Archive of Articles for September, 2023

Reviewing The Field For The Second GOP Debate.

[ Posted Monday, September 25th, 2023 – 16:03 UTC ]

It's almost time for the second Republican debate, although we're still waiting to hear who exactly will be allowed on the stage Wednesday night. Just as in the first debate, frontrunner Donald Trump will not be on the stage, not through being disqualified in some way but because he has decided (once again) to stage his own event in an effort to "counterprogram" the Fox debate. Trump has a big problem with the Ronald Reagan presidential library where the debate will be held, but even without that dynamic he still likely would have skipped this one as well. He is -- quite accurately -- figuring that there isn't a whole lot of upside for him showing up, since he is already so dominant in the polling at the moment. So once again we're going to see all the candidates who have yet to truly challenge Trump's standing with Republican voters bickering among themselves.

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[From The Archives:] Friday Talking Points [363] -- New Job Vacancy: Chief GOP Cat-Herder

[ Posted Friday, September 22nd, 2023 – 14:47 UTC ]

Program Note: As I mentioned last week, I am playing hooky today. So I went looking for a column to re-run and came across this one, from almost exactly eight years ago. It's stunning in the sense of plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, since it wouldn't take much more than changing a few names to be almost perfectly relevant today. It was written the week that John Boehner announced he was stepping down from being speaker and retiring from politics. At the time (as you'll see), Kevin McCarthy's name was being bandied about as a replacement, but ultimately Paul Ryan was chosen as a sort of sacrificial lamb instead.

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Will Democrats Save McCarthy?

[ Posted Thursday, September 21st, 2023 – 15:50 UTC ]

I should begin by clarifying terms. Perhaps the headline should read: " McCarthy's speakership," because I am not talking about whether Democrats will either step in to avert a government shutdown or eventually offer House Speaker Kevin McCarthy a path to ending such a shutdown, because at this point one of those is almost inevitable. There will eventually be a short-term deal, it will pass the House, and it will pass with mostly Democratic votes. The Senate will then pass it as well and President Joe Biden will sign it. I'm not talking about saving McCarthy from the shutdown nonsense (which may happen or not), instead I'm talking about what might happen afterwards... or even "during."

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Poor Kevin

[ Posted Wednesday, September 20th, 2023 – 15:55 UTC ]

It wasn't supposed to be like this. We were told that, a while back, when Republicans took over control of the House of Representatives. Things were going to be different! Republicans were going to show us all how Congress is supposed to work. The 12 appropriations bills that make up the federal budget were going to go through "regular order" and be voted on one by one instead of all being swept into a giant "omnibus" bill or just largely ignored by the use of a "continuing resolution" (C.R.). That was all going to be a thing of the past, as Congress returned to regular order and appropriated funding the correct and proper way. Washington would bask in the sunshine of regular order and the citizenry would reward the staunch Republicans who had shown Congress the way out of the darkness. That was the way it was supposed to be!

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Biden Needs To Go To Michigan

[ Posted Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 – 15:30 UTC ]

President Joe Biden needs to go to Michigan, and he needs to do it soon. Biden needs to go within days, in fact -- and certainly before next Wednesday. Because if he either waits that long or doesn't go at all, he will have failed an important pop quiz in Politics 101. Here is how such a quiz might be framed:

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Trump, Media Haven't Changed

[ Posted Monday, September 18th, 2023 – 16:27 UTC ]

Donald Trump hasn't changed. That was my big takeaway from watching his performance on this week's Meet The Press, where Kristen Welker started her new stint as host of the program by scoring a blockbuster interview with Trump. This is the first such interview he has given in a long time: on network television which is not part of the right-wing echo chamber. And it went about how you'd expect (assuming you haven't been in a coma for the past eight years). Trump flooded the zone with lies, distortions, conspiracy theories, and general blithering, and the poor benighted host simply couldn't keep up. So two big takeaways, really: Donald Trump hasn't changed, and (sadly) neither has the media.

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Friday Talking Points -- Impeach Hunter Biden!

[ Posted Friday, September 15th, 2023 – 17:51 UTC ]

No, wait... that can't be right...?

Sorry for opening with some snark, but we felt that was the appropriate tone for addressing this week's legal developments. Republicans have been swearing up and down for years now that President Joe Biden's son Hunter somehow bribed his father to use his position as vice president to do... well, something nefarious... and that all they really needed to do was dig into it all and the evidence would then appear.

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Budget Trainwreck Approaching Fast

[ Posted Thursday, September 14th, 2023 – 15:59 UTC ]

Once again, it appears Congress is not going to do its constitutional job on time. October will dawn without a federal budget in place for the next fiscal year, unless (by some miracle) everything gets done in the next two weeks. This miracle is not likely to happen -- it's on the order of wishing for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden to announce tomorrow that they're not running for president next year. It's just not going to happen, in other words.

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Mitt Rides Off Into The Sunset

[ Posted Wednesday, September 13th, 2023 – 15:40 UTC ]

Mitt Romney is hanging up his spurs, it seems. Well, that is perhaps not the best metaphor to use since even though he represents a Mountain West state with plenty of horses to ride, it's hard to picture him atop one of them while wearing spurs. OK, sure, riding one, maybe... but perhaps politely riding dressage, since the only famous link between equestrian sports and Romney was the "dancing horse" his wife entered in the 2012 Olympics. But we're galloping a bit too far down the wrong trail, here, pardner.

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McCarthy Moves To Impeach (To Save His Own Skin)

[ Posted Tuesday, September 12th, 2023 – 15:15 UTC ]

When I was born, there had only been one U.S. president impeached in all of American history. When I was a child, impeachment proceedings were launched against a second, but he resigned before the House of Representatives could impeach him. But since that time, a president has been impeached three times: Bill Clinton for lying about having sex with a White House intern; and Donald Trump both for trying to strongarm the leader of another country in order to create some dirt on his political opponent, and then for instigating an insurrection attempt rather than facing the reality that he lost his re-election effort. Now we stand at the brink of a possible fourth presidential impeachment in my lifetime.

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