Archive of Articles for March, 2024

Friday Talking Points -- Old Man Misinformates

[ Posted Friday, March 29th, 2024 – 17:58 UTC ]

From the "stop me if you've heard this one" file, we suppose: An old man is running for president who is saying increasingly bizarre things... except that you might not know about it because the mainstream media only goes into a frenzy of breathless reporting when his opponent misspeaks.

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Senate Should Dismiss Mayorkas Impeachment With No Trial

[ Posted Thursday, March 28th, 2024 – 15:33 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has now indicated that he will be officially sending the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over to the Senate on April 10th. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded by stating that all the senators will be sworn in as jurors the next day, but what will happen after that point is very much up in the air. The Senate could hold a full trial with House impeachment managers presenting what they consider their evidence as they make their case for removing Mayorkas. Or the Senate could just move straight to a vote on the articles of impeachment -- where a two-thirds majority would be necessary to remove Mayorkas from office. Or the Senate could choose to not waste any more of their precious time and just vote to dismiss the trial altogether. This would only require a simple majority to pass, meaning if they all stuck together Democrats could halt the proceedings before they even get underway.

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Big Lie Pricetag Nearing $1 Billion

[ Posted Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 – 15:51 UTC ]

The pricetag of spreading Donald Trump's "Big Lie" -- that there were various forms of massive fraud committed in the 2020 presidential election -- is about to grow, once again. At this point it is impossible to predict exactly what the next legal cost will be, but it could easily send the total amount the Big Lie perpetrators have paid (or have been ordered to pay) north of one billion dollars. And this could still be just the beginning -- by the time the counting is fully done, this could jump to multiple billions in legal damages assessed against various bad actors.

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Springtime Is Near For New Jersey Politics

[ Posted Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 – 15:56 UTC ]

In much the same way that odious manure previously spread over the ground can give rise to the sweetest-smelling flowers in the spring, New Jersey politics seem to be going through a period of rebirth or re-emergence into the light of a new spring day (perhaps appropriate for "The Garden State," no?). The sleazy scandal which has (so far) successfully brought down Senator Robert Menendez -- complete with 24-karat gold bars seized by the feds -- has tangentially morphed into an attack on the state's "machine politics," and it could all wind up with major reforms in the way local political leaders currently hand-pick their favorite candidates. This is long overdue and although it comes from an unexpected direction (a major scandal not directly related to the reform itself), it should be welcome news for voters in New Jersey -- and anyone else who supports the concept of fairness in politics.

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NBC News Drama

[ Posted Monday, March 25th, 2024 – 16:44 UTC ]

There is some big-time drama going on at NBC News right now, as some of its journalists push back hard on the big bosses' decision to hire, as a new political contributor, former head of the Republican National Committee Ronna (Romney) McDaniel. This erupted on this week's Meet The Press and it hasn't abated since. NBC first announced that McDaniel would appear on all their platforms, but has since walked this back a bit after the people at MSNBC pushed back hard.

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Friday Talking Points -- M.T.G. Threatens An M.T.V.

[ Posted Friday, March 22nd, 2024 – 18:18 UTC ]

For once, big things are actually happening in Congress. No, really!

As we write this, the House has passed the final budget bill for this fiscal year (by a vote of 286-134) and sent it over to the Senate. The Senate may pass it tonight, if senators like Rand Paul can restrain their natural urge to be total [insert favorite plural derogatory expletive here]. If they do throw a monkey wrench into the works, we could have a very short-lived partial government shutdown, but if it gets resolved before the weekend is over then it won't do much damage at all. Either way, the bill's got the votes to pass the Senate, so it's now only a matter of time until President Joe Biden can sign it and the budget that was supposed to be in place on the first of October last year will finally be finished.

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Slouching Towards A Budget

[ Posted Thursday, March 21st, 2024 – 16:20 UTC ]

Congress is -- finally -- about to finish the most basic of their constitutional duties: funding the federal government by passing a budget for the current fiscal year. This comes almost six months from when they were supposed to have achieved this feat (the federal fiscal year starts at the beginning of October). And what is happening on Capitol Hill right now should be familiar to anyone who knows how the process has worked in recent years -- a huge bill that wraps multiple individual spending bills together is released at the last possible minute, with no time for any floor debate or even for many people to dig through the enormous length of the bill, and with a deadline in sight tomorrow night at midnight that may or may not be met (although any partial government shutdown will likely be brief and happen over the weekend when its impacts would be minimal, at least). This is all pretty much par for the budgetary course, these days. Six months late is an outlier -- usually the budget is wrapped up (at the latest) by December or January -- but budgets nowadays are never passed on time.

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Reading The Primary Tea Leaves

[ Posted Wednesday, March 20th, 2024 – 15:41 UTC ]

Because this year's primary season has pretty much been a foregone conclusion on both sides of the aisle, political pundits have been denied their usual "who is up, who is down" frenzy of horserace reporting. Both President Joe Biden and Donald Trump have already clinched their respective parties' nominations (and very early on), so there's really not all that much to write about when more states' primary returns come in. However, this hasn't stopped the pundits from pushing a story about how Democrats should be worried because of all the "protest votes" cast on their side. Biden is getting pushback from younger and more progressive voters on his backing of Israel in the Gaza war, as well as Democrats who are just not all that enthused about him running again. But there haven't been a lot of stories exploring the protest votes being cast on the Republican side, which is odd because there were actually more of them this week than on the Democratic side.

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Time For Trump To Pay For His Lies

[ Posted Tuesday, March 19th, 2024 – 16:03 UTC ]

Donald Trump is finally having to face some consequences for his past misdeeds. He has already had to put up two bonds to cover the judgments in the two defamation cases E. Jean Carroll won against him (to the tune of almost $100 million, combined, with interest), and he is now on the hook for the enormous judgment against him in the civil fraud trial he also lost. His lawyers are complaining that he doesn't have the money to pay the penalty (almost a half-billion dollars, with interest) and that he has been unsuccessful in obtaining a bond to cover the amount. If Trump doesn't post a bond or put up the money by early next week, the state of New York could start seizing his properties and liquidating them.

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Wildly Unprofessional? Really?

[ Posted Monday, March 18th, 2024 – 16:59 UTC ]

But instead I am going to write a different very lazy column on a subject that has always peeved me no end: the insanely-generous vacation schedules for members of Congress. Here is the quote that set me off today, from a blurb of an article about the ongoing discussions in Congress to prevent a government shutdown this Friday night:

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