Archive of Articles for September, 2013

Spinning Merrily Along With RNC PR BS

[ Posted Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 – 15:35 UTC ]

This entire article is going to deal with nothing but spin. In fact, it's going to get so downright spinny that you may wish to haul that old turntable out of your closet, place it on your chair, and then sit right down on it -- so you'll be able to spin right along with the twisted logic I'm about to espouse. Just a friendly warning.

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Summers Out

[ Posted Monday, September 16th, 2013 – 17:55 UTC ]

This isn't a changing-of-the-seasons article, it is in fact an article marking the withdrawal of Larry Summers for nomination to the head job at the Federal Reserve. I suppose I could have made it both, but then I would have had to title it "Summer's Out: Summers Out" which somehow just seems even more confusing. All kidding aside, though; liberals, lefties, progressives, and populists alike are heaving a giant sigh of relief at this news. Larry Summers has now realized he very well could lose a Senate confirmation vote and so he decided instead to take his name out of consideration for the appointment.

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Friday Talking Points [273] -- Cold War Nostalgia

[ Posted Friday, September 13th, 2013 – 16:30 UTC ]

Reading Putin's piece took me back to the halcyon days of the Cold War, but it seems most other people commenting on it either have shorter memories or are just too young to remember what I'm talking about.

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Total Recall

[ Posted Thursday, September 12th, 2013 – 17:06 UTC ]

Beyond cute phraseology, though, the Colorado recall shows once again why many Democratic politicians consider gun control legislation so politically dangerous. Back in the 1990s, gun control (the assault weapons ban in particular) proved to be a motivating factor in many Democratic politicians' defeat at the polls. The pro-gun side is well-organized, well-funded, and fervent in its beliefs. The anti-gun side, not so much (even with Bloomberg's new organization). For many voters, guns are a litmus test in voting. But only really on the pro side -- for antis, it may be an important consideration, but it is rarely a deal-breaker when it comes time to vote.

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Diplomatic Solution Fails (In GOP)

[ Posted Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 – 14:40 UTC ]

Speaker of the House John Boehner today had to postpone a vote on the budget. He had thought he had a bill which could appease both sides of his own party's caucus but it seems his diplomatic solution to the crisis was not acceptable enough to pass with just Republican votes. Boehner has proven, once again, that herding the cats of the GOP is currently nearly impossible, given the gaping split between the Tea Party hardliners and the saner Republicans who still care about the possibility of winning future elections. Boehner's diplomatic compromise was insufficiently catastrophic for the Tea Party, and rather than watching it go down in flames on the House floor, Boehner decided to suffer the lesser embarrassment of "delaying" the vote.

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Obama's Balancing Act

[ Posted Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 – 18:59 UTC ]

The speech Obama just gave was a balancing act in several respects. I heard post-speech analysis by David Brooks on PBS, and he came up with an excellent way to put the problem Obama faced -- a "Goldilocks moment." How much of an airstrike would be "too much" and how much would be "too little," in other words. The other big balancing act was between calling for military action and pursuing the diplomatic solution.

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A Syrian Solution On The Horizon?

[ Posted Monday, September 9th, 2013 – 16:36 UTC ]

Instead of a competition in the arena of press relations, however, a possible solution to the Syrian crisis appeared (almost mirage-like) on the horizon. Details are scant as of this writing, but Syria seems to be looking favorably towards a Russian proposal that they turn over all of their chemical weapons stores to international monitors who would then destroy them -- putting all chemical weapons completely out of reach of both sides in the conflict forevermore.

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Friday Talking Points [272] -- Potholes On The Moral High Road

[ Posted Friday, September 6th, 2013 – 16:32 UTC ]

Due to the fact that Congress is still on vacation and also due to the fact that it has largely been a one-subject week in the political world, we are going to pre-empt our regular talking points for a discussion of where the country seems to be on the question of attacking Syria. But first, let's wrap up the week and hand out our awards, as usual.

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Obama Poll Watch -- August, 2013

[ Posted Thursday, September 5th, 2013 – 16:00 UTC ]

For President Obama, August is the cruelest month. Every year, without fail, Obama slumps in the polls in the dog days of summer. This year was no different. That's the bad news, for Obama fans. The worse news is that there isn't a whole lot on the immediate horizon which could give Obama any sort of bump upwards in his polling numbers. But before we get to the future, let's take a look at the past month.

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Beyond Left And Right On Syria

[ Posted Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 – 15:11 UTC ]

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to approve a resolution to attack Syria on a vote of 10-7, with one member merely voting "present." But the breakdown of the voting reveals that this was in no way a party-line vote. Which, of course, complicates the issue for a media much more comfortable with a "horse race" mentality towards all politics ("Dems are up! GOP down! Film at eleven!"). For once, some complexities have emerged which confound the knee-jerk pigeonholing so regularly practiced by news producers. But maybe that's all to the good. Maybe, in fact, that's why President Obama went to Congress in the first place.

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