Archive of Articles for February, 2015

Program Note

[ Posted Saturday, February 28th, 2015 – 18:47 UTC ]

[OK, another item on my ever-longer "upgrades needed for the site" list is to create a page where these sorts of things are easily available, complete with controls so you can listen without having to download big audio files. But until we get to that point....]
Yesterday, I was interviewed on a morning talk [...]

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Friday Talking Points [337] -- D.C. Smoke-In History

[ Posted Friday, February 27th, 2015 – 18:58 UTC ]

Mr. Spock is dead. Long live Mr. Spock!

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Elizabeth Warren's "Put Up Or Shut Up" Viral Video

[ Posted Thursday, February 26th, 2015 – 18:27 UTC ]

Recently Republicans seem to have discovered the struggles of America's middle class. Out of nowhere, they're suddenly talking about this problem. Well that's great, but talk is cheap and when it comes to action, these Republicans seem to have amnesia about what they've actually done to hard-working Americans. Republican trickle-down policies created tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy while leaving working families to pick up the pieces. I'll believe Republicans care about what's happening to America's middle class when they stop blocking legislation that would require billionaires to pay taxes at least at the same rate that teachers and firefighters do. Republican trickle-down economics blocked increases in the minimum wage that would have lifted 14 million people out of poverty.

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Please Run, Donald. Pretty Please?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 – 17:26 UTC ]

The big headline at the Washington Post website today reads: "Trump For President? Mogul Says He's Serious About Running In 2016." The story notes that Trump has "hired staffers in key primary states, retained an election attorney and delayed signing on for another season as host of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice." It certainly sounds like he's serious, in other words. May I just take a moment to speak for all of America's political pundits, celebrity-watchers, and late-night comedians, as I openly beg for such rich pastures of political amusement: "Please run, Donald. Please?"

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Government Shutdowns Never Work

[ Posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 – 16:57 UTC ]

Mitch McConnell has just defused the ticking Department of Homeland Security shutdown bomb, and signaled that the department will not have to shut down this weekend. No word yet on how John Boehner and the House Republicans are going to react (to say nothing of the right-wing media). But by acting this early, [...]

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Big Bills Versus Little Bills

[ Posted Monday, February 23rd, 2015 – 18:08 UTC ]

The Senate just voted for a fourth time to open debate on a budget bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, coupled together by the House with poison-pill language to block President Obama's new policies on immigration. For the fourth time, the bill failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to move forward. This time around, Republicans could only muster 47 votes in favor of the legislation -- fewer than any of the previous three times the Senate has voted on it (the bill has never even gotten 55 votes, much less 60, and the only bipartisanship has come from one Republican voting with the Democrats, for those of you keeping score at home).

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Friday Talking Points [336] -- GOP's Government Shutdown Showdown

[ Posted Friday, February 20th, 2015 – 17:56 UTC ]

Hello and welcome back to our Friday political news roundup. I must apologize for not writing one of these columns last week, but I was under the weather and far too sick to type (or think coherently). So the events covered today really encompass the previous two weeks, just to warn everyone in advance. Also, this intro is going to move along at an accelerated clip, because there is a lot to cover. Our awards this week are backwards, and then we've got a rant on the Republicans in Congress who are getting ready to have another government shutdown (because the last one worked so well, right?). But enough overview, let's get on with things.

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Foreign Policy Questions For GOP Candidates

[ Posted Thursday, February 19th, 2015 – 18:12 UTC ]

Jeb Bush gave a speech this week that was supposed to lay out his foreign policy ideas. The speech itself fell far short of this goal, according to most who bothered to listen to it. Bush did announce his foreign policy advisory team -- which looks a whole lot like his brother's, with a sprinkling of his father's advisors added into the mix. But the entire exercise left many questions unanswered.

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Escape Hatch, Can-Kick, Or Shutdown?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 – 16:51 UTC ]

The immigration fight just got a little more complicated for the Republicans. A federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of President Obama's new immigration policy, which has thrown a curve ball into the Republican congressional strategy of having a big political battle over immigration next week. Will they realize the ruling gives them a political "escape hatch" out of their unwinnable position? Will they use the legal case as an excuse to "kick the can down the road" a bit more? Or will they just go ahead and shut down the Department of Homeland Security anyway? These are really their only three viable options, and all of Washington is atwitter over which they'll choose to take.

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April Surprise

[ Posted Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 – 18:03 UTC ]

There's a scheduling flaw in the implementation of Obamacare that is just now becoming a reality. I noticed this flaw quite some time ago, but haven't mentioned it in a while. [Editorial note: I just know I wrote about this subject previously, but a quick check of the archives didn't provide me with a linkable example, sorry.] This flaw is about to become apparent to millions of procrastinatory Americans. Some in the media and political worlds are now noticing this, but it likely won't be until April that this surprise dawns on most.

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