Archive of Articles for March, 2015

Adams, Jefferson, And Dr. Logan

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

Forty-seven Republicans in the United States Senate caused an uproar this week when they sent an "open letter" to the people running Iran's government. This action was roundly condemned, both here and abroad, for being (at the very least) undiplomatic in the extreme. The Iranian foreign minister dismissed it as a cheap attempt at propaganda, which is to date possibly the most poignant description of the letter. After a few days, even some Republican senators who signed the letter were beginning to admit that it probably hadn't been a good idea.

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Ending The Federal Government's Doublethink On Marijuana

[ Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 – 18:01 UTC ]

Marijuana legal reform has made great strides over the past few years. Four states are now allowing their citizens to freely use recreational marijuana. Washington D.C. -- the seat of the federal government itself -- has joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state in fully legalizing marijuana. Almost half the states (23 of them) have legalized medical use of marijuana, and an additional dozen have allowed for heavily-restricted medical use of some form of the plant or another. That adds up to over seventy percent of America. Yet the federal laws have not budged an inch, and remain Draconian in their condemnation of any use of marijuana.

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Back To The 1990s

[ Posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 – 17:24 UTC ]

I guess the easiest way to begin this column is with the most probable presidential headline for next year: "Clinton Versus Bush." Which is really somewhat of a cheap trick, since (to be fair) the 1990s were two Bushes and one Clinton ago, really. Still, if this is the way the next election pans out, it will indeed have somewhat of a time-machine flavor to it. It's technically not "back to the future," but instead the flip side: "forward to the past."

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The End Of Hillary's 140-Character Campaign

[ Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015 – 17:52 UTC ]

Hillary Clinton, by some accounts, wanted the luxury of waiting as long as possible before officially becoming a 2016 candidate for president. There were good reasons for her to wait, the most prominent being that she could pick and choose which day-to-day political issues to address, and which she could safely ignore for the time being. So the extent of her campaigning, so far, has largely been an occasional Twitter message. It seems, however, that this luxury is about to come to an end. Hillary's soon going to have to give the public more than 140 characters, whether she officially tosses her hat in the ring or not.

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Friday Talking Points [338] -- Obamacare Fails To Kill Jobs, Once Again

[ Posted Friday, March 6th, 2015 – 18:34 UTC ]

The February jobs report is out, and -- once again -- Obamacare has failed to kill all those jobs Republicans warned us about. But we'll get to all of that later, in the talking points, so you'll just have to wait for that.

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Enemies And Allies

[ Posted Thursday, March 5th, 2015 – 19:26 UTC ]

Benjamin Netanyahu just gave a controversial speech to Congress this week. Now, America is unquestionably friends with Israel, that's pretty much a given. But what I find interesting is that even though most of the American people are currently unaware of it, we are also de facto allied with Iran right now, in the fight against the Islamic State.

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Another Failure Of All-Or-Nothingism

[ Posted Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 – 17:37 UTC ]

The radical Republicans just suffered yet another big defeat. President Obama today signed into law the "clean" budget for the Department of Homeland Security he had been demanding all along. For the last three months, we've all been watching the Kabuki drama play out, but the ultimate outcome was never really much in doubt. Like a badly-written detective drama where the audience spots the killer in the opening act, almost everyone knew the Tea Partiers were going to lose this battle. What is mystifying is that the battlelines were drawn by the very people who were going to lose. Perhaps mystifying is the wrong word to use. True believers are always mystifying to those who don't profess the same faith. Because this increasingly looks, from the outside, like nothing more than pure religious faith, after all. If I were to label this religious belief system, I would have to call it "All-Or-Nothingism." I would define it as: "An overpowering faith that refusing to compromise and refusing to accept partial or incremental victory will win over all your opponents in the end and give you 100 percent of what you seek."

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Obama Poll Watch -- February, 2015

[ Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 – 17:28 UTC ]

After an impressive showing in January, President Barack Obama's job approval ratings in February continued to climb, but at a slower rate. Obama seems to have topped off for now, in other words. Overall, the month averaged better than January, but Obama's numbers softened noticeably at the end of the month, and could turn flat or even slightly downward in March.

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Obamacare On The Docket Again

[ Posted Monday, March 2nd, 2015 – 16:41 UTC ]

This will be a rather busy week in the political world. We've got the Prime Minister of Israel giving a controversial speech before Congress tomorrow, and then at the end of the week we'll have another round of government shutdown follies, courtesy of the House Republicans. Between these two events, the Supreme Court is going to be busy with a few questions in the political arena. The most prominent of these cases is King v. Burwell, which puts Obamacare back on the docket.

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