Archive of Articles for March, 2023

Friday Talking Points -- Trump INDICATED!

[ Posted Friday, March 31st, 2023 – 16:45 UTC ]

Donald Trump's typographical mistakes were already legendary. But up until now, none have truly been as historic as the one he posted immediately after a New York grand jury indicted a former United States president for the first time in American history [bizarre capitalization in original, of course]: "These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America...." Um, well, yes... the grand jury just indicated that Donald Trump was worthy of indictment.

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McCarthy Tries A Ridiculous Bluff

[ Posted Thursday, March 30th, 2023 – 16:30 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, facing the same intransigence within his caucus that has been present since the rise of the Tea Party, issued a laughably empty threat today. The headline in the Washington Post read: "House GOP Eyes Bill To Cut Spending, Raise Debt Ceiling Amid Stalemate." In poker terms, this is nothing short of a monstrous bluff. It is so far removed from the reality of the situation that the only real response from President Joe Biden and the Democrats should be: "Go right ahead -- please don't let us stop you!"

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Will Georgia Go First?

[ Posted Wednesday, March 29th, 2023 – 15:52 UTC ]

It hasn't happened quite yet, but I predict there's about to be a geographic shift in the political media's attention. Their focus for the next few weeks might head south in a rather literal fashion, down the coast from New York City to Fulton County, Georgia. Which could wind up being a good thing, in the end.

I can make this prediction because I've been closely watching both grand juries which are reportedly poised to indict Donald Trump. There are also two big federal cases waiting in the wings as well, but the state-level investigations seem to be getting closer to an actual indictment than the federal ones (although the federal ones also seem to be entering their final phases, to be fair).

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McCarthy's Opening Budget Bid Nothing But Vague Spin

[ Posted Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 – 16:17 UTC ]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy just made his opening bid in the high-stakes poker game he wants to play with President Joe Biden over raising the debt ceiling. Biden's position from the start has been that America can't afford playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States on the table, and he has called on McCarthy to play exactly the same game of poker that gets played every year, but with only the usual stakes -- which, at worse, might lead to a temporary government shutdown. Biden wants a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling from Congress and then he will be open to holding negotiations for the annual federal budget (which is an entirely separate matter).

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Israel Providing A Preview

[ Posted Monday, March 27th, 2023 – 15:28 UTC ]

Although the American news media hasn't paid it a whole lot of attention, Israel now seems to be teetering on the brink of an existential crisis over what form of government it is going to have -- one geared towards democracy and checks and balances, or one headed in a much more authoritarian direction. While international news is routinely given short shrift in America (unless our own troops are somehow involved), what seems striking to me are the parallels between what Benjamin Netanyahu is currently attempting to do and what a second Donald Trump presidential term might look like here.

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Friday Talking Points -- Will No One Rid Trump Of This Meddlesome D.A.?

[ Posted Friday, March 24th, 2023 – 18:01 UTC ]

On one of the last days of the year 1170, an English king seems to have begun a long tradition of what might now be known as "mobspeak." Like unto a mobster capo who is cautious about saying or ordering his minions to do specific things which he might later be found guilty of, King Henry II -- speaking about a man who was a powerful rival at the time, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket -- uttered the ultimate in "deniability" to his knights. The wording is in doubt, since this all happened a very long time ago, but the most common phrasing known today is: "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" We personally prefer the version that calls him a "meddlesome priest" instead, just for the Scooby Doo vibe, but the only account written by a contemporary of Henry worded it (in Latin): "What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric!" This version, we feel -- with only slight modernizations of the language -- could easily have been uttered by Donald Trump. It includes shaming his own followers ("miserable drones and traitors") for being insufficiently loyal and fervent in his defense, a personal playground insult to the object of his wrath ("low-born cleric"), as well as overdramatizing his own victimhood ("treated with such shameful contempt"). The whole statement is downright Trumpian, when you think of it.

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Biden's First Veto Stands

[ Posted Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 – 17:50 UTC ]

The House of Representatives tried to override President Joe Biden's first veto today, but the effort failed in a 219-200 vote -- far short of the two-thirds necessary to override (290 votes in a full House). This was the first-ever veto from Biden, on a bill Republicans had convinced a few Democrats to cross the aisle for. The bill itself would have changed a rule from the Labor Department to remove the freedom of conscience in the investment world. To put it another way, Republicans wanted a Big Government solution to a problem that essentially only exists within their own minds. Most Democrats were right to oppose imposing ideological limitations on what pension fund managers can and cannot do, and President Biden was right to veto it.

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The Court Of Public Opinion

[ Posted Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 – 16:16 UTC ]

There's a recurring theme in both American fiction and actual American history, of playing to the crowd in legal situations. And, at times, it can actually work wonders. Trying a criminal case "in the court of public opinion" can make its own mark on history -- no matter the outcome of the actual court case. Think: the Scopes Monkey Trial. Or John Brown. In both cases, the public eventually wound up on the side that actually lost the case in court (Scopes lost, and John Brown's body wound up "a-mouldering in the grave" after he was executed).

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Personal Note: Ready For Spring

[ Posted Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 – 16:13 UTC ]

Spring, according to my calendar, is supposed to have officially sprung. The weather in California apparently didn't get the memo yet, however, as all day long the power has gone off and on while the rain continues to pound down with winds blowing up to 80 miles per hour. This has been the [...]

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Arrestmas Is Coming?

[ Posted Monday, March 20th, 2023 – 16:40 UTC ]

First, there was the rather-disappointing Muellermas. Now, millions of Americans are waiting (and tweeting about) the impending "Arrestmas." For those using the hashtag, their schadenfreude is off the charts. Which is completely understandable, since people have been waiting for over two years since Donald Trump left office for him to face any sort of legal comeuppance whatsoever. And what seems like the first indictment out of the chute is the most minor, in terms of legal consequence and criminal culpability. Still... we may see Trump in a "perp walk" this week, and at this point, who doesn't want to see Trump in handcuffs... or at the very least, see his mug shot?

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