Archive of Articles for October, 2019

Two Bone-Chilling Hallowe'en Tales For Left And Right

[ Posted Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 – 17:59 UTC ]

It's time once again to enter the Crypt, shine a flashlight up onto our face in the dark, and spin two ghastly tales of horror and mayhem for both sides of the aisle.

Gather 'round and prepare to quiver in fear, kiddies, because Hallowe'en comes but once a year. Think things are bad now? Hah! Think they couldn't possibly get any more spine-chilling or frightful? Think again!

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Parsing The Impeachment Resolution

[ Posted Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 – 16:53 UTC ]

Today, Nancy Pelosi released the text of the House Resolution on the impeachment inquiry that the full chamber will vote on this Thursday. Because this is an important milestone, it's worth a deep dive into the text to understand exactly how the process is going to play out in the next few weeks. Republicans are not going to like certain parts of it, but that was pretty much a foregone conclusion anyway. However, it gives them -- almost -- exactly what they've been demanding, so they'll be left making ever-more-technical arguments about why the process isn't all rainbows and unicorns for the president. Pelosi is betting that this will be enough to allow Democrats to claim a fair and transparent process to the American people, while the facts uncovered in the case will overwhelm all the technical nitpicking.

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Pelosi's Surprising Move To Hold Vote On Impeachment Inquiry

[ Posted Monday, October 28th, 2019 – 17:01 UTC ]

Nancy Pelosi, in a surprising move, has now indicated that the House of Representatives will indeed hold a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry this Thursday. So far, few details have been released. The big question, however, is not what will be in the motion, but why it is happening now at all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Collective Republican Amnesia

[ Posted Friday, October 25th, 2019 – 18:18 UTC ]

Remember when Republicans were the party that stood squarely for law and order? Or for that matter, remember when they used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, chock full of deficit hawks? Yeah, those were the days....

This week it was announced the annual deficit scraped the trillion-dollar ceiling last year -- figures not seen since the depths of the Great Recession. Republicans' reaction to this news? Sounds of crickets chirping. In the same week, Republicans "stormed" a secure facility, illegally carrying in and using their cell phones, in an attempt to intimidate both the committees conducting an impeachment inquiry and the witness scheduled to appear. Republicans also had to twist their pretzel logic a few more turns to explain why their previous go-to response ("There was no quid pro quo") is now, as Richard Nixon would have said, "no longer operative." Meanwhile, President Trump played the victim card once again, saying the constitutionally-sanctioned impeachment process was nothing short of a "lynching," in addition to referring to a clause in the Constitution as "phony." Trump also took the time this week to hold his very own "Mission Accomplished" moment, announcing that Syria was now a wonderful paradise, and that everyone should thank him personally for this splendiferous outcome. Nobel committee, please take note.

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Republicans Pound The Table And Yell

[ Posted Thursday, October 24th, 2019 – 17:06 UTC ]

Republicans are getting increasingly more desperate to distract everyone's attention from the continuing revelations of President Donald Trump's corruption and abuse of power by the impeachment inquiry. In fact, they've reached the "pound the table" stage, as evidenced by yesterday's rather juvenile stunt which shut down a planned House committee hearing for five hours. For those unfamiliar with the old legal adage, here are two versions of it, the first from Alan Dershowitz: "If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table." Earlier, Carl Sandberg went at it from a more defensive angle, but his end result is the same: "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like Hell." This is precisely where the Republicans now are, since the both the facts and the law are (to put it politely) not on their side. So they're deploying their last-ditch mode, pounding the table and yelling as loudly as possible.

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A Post-Debate Look At The Democratic Polling

[ Posted Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 – 17:09 UTC ]

Today was one of those days when the inside-the-Beltway punditry drew way too many conclusions from a single poll. So I thought it be a good time to once again provide a little more context to the state of the Democratic presidential race. Because, generally, one outlier poll does not a trend make.

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Quid Pro Quo In Any Language

[ Posted Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 – 16:33 UTC ]

The Latin phrase quid pro quo simply means "something for something." That's a literal translation, and the concept is much older than even the Roman Empire: I have something you value, you have something I value, so let's exchange the two. Whether it be a chicken, a bolt of cloth, a ferry ride across a river, some gold, or whatever else, the quid pro quo concept goes back even before money existed. You give me something, and I'll give you something, and we'll both walk away satisfied with the deal. It's really not hard to understand at all, because this basic system of bartering is the bedrock of all commerce today.

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Two More Medicare For All Arguments

[ Posted Monday, October 21st, 2019 – 16:44 UTC ]

I read today an excellent article in Salon which took on the utter shallowness of the current frenzy of making Elizabeth Warren admit she's going to have to raise taxes to pay for Medicare For All. This article impressively paints the bigger picture and offers up several soundbites that I wish we had heard from both Warren and Bernie Sanders in last week's debate. Warren and Sanders are the ones defending Medicare For All, but so far they have struggled to do so in a way which directly answers some of the inane criticism not only from the pundits but also from several centrist Democratic presidential candidates as well.

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Friday Talking Points -- They Just Don't Care Anymore

[ Posted Friday, October 18th, 2019 – 18:14 UTC ]

We've reached the stage where Donald Trump and his henchmen are no longer even pretending to care about their lawlessness -- they're just doing it right out in the open for everyone to see, daring their fellow travellers in the Republican Senate to care. Right after Trump's White House chief of staff admitted that there was indeed a quid pro quo in Trump's call to the Ukraine, the White House announced that the upcoming G-7 summit would take place at Trump's own Florida resort. Both are, quite obviously, impeachable offenses. Right out there in the open, for all to see.

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The Trump Doctrine

[ Posted Thursday, October 17th, 2019 – 16:37 UTC ]

As I read the breaking news that Turkey has now agreed to a five-day ceasefire of its invasion into Syria, I couldn't help but think that this is yet another example of what might be called the Trump Doctrine. Unlike other presidential doctrines, however, this one works just as easily on domestic affairs as it does on foreign affairs. It's really nothing short of Trump's modus operandi, writ large.

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