Archive of Articles for December, 2014

Jeb Bush's Pros And Cons

[ Posted Monday, December 15th, 2014 – 18:05 UTC ]

The 2014 midterms are over. The lame-duck Congress is wrapping things up and preparing to flee Washington. The holiday season is in the air. So, naturally, it is now time to turn our attention to the 2016 presidential contest.

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Friday Talking Points [330] -- How Bad Laws Get Made

[ Posted Friday, December 12th, 2014 – 17:29 UTC ]

There were two big things going on in the political world this week: the release of the Senate torture report, and the cromnibus bill which kept the government open. For the most part, we're going to cover the torture report at the end, in a very unusual talking points section.

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John McCain's Senate Torture Speech

[ Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014 – 13:00 UTC ]

Below is the full text of John McCain's speech on the Senate floor this week on the subjects of torture and the report Dianne Feinstein's committee just released. McCain's words are important, because they show how this issue should never be considered a partisan one, but instead a moral one. McCain speaks with the courage of his own convictions, and he paid a high price for those convictions.

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Program Note

[ Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014 – 11:55 UTC ]

I'm in the midst of a very big storm right now, and the power has already gone out once. Because of this, I cannot guarantee I will be able to post a column today. I'll do my best, but have no computer that runs on candlepower. Also, the site itself may go [...]

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The Feinstein Torture Report

[ Posted Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 – 18:13 UTC ]

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Senator Dianne Feinstein, we now have an official record of what, exactly, was done in all our names in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. As President Obama has already admitted, this can be summed up as: "We tortured some folks." We can't pretend it wasn't torture anymore, because the facts weren't swept under a historical rug this time.

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The D.C. Marijuana Compromise

[ Posted Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 – 18:14 UTC ]

One Maryland Republican in the House, apparently still upset that his state donated the land for D.C. centuries ago (or something), pushed an amendment to the cromnibus that would have flat-out overturned the will of the people on Initiative 71, and kept recreational marijuana fully illegal in District law. Democrats indicated that this was a deal-breaker for them (on the entire cromnibus bill), so today a compromise of sorts seems to have been reached.

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Interview With The Authors Of American Conspiracy Theories

[ Posted Monday, December 8th, 2014 – 17:55 UTC ]

What, exactly, is a conspiracy theory? How do you define the term?

I have to admit, I had never really given these questions much thought before. Conspiracy theories seem to be almost self-evident, usually through the context in which they are presented. If you read something written by a serious believer, it's pretty obvious. If you see conspiracy theorists portrayed in a movie or television show, once again it's usually obvious -- even when they're not literally wearing tin-foil hats. But when studying the history of conspiracy theorizing, coming up with a clear definition of the term is an absolutely necessity, since it will dictate which data is included and which is omitted in the study.

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Friday Talking Points [329] -- 'Tis The Season

[ Posted Friday, December 5th, 2014 – 18:05 UTC ]

It is indeed the season. Yes, it's that magical time of year when the wee folk of Capitol Hill actually get something done. These brief bursts of activity only happen very rarely, of course, and always immediately proceed another one of the many, many long vacations Congress takes during the year.

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Marijuana Rider On The Cromnibus?

[ Posted Thursday, December 4th, 2014 – 18:28 UTC ]

OK, I do realize that everyone is already sick of the term "cromnibus." I'm no exception -- I was sick of it the first time I heard it, in fact. But seeing as how we've only got one more week of talking about it (before it becomes an answer in political barroom trivia games of the future), I felt it was time to stretch the inane metaphor once again. Because today the subject on Capitol Hill is riders. That's right, the riders on the cromnibus.

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Cromnibus Stop?

[ Posted Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 – 19:03 UTC ]

There are plenty of metaphors to choose from, as we all breathlessly watch the Republican Party make their latest attempt at semi-rational governing. Since the vehicle chosen for this Washington drama has been dubbed the "cromnibus," these metaphors all lean on the transportation theme. Will the wheels on the cromnibus go 'round and 'round? Are Tea Partiers waiting at the cromnibus stop, or will they just stop the cromnibus? Will the cromnibus even leave its House depot? Who will be forced to sit at the back of the cromnibus? Republicans are either on the cromnibus, or off the cromnibus (warning: due to its origins in the counterculture, Republicans may not get the reference in this last one).

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