while the staging of the event on Fox News, presided over by the comically immoderate Hannity, meant that the playing field would be slanted cartoonishly against him. On the other hand, it was easy to understand why DeSantis’ handlers, and perhaps some Fox News executives, thought the DeSantis-Newsom debate should have been winnable for the Florida governor. Sure, he has proved horribly overmatched sharing the debate stage with the middling field of Republican presidential aspirants, being pressed ever so slightly on his record and asked to differentiate himself politically. Peel away the multipronged opposition, tuck in some softball questioning relieve him of the live audience: Surely DeSantis would be better able to flex some muscle. But after 90 minutes of sort of answering Hannity’s prompts, the debate managed to raise only two great queries: Why would Ron DeSantis agree to this? And shouldn’t he have looked taller than that sitting on Sean Hannity’s shoulders?

One more opinion piece from the Left: DeSantis’ Campaign May Have Flunked Its Final Test After Newsom Debate Jack Lahut, Daily Beast


Declining Approval

As of November, both governors were facing declining job approval ratings in their respective states.

Earlier in the year, a majority of Florida voters approved of Governor DeSantis’s job, but more recent polling in November indicates voters are evenly split on his job approval rating. This shows a drop of roughly 4% in four months for DeSantis (POLITICO).

Governor Newsom has also faced lower voter support, with a Berkeley IGS poll finding his approval rating at an all-time low. The poll showed that Newsom’s approval rating in October was 44%, an 11-point drop from his 55% approval rating in February. Newsom’s previous low was 46%, which he hit in January 2021 (SF Gate).

Did this debate help or hurt DeSantis's 2024 presidential election bid?

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Great Smog of London, Too Many Talkers, Infinite Islands

A police motorcycle escort to guide the bus driver through the smog.

On This Day in 1952: Heavy smog begins to hover over London, England. It persists for five days, leading to the deaths of at least 4,000 people.

Today I learned Japan recounted its islands and found 7,000 it didn't know it had. There are now officially 14,125 islands in Japanese territory.

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