Archive of Articles for May, 2013

Friday Talking Points [258] -- Scandalpalooza!

[ Posted Friday, May 17th, 2013 – 16:31 UTC ]

Things have gotten so bad in Washington that both pundits and Republicans are beginning to use the "N-word" to describe the president. No, no... not that N-word! Instead, Obama is now actively being compared to Nixon. This comparison is patently...

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Weathering The Storms

[ Posted Thursday, May 16th, 2013 – 17:06 UTC ]

There are several metaphors to describe the week President Obama is having. Firefighting. Damage control. Playing defense. Today, however, I went with "weathering the storms" because of the unfortunate optics of Obama giving an outdoor press conference today under an umbrella, as the skies dripped down. Into each president's life some rain must fall, in other words.

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Is It Time For Holder To Go?

[ Posted Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 – 16:05 UTC ]

Is it time for Attorney General Eric Holder to (as is frequently said in politics) "spend some more time with his family"?

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Good News On The Deficit

[ Posted Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 – 17:17 UTC ]

Looks like I spoke too soon. Last Thursday, I posted an article about the expected good news on the federal budget deficit for 2013. Today, the actual numbers were released. They are even better than expected.

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The IRS Scandal, and Hoover's Brutalist Legacy

[ Posted Monday, May 13th, 2013 – 17:29 UTC ]

The scandal currently unfolding at the Internal Revenue Service is actually being downplayed by some who feel that tax investigations into groups advocating an anti-tax attitude is more than justified on the face of it. Admittedly, all the facts are not yet in, but the scandal started when the IRS itself actually publicly admitted wrongdoing. So while there's a question of who knew about it (and who should be fired), the fact that scandalous behavior was happening isn't really even in question. Because it was, indeed, scandalous behavior. Any time a federal agency decides to intimidate those in the political arena in any way, large or small, it should be seen as a scandal by everyone -- no matter your political leanings. Because we've seen what happens when this sort of thing is allowed and encouraged, and it isn't a pretty sight.

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Friday Talking Points [257] -- Wedgies For All!

[ Posted Friday, May 10th, 2013 – 16:25 UTC ]

Being a student of the political lexicon, I would like to propose a new definition for an old term -- a term we've all used since roughly the second grade. I refer, of course, to the "wedgie." For those who are astoundingly unaware of what this term literally means, I would refer you to your local second-grader (pick any boy age 7 or 8 and ask him... and after he rolls around the floor screaming with laughter for awhile, he'll explain and even demonstrate the "wedgie" for you, I'm sure). Ahem.

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Deficit Paradigm Shift Approaching

[ Posted Thursday, May 9th, 2013 – 16:04 UTC ]

The arguments over the federal budget deficit may be about to turn a corner, of sorts. Republicans have been expecting a gigantic budget fight to happen anywhere from now to the middle of the summer, forced by the deadline of the debt ceiling. This fight may not actually happen, though, and it's for a fairly stunning reason: earlier projections of when we would hit the debt ceiling are proving pessimistically wrong, and we may not actually hit it until October -- which is into next year, in budgeting terms (the federal fiscal year starts on the first of October). This could shift the entire paradigm of the political battle over the deficit and debt from one of pointing fingers of blame to one of scrambling to claim credit for policies that "are now working." Which will -- if it happens as now predicted -- make for an interesting change in the debate's dynamic, to say the least.

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A Forgotten Battle's Anniversary

[ Posted Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 – 16:18 UTC ]

No matter the definitions used, the United States of America has not been directly attacked by an enemy's military very often throughout its history. The biggest attack wasn't even on a state, since Hawai'i was only a territory at the time of Pearl Harbor. There's an even shorter list of times and places where American soil has been occupied by a foreign army. Roughly 200 years ago, the British held parts of the New England coastline in the War of 1812 and they burned down Washington, DC. Closer in time -- exactly 70 years ago this month -- American forces fought a mostly-forgotten battle to retake two of the Aleutian Islands from the Japanese. Starting on May 11, 1943 and lasting more than two weeks, the Battle of Attu Island was successfully fought on what is now the westernmost point of the United States. Though not often mentioned in the list of famous World War II battles in the Pacific, it was indeed an important strategic victory for America and deserves to be remembered.

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Democrats Shouldn't Get Hopes Up Too High Tonight

[ Posted Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 – 17:18 UTC ]

I tried to wait to write this until the election returns for South Carolina's special House election were in, but it looks like it's going to take awhile. Currently, only four percent of precincts are in, and the numbers have been bouncing wildly around, so it's too soon to tell what's going to happen in the race between Mark Sanford (R -- Appalachian Trail) and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister to Stephen Colbert.

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Obama Poll Watch -- April, 2013

[ Posted Monday, May 6th, 2013 – 15:00 UTC ]

Welcome back once again to our monthly examination of President Barack Obama's job approval polling numbers. In April, Obama's numbers returned to a normal level, after experiencing a very short post-election "honeymoon period" with the public which bounced his numbers up to a peak, and then bounced them right back down again. You can plainly see this effect in this month's chart:

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