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In today’s edition:

You’ve got options for 2024! Kinda!

We’ve run quite a few critiques of a plan by political group No Labels to mount a third-party run in 2024. To be fair, third parties typically give even Bebe Rexha a run for her money when it comes to how few people clamor for a ticket. And besides, conventional wisdom says a third-party campaign in 2024 would almost exclusively peel off Democrats.

But columnist Marc Thiessen says that doesn’t have to be the case. He writes that plenty of Republicans would vote for a third-party ticket — if they see themselves represented on it.

That means No Labels can’t run just would-be Democrats or even a Republican Lite. Marc says that to succeed, the ticket would need a properly red, antiabortion GOPer in at least the VP slot.

He writes that 59 percent of voters would consider other options if faced with a rematch of Joe Biden and Donald Trump; those great many people deserve “the first serious, credible third-party ticket in modern times.”

Speaking of options, humor columnist Alexandra Petri writes that the conspiracists of the world are rejoicing over Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — at last, the chance to support an unhinged candidate who’s not a Republican!

As one of her (made-up) interviewees put it, “Now, finally, there’s somebody who believes in just the creepy things I do believe and not additional creepy things I don’t believe.”

Columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that whoever ends up president, Trump had better hope it’s … not Trump. “To protect himself from prosecution and possible federal incarceration,” she says, “the last thing he should want is to win the presidency.”

The man clearly wants a pardon, Jennifer says, and he’s the one person who for sure can’t provide it for himself.

Third party not looking so bad now, huh?

Chaser: If a few Republicans in Congress had their way, we wouldn’t need to wait at all for a new president. Columnist Dana Milbank reports on the beginning of Biden’s impeachment in the House — and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) calling colleague Lauren Boebert (Colo.) a “little b----.”

Joe Biden, family man

Contributing columnist Jim Geraghty is a dad, so he knows what it’s like to want to protect your kid and think the best of them. In other words, he gets Biden.

Alas, Jim is not president, and Biden is, and Jim worries that certain fatherly instincts might get in the way of good governance. Biden sticking up for his son Hunter amid prosecution against him, Jim says, illustrates the president’s “impenetrable wall of denial.”

Jim writes: “At some point, Biden needed to tell his family members, ‘You have to stop doing that. It is bad for you, bad for me and bad for the country’ — both to protect his own reputation and simply because it was wrong. It seems Biden has never been able to bring himself to do that.”

Hunter did, however, get a dose of tough love from the justice system in the form of his guilty pleas for misdemeanor tax charges. But what about the felony gun charge that went away?

Columnist Jason Willick writes that if Hunter has a guardian angel somewhere in the federal government, it’s not Attorney General Merrick Garland or even his dad. It’s Justice Clarence Thomas.

Wait, what? Don’t worry; Jason explains.

Thomas’s majority opinion in a recent gun case, Jason writes, expanded Second Amendment protections and “created uncertainty about the constitutionality of the felony gun charge” in question. “That might well have been what deterred prosecutors from seeking a conviction.”

Chaser: Justice Thomas! While we’ve got you — how would you feel about opening up the court to official sponsorships? Alexandra Petri thinks it’d be a great idea!

From contributing columnist Rick Reilly’s profile on the world’s most frequent flier. The man took 373 flights in 2019 alone. He once flew 12 days straight without sleeping on the ground. And he’s always in Seat 1B.

Rick has even more bonkers statistics on Tom Stuker’s trips. Stuker shares some of the wildest anecdotes from his time in the friendly skies, too.

And obviously such a seasoned traveler is going to have developed some tips over the light-years. Stuker shares four, each of which I plan to implement when I fly in a few weeks — and hit United Premier Silver, thank you very much.

Less politics

So is Elon Musk really going to face Mark Zuckerberg in a cage match? Well, maybe — but his supposedly autonomous cars certainly aren’t going to do it for him; they can’t even handle themselves.

The Editorial Board writes that even though deaths and accidents associated with Tesla’s Autopilot feature are higher than previously reported, the company still “hasn’t taken its foot off the gas.” Plus, it’s still marketing Autopilot as totally hands-off, when that just can’t be the case.

Musk is probably right that driverless cars will eventually be safer; his cars just aren’t there yet.

Smartest, fastest

Summer Friday!

To celebrate the official coming of summer (and the weekend), I’ve got a little audio extra for you today. I sneaked a few minutes with columnist Catherine Rampell for a behind-the-scenes on how she got that staggering new IRS data — and how she feels about Florida beaches. Listen here:

Now, it’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s … The Bye-Ku.

Would you like a drink?

I hope you brought from home then,

Economy Plus!

Plus! A Friday bye-ku (Fri-ku!) from reader Alex P.:

Escape the red tape:

File your disclosure reports


Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. Have a great weekend!

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