Archive of Articles for February, 2022

Will A Trucker Protest Happen Here?

[ Posted Monday, February 14th, 2022 – 16:50 UTC ]

The Canadian trucker protest seems to be winding down, at least somewhat. The vital bridge between Detroit and Windsor has been cleared and reopened. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a national public emergency, which will allow him to clear the protests in Ottawa as well. But the big remaining question further south is whether American truckers will stage their own protest or not. The right-wing media echo chamber is rooting for such a protest to take place, but so far nothing tangible has emerged from the effort. Perhaps this is because there just isn't any great reason for them to protest here in the first place?

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Friday Talking Points -- Republicans In Disarray!

[ Posted Friday, February 11th, 2022 – 16:41 UTC ]

Did what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021 constitute "legitimate political discourse" or not? That was the question that has divided the Republican Party all week, and may serve to be the one memorable phrase that sums up the difference between those in the GOP who have completely surrendered all their morals and thought processes and attachment to reality to Donald Trump -- and those who have not. Because that's what it all boils down to, really.

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Biden's Economic Achilles' Heel

[ Posted Thursday, February 10th, 2022 – 16:53 UTC ]

Inflation is rapidly turning into President Joe Biden's Achilles' heel. In the midst of an economy that is by every other measure booming, inflation remains the unsolved problem that affects all Americans at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and at the used car lot. Unlike more esoteric economic indicators, people see inflation's effects very directly, as they pay more for basic supplies every week. This represents an enormous political problem not just for Democrats but for Joe Biden personally.

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Pelosi Should Fully Embrace Congressional Stock Trading Ban

[ Posted Wednesday, February 9th, 2022 – 15:46 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made some news today, by tentatively signalling she is now more open to the idea of banning members of Congress from making individual stock trades while they serve in office. The easiest way to do this, of course, would be to require all members to turn over all their holdings to a blind trust before they are sworn in. That would solve the problem entirely, but there are currently multiple proposals floating around Capitol Hill with various ideas as to how best achieve a trading ban. Pelosi's previous position had been to reject the idea entirely, saying back in December (when asked about banning members from individual trades): "We're a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that." She got a lot of blowback for this, while the idea has continued to gain steam among not only Democrats but also some Republicans as well. Today on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer got behind the idea wholeheartedly, addressing the Senate: "I believe this is an important issue that Congress should address, and it is something that has clearly raised interest on both sides of the aisle over the last few weeks." He urged senators to act sooner rather than later, as well. Pelosi, when asked about Schumer's comments, had a more-nuanced response: "I do believe in the integrity of people in public service. I want the public to have that understanding. We have to do this to deter something that we see as a problem.... And if that's what the members want to do, then that's what we will do."

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Biden Should Have Fired Eric Lander

[ Posted Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 – 16:28 UTC ]

President Joe Biden missed an opportunity to make good on a campaign promise this week. It's not the most significant thing happening in the White House right now, I will admit, but it was a missed opportunity nonetheless. Biden could have stood strongly (as he had pledged to do) for the rights of people working for him not to be bullied while doing their jobs. Instead, he wound up looking detached and weak. Perhaps this was the fault of overzealous aides who did their best to not allow a controversy to actually enter the Oval Office, but there's also a danger in protecting the president too much from having to make hard choices.

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Are Democrats' Midterm Chances Improving?

[ Posted Monday, February 7th, 2022 – 16:38 UTC ]

Today Politico caused somewhat of a stir, by publishing an article that examined the question of the chances Democrats will have to avoid getting wiped out in the midterm elections this November. Up until now, the conventional inside-the-Beltway cocktail-party-chattering-class wisdom was that Democrats were toast and might as well not even bother running much of a campaign at all. Historical trends were against them, gerrymandering was going to take the House of Representatives away from them, and Republicans were going to emerge with new congressional majorities pretty much no matter what Democrats did or said in the meantime.

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Friday Talking Points -- Legitimate Political Discourse?

[ Posted Friday, February 4th, 2022 – 17:38 UTC ]

President Joe Biden had a pretty good week, as political weeks go in Washington. First and foremost, the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is fading fast -- the numbers are now down below half of the peak they hit roughly two weeks ago. That's good news for everybody, not just President Biden.

Then it was announced that the United States military had taken out the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. Questions still remain about the mechanics of this daring raid in Syria, but nobody is questioning the fact that the targeted terrorist leader is now dead.

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Use Reconciliation To Lower Prescription Drug Prices

[ Posted Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 – 16:52 UTC ]

At this juncture in time, what was once seen as a radical suggestion seems more and more to now be a very smart course of action. This is far from ideal, since the original plans would have been far, far better... but we are where we are. So perhaps it is time for Democrats in Congress to consider using the budget reconciliation rules in the Senate to achieve only one of their stated objectives. And there is no more pressing concern for the voters than limiting pharmaceutical companies from their continual greed when it comes to setting the price of their wares for the American public. Lowering prescription drug prices via reconciliation would chalk up an enormous political win for Democrats, heading into the midterm campaign season.

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Is The End Of The Pandemic Actually In Sight?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 – 16:48 UTC ]

Perhaps it is appropriate that I chose to write about this today, since it is Groundhog Day. Because, much like Bill Murray experienced in the movie, it certainly feels like we've been here before. But maybe this time we'll actually get to continue onwards, instead of reliving the same cycle over and over again. That's my hope, at any rate.

I am speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mainstream media has recently lost interest in the story, but there is some great news they really should be sharing with the American public: we may almost be at the end. We may be approaching endemic status rather than pandemic. We may be approaching the vaunted herd immunity. We may, not to put too fine a point on it, almost be out of the woods.

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Let's Hope Supply-Chain Issues Don't Become A National Security Problem

[ Posted Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 – 16:29 UTC ]

Today I am revisiting a nightmare. Perhaps it is the situation in Ukraine and Taiwan which caused me to think about this again, or perhaps it was reading an article entitled: "A Normal Supply Chain? It's 'Unlikely' In 2022." The article takes a big-picture look at the issue from all sorts of angles, but ends rather inconclusively. The COVID-19 pandemic changed a whole lot of consumer behavior, businesses made the wrong assumptions at the start of the pandemic, but we may never go back to the "old normal" again since some of these changes may become permanent.

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