Archive of Articles for March, 2023

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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Biden's Opening Bid

[ Posted Thursday, March 9th, 2023 – 17:14 UTC ]

President Joe Biden released his third budget proposal today. It is an opening bid which both lays out Biden's negotiating position in the upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans. But it also unveils a policy blueprint for Biden's yet-to-be-announced re-election campaign. Biden used his budget to showcase his unfinished agenda -- much of which was included in his earlier "Build Back Better" proposal -- and indicate where his political priorities lie. It is a promise to the American people what Biden will be fighting for, whether for the next two years or the next six.

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Something Versus Nothing

[ Posted Wednesday, March 8th, 2023 – 16:47 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is reportedly going to unveil his budget proposal tomorrow. Like any White House budget proposal, it will contain both some good ideas and some bad ideas, and it will be argued about by both sides of the political divide. Progressives will argue it doesn't contain enough of their agenda items, moderate Democrats will argue it contains too many progressive ideas, and the Republicans will try to demonize it as the worst idea anyone has had since the dawn of time. Also, like all presidential budgets, it will not pass Congress intact -- not by a long shot. The House and the Senate will want to pass their own budgets, and at most they'll co-opt a few ideas from Biden's budget while charting their own course on much of it. But politically, Democrats will have a window of time where they will be able to make a potent point: something is better than nothing.

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Tucker Carlson's Wet Firecracker

[ Posted Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 – 16:40 UTC ]

Some people were expecting some explosive news this week from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. He had, after all, been handed what could have been something extremely volatile -- access to all 40,000-plus hours of video footage from the January 6th insurrection attempt at the United States Capitol. Carlson himself predicted his revelations from this extraordinary access would land with a bang. But what he just unveiled wasn't just "not a bang," it barely even qualifies as a whimper. It fizzled. It was a dud. A gigantic nothingburger.

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Trump To Hold First (Small) Rally

[ Posted Monday, March 6th, 2023 – 17:09 UTC ]

Donald Trump is running for president again. Forgive me if this was an unnecessary thing to point out, but at times it seems like the public almost needs a reminder of this fact, due to Trump's almost non-existent campaign so far. Personally, I am left wondering when Trump is going to get back to his signature giant rallies and start actively running once again in a big way. If President Joe Biden announces his re-election bid, it will almost certainly clear the Democratic field of serious contenders, so the primary fight on the Republican side is going to be the only game in town for the next year or more. But so far, it has been a real snoozefest.

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