Archive of Articles for January, 2016

Friday Talking Points [374] -- The Knives Come Out

[ Posted Friday, January 15th, 2016 – 17:47 UTC ]

In every 1950s "gang rumble" genre film, there comes a point where the fighting gets more serious. This is, literally, where the knives come out. I begin with this image because, metaphorically, that's exactly where we are in the 2016 presidential campaign. The fight's getting a lot more serious, and there is bound to be some blood on the floor afterwards.

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The GOP's Last Double Debate?

[ Posted Thursday, January 14th, 2016 – 16:15 UTC ]

The sixth Republican debate will happen tonight, for those keeping score. Technically, though, that should read "debates," as there will be two debates airing this evening, as there have been in the previous five GOP matchups. Which really begs the question of how long we're going to even bother holding double debates, when the contest has quite obviously narrowed to include only viable candidates. At some point, the secondary debate is going to be seen as so pointless (and so devoid of an actual viewing audience) that it will be eliminated altogether. Hopefully, at any rate. After having watched most of these, for me that time could easily be now -- but then again, I'm not a television executive.

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Sanders Versus Trump, Revisited

[ Posted Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 – 17:44 UTC ]

Every so often, I write what I call a "blue-sky" article, just for fun. This is where you sit back in your chair, allow your eyes to unfocus, and ponder a far-fetched "What if...?" scenario, because you've got nothing better to write about that particular day. And I'll fully admit it -- the more outlandish a proposition you begin with, the more fun such an article is to write. Very occasionally, though, one of these scenarios actually becomes reality. This, of course, allows you to bask in the special pundit's glow of looking downright prescient. Much more commonly, though, the far-fetched remains unreal and never comes to pass, and the outlandish article you wrote predicting it remains (hopefully) forgotten. This is all just an introduction to me revisiting one of those columns, which I wrote last August. It was cheekily titled: "Sanders Versus Trump Would Be Fun."

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Denouncing Trumpism, Right And Left

[ Posted Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 – 22:23 UTC ]

Tonight, Barack Obama gave his final State Of The Union speech, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gave the Republican response. Both speeches were unusual -- not in a negative way, but in a more literal "not the usual thing" sense. Obama's speech was not a laundry list of legislative agenda items, but rather a definitional moment for Obama and for the Democratic Party platform. Haley's speech was not a vitriol-filled rejection of all things Democratic while glossing over her own party's faults. The speeches, or at least the general tone of them, were actually more similar than different (again, not on policy but rather on tone).

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Clinton Not Inevitable Nominee

[ Posted Monday, January 11th, 2016 – 18:25 UTC ]

Hillary Clinton is not the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton was not the inevitable nominee in 2008, and she is not inevitable in 2016 either. Of course, this really isn't new or surprising, because nothing in politics is ever inevitable, really. Elections are always about as "evitable" as one can imagine.

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Friday Talking Points [373] -- Underpants Gnomes Will Defeat Trump!

[ Posted Friday, January 8th, 2016 – 19:15 UTC ]

That sub-headline may take the prize for the most bizarre we've ever offered up, although it'd have to beat the current champion -- which is, of course: "The Corpse-Like Stench Of Washington's Giant Misshapen Penis." That's pretty tough to beat, if truth be told.

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Obama Poll Watch -- December, 2015

[ Posted Thursday, January 7th, 2016 – 18:19 UTC ]

After a fairly consistent (if not great) run in the polls for the first ten months of 2015, President Barack Obama finished the year on a decidedly downward slope. While the gains he made at the start of the year haven't completely eroded back to where he spent most of 2014, if Obama doesn't reverse the trend soon he could be looking at similar numbers within the next few months. This trend is clearly visible in the new chart for December.

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Occupation, Arson, And Terrorism

[ Posted Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 – 19:00 UTC ]

Federal land is currently being occupied by protestors. Or, according to some, by domestic terrorists. But pigeonholing these guys with either label isn't quite as easy as it might first seem. There's some history here that needs pondering before anyone decides exactly what to call the group and, more importantly, what to do about them. Because it is a little more complicated than it first might seem, at least for those who care about the concepts of fairness and consistency.

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Rubio Should Quit The Senate

[ Posted Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 – 17:47 UTC ]

From the wires today comes a short story about Senator Marco Rubio being asked about his missed votes in the Senate. His answer? Congress can't change much anyway. "We're not going to fix America with senators and congressmen -- presidents set the public policy agenda." This begs another question: Why are taxpayers still paying Rubio to not do his job? If Rubio had the strength of his own convictions, he would quit his Senate seat and concentrate on his bid for the Oval Office. That way he could be replaced by someone who has more interest in actually performing the duties of the office.

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GOP Presidential Field Overview

[ Posted Monday, January 4th, 2016 – 19:04 UTC ]

Once again, it's been a month since I last took a look at the Republican presidential field as a whole, and in the intervening time two further candidates have dropped out, bringing the total to an almost-manageable 12 candidates (11 if you don't count Jim Gilmore... and at this point, many don't). Even an even dozen, though, is better than trying to keep track of 17 of these folks.

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