Archive of Articles for January, 2020

Friday Talking Points -- The End Of The Impeachment Road

[ Posted Friday, January 31st, 2020 – 17:34 UTC ]

As of this writing, nothing has been officially decided yet in the Senate impeachment trial. However, one thing seems almost certain at this point: there will only be 49 votes, maximum, in favor of calling witnesses. Both Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander have announced that they will not be voting for witnesses, which leaves all 47 Democrats together with only Mitt Romney and Susan Collins. Murkowski may have been persuaded to vote no because if she had voted yes it would have set up an uncomfortable situation for Chief Justice Roberts, who would have to decide whether to break a 50-50 tie or not (with the safe money being on "not"). In any case, that's how things stand as I begin writing this.

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Program Note

[ Posted Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

There will be no column today, sorry. I am playing hooky to watch all of the last day of questions in the impeachment trial in the Senate. Also, next week's going to be a doozy, starting with the Iowa caucuses on Monday, the State Of The Union speech on Tuesday, and finishing [...]

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Constitutional History Being Made

[ Posted Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 – 18:31 UTC ]

Some constitutional history was made this week -- and it had nothing to do with President Donald Trump, because presidents have absolutely no role in amending the Constitution itself. That power is reserved to Congress and the legislatures of the states. And Virginia's state legislature just officially ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. In doing so, they became the 38th state to ratify, which seems to meet the constitutional requirement that three-fourths of the states ratify an amendment in order for it to be adopted as part of the Constitution. This is a fairly momentous occasion, which coincides with the other constitutional history being made in the Senate this week, as only the third-ever presidential impeachment trial continues.

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Iowa Up For Grabs

[ Posted Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 – 18:19 UTC ]

In less than a week's time, we will have the first results of the 2020 Democratic primary season, from the Iowa caucuses. After more than a year of campaigning, the curtain is finally going to go up and we'll all be able to see what actual voters think about the remaining Democratic candidates. Or most of them, at any rate, since Michael Bloomberg won't be on the ballot at all until Super Tuesday.

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Black Swan Versus Black Swan?

[ Posted Monday, January 27th, 2020 – 18:08 UTC ]

Could the 2020 presidential election wind up being a contest between two black swans? Or, to put it another way, will we actually get to see a contest between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?

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Friday Talking Points -- My Impeachment Reactions So Far

[ Posted Friday, January 24th, 2020 – 18:19 UTC ]

Since there's really only one story this week, we're going to totally forgo our usual format here and instead share our thoughts on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the United States Senate. Other things happened in the world of politics this week, but they all pale in comparison to the constitutional theater playing out live on television for seemingly-unending hours. We're even going to forgo our much-beloved editorial "we" this week, to better focus on our personal reaction to the third-ever presidential impeachment trial in our history.

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Sanders Surging? Expect Incoming

[ Posted Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 – 18:21 UTC ]

Over the past two weeks, I've been watching the Democratic presidential polls to see if any significant changes could be ascertained after the most recent debate. It's still too early to draw firm conclusions, but at this point in time it seems that Bernie Sanders had a great debate, Joe Biden's was pretty good, and nobody else moved the needle -- except Michael Bloomberg, who wasn't even at the debate. As I said, it is still too early to tell if this "Bernie bump" (or maybe "Sanders surge"?) is going to be real or wind up being just a few outliers which happened to arrive at the same time.

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Media Missing The Point In Democratic Squabbles

[ Posted Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 – 17:35 UTC ]

As the Iowa caucuses draw nearer and nearer, the Democratic presidential candidates are getting a little sharper-edged towards each other, it seems. I say "it seems" because all I know of the dustups is what I read in the media, and they're an often-inaccurate judge of what is really going on. The candidates might have been this sharp all along and it is only now that the media has noticed, to give just one example of how they might be misleading us. But whether new or just the media's current obsession, the attacks flying between the candidates (and former candidates, now) are all being covered with breathless glee.

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What Iowa And New Hampshire Might Mean For The Democratic Field

[ Posted Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 – 19:05 UTC ]

Today is the first day of the impeachment trial, some of which I watched earlier. However, nothing of any real note will happen today as the whole debate currently is over the rules the Senate will agree to for the trial itself -- and Mitch McConnell seems to have the GOP votes locked down to push through his own version of the rules. Notably, these will not be as stringent as he initially proposed, but that victory apparently came from pushback from within his own party, not from Democrats. In any case, we'll have plenty of time in the coming days to discuss the trial, so today instead I decided to take a look at what Iowa and New Hampshire will mean for the leading Democratic presidential candidates instead.

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King Was A Radical

[ Posted Monday, January 20th, 2020 – 18:13 UTC ]

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior was a radical, which is oft forgotten in all the praise we heap upon him on his birthday. The reason it gets overlooked so frequently is that we'll all hear miniature clips of King today which highlight the positive aspects of his agenda and his movement while editing out all the harder edges of what he had to say. He was non-violent, to be true, but radical does not equate to violent. Most people think of the two as interlinked, but they're not. Dr. King preached non-violent radicalism.

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