Earlier this month on my podcast I spoke with Mark Spiegel about the upcoming 2024 election.
Many of my readers vehemently disagreed with his take on who would be running and what the outcome of the election would be, so I thought it would be a good idea to keep a discussion as we head into the back end of 2023.
I’ve opened this thread up to both free and paid subscribers for the purpose of fostering a dialogue.
Personally, here are my thoughts heading into 2024:
I can’t believe that Democrats would keep Joe Biden as their nominee. There seems to be no better way to give away the Presidency in 2024 than to run him. Running Kamala Harris is equally as terrible of an idea. I think if you’re the DNC you have to go “scorched Earth” on your candidates and start backing someone else immediately, or else you open the door for the GOP.
Trump is going to be a wild card. It’s an unprecedented situation with his looming criminal charges and I don’t know what lengths the powers that be will go to in order to keep him out of the race. My guess is DeSantis would be his potential backup, but personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Vivek or Chris Christie as his understudy, should the situation warrant.
I worry about mail-in ballots and don’t think it’s crazy to do so. While this is a GOP talking point, it’s really a non-partisan point I’m trying to make. I’m not some J6er marching on the Capitol, nor am I an election denier. But I do have what I believe to be reasonable concerns. I’ve always been okay with absentee voting but 2020 saw mail-in ballots in a fashion we’ve never seen before thanks to Covid-19. I think it’s only reasonable to worry that, when adopting such a different standard for the first time in election history, there could be blind spots for potential malfeasance in a way that there hasn’t been in the past. I’m interested to see how this is handled in 2024, specifically because I think election integrity is a bigger issue now than it’s ever been.
NBC has called a Trump/Biden election the rematch that no one wants to see:
Ironically, a return engagement looks increasingly likely at a time when the vast majority of Americans believe the country the two men led back-to-back is on the wrong track. More pointedly, in an NBC News survey released Sunday, 70 percent of respondents said Biden shouldn't run, and 60 percent said Trump shouldn't.To add to the sense of stagnancy, most polls show the longtime rivals within a few points of each other, suggesting there has not been a seismic political shift in the country since Biden won the 2020 electoral college on the strength of statistically narrow victories in several key states.
Ironically, a return engagement looks increasingly likely at a time when the vast majority of Americans believe the country the two men led back-to-back is on the wrong track. More pointedly, in an NBC News survey released Sunday, 70 percent of respondents said Biden shouldn't run, and 60 percent said Trump shouldn't.
To add to the sense of stagnancy, most polls show the longtime rivals within a few points of each other, suggesting there has not been a seismic political shift in the country since Biden won the 2020 electoral college on the strength of statistically narrow victories in several key states.
Do you agree?
Also, I’d love to know my readers thoughts on the following questions:
Will Joe Biden be the Democratic candidate in 2024 and, if not, who will replace him and why?
Will Donald Trump be the Republican candidate in 2024 and, if not, who will replace him and why?
Should Biden and Trump remain the candidates, who will their respective Vice President picks be, and why?
Can candidates like RFK and Vivek Ramaswamy wind up in government at all, even if they don’t win their party’s candidacy? (i.e. Do you see a spot for them in anyone else’s cabinet?)
How big of an issue do you think election integrity will be this year compared to years past?
Leave your thoughts below.
They will run biden. He is Caligulas horse. as for election integrity it will be about as secure as 00' 04' 20'.
Mark Spiegel blocked me on twitter months back for saying FDR, LBJ, Nixon, Biden and Clinton were more immoral than Trump. Crazy to me because I respect him lots and like hearing what he has to say. His takes on trump are so emotionally based you can hear it LOL. What does a highly successful and badass hedge fund manager from New York not like about Trump that myself ,a 24 y/o middle class broke neanderthal from Texas absolutely loves??
Also Mr. Irons with all due respect your positive take on Chris Christie is your worst all time take by 100x. I prefer biden over christie, that fat loser from NY
5. Unless we return to pre-2020 election rules, (for all the reasons you mentioned) I will never believe the results of a nationwide election again.
"I can’t believe that Democrats would keep Joe Biden as their nominee."
You're implying that we have fair elections; this isn't an objectively known fact by anyone in the citizenry. As long as the plebs don't rise up it doesn't matter if Biden is a walking corpse, your vote may literally not matter anyway.
Joe Biden will win, or whoever the DNC puts in his place. Probably Joe Biden. The US is a banana republic at this point, whatever the Democrats want, happens.
The USA today is very much like the Soviet Union was before the arrival of Gorbatschow. The "leader" is an old, demented man (remember premieres Tschernyenko and Andropov?), the actual political power is run by the central comittee of the communist party, the economy is a mess and people are demoralized.
The DNC has a massive war chest, the support of big tech and many influential gov agencies. War is good for the economy and there is no gov fiscal accountability. These are very hard conditions for Trump to win under. If trump wins he will have a difficult time executing. 1/3 of the country will get full blown TDS and block his every move. Trump does represent an historic opportunity to halt the march of the destructive forces of authoritarian socialism. If he has a Uber smart VP such as Vivek, he might be able to get stuff done. I’m shocked that Christie would be mentioned as a VP candidate. He is a dyed in the wool neocon and swamp creature. Alot of problems could be solved by diverting money from a pointless war, and misguided renewable energy policies m, to a wide range of domestic issues including infrastructure, reshoring industry, health care and law and order. The GOP has to get their shit together. There is a real problem with old guard neocons like Lindsey graham getting in the way of Matt Gaetz and others who want war bucks put to better use and single issue spending bills to restrict pork barrelling. Bonus answer: if not GOP I would hope for JFK jr to win the nomination and clean up the democratic socialist party.
We are literally playing by banana republic rules, for anyone that’s not a sleep.
Who’s going to run? Who’s to win?
With all due respect, those are sheeple questions, But I’ll entertain it.
RFK jr and the 🍊man will blocked and stop, By whatever the necessary.
No matter who wins, the uniparty will be the victorious. Which means everyone else Will be one step closer to living in there pods, and eating there 🐛
Whoever the men who control the money want will be in office. It is presidential selection, not election. All that matters is who controls the money.
Chris Christie? LOLOLOLOLO!!!!
If Oil is $100 a barrel and SPR is already drained, Trump will win in a landslide (from jail). Strange times indeed.
I can’t make a prediction (rare for me since I love predicting things!). I strongly support RFK and am even a small part of his campaign efforts, but I’m enough of a realist to know that he will probably be unable to overcome the vitriol being spewn his way. I do think his presence makes the race far more interesting, as does Ramaswamy’s. But it does break my heart to see the way RFK’s honor is being destroyed in the press the way Gabbard’s was in 2020. And I’m still afraid that somehow they will shoehorn Gavin Newsom in somewhere despite his dismal record... hope that one turns out to be a non-starter.
The entire country seems to be forced into a funnel, at the narrow end of which is the meat grinder called Election ‘24. No matter what happens, half the country won’t accept the result. That mere fact is terrifying. I know a lot of Democrats and Republicans, and where both agree is that the “other” is going to destroy democracy. How does such a situation of distrust ever become untangled? Mostly likely by force of one kind or another...
So I suppose I am merely echoing everyone here in adding that I too feel a tremendous mood of dread when contemplating another Biden/Trump election. When Apollo Creed told Rocky “there ain’t gonna be no rematch,” he should have been referring to the 2020 election. I don’t want to go on that ride again! 🤮
I’ve read several comments, and only Minuteman seems to have the 40,000 foot view. Bottom line, banks control governments and governments control people. US is not a democracy, which is mob rule, but a democratic Republic. The Trump trials are key, as exposing the depth and breadth of government and corporate corruption will be laid bare. Maybe then more will have the scales fall off their eyes and see our true condition. America’s government was founded upon the Bible, with our three branches right out of Isaiah 33:22... God is our judge (judicial), our lawgiver (congress) and our king (executive), stating “He will save us”. We are in a time of war, real war, but different than any other, and as we did at our birthing war with England and our internal war with our own states, we must humble ourselves and cry out to the God of our foundation. In the midst of an absolute stalemate in drafting our constitution, Benjamin Franklin challenged his compatriots to begin all further proceedings with prayer, reminding the group that this was the practice while we warred with the Crown, and how could we, who had called to God in our distress, be deaf and blind to Him to haughtily think we could create a government of equal justice under the law without His guidance. Take a minute, or ten, or the whole day, and seriously seek Him to intervene on our behalf. God has both ears and eyes. He will hear your prayers and see your humility. Let’s “taste and see that God is good”.
1. Biden is a liability now, and the puppet masters know it. He will be removed via the 25th Amendment. Michelle (Michael) Obama will be the chosen replacement. Why? Because the Deep State "misbelieves" that the country loves her/him.
2. DJT is still Commander In Chief. He will be the Republican candidate in 2024.
3. I would assume Cameltoe Harris and wouldn't it be nice to see DJT align with RFK, Jr. ? Btw, RFK, Jr. is the only Presidential candidate EVER to be denied Secret Service protection. How fk up is that?
4. Not if the Lefty Moonbats have their way.
5. 2024 will be a fair and honest election, after the 2020 steal is divulged during the Trump "Trial of The Century" ie Can you say 2000 Mules? Evidence is overwhelming FJB and the deep state puppet masters We The People Are Pissed Off. Justice is coming, Benito Mussolini style!!
The election apparatus is the swing states is fixed. PA, where I live, is under the control of the Democrats and they will simply count “Mail in ballot” votes (which are printed up just for this purpose) until the Democrat candidate wins. Trump already won here here in 2020, until the phony ballot laden USPS trucks from New York pulled into Scranton, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Being “concerned” about mail in ballots doesn’t even begin to cover the election fraud that will repeat itself since the law enforcement apparatus (DAs) are corrupted. Nothing will stop them in PA. Game over. So to answer the questions, the Democrat candidate will win, although no one will believe or trust the outcome, and then question is what happens then. If Trump is not a candidate, a majority of the electorate will be disenfranchised. Vivek or Christie not a substitute. Just look at the polls, and guaranteed they are suppressing then Trump numbers. Trump - it’s not the man it’s what he stands for. And rewatch Stone’s JFK with fresh eyes, I just did and can’t believe how Stone had this all laid out to see and understand back in 1992. I admit I thought it was crazy talk back then. Not anymore.
Biden wins with 100 million votes. Or at least who ever is playing Biden that week. It's not "election denialism" that you should worry about, it's denying election fraud, even denying the possibility of election fraud, that is the problem.
Trump has too many suits and if he goes to a DC jury he is toast. Probably going to happen.
Democrats will rig the dozen counties they need and the courts / legislatures will do nothing and if they do it will not meet inauguration deadline.
Therefore a Dem will win no matter what. Doesn't matter who runs on Rep. side.
Americas only hope is to shatter into about 6 confederacies, repudiate the debt, and start over. This will not happen until we get total collapse.
First of all Chris Christie is out of his mind, he wants to expand our aid to Ukraine. Let him send HIS kids to fight. I didn't vote for ANY of this Ukraine bullshit and it needs to END immediately in this Marine Corps Veterans opinion. Next, Dems will stick with Biden the straw-man as he's clearly not making any decisions himself so what's the difference? Can Trump beat him? Sure! If we had fair elections that weren't so clearly manipulated by mail in ballots. Look what is happening in the city of Bridgeport CT. Mail in ballot fraud, arrests are being made as I type this. Now, expand it to a national stage - you think this is fair? A coincidence that ALL the mail in ballots are for Democrats? Wake up America. 30 short years ago mail in ballots were for expats living abroad who cared enough to mail them in, and members of the military serving overseas - THAT'S IT !!! Now? It's a full blown shit-storm.
Watch Tuckers interview with Ken Paxton and you will be up to date on the fraud.
It's interesting the discord between what the majority of Americans agree on and how they are represented so divisively politically. That is, when issues are polled individually, outside the context of political parties, most Americans are in some agreement on things like SS, Medicare, abortion, foreign policy, climate change and such--I mean most Americans are still reasonable people but are forced to choose from two whacked out parties. If there's a sensible centrist third party candidate that's how I'm leaning.
The Chris Christie comment has me rethinking my subscription. I'm actually paying an author to suggest Chris Christie as President of the United States. There might be a better use for my investment dollars.
"I worry about mail-in ballots and don’t think it’s crazy to do so." All you need to do is look at the number of ballots rejected due to signature matches for things like Newsom's recall election vs the number of ballots rejected in the 2020 election.
Sending unsolicited mail in ballots as was done for the 2020 election was a bad idea and needs to stop. No problem with mail in ballots, so long as they are requested by the individual. Easy to ask for a mail in ballot, just takes a phone call or email request. Potential for fraud with unsolicited mail in ballots is too great, and is the major reason some folk question the validity of the 2020 election. As for the RNC, if the candidate isn't Trump, then my preference is for Nikki Haley. Vivek is a hoot and entertaining, so would be fine as V.P. or maybe Attorney General. About time we had a non attorney as AG. As for the DNC, maybe Krysten Sinema. At least she is easier on the eye than the other morons.
I had high hopes for trump in 2016, however those hopes were crushed when he mad poor decision after poor decision. He still has no clue and I wonder if he is simply another 'plant' to keep us busy while Rome burns, or is he simply playing 1D chess?
I vote for God, Guns, Groceries & Gold with Strategic Relocation as their VP.
Donald Trump (with Vivek), and RFK Jr (possibly with Tulsi) should BOTH run, but announced early as 3rd AND 4th parties. Only then will we get the balanced opposition to the Uniparty needed.
QTR - Sorry but I am going to answer your question with some questions: Does it really matter who wins in 2024? Does our vote really matter with election vote fraud everywhere? Will one person (the President) be able to change the deep state (i.e. alphabet agencies) and clean up the swamp?
Nothing is going to change. The entire presidential election cycle is a circus and as PT Barnum says...a sucker is born every minute!
I trust nothing when it comes to politics. The mail in ballots are a horrible idea - it should be in person - it should be your civic duty. I trust nothing our government tells us - it's all corrupt.
In my opinion Biden or whoever is controlling the strings "hates" America. With the millions of illegals and foreign policies - he has done everything in his power to make America a worse place to live in.
Trump - I really liked his foreign policies. It may have been the most peaceful 4 years we have had in decades. He's still an ass and cannot work with anyone else, so his domestic polices are dead on arrival. Let him handle foreign policies and let his VP handle domestic (that won't happen due to his personality).
Not a fan of the other candidates - they are all politicians and are all corrupt. We need someone that can run as an American - not GOP or DEM. That's where Trump was attractive to me. If a candidate came in and said "Give me 4 years to unite this country, stop the craziness and fix the corruption OR after 4 years, the United States should divide into 2-4 separate countries. We will run with have a budget surplus day 1, The fed will no longer able to add to M2 supply." Granted there would be pain as GDP would come to a stop - but this would allow the private sector to step in where the government has been propping it up with
We are on the verge of economic disaster and WW3. We need a grown up in Washington - but it is impossible with system we have in place.
Unfortunately it will be Trump versus Biden. When Biden wins again - i will start selling my possessions and become very liquid as we move closer to a socialism society and if it gets bad enough, I'll take my kid and move to a tropical island and just leave crazy town.
Or worse - Gavin Newsome steps in.
If the voting rules are the same In Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia as they were in 2020 then those states will go for the Democrats in a mass drop of mail in ballots just like 2020. Remember the definition of insanity, Republicans?
Joe Biden should not run but the only person I think he can beat is Trump. Which if I had a choice nether of these people would be anywhere near the office.
SAD times but if I had to guess. We get both losers and it’s a dog fight just like last time.
On mail in ballots and integrity. Change the rules and the system in the lead up to a election. Don’t be a man baby after it’s over. You must be a human and accept losing, even to a old barely alive dude.
RFK has a chance as a third ticket. Voters from all parties are liking him. There may be more power in that than expected. However his recent comment that he will stop fracking due to plastic pollution is not to be ignored. Mail in voting ( different from absentee) is designed to steal elections. Paper only , in person voting the only way to bring back faith in the process. Won’t ever happen under dem control. I Like Vivek, but he probably won’t get the top spot. Haven’t seen much chatter on DeSantis? If he’s really controlled by the deep state/uniparty he has a good chance. Not sure I believe the take down bs though. Really surprised to see Christi’s name mentioned- everyone here has it right - the guy is a war mongering neo con & a fake. A mouthpiece for the TDS people. Thinking about Trump as the nominee makes be tired, but he’s the best disrupter out there ( Vivek a close second). And he accomplished a lot, especially considering all the bad actors working against him. He was too naive in 2016 should be more savvy on who he surrounds himself with this time.
An NBC news survey? Seriously?
All I know is that the every Democrat administration is like a Jurassic Park movie: it starts with oooh, and aaah, and amazement, but then there's screaming and death.
Why in the world would you support Chris Christie that guy is war mongler. Ukraine is a lost cause..... Do not support any candidate that is bought by arms companies. The US needs to withdraw from most of the world and focus on themselves. 30 million people have been killed by the US since WW2 for no good reason at all.
No wonder QTR hasn't commented yet on this thread!! Who would want to jump into the fray of rigged elections, secessionists, Chris Christie, UFOs and all the conspiracy theories that have been discussed so far............Or will he????????????
20 million votes from the 5 largest cities in the country controlled by the left. Ai supercomputers and advanced software driving hi speed variable data digital presses. "He who counts the votes wins". So does it matter who runs??
I also want to point out that the televised trials from Trump's indictments will be the TV event of the year. Everyone that hates Trump will watch these trials. All of the MAGA supporters will also watch. Trump will be able to present evidence and witnesses as to irrefutable proof of election fraud. He will NOT be convicted from all these politically motivated hit jobs against him.
2. Probably. We will see how many primary voters will hold his feet to the fire for his handling of Covid and his lack of apologizing for it.
3. Hell no. Biden will keep Harris (who else could they have? Newsom as VP?). Trump will take a suck up VP, maybe Haley? Unless you have a situation where Trump picks someone to take over if he steps down. Not sure how many will put up with his BS aside from Vivek, maybe.
4. Gov't wants RFK and Vivek no where near the levers of power. Vivek as a long shot to take down Trump in the primary is possible, but definitely not probable.
5. Not sure they can pull the same trick twice now that Covid is winding down. But if it is rampant, then no elections matter anymore at the federal level, and it's all a circus or pony show anyway.
Biden will be removed via the 25th amendment, due to his mental state or lack thereof. Michelle Obama will be the democrats choice in 2024.
As far as cheating and fraud in the upcoming election, it is my belief that we will be using paper ballots to vote vs dominion voting machines. This will eliminate a lot of fraud. Of course the d's will do everything in their power to bring back mail in voting and drop boxes. Its what they do.
Trump will win the 2024 election in a landslide. All these treasonous politicians will be convicted for treason by military tribunals. We will get our country back and return to a constitutional government. Term limits will become the law.
1) Michelle Obama. Only chance they have, and a perfect way to get Obama/Jarrett back in WH.
2) Likely he will, because he still parrots the pharma narrative, has financial ties to J&J and Gilead, took Pharma money to finance his inauguration, and has proven himself to do exactly what his masters ask of him. (will provide links to all my claims if anyone wants me to back them up)
3) no answer
4) RFK can't win, the DNC won't allow him to general, primaries are merely suggestions, as both parties can, will, and do, change their rules on the fly if needed (see Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders). And Vivek is a Republican Obama, a complete grifter with Hope and Change empty rhetoric, who has ties to biotech (the same industry trying to control the world and push deadly injections), he supported lockdowns, and is as trustworthy as a used car salesman with a heroin addiction.
5) There has been zero election integrity for presidential elections since 2000 at minimum. 'Selected, not elected' exists as a saying for a reason. Nobody gets there (including Trump), unless the real bosses want that person there.
And to close, none of these demons are talking about anything of the past three yrs (except when Trump still brags about saving the world and RFk who can't win), so not a single one of them is fit for anything but the gallows. They aren't talking about it because they all will do exactly what Trump did in 2020 when ordered to do so, and whoever it is, will be ordered to do so.
Trump will run, from jail, but be disallowed even though he wins (landslide) and Chris Christie will then lose a squeaker to Camilla Harris after 4 months of Election Day by 137 total votes in Delaware, the deciding state.
1. I think the DNC is holding on Biden '24 for now because they don't want to open up to debates and have RFK jr speaking to the democrat voters on national TV. They'll likely hold out until primary season is about to begin and then Biden will said to have had a medical emergency and he won't run for reelection. That'll lead to gruesome Newsom. This also dovetails into the fact that DNC doesn't want to run fair, democratic elections even for their own candidate selection.
4. I think Trump really would like to run more from the center (he definitely isn't a libertarian on entitlements), but Democrat politicians (and legacy media) are just too deranged to give him any words that could be construed as support. But it seems democrat voters are waking up to the issues that Trump has spoken about (immigration, crime, economy), as echoed by RFK jr. So I think RFK jr could really join Trump.
JB can kiss my hairyballoonknot.
Hope Trump can win again
It is impossible to say with certainty who will be the nominee of either party at this point.
I think the real power in the Dem party is starting to question Biden’s ability to win. Therefore a Newsom run seems like the highest probability.
Unless the GOP field is narrowed to two or three, Trump is the nominee again.
At this point, Trump beats Biden, but probably loses to Newsom, unless there is a genuine 3rd party effort which gives Trump the advantage.
If Trump happens to win in 2024, it will be okay again to question the outcome of the election.
Should Nikki Haley and/or Ron DeSantis lose and have the interest, Haley should be appointed Education Secretary (for her strong ideas during the most recent debate) and DeSantis as Budget Director (for bringing Florida's state budget into line).
My take on outcome. GOP splits but Trump takes nomination. DNC cowards out and puts BIden back. But, hedges with a replacement for Kamala, likely Newsom
Third party candidate(s) emerge with strong backing.
NO ONE wins a majority of Electoral votes. Election goes the GOP House. They pick the strong third party in a tough debate/vote.
Biden just announced, he is running again. He will win with another all-time high number of voters voting for him (fraud, obviously)
Here for the comments.
My youngest will be 18 this year and able to vote. I’ll check back .. 2024 is a year away!!!
Thanks for opening the discussion. (🤘Texas)
I’m thinking in some respects that there may not be an election. One can see the seeds of another Covid like attempt at lock down in order to stray from the traditional mail in /absentee ballot process. The 2020 scenario was very effective. Couple that with the automatic voter registration laws that were recently implemented in Pennsylvania as well as over twenty other states the potential for loop holes too turn into chasms is all but guaranteed.
I also think that a push to lock down society will meet with severe resistance from citizens on both sides of the aisle. Keyword is citizens, something that mail in balloting and automatic voter registration will allow to be circumvented.
This could in turn cause civil unrest directed against the very entity attempting to control the narrative being fed to both sides of a forced uniparty/bipartisan illusion. If the “powers” feel threatened they will lock down by force rather than by the fear of infection narrative so successfully portrayed four years prior.
That tactic would be Marshall law. It would also help contain a Biden crime syndicate narrative of corruption which is popular against the current administrations critics. No election, no risk of losing due to questioned integrity and authority.
Sadly once the Marshall Law genie is let out of the bottle, it will never agree to be bottled again.
When an administration requires fear to gain adherence and support for its ideologies it OSS tyranny, plain and simple.
I say it is going to be Newsom vs. Trump. Newsom wins. I hate the guy, but I don't like Trump either, so I don't see any winners in this crap sandwich.
1. Maybe, too soon to tell. Biden may end up non-functional. All options are still on the board including Harris, Newsom, and Michelle Obama. The one thing the DNC can't let happen is for RFK Jr. to gain any meaningful traction. He's more dangerous than even Bernie was in 2016 to the primary stakeholders.
2. Yes. Trump represents something that many, maybe even most Americans desire. He may be a less than ideal vessel, but he is the only available option. There's no name for it... yet, but anyone who feels it knows what it is. RFK Jr. represents the same thing, but he would have to survive the gauntlet that Bernie could not to be considered a realistic option. And if you think this means supporting anything that ends in -ism or -phobic, you're missing the point.
3. The only VP scenario that would have any relevance is if Kamala stepped down (presumably for a Senate seat) and Newsom was appointed VP before the election. Otherwise question 5 will be the far more relevant issue.
4. I don't see RFK Jr. or Ramaswamy as having the motivation to be "a part" of the Executive Branch. I think it would be great if the major candidates were included in some way, but that's not a realistic expectation.
5. This is going to be the real issue, far more so than ever before. Whatever your opinion of American elections, it's clear that the losing side will immediately and forcefully question election integrity. Ballot harvesters, Russian hackers, local operatives, voting machines, hanging chads, the Electoral College, the Censorship Industrial Complex, SkyNet, aliens (terrestrial), aliens (extra-terrestrial)... whatever. How bad does it get? Hard to say, but the list of options trends to the bad side. The economic situation could be a major player in this context. Hungry people do unexpected things.