Archive of Articles for March, 2021

From The Archives -- Don't Call It A Black-And-Tan

[ Posted Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 – 15:45 UTC ]

Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who's really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it's like having a neighbour who's really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.

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Biden Coins A Defining Political Phrase

[ Posted Tuesday, March 16th, 2021 – 15:59 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has kicked off his "Help Is Here" tour, and he and various administration surrogates will fan out across the country for the next few weeks to educate the public on what is contained in the American Rescue Plan Act that Biden signed last week. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to struggle to come up with a reason why voters should be against it. Obviously, Biden and the Democrats have the easier sales job here.

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How Will Manchin Triage H.R. 1?

[ Posted Monday, March 15th, 2021 – 16:54 UTC ]

Every so often I come across an article and I think: "I wish I had written this." Today was one of those days. I read an excellent Washington Post article this morning on the subject of the filibuster, Senator Joe Manchin, and H.R. 1 (the "For The People Act").

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden's Independence Day Speech

[ Posted Friday, March 12th, 2021 – 19:05 UTC ]

Last night, the president of the United States stood before us all and uttered the following stirring words, in a call for unity: "Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests." He went on to inspire us further: "We're fighting for our right to live, to exist, and should we win the day the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but as the day when the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on. We're going to survive!'" By the end of it, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Oh, wait, we seem to have mixed up our transcripts. That speech was actually given by "President Whitmore" in the film Independence Day. How could we ever have made such a silly error?

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Biden Predicts BBQs For Independence Day

[ Posted Thursday, March 11th, 2021 – 21:03 UTC ]

Remember when presidents used to be presidential? Yeah, so do I. It wasn't that long ago, after all. Tonight, President Joe Biden thankfully gave us a preview of what his next four years will be like -- calm, collected, truthful, and reassuring. And it was just what the doctor ordered, as far as I'm concerned.

Biden spoke on a momentous day. Not only did Biden sign his first big legislative achievement into law earlier in the day (his 50th or 51st day in office, depending on how you count), but it is also exactly one year since the previous president finally had to face the reality that we were in a national crisis. Back then, he begrudgingly declared an emergency, and then went right back to rampant denial over the seriousness of the disease, the likely scope of the problem, and what it would take to get us out of it. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lied to the American people, over and over again. Not only that, he actually mocked anyone with the temerity to disagree with him -- which included his own government scientists. This led to the United States becoming the poster child for the world for "how not to fight a pandemic." It led to the highest infection rates on the planet, and the highest death toll by far -- both per capita and in raw numbers. We have had more deaths than India and China, both of which have over one billion citizens. This record of failure simply did not need to happen, but it did because of the absolute vacuum of leadership from the White House.

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The Second 50 Days (And Beyond)

[ Posted Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 – 16:57 UTC ]

Today marks the halfway period through President Biden's first 100 days. He set a lot of goals for himself during this period, and while no president completes his entire list, Biden certainly seems to be making a lot of progress (the AP ran a handy scorecard today, so you can check the general status of individual promises). Biden's list, to his credit, is a lot wider and deeper than most such lists of presidential campaign promises -- but then again, he had a lot to do to immediately overturn the worst of Donald Trump's disasters and wreckage, both here at home and in the rest of the world as well. Today was a particularly productive day for Biden, because the House just passed his first signature piece of legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act. Biden will sign it by the end of the week, and the breadth of even just this first Biden achievement is truly striking. Not to mention how popular it is with the public, already.

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Biden's Victory Lap Speech Will Be Just The Start

[ Posted Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 – 16:50 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is going to take a victory lap Thursday, with a primetime Oval Office address to the American people. He deserves to. As he said to Barack Obama when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed, this is a big [expletive gerund deleted] deal. By some measures, it is the biggest such big deal in history. And even though it is already wildly popular with the public, Biden learned the lesson of Obama's first big emergency stimulus bill and will be touting the American Rescue Plan Act's accomplishments to the skies, while encouraging others to do the same. This is doubtlessly going to pay off politically for him. Which he and his fellow Democrats also deserve.

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Manchin Flexes His New Political Power

[ Posted Monday, March 8th, 2021 – 16:51 UTC ]

It's now official. Senator Joe Manchin is the second-most-powerful person in Washington. Obviously, President Joe Biden is still number one, but Biden's entire agenda now hinges on the whims of Manchin... and everyone knows it. And Manchin is enjoying his newfound stature so much that it seems pretty certain he's going to enjoy flexing his political power over and over again for the next two years.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden About To Get A Big Win

[ Posted Friday, March 5th, 2021 – 17:53 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is about to have a very good month. The Senate is on the brink of passing (after all the Republican time-wasting obstacles are cleared) a mammoth $1.9 trillion pandemic recovery bill. The White House has taken to calling it the "Rescue Plan." It is wildly popular with the public. Next week, the House will pass the same version and Biden will likely sign it immediately thereafter. It will be the first big legislative victory for the president and the Democratic Congress.

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Here To Help

[ Posted Thursday, March 4th, 2021 – 18:05 UTC ]

There's an old and now-dated joke that is the genesis of that headline. The setup to the joke is the question: "What are the three greatest lies in America?" The punchline is: "(1.) The check is in the mail, (2.) I will respect you in the morning, and (3.) I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

I am reminded of this now because of a confluence of disparate issues, from Democrats bolstering the rights of transgendered people to the reaction to the news that the publisher of the Dr. Seuss canon will not be publishing six of his books anymore because of racially insensitive depictions. And a lot of other unrelated things, as well, such as Donald Trump railing about seemingly mundane issues like toilets and lightbulbs and dishwashers. Many of these things are now being lumped together politically as a conservative crusade against "cancel culture."

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