Archive of Articles for January, 2021

Friday Talking Points -- Let Boredom Ring!

[ Posted Friday, January 29th, 2021 – 18:29 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has now spent his first 10 days in office. All told, it's been fairly boring. Which is exactly what millions of Americans voted him into office to achieve. Journalists everywhere are writing absolute paeans to boredom. Throughout the land, a joyous cry is raised: "Let boredom ring!" Well, OK, that may be overstating it a tiny bit. But not by much.

Read Complete Article »

Biden's First Week

[ Posted Thursday, January 28th, 2021 – 16:14 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has been in office a little over a week, and so far he has exceeded expectations. Now, to be fair, these are still the earliest of days. Biden is still enjoying his "honeymoon" period with the public, with the press, and (largely) with Congress. That will fade, undoubtedly. Also, Donald Trump left so many egregious messes lying around that cleaning up the worst of them was pretty low-hanging fruit indeed. But, so far, Biden has not disappointed in a big way once.

None of his cabinet choices raised any huge alarm with even the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and they've been getting steadily confirmed with huge bipartisan votes. There will be a few later on that will be more contentious, no doubt, but so far Biden's track record on putting together his administration is a pretty admirable one.

Read Complete Article »

It Is Time For The Government To Take The Threat Of Right-Wing Extremism Seriously

[ Posted Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 – 17:32 UTC ]

This really shouldn't be all that extraordinary, but sadly it is. The Department of Homeland Security just issued a warning about the possibility of right-wing violence and/or terrorism. Here are the pertinent facts:

Read Complete Article »

Schumer Wins Round One

[ Posted Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 – 16:45 UTC ]

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer won his first big political battle against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last night. McConnell, in a fit of petulance, had dug in his heels and was refusing to agree to the new Senate rules proposed by Schumer which will dictate the chamber's power structure for the next two years. This is normally a routine vote, even with an evenly-balanced 50-50 Senate -- there wasn't much drama the last time this happened, when Tom Daschle and Trent Lott worked out an agreement. Essentially, Senate committees will be evenly divided between Democratic seats and Republican seats, but Democrats will still control what gets out of committee and (more importantly) what makes it to the Senate floor for a vote. After all, even though the Senate is evenly-divided, Vice President Kamala Harris is the deciding vote for the Democrats. But that's been true since last Wednesday, and yet McConnell blocked the new rules until today, which had left Republicans still chairing all the committees -- even though they're now in the minority.

Read Complete Article »

A Media Double Standard Returns

[ Posted Monday, January 25th, 2021 – 16:35 UTC ]

The Washington political press corps have returned to some semblance of normalcy. One of the things this means is that President Joe Biden is getting scrutiny and criticism for the actual reality on the ground versus what he had promised. This follows a four-year period of being so cowed by Trump's firehose of lies and bluster that the press corps mostly didn't even bother, other than a few half-hearted attempts here and there.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Biden Hits The Ground Running

[ Posted Friday, January 22nd, 2021 – 18:18 UTC ]

Three momentous things happened last week which so overshadowed everything else in the political world that we're just going to ignore everything else up front, here.

First, Donald Trump slouched off to his golf resort in Florida a few hours early, for purely petty reasons -- he wanted the flight to still officially be "Air Force One" (a designation that only exists when the current president of the United States is on the plane), and he also didn't want to have to ask President Joe Biden for the routine favor of one last flight home on the big plane. So he flew while he was still president, after staging a pathetic goodbye rally at Joint Base Andrews (home base of the two planes that serve as Air Force One and Two). He forced the military into giving him one last 21-howitzer salute, and then flew south for the winter. And, hopefully, forever.

Read Complete Article »

Unity May Be Short-Lived

[ Posted Thursday, January 21st, 2021 – 17:50 UTC ]

I woke up this morning feeling good. The big reason was that for the first time in a long time I knew I wouldn't discover in the morning news that the president of the United States had done, said, or tweeted something overnight that was embarrassing, cringe-worthy, mean-spirited, or just downright evil. I knew nobody in the federal government would have been fired at 3:00 in the morning via Twitter. I knew no foreign country would be seriously annoyed at America for no reason other than one man-child's insufferable ego.

That's all a really good feeling to wake up to, I have to say, and I look forward to having that same confident feeling every single morning for the next four years. As do tens of millions of others, I'm sure.

Read Complete Article »

A Bright New Day

[ Posted Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 – 17:26 UTC ]

It is morning in America again.

Ronald Reagan famously made a lot of political hay out of that slogan. The phrase worked so well because Americans generally favor optimism and a bright future over the gloomier alternatives. All modern presidential candidates since Reagan have struck optimistic themes while campaigning. Except one.

Donald Trump actually did campaign on optimism, but only during his first run. He borrowed the language of populism and painted a rather rosy worldview for the forgotten blue-collar Midwestern worker, back in 2016. By doing so, he flipped the "Big Blue Wall" that Democrats had previously relied upon to give them the necessary Electoral College votes, and he thus won the presidency.

Read Complete Article »

Counting The Hours

[ Posted Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 – 17:39 UTC ]

On April 20 of 2017, I remember talking to a friend who was already absolutely exhausted by all of Donald Trump's antics. I remember the date because I responded with: "It's been exactly three months since he took office. That means one-fourth of one year, or only one-sixteenth of his whole term." This was met with groans, even though I was really just trying to caution: "Pace yourself."

We have now almost (as I sit down to write this, there are exactly 18 hours to go) made it through the other 15/16ths of Trump's term. And everybody is now far beyond just being exhausted by it all.

Read Complete Article »

Trump's Big Lies Will Get A Lot Smaller Now

[ Posted Monday, January 18th, 2021 – 17:35 UTC ]

The mainstream media is finally using the correct terms to describe Donald Trump's efforts to overthrow an American election. The outbreak of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol apparently was enough for them to start calling a lie a lie. And not just a lie, but (as many journalists are now admitting) a Big Lie.

Read Complete Article »