Archive of Articles for November, 2021

Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore

[ Posted Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 – 16:37 UTC ]

Nope -- we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. We're not even where we're supposed to be, which is Pennsylvania. We may be in New Jersey; it's not immediately clear (which brings up a rather ironic twist on "There's no place like home," I suppose, since we're not really sure where his home actually is right now...). But today the following news appeared from some fantastical locale or another:

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Schumer Should Up The Pressure On Manchin And Sinema

[ Posted Monday, November 29th, 2021 – 16:28 UTC ]

December is going to be one of those rare months when Congress actually has to get some things done. These days, nothing big happens in Congress without either a hard deadline or an overwhelming sense of political urgency to get something done fast. Both of these will hopefully be in play next month, on different pieces of legislation. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could do one big thing to increase the urgency on one particular bill.

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Economic News To Be Thankful For

[ Posted Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 – 17:21 UTC ]

Good economic news keeps right on happening, even if this message isn't really reaching the public in a big way. The mainstream media, of course, bears a lot of responsibility for this, as they love to focus on anything going wrong rather than any good news, so stories about inflation (the price of gas, specifically) and supply-chain problems flood the airwaves while the steadily-improving unemployment situation gets maybe a one-day mention when new figures come out. But at heart, it is the Democratic Party's failure for not shifting the public conversation to positive news about the economy.

Today, new weekly unemployment numbers were released and America just had its best week in over 50 years. Let that sink in for a moment. Fewer people filed for unemployment last week than any other week since 1969. The last time we had such a good week, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were all still alive. That is some spectacularly good economic news, because not only does it signify that we are now over the Delta wave of economic pandemic effects but that the economy is roaring back far stronger and faster than it did after the Great Recession. The overall (monthly) national unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last month as well.

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Holiday Wave Or Wavelet?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 – 18:01 UTC ]

Are we at the start of a new fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, or is it perhaps just a little bump in the road -- a wavelet instead of a wave? At this point it is impossible to tell, as the data seems to be at an inflection point and could go either way. Add to that the upcoming holiday season, and it's really anyone's guess where we'll be in January.

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Can We Just Stop Talking About 2024? Please?

[ Posted Monday, November 22nd, 2021 – 17:45 UTC ]

As we head into Thanksgiving week of 2021, it seems a lot of political chatter has already begun to focus on the presidential race of 2024. Yes, you heard that right -- three years in advance of the election, speculation is running wild on both sides of the aisle. To which I say: "Can we please just stop? I mean, seriously... isn't there anything else to talk about? Please?"

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Friday Talking Points -- Build Back Better Moves To Senate

[ Posted Friday, November 19th, 2021 – 16:51 UTC ]

A lot actually happened in the political world this week, but the two things that will be remembered most of all were a pair of bookend Biden agenda advancements. The week started off with a bill-signing ceremony -- with Republicans in attendance, even -- as President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law.

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Back To The SALT Mines

[ Posted Thursday, November 18th, 2021 – 16:34 UTC ]

We begin today with a mélange of metaphors (or, to be honest, clichés): Democrats are about to shoot themselves in the foot once again. What they really need to do (quickly!) is to go back to the SALT mines and dig up a better solution than the one currently in the House's version of the Build Back Better bill.

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Republicans' Moral Bankruptcy

[ Posted Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 – 16:17 UTC ]

The Republican Party's descent into madness now appears to be complete. At this point their moral compass hasn't just broken down, they've thrown it overboard. The Republican Party is now completely morally bankrupt. The only thing that is even left to debate about this sad state of affairs is whether they had reached the bottom of the barrel months (or even years) ago, or whether they have only more recently arrived there.

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Biden Should Give A Thanksgiving Address To The Nation

[ Posted Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 – 16:21 UTC ]

President Joe Biden's job approval ratings with the public have slipped over the past few months, from above 50 percent in July down to the low 40s now. In August and September, Biden's average rating in public opinion polls took a dive, although it has since somewhat stabilized. This was caused in large part by a few bad patches which he hit almost simultaneously (the rise of the Delta variant in the pandemic and the obviously-inadequate withdrawal from Afghanistan), and now the increase in inflation is playing a large role as well. Biden just got a big legislative win (and could have another one before the end of the year), but it remains to be seen whether this will boost his standing with the public much or not. One thing he might do to help himself, though, is to make a lot better use of the bully pulpit.

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Biden Gets His Bipartisan Signing Ceremony

[ Posted Monday, November 15th, 2021 – 16:39 UTC ]

Today President Joe Biden got the bill-signing ceremony he has wanted all along. Surrounded by both Democrats and Republicans, Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill he had been requesting from Congress since the spring. He got 19 Republican senators and 13 GOP House members to vote for it -- which is impressive these days, but also a reflection of the hyperpartisan nature of politics today, since in years gone by such a basic bill would likely have been passed with near-unanimous votes in both houses. But even getting 32 Republicans on board was a major achievement for President Biden.

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