Archive of Articles for December, 2022

From The Archives -- The Biggest Conspiracy Of All

[ Posted Tuesday, December 27th, 2022 – 18:25 UTC ]

Speaking as someone who generally enjoys a good conspiracy theory just for the "creative writing" aspect alone, in all good conscience I simply must report this shocking news: I have uncovered a big, fat conspiracy that is no mere theory. We're either being lied to, or we're joining in the propagation of the lie ourselves, with merriment. In actual fact, it would not be hyperbole to call this the father of all conspiracies.

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My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2022 – 19:51 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second of our year-end awards columns! And if you missed it last Friday, go check out [Part 1] as well.

As always, this is long. Horrendously long. Insanely long. It takes a lot of stamina to read all the way to the end. You have been duly warned! But because it is so long, we certainly don't want to add any more here at the start, so let's just dive in, shall we?

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From The Archives -- Why Christmas Is Not On The Solstice

[ Posted Wednesday, December 21st, 2022 – 16:38 UTC ]

When is Christmas? And why?

These are questions guaranteed to get you funny looks when you pop them, especially in a gathering of wassail-soaked relatives. But if you're tired of hearing the seemingly-eternal "this is what Uncle Fred did when he was twelve" stories, and you're leery of bringing up politics with your kin from Outer Podunk, then it's at least a conversation-starter that's somewhat neutral. Plus, you can reaffirm your nearest-and-dearests' image of you as a latte-sipping fruitcake who moved away from the glory of the heartland and now lives on (say it with an embarrassed whisper) the coast.

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Trump's Taxes To Be Released

[ Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 – 18:06 UTC ]

As I write this, the news is just coming in from the House Ways and Means Committee -- Donald Trump's tax returns will be sent to the full House, meaning they will become public record.

I've been waiting all day to hear the outcome, and reading arguments both for and against this release in the media. And I have to say, the arguments for keeping Trump's tax returns private don't seem very convincing.

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Aid Or Comfort

[ Posted Monday, December 19th, 2022 – 17:19 UTC ]

Today Donald Trump was publicly accused of four serious crimes by a unanimous vote of the House Select Committee on January 6th. The committee made referrals to the Department of Justice, and the committee will release both their final report and voluminous amounts of evidence in two days. For now, they released their "executive summary" of what the final report is going to say. This is unprecedented territory, but then so much of Trump's political career would also fit that description, so it's hardly unusual for him.

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My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 16th, 2022 – 18:45 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

As always, we must begin with a stern warning: this is an incredibly long article. So long you likely won't make it to the end, at least not in one sitting. It is, as it always is, a marathon not a sprint.

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Nominations Open For Second Round Of Year-End Awards

[ Posted Friday, December 16th, 2022 – 16:49 UTC ]

I am taking a break from writing tomorrow's article, which will be the first installment of our annual year-end awards, in order to throw open the nominations for the second half, which will run next week (on either Thursday or Friday, we haven't decided -- but the column will be up all of Christmas weekend, so everyone will get a chance to see it).

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From The Archives -- Rare Earth Optimism

[ Posted Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 – 16:08 UTC ]

Twelve years ago, I wrote about an obscure subject that I felt needed a lot more attention. So I was happy today to see as a lead story on the Politico site a cheerful update to that story. And since I am currently busy as a beaver reviewing the past year in preparation for my year-end awards columns, I thought it would be a good day to revisit an older column (warning: tomorrow might see a rerun column as well).

The obscure subject in question is the mining and production of rare earths. These are elements that used to only have specific uses in consumer products (making television screens that had the reddest of reds, mostly), but these days are essential in all kinds of high-tech equipment, from the phone in your pocket to military jet fighters and missiles.

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Biden Signs Respect For Marriage Act

[ Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 – 16:03 UTC ]

President Joe Biden signed the Respect For Marriage Act at the White House today, which closes an ugly chapter in American federal law that began with the Defense Of Marriage Act (which was signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton). But while it may close that chapter, it should not be seen as the end of the story. Because Americans still don't have a federal right to marry the person they love no matter what. At least, not one written into law.

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From Strongest To Weakest

[ Posted Monday, December 12th, 2022 – 16:02 UTC ]

We're about to see a rather dramatic change in the leadership of the United States House of Representatives, and I am not merely referring to the change in political control which will happen when the new Congress is seated in January -- because the more dramatic shift is going to be from one of the strongest speakers in living memory to one of the weakest. And that's only if Kevin McCarthy wins the vote to become speaker at all (which is currently in doubt -- a rather salient measure of his weakness, in fact).

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