Archive of Articles for August, 2014

Friday Talking Points [316] -- Dog Days

[ Posted Friday, August 15th, 2014 – 17:01 UTC ]

Welcome to the "Dog Days" of summer, at the height of the political Silly Season. This year, one dog did indeed have his day in August, as 7-year-old "Duke" just won a rather bizarre election to become mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota. The strangest thing (to us) was that the "12 people in the village each paid $1 to cast a vote." Um, didn't we make poll taxes illegal quite a while back? The job (and the election) are assumably only "ceremonial" (at least we hope so), but still "Dog Elected Mayor," as a headline, is right up there with "Man Bites Dog." As for Duke's mayoralty, well, it's a "Ruff!" job but someone's got to do it, we suppose. So to speak (or roll over, or shake... good boy!)

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Gregory Out, Todd In At Meet The Press

[ Posted Thursday, August 14th, 2014 – 17:21 UTC ]

Well, it looks like this time around, the rumors turned out to be true. David Gregory is leaving his hosting gig on Meet The Press, and will be replaced by Chuck Todd. Perhaps NBC has some sort of "only people with two first names can host" rule, or something. By this rule, it seems like Andrea Mitchell might have qualified, but Rachel Maddow would have had to have been named something like "Rachel Margaret" to really have had a shot at it.

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Obama Prepares To Walk The Immigration Tightrope

[ Posted Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 – 17:00 UTC ]

President Obama is about to walk a political tightrope, on immigration reform. We know this because the White House has been hinting for weeks that Obama will be making an announcement outlining a big policy change. Obama himself will be fulfilling a promise he made earlier this year -- that if Congress couldn't manage to act before the August break, then he would. This is going to be a risky action for Obama to take, for many reasons (hence the tightrope metaphor). How it all plays out is anyone's guess, at this point.

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How President Hillary Clinton Would Compare With President Obama

[ Posted Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 – 17:04 UTC ]

I realize that to call this column "premature" would indeed even be an understatement. But you'll have to forgive me, since it's one of those lazy summer days where all of Washington is off on vacation (President Obama is taking two weeks at the beach, and Congress is taking the entire freakin' month off, as usual). So it seems like a good time for some unadulterated speculation of the sheerest sort. And I'm not even going to get drawn in to all the 2016 election speculation today. I'm going to skip over it all and just jump forward to January, 2017, as we all watch the first woman inaugurated to the presidency.

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The Obama Tactic

[ Posted Monday, August 11th, 2014 – 17:28 UTC ]

American aircraft are once again waging war over the skies of Iraq. President Obama, as many have pointed out, is now the fourth United States president in a row to order some form of military offensive in Iraq. As always, plenty of critics immediately popped up to loudly explain what the president was doing wrong. The usual characters on the right demanded a much more intensive military action, the ones on the left warned darkly about slippery slopes and possible blowback, and the American people seemed to heave a sigh of resignation, in a "here we go again" moment.

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Friday Talking Points [315] -- Past, Present, And Future

[ Posted Friday, August 8th, 2014 – 17:28 UTC ]

We've got a lot to cover today (as that headline should evince), but before we begin examining the anniversaries, elections, and politics of the week, I'd like to begin instead by promoting a video.

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Draft Brian Schweitzer!

[ Posted Thursday, August 7th, 2014 – 16:49 UTC ]

There's been a shakeup in the Montana Senate race. John Walsh, who was earlier appointed to the Senate (when Max Baucus left to become ambassador to China), has now announced he will be removing his name from the ballot. This leaves the Democratic nomination empty.

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Guest Author -- A Polish Song For Ukraine's Revolution

[ Posted Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 – 17:07 UTC ]

Take three minutes and listen to it yourself -- it's almost impossible not to be moved by the experience (the video clips are expertly edited, as well).

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Obama Poll Watch -- July, 2014

[ Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 – 15:42 UTC ]

President Obama had another bad month in the polls in July, although it wasn't as sharp a downturn as he experienced in June. That, and "he managed not to set any all-time or daily low points during the month" is about all that can be positively said. Without further ado, let's get to the new chart:

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Campaign Shifts To Immigration

[ Posted Monday, August 4th, 2014 – 16:40 UTC ]

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Republicans were so confident they had devised a winning 2014 campaign strategy that they went ahead and just admitted what it was going to be, almost a year out. As 2013 ended and 2014 began, Republicans weren't shy about letting everyone know that the midterm contest was going to be a single-issue election campaign for them, and that that single issue was going to be the abject failure of Obamacare. Republicans in the House were adamant that nothing else should detract from this single-minded obsession, which (in layman's terms) equated to the House doing absolutely nothing on all the other issues on its agenda. No immigration bill would be voted upon, they said, because doing so would just take attention away from the white-hot focus on Obamacare.

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