Archive of Articles for June, 2023

Friday Talking Points -- SCOTUS Week

[ Posted Friday, June 30th, 2023 – 17:14 UTC ]

It is "Supreme Court Decision Week" in the world of politics, and while a few earlier SCOTUS decisions of this term turned out surprisingly liberal, the court saved its most radically-restrictive rulings for the very end. Three big rulings this week will have the effect of: (1) removing race from college admissions processes and all but killing affirmative action, (2) halting President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness program before it starts, and (3) making it allowable -- as long as you cite religious reasons -- for businesses to discriminate against and refuse to serve gay people. This was a pretty grim end to the court's legal term, obviously.

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Will There Be Any Meaningful Presidential Debates?

[ Posted Thursday, June 29th, 2023 – 15:56 UTC ]

Will the public see any meaningful debates during the 2024 presidential election cycle? That is an open question at this point. By "meaningful," I mean a primary debate with at least one of the frontrunners for the two major parties' nominations on the stage, or a general election debate between the two parties' nominees. Right now, there is no guarantee any of this will happen.

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Owning "Bidenomics"

[ Posted Wednesday, June 28th, 2023 – 15:59 UTC ]

President Joe Biden launched an interesting campaign strategy today -- one that wouldn't be all that remarkable for a Republican, but one that has proven somewhat tough for Democratic presidents to manage. He is going to take credit for the economy and make it a centerpiece of his efforts to convince the American electorate to give him four more years in office. And he's not doing this by halves, either, he is jumping in with both feet by embracing the term: "Bidenomics."

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Votes Should Matter

[ Posted Tuesday, June 27th, 2023 – 16:30 UTC ]

The Supreme Court released another decision today, one that could have led to upending the entire process of American presidential elections. Thankfully, the court decided (6-3) not to go down such a dangerous path. Instead, checks and balances will remain at the state level when it comes to elections. The alternative would have been to open the doors to exactly what Donald Trump wanted to see happen after the 2020 presidential election -- partisans in state legislatures overturning the will of the voters of their states and just unilaterally declaring a winner. This is what Trump wanted Mike Pence to facilitate. What the Supreme Court just did was to slam the door on any speculation that such a thing could actually happen.

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It's Infrastructure-Touting Week!

[ Posted Monday, June 26th, 2023 – 16:23 UTC ]

It is "Infrastructure-Touting Week" again at the White House. I say this, of course, to draw a stark distinction between President Joe Biden launching a media blitz (to boast of his ongoing achievements in improving America's infrastructure) and the former president, for whom "Infrastructure Week" became the punchline to a long-running and rather sad joke.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Freedom To Choose

[ Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2023 – 17:17 UTC ]

One year ago, the Supreme Court overturned a right that women had been able to freely exercise for the previous half-century. Since then, the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade continues to reverberate across the political landscape. Initially it was thought by many that this would be some sort of minor and temporary political issue, as clueless pundits predicted that somehow women would just sort of forget about the fact that a freedom had been taken away from them -- that they likely wouldn't even remember it at all by the time the next election rolled around. This has been proven wrong on numerous occasions, and it will likely be proven wrong all over again in the 2024 elections as well. Losing the fundamental freedom of bodily autonomy is a lot bigger issue than many had assumed, for what are now patently obvious reasons. When has taking freedom away from people ever been popular with those affected, after all?

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One Year After Roe Was Overturned

[ Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2023 – 16:03 UTC ]

One year ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, which will likely go down in history alongside Dred Scott, Korematsu, and Plessy v. Ferguson as one of the worst decisions the high court has ever made. But that's a gradual process involving a consensus of legal historians, which could take years. In the meantime, the issue has become extremely politically potent. And if the next few years is anything like the first, it is going to become a gigantic albatross around the neck of the Republican Party, since they are now held captive by their most extreme wing on this particular issue.

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Two Tiers Of Justice?

[ Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2023 – 15:50 UTC ]

President Joe Biden's son Hunter has cut a deal to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax offenses, while a third charge of illegally possessing a weapon (after lying about his drug use on a form) has also been filed but will be withdrawn if Hunter successfully completes two years of probation. Hunter Biden will likely avoid any prison sentence as a result of the plea deal.

Republicans reacted predictably, decrying it as a "sweetheart deal," while there were zero Democrats out there screaming about Hunter being charged as part of a "witch-hunt" or swearing up and down that it was fully legal for Hunter to do these things. That's the difference between the parties in a nutshell: Democrats support the rule of law even when one of their own is caught, while Republicans want the book thrown at all Democrats while giving a free pass to all Republicans for all crimes.

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I Pity Trump's Defense Lawyers

[ Posted Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 – 16:24 UTC ]

Donald Trump was interviewed on Fox News last night by Bret Baier, and to say it did not go well for Trump is a vast understatement. It was so bad it left me actually feeling sorry for his defense lawyers. It is, after all, pretty hard to present a coherent legal defense in a court of law when your client essentially goes on national television and admits that the worst charge against him is true. No wonder Trump's lawyers keep quitting, to put this another way.

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Republicans Trash Trump On CBS

[ Posted Monday, June 19th, 2023 – 16:42 UTC ]

Since it is a holiday (Happy Juneteenth!), I considered taking the day off. But rather than totally punt today, I thought I'd just run large excerpts from the official CBS transcript of this week's Face The Nation, since it was a rather extraordinary show.

I'm not usually a big fan of Face The Nation, in terms of the Sunday morning political chatfest lineup, but occasionally they manage to do a good job. This week we had Robert Costa guest-hosting, but it wasn't his presence so much as the guest list itself that made the program notable. The first two segments might have been subtitled: "Republicans Explaining Why Trump Is So Screwed" (if you'll forgive the language).

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