Archive of Articles for May, 2021

From The Archives -- Remembering Our Most Forgettable War

[ Posted Monday, May 31st, 2021 – 17:11 UTC ]

Since today is Memorial Day, I'd like to begin with a remembrance of our most forgettable war, the War of 1812. How forgettable was this war? Well, its bicentennial passed by a few years ago, but the country as a whole took little notice. That's pretty forgettable, as these things are measured. In fact, only one event during this war has become what one might call (if one were in the mood for a pun) a "Key" moment, but more on that in due course.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Party With No Shame

[ Posted Friday, May 28th, 2021 – 17:54 UTC ]

The Republican Party continued its downward slide into shamelessness today, as they successfully used the Senate's filibuster to block a bill which would have created an independent commission to investigate the unprecedented attack on the United States Capitol (by insurrectionists who wanted to stop Congress from officially declaring the winner of the presidential election, because they didn't like the election's result). Six Republicans voted for the measure, and one more has said he would have if he had been present. Forty-eight Democrats voted for it, and assumably the two who were absent (Patty Murray and Kyrsten Sinema) would also have voted to approve the measure. But that only adds up to a possible total of 57, which still would have left the bill three votes short of the necessary 60. An odd footnote: the final vote (54-35) actually represented 60.7 percent of the senators who were actually present for it -- but that's not the way the filibuster rules work.

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The Republican Infrastructure Con Game

[ Posted Thursday, May 27th, 2021 – 16:21 UTC ]

The Senate Republicans who are trying to appear as if they are negotiating an infrastructure plan in good faith with President Joe Biden are, in reality, trying to con both the media and the public into thinking their plan can be directly compared to the White House's offer. I say this not because of all the bickering over what really and truly constitutes "infrastructure," but instead over the numbers themselves. Because comparing Biden's plan to the GOP's plan is like comparing apples to peanuts.

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Florida's Affront To The First Amendment (Part 2)

[ Posted Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 – 16:57 UTC ]

We now have to jump forward to what the state of Florida is attempting to do, with their new law. Florida is run by Republicans and its governor is widely reported to be considering an eventual presidential run. He's always been a big supporter of Donald Trump and so the state Republicans have taken up the insistence on the right that somehow social media platforms banning conservatives is some sort of tyrannical outrage that must be stopped by governmental intervention. In this one area -- social media and Big Tech in general -- Republicans are for all the regulations they can impose, which obviously runs counter to their longstanding drive to remove as many regulations on as many corporations as possible. So far, though, Republicans don't seem to have any ideological opposition to more and more regulations in this one area, and it's doubtful they ever will.

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Florida's Affront To The First Amendment (Part 1)

[ Posted Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 – 16:58 UTC ]

State-level Republicans are up to a whole new set of antics these days, in their continuing refusal to ever learn the true meaning of the First Amendment. The governor of Florida just signed a law whose purpose is to somehow protect the "free speech" rights of state-level politicians and conservative commenters -- by which they mean the non-existent "right" of government and politicians to dictate to social media companies how their own platforms must be used. As usual with such Republican flimflammery, the law is the exact opposite of what it purports to be -- it is a governmental attempt to "abridge the freedom of speech." Which is exactly what the First Amendment was written to prevent in the first place.

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Last Chance For Bipartisanship

[ Posted Monday, May 24th, 2021 – 15:42 UTC ]

It's infrastructure week again, down at the Republicans' Last Chance Saloon. One week from today is Memorial Day, which is the deadline President Joe Biden set to see some sort of substantial progress on a bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress. If such progress is not achieved by the time of the summer-opening picnics, then Democrats will begin moving on their own to use the Senate's budget reconciliation provision to pass both of the big Biden proposals (the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan). The clock is ticking, in other words, with one week to go.

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Friday Talking Points -- Just Not A Good Bad Guy

[ Posted Friday, May 21st, 2021 – 17:43 UTC ]

Republicans, these days, just seem rather lost. They used to be so good at coming up with semi-cohesive talking points to use against Democrats, and they have always admirably been able to all sing from this same songbook every Sunday morning (for the political chatfest shows on television). But these days, all the issues they choose to highlight are all so incredibly short-term that the problem usually disappears before their politicization of the issue really even has a chance to take hold.

Case in point: Republicans' heavy lean on school reopenings. They've been so convinced this is going to be a big winning issue for them, they rode it all the way to getting a recall election called for California's governor (Gavin Newsom). But by the time Californians vote on it (later October or early November of this year), everyone will already be back in school again.

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Bipartisanship Rejected By Mitch McConnell

[ Posted Thursday, May 20th, 2021 – 16:20 UTC ]

Bipartisanship has been achieved! You would think that this news would make Republicans happy, since they've been whining so incessantly about President Joe Biden somehow not being sufficiently interested in bipartisanship in Congress, but you would (of course) be wrong about that. Instead of celebrating the milestone, Senate Republicans from their leadership on down are now desperately trying to create more partisanship, to kill the bill. There's an object lesson here, for people like Joe Manchin, but it remains to be seen whether this lesson will be taken to heart or not.

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The Circus Has Come To Arizona

[ Posted Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 – 14:53 UTC ]

The circus has come to town! Step right up folks, because Arizona is currently hosting an absolute three-ring extravaganza. The Republicans who control the state senate decided the best way to get on Donald Trump's good side would be to chase down the rabbit hole of: "Maybe if we look at the ballots again, we'll find all that non-existent fraud Trump keeps telling us is there!" So even though the ballots in Maricopa County (the lion's share of the statewide vote totals) have already been audited twice, the state senate voted to conduct their own personal "audit" of the ballots. That word is in quotes to signify that this isn't a real and authentic audit, it is instead nothing short of a circus.

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GOP 2.0

[ Posted Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 – 15:57 UTC ]

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan just announced he will not be running for re-election next year, and instead will be devoting his time and energy to a new movement to reform the Republican Party. He calls this effort "GOP 2.0." His chances of success appear to be somewhere between "slim" and "non-existent." But you have to at least applaud the guy for trying.

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