Archive of Articles for March, 2023

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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From The Archives -- It's A Long, Long Way To Tipperary

[ Posted Friday, March 17th, 2023 – 18:04 UTC ]

Greetings from Ireland!

Sure and it's a long, long way to Tipperary, as they say. How long? I really have no idea, since it's not on our itinerary this trip. Finding the answer might be something worthwhile to do on my next trip, I suppose.

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War Is Over?

[ Posted Thursday, March 16th, 2023 – 15:29 UTC ]

Today the Senate voted on a repeal of two authorizations for war, the first from 1991 and the second from 2002. The first authorized the president to conduct the Persian Gulf War (or "Gulf War I") and the second authorized the invasion and overthrow of Iraq (or "Gulf War II"). These two wars will be unofficially over if the bill passes both chambers of Congress and is signed by President Biden. That's a historic thing to achieve, obviously.

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Don't Count Chris Christie Out

[ Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2023 – 15:31 UTC ]

When pundits handicap the possible Republican presidential field these days, several names almost always lead their lists of those who have not yet declared their candidacy (but probably soon will): Ron DeSantis (of course), Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and Tim Scott. These are all the current favorites, and all have been at least making some moves towards actually declaring and running. Then there's a second tier of possibilities that usually gets mentioned as well: Chris Sununu, Glenn Youngkin, and maybe Kristi Noem or Greg Abbott to round things out. But for some reason, Chris Christie is almost always treated as an afterthought -- someone barely worth a mention in a tertiary list that might be called: "Oh, these people also might run, too." I've always thought this was a mistake because it seems to me that Christie is all but champing at the bit to take on Donald Trump.

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President Biden To Visit Ireland

[ Posted Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 – 16:38 UTC ]

Politics can be a dreary subject at times, but every once in a while a story pops up which is nothing but cheerful news. This week's feel-good story comes from President Joe Biden -- only the second Irish Catholic to ever become president of the United States. Biden just made this auspicious news by accepting an invitation to visit Northern Ireland, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Accords. This was timely indeed, since it happened during the week which ends on Saint Patrick's Day. Biden, in accepting the invitation, made a point of saying he'll be visiting both Belfast (in Northern Ireland) as well as the Republic of Ireland.

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It's Time For Some Banking Re-Regulation

[ Posted Monday, March 13th, 2023 – 15:49 UTC ]

In the past few days, two large American banks have failed. Everyone in the financial world is now holding their collective breath, hoping that this will be the full extent of the damage and that we won't see more banks shutter their doors as well. The bank failures (even if they stop at two) will have other widespread economic consequences as well. This all might just convince the Federal Reserve not to hike interest rates another half a percent when they meet next week (which was anticipated by many) and instead leave them where they are for now. Rising interest rates played a role in the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the first to fail. There will likely be political fallout as well, as Congress holds hearings and investigates and possibly even passes some changes to the banking laws. This would be appropriate, since the real reason these banks failed is that they were allowed to run too much risk.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Takes The Fight To The MAGA Republicans

[ Posted Friday, March 10th, 2023 – 17:45 UTC ]

We have to warn everyone up front here that this week's Friday Talking Points column is not going to follow the normal format. Most of it is actually going to review the speech that President Joe Biden gave yesterday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden went to Philly to introduce his annual budget proposal, which was publicly released just before he spoke.

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