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Archive of Articles for June, 2017

Friday Talking Points [443] -- You Crazy, Lunatic, 70-Year-Old Man-Baby

[ Posted Friday, June 30th, 2017 – 17:04 PDT ]

That's a doozy of a subheading, but we felt it was completely appropriate this week. It is a direct quote, from conservative (and "Never Trump") commentator Ana Navarro. During an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Navarro responded to Trump's recent tweetstorm attacking Mika Brzezinski by calling on Republicans to say to Trump (either on television or personally) the following: "Listen, you crazy, lunatic, 70-year-old man-baby, stop it. You are now the president of United States, the commander-in-chief and you need to stop acting like a mean girl because we just won't take it." We've saved her entire rant for the talking points, because it is indeed worth reading in full; but because it was the most forceful pushback on Trump we heard all week, we thought it deserved headline status. Tell us what you really think, Ana!

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Trump Successfully Trolls Media, Again

[ Posted Thursday, June 29th, 2017 – 16:12 PDT ]

When will they ever learn? Once again, Donald Trump has almost completely hijacked the American news media for the day, by viciously attacking two media personalities on Twitter. The rest of the media then obligingly chased after this shiny, shiny object almost to the exclusion of all else. Again. We're all caught in this neverending cycle, it seems.

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Democrats Should Bring Back The Public Option

[ Posted Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

Up until now, congressional Democrats have been smart to merely stand on the sidelines and watch Republicans flail on their "repeal and replace Obamacare" efforts. This follows the sound political theory of: "When your opponent is digging his own grave, don't interrupt him." But at some point in the near future, Democrats are going to have to offer up their own better ideas for what to do next on healthcare. There are already many pushing for single-payer or (as Bernie Sanders likes to call it) "Medicare for all." This, however, is quite likely a bridge too far -- even within the Democratic Party. Instead of such a radical change, Democrats would do much better to rally around a more transitional idea that was jettisoned during the drafting of the Obamacare law: the public option.

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Travel Ban Ruling Mishmash

[ Posted Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 – 16:37 PDT ]

The Supreme Court just issued a ruling on Donald Trump's Muslim ban, and it is something of a political Rorschach test, because how you see it really depends on how you see politics in general. Trump, for instance, is claiming he won a total and sweeping victory. But so can the actual plaintiffs in the case -- the people who sued the Trump administration over the ban. The reason both sides can claim victory is that the ruling was issued on specific legal grounds, not political grounds. And legally, there was something for everyone, in a sort of a grand mishmash of an outcome.

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Will Meanness Win The Day? If So, It'll Happen Quickly.

[ Posted Monday, June 26th, 2017 – 16:05 PDT ]

The next few days are going to be pretty frantic in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office just released its scoring of the Republican "repeal and replace" healthcare bill, and the numbers are almost as dismal as the House version's. But will it matter? At this point, it's impossible to really predict, as the entire political world waits to see what senators like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have to say about it.

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Friday Talking Points [442] -- Trump Did Not Deny Tapes Exist!

[ Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2017 – 17:26 PDT ]

Every so often, we have a certain reaction to a bit of political news. We then fully expect at least a few other political commentators to have the same reaction, only to be surprised when it seems that nobody else read things the way we did. This is precisely where we find ourselves over President Donald Trump's recent tweets, where he supposedly put the issue to rest of whether secret audio recordings were ever made in his White House. Everybody seems to be buying his spin, and nobody questioned the obvious loophole he left himself. Because if you read what he wrote and take it at face value (not reading more into it than he actually says), Trump still has not answered the question of whether such tapes exist or not. Not even close.

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Time For Nancy Pelosi To Go?

[ Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

In the aftermath of this week's special House election in Georgia, the question has arisen whether Nancy Pelosi should continue to hold the House Minority Leader position, heading into the 2018 midterm elections. It's a valid question, since Republican Karen Handel seemed almost to be running against Pelosi herself, if you saw any of her campaign ads or literature. Her entire strategy seemed to be to link neophyte politician Jon Ossoff with Pelosi -- and not in a good way. It's impossible to tell how much this contributed to Ossoff's loss, but if the answer to that question turns out to be "four percent of the vote or more," then demonizing Pelosi would have been the difference between his winning and losing. So is it time for Nancy to go?

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McConnell's Big Gamble

[ Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 – 15:26 PDT ]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is about to make a big legislative throw of the dice tomorrow, when he (finally) unveils the super-secret Senate Republican healthcare bill not only to the public, but also to the rest of his own caucus. It's a pretty big gamble for McConnell, since he has no way of knowing if he's got the votes to pass it or not. Either way -- whether successful or not -- McConnell says the effort will be over by the Independence Day holiday. Either they pass the bill, or the Senate will just move on to other agenda items.

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Congress Considers Working Through August

[ Posted Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 – 16:08 PDT ]

To me, at least, that's a shocking headline. Because for the life of me, I can't remember this stunning proposal ever before being seriously considered on Capitol Hill. Some Republicans in Congress are now saying that they should all forgo their monthlong August vacation period and actually work instead. Stunning!

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Deserved Or Not, Georgia House Race Will Have Consequences

[ Posted Monday, June 19th, 2017 – 16:21 PDT ]

After tomorrow night's special House election results in the sixth congressional district in Georgia ("GA-6") are known, there will be a bumper crop of political commentary attempting to explain "what it all means going forward." No matter what the outcome, dire consequences will be predicted for one side of the aisle or the other. Sweeping conclusions will be drawn and confident predictions made by pundits far and wide. In the end the GA-6 election may deserve all of this attention, but then again there's an equal chance that it may not. But deserved or not, there will be real political consequences in the medium-term, as one party or the other may radically shift its campaign strategy for the 2018 midterms based on tomorrow night's results. So it will wind up being a consequential election, even if all of the fulminating about "what it all means" turns out to be incorrect.

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