Archive of Articles for March, 2018

Friday Talking Points [476] -- "Everybody Fears The Perp Walk"

[ Posted Friday, March 16th, 2018 – 17:06 PDT ]

This week's episode of As The White House Turns opened with a shock -- the handsome Rex was ousted by a tweet! How embarrassing! Then his buddy backed up his story, and he was immediately fired, too. Out West, an official administration spokesman quit in disgust over being asked to blatantly lie to the media. Then Trump's body man was frogmarched off White House grounds, over reports he was a gambler fond of making five-figure bets. By week's end, H. R. was teetering on the brink of extinction as well. Will he be pushed over the edge this weekend? Who will be the next to go? Will it be sleepy-eyed Ben? Or General John? Will Andy be fired mere hours before he can retire with a full pension? Tune in next week to find out! The answers will astound you!

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Bungle In The Jungle?

[ Posted Thursday, March 15th, 2018 – 16:39 PDT ]

There are times when a prognostication I've made turns out to be true, much to my horror. This might just be one of them, and if it turns out to be, I certainly won't be the only California voter to feel that way. Because regaining control of the House of Representatives this November might just wind up being out of reach for Democrats due to California's wacky "top-two jungle primary" system. The only thing I didn't foresee was that Republicans might actually try to actively game the system to their advantage.

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Aftershocks From The Lambquake

[ Posted Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

In practical terms, the election of Democrat Conor Lamb to Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district isn't all that big a deal. Control of the House will not switch, so Paul Ryan will remain as speaker (with one less vote he can count on). Lamb will hold the seat only until November, when the district itself will disappear in the new redistricting map imposed by the state supreme court (to counteract the egregious Republican gerrymandering). So, practically, nothing much will change. In both political and psychological terms, however, the effect of Lamb's victory has to be measured on the Richter scale, because it certainly shook up Washington in a very big way. Congress felt the earth move last night, as the political tectonic plates realigned.

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Nail-Biter In Pennsylvania

[ Posted Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 20:00 PDT ]

As I sit down to write, final election results are not currently known from the 18th House district in Pennsylvania, where Democrat Conor Lamb is making a surprisingly strong showing against Republican Rick Saccone. From listening to experts tonight, I drew one astounding takeaway -- there are 115 other House districts that are more competitive than this one. Think about that -- a Democrat is within reach of victory in a district that is only 116th-most competitive. That will have repercussions in November, obviously.

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Trump Owes Pat Toomey An Apology

[ Posted Monday, March 12th, 2018 – 17:05 PDT ]

President Donald Trump really owes Republican Senator Pat Toomey an apology. Trump also owes the same apology to all the other Republicans he recently taunted by telling them directly that they were "afraid of" the National Rifle Association. This apology is owed because Trump just showed his own cravenness when it comes to crossing the N.R.A. -- on precisely the same issue that Trump castigated Toomey about.

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Friday Talking Points [475] -- Stormy Weather

[ Posted Friday, March 9th, 2018 – 19:00 PST ]

This week, porn star Stormy Daniels sued the president, to nullify the hush agreement between them which resulted in her getting paid $130,000 hush money mere weeks before the 2016 election.

We will now take a pause for everyone to consider exactly what would be happening right now in Washington if this story was exactly the same except for the name "President Barack Obama." Just imagine what the response would have been from congressional Republicans! Especially if the porn star were white.

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Porn Star Sues President

[ Posted Thursday, March 8th, 2018 – 18:01 PST ]

When you sit back and think about it, that is a rather extraordinary headline. Or, at the very least, it should be. These days, though, not so much. In fact, the story of Donald Trump allegedly paying $130,000 hush money -- to a porn star weeks before the election so she would keep quiet about their alleged affair, which took place either while Trump's third wife was pregnant or just after the birth of the baby (or both) -- was largely ignored for the past few months, due to so many other chaotic crises taking place simultaneously within the White House. It will be hard for future historians to grasp, but the story of hush money paid off to a porn star actually struggled to gain traction in the national news. And that is even more extraordinary than the story itself. But then that's life in the Trump era, folks.

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Checking In With Trump's Polling

[ Posted Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 – 18:19 PST ]

Since it's been more than a few months, I thought today would be a good time to check in to see how President Donald Trump's job approval polling has been doing. There has been a lot of activity since the last time we looked, including two bumps and a slide. As always, the numbers discussed come from the Real Clear Politics "poll of polls" rolling average tracking page.

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Texas Dreams

[ Posted Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 – 17:57 PST ]

Texas is perpetually, for Democrats, the one that got away. It's the pretty girl that wouldn't go out on a date with you in high school. It's the dream car of your youth you could never afford. It's the perfect job you applied for but didn't get. Democratic dreams of winning Texas are like a fourth-place Olympian's dreams of being on the podium -- so close, and yet so far. It's the impossible dream, but Democrats keep right on dreaming it anyway.

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Connecting The Dots On Trump's Tariffs

[ Posted Monday, March 5th, 2018 – 18:24 PST ]

There are two dots that are pretty easy (in retrospect) to connect, when looking for a reason for the hasty timing of President Trump's recent announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs. In fact, the connection is so jaw-droppingly obvious (again -- after it is pointed out) that it's a mystery why more people inside the Beltway are seemingly not yet aware of it.

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