Archive of Articles for December, 2017

My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 29th, 2017 – 18:22 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! For those who may have missed it, check out Part 1 from last week to see what awards have already been handed out.

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Nominations Still Open For Round Two Awards

[ Posted Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 – 17:49 UTC ]

Just a quick reminder to everyone, we're still accepting nominations for the second round of our year-end awards. The column will appear this Friday, so you've got until then to make your suggestions.

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From The Archives -- The Kringlebase Incident

[ Posted Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 – 16:12 UTC ]

In a twist to its tradition of tracking an animated version of Santa Claus' sleigh and reindeer as he flies around the globe on December 24, the military is adding the animated fighter plane escort to give a realistic feel to the popular feature, said a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

"We wanted to let folks know that, hey, this is a NORAD video, and we're the military and this is our mission," said the spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis.

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2017 – 18:52 UTC ]

Sadly, for the first time, we really have to explain our title. It used to be rather self-evident, but then it's been more than a year since The McLaughlin Group went off the air, after the death of host John McLaughlin.

The show was a political chatfest and ran for decades. Regulars such as Clarence Page and Pat Buchanan used to face off every week on all sorts of subjects, but at the end of the year they put on two special awards shows.

Long ago, we decide to write our own suggestions in an homage (which is so much nicer than "in a blatant ripoff of their bit," don't you think?). We've done so for over a decade now (there's a list of links to all of these at the end of this article, for anyone interested in past awards given).

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From The Archives -- Why Christmas Is Not On The Solstice

[ Posted Thursday, December 21st, 2017 – 23:05 UTC ]

When is Christmas? And why?

These are questions guaranteed to get you funny looks when you pop them, especially in a gathering of wassail-soaked relatives. But if you're tired of hearing the seemingly-eternal "this is what Uncle Fred did when he was twelve" stories, and you're leery of bringing up politics with your kin from Outer Podunk, then it's at least a conversation-starter that's somewhat neutral. Plus, you can reaffirm your nearest-and-dearests' image of you as a latte-sipping fruitcake who moved away from the glory of the heartland and now lives on (say it with an embarrassed whisper) the coast.

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GOP's Swamp Creature Of A Tax Bill

[ Posted Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 – 17:59 UTC ]

President Trump, in his victory celebration over the passage of the Republican tax bill today, said it was a big Christmas present to the American people. More properly, however, it is really a gigantic Christmas present to the Democratic Party, because it provides a ready-made single issue to construct their campaign platform around, for next year's midterm elections. The bill is already wildly unpopular, so Democrats should spend much of the next year reinforcing this already-baked-in perception among the public. There is a window of opportunity to do so, since nobody will really be sure how the new tax system is going to work out for their family until April of 2019 -- months after the midterm elections happen.

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Year-End Nominations Are Now Open

[ Posted Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 – 17:51 UTC ]

For the next two Fridays we will present our annual year-end awards, as usual. Last year, I opened the nomination field up to readers to see who you would consider for each award category, and I got some excellent suggestions, so I thought I'd do the same this time around, too.

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Cram A Year's Legislation Into A Few Days, Or Punt?

[ Posted Monday, December 18th, 2017 – 18:01 UTC ]

As we begin the final week of 2017's congressional calendar, it is worth noting how ridiculous the whole process has now become. This becomes painfully obvious when you compare what has been done versus what remains to be done. Because after the final votes on the GOP's Christmas gift to their wealthy donors (expected Tuesday and Wednesday), an entire year's worth of problems are supposedly going to be dealt with -- before the end of Friday. No wonder the public holds Congress in such low esteem.

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Friday Talking Points [465] -- And The Horse You Rode In On!

[ Posted Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 18:45 UTC ]

Democrats -- and not a few Republicans as well -- spent most of this week metaphorically dancing on Roy Moore's political grave. To the very end, Moore proved to be a rather cartoonish villain, riding up to the polls on a horse he couldn't even control (named -- you just can't make this stuff up -- "Sassy"). This led to much ribaldry at his expense, after he lost the election Tuesday night, most of which ended with the refrain: "...and the horse you rode in on!"

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The Persistence Of The Resistance

[ Posted Thursday, December 14th, 2017 – 17:59 UTC ]

Donald Trump's election spurred a political backlash. Diverse groups took it upon themselves to protest what had happened to their country, from the massive Women's March On Washington (held the day after Trump's swearing-in) to the "Indivisible" groups that soon spontaneously popped up across America. "Resist!" was the battle cry, leading some to name the entire movement "the resistance." Cynical observers of Washington politics (and yes, I was among them at times) wondered whether the whole thing would eventually peter out or whether it could continue long enough to be a factor in the 2018 midterm elections. After a year's time, though, there are no signs that it is waning. In fact, this resistance is showing a dramatic degree of persistence.

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