Archive of Articles for October, 2015

Friday Talking Points [366] -- Debate Talking Point Rundown

[ Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 – 18:45 UTC ]

After two seemingly-endless Republican debates, this week the Democratic candidates for president finally got their turn to face off against each other on national television. While the audience was smaller (since Donald Trump was not on stage), it was still a lot bigger than most political debates in the past -- over 15 million people watched on CNN, and a further million livestreamed it. This is up from the usual audience of 2-to-5 million, it should be noted, from years past.

Read Complete Article »

Republican Conspiracy To Help Hillary Clinton

[ Posted Thursday, October 15th, 2015 – 16:53 UTC ]

I start this article with a premise, and then build to a conclusion. As with any conspiracy theory, it's entirely up to you to measure how believable or ridiculous you find any of it. I formulated the premise from reading thousands of comments to online articles (most of them in the Washington Post, because their comments section is always a lively one). The premise: everything that helps Hillary Clinton politically has, at its heart, a liberal conspiracy.

Read Complete Article »

Taking Marijuana Reform Seriously

[ Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 – 16:05 UTC ]

In two of the three presidential debates which have so far taken place, marijuana legal reform has been brought up in a serious way. Right there, that's a mark of respect for marijuana reform that has simply never previously existed at this level in our nation's political debate. The concept that the federal "War On Weed" needs to end is now about as mainstream as it gets, and after the people have led so admirably on the issue in the past decade, the politicians are finally deciding it is safe to follow this trend.

Read Complete Article »

Democratic Debate Reactions

[ Posted Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 – 22:32 UTC ]

Overall, I would agree with some of the closing statements -- this was a much more substantial debate than anything the Republicans have yet put on. No insults were hurled, no bigoted statements were made, on the whole it was a lot more sober than watching Trump take on all comers. However, having said that, tonight's debate was a lot more spirited and feisty than I expected. There weren't direct face-to-face confrontations, but a lot of differences were clearly outlined between the candidates' stances.

Read Complete Article »

Boehner's Golden Opportunity

[ Posted Monday, October 12th, 2015 – 16:53 UTC ]

Although my own personal bias (as anyone can see, from a random sampling of my past columns) is pretty liberal, every so often I feel the responsibility to offer up honest suggestions for Republican politicians to help either themselves or their party. The only times I actually write such columns are when I'm almost certain my advice will be ignored, so I guess that right there also counts as bias. I offer this up as a preamble to today's column, which consists of some advice for John Boehner. In a nutshell, Boehner should use the freedom his caucus has just handed him (by not being able to agree on his successor) to end his legacy by being the savior of any chance Republicans might have in next year's election.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [365] -- Chaos Reigns!

[ Posted Friday, October 9th, 2015 – 17:19 UTC ]

Two weeks ago, we wrote one of these columns and snarkily subtitled it: "New Job Vacancy: Chief GOP Cat-Herder." This week, we really should have gone with: "Babysitting Experience STRONGLY PREFERRED," but Salon had already used it (we'll explain that joke in a bit, promise). Instead, we chose to feature the word which appeared in too many headlines to accurately count over the past two days, because describing what is going on in the Republican Party these days is pretty downright hard to do without using the word "chaos" in some fashion or another.

Read Complete Article »

Leading The Unleadable Into The Final Obama Showdown

[ Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2015 – 16:37 UTC ]

It's hard not to have at least a little bit of sympathy for Kevin McCarthy, at this point. When Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he was going to step down, it was the equivalent of the chief engineer jumping off of a train that was barreling down the track, after just having passed a warning that the bridge ahead was washed out. What sane person would relish the chance to preside over an upcoming disaster, after all? McCarthy faced an unwinnable situation from his own ungovernable caucus, and so he intelligently threw up his hands and essentially said: "Why bother even trying?"

Read Complete Article »

Democratic Debate Preview

[ Posted Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 – 17:08 UTC ]

Next Tuesday, we will finally get some degree of parity in the world of televised presidential debates, as the Democrats come together for the first time to make their case to the American public. The Republicans have already held two debates and will hold their third later this month. The Democratic National Committee decided to restrict the number of debates held, which has left the field open to the Republicans for two months now. This decision has been hotly debated, mostly by Democrats not named "Hillary Clinton" (who make the case that the debate schedule was shortened to give Hillary an easier time of it). But whatever you think of the decision, we're finally about to see all the Democratic candidates on one stage.

Read Complete Article »

Obama Poll Watch -- September, 2015

[ Posted Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 – 16:29 UTC ]

President Barack Obama had a pretty good month in the polls last month, as he saw his approval take a big step up and his disapproval take a tiny step down. Obama exited the summer doldrums earlier than usual this year, and chalked up a positive month all around. Let's take a look at the new chart.

Read Complete Article »

GOP Field Narrows To Top Six

[ Posted Monday, October 5th, 2015 – 17:01 UTC ]

The Republican field of candidates for president has now entered a winnowing phase where the party's voters are clearly indicating that there are only six viable candidates in the race. From an initial field of 17 candidates, two have dropped out, five are on life support (politically), and four are in stable but critical condition. This has left only Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz with any meaningful chance of winning the party's nomination.

Read Complete Article »