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Archive of Articles in the "American Society" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Let's Replace Columbus Day With Leif Eriksson Day!

[ Posted Friday, August 16th, 2019 – 17:01 UTC ]

This week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Donald Trump, for some strange reason, now wants to try to buy Greenland again. The Washington Post later followed up on the story:

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Spinning A Conspiracy Theory Of My Own

[ Posted Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 – 16:50 UTC ]

Donald Trump finally had to admit today that his tariffs are actually paid by American consumers and not China (as he's been saying all along). This is a fairly basic economic concept, but Trump has deluded himself up to this point that up is down and black is white. Finally, cracks are showing in this facade. The Trump administration announced (after a disastrous day on the stock market) that they would be holding off on inflicting another round of tariffs in September, and instead would wait until the middle of December to add this new tax to thousands of products made in China. This way, American consumers won't get hit by the Trump tax when they do all their Christmas shopping. But if Trump's version of reality were correct -- that China was paying all the tariffs -- then Christmas wouldn't even matter and there would be no reason to delay the new tariff. Trump even reluctantly had to admit this out loud to a reporter (although he included caveats like: "just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. consumers").

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Possible 2020 Blue Pickups

[ Posted Monday, August 12th, 2019 – 17:16 UTC ]

The big story from the 2020 presidential election was the previously solid-blue states that flipped for Trump. Democrats still fixate on the roughly 70,000 votes it would have taken for them to hold onto three states in what had previously been considered solid Democratic states (part of the famous "Big Blue Wall," in other words): Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Was this a new demographic change, as blue-collar workers completed a journey they had begun in 1980 (they were originally called "Reagan Democrats," if you'll remember)? Did this shift in the red/blue map presage a much tougher road to victory for any future Democrat?

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Friday Talking Points -- The Fallout Continues

[ Posted Friday, August 9th, 2019 – 17:27 UTC ]

Will anything actually change this time around? Will these mass shootings finally spur the politicians to act, when all the others didn't? While it's easy to be pessimistic, since it is rare indeed that anything happens after such tragedies, perhaps this time is different. We couldn't say why this time seems to have had more of an impact than the other 250 times it has happened this year, but so far it has. Perhaps it was the fact that there were multiple mass shootings in a single day or perhaps it was the high body count or perhaps it was the El Paso gunman's obvious racist motivation, but for whatever reason this time could be different.

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A Real Twitter War

[ Posted Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 17:15 UTC ]

A real Twitter war has now erupted. This is not a mere "tweetstorm," where people snipe at each other through Twitter messages, this is a dispute between Twitter itself and what looks to be the entire Republican Party election machine. How it all ends nobody knows, but it was almost inevitable that Twitter would eventually get sucked in to the partisan divide in one way or another. In this growing conflict, Twitter fired the first shot, by locking up Mitch McConnell's election site for posting a threatening video (the video was of protesters outside Mitch's house threatening him, so it wasn't like the campaign was threatening anyone else, in all fairness). The Republicans have returned fire by announcing they are pulling all election Twitter ad spending. So far, neither side has blinked.

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Keep The Pressure On Mitch McConnell

[ Posted Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 16:41 UTC ]

Over 200 House Democrats just signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell which demands he allow Senate votes on the universal background check bills that have already passed the House with bipartisan support. Democrats are also saying McConnell should call the Senate back from their August recess to hold a special session devoted to passing these bills. This seems unlikely, seeing as how Mitch doesn't want to pass these bills in the first place. But perhaps shaming him into doing something might eventually bear fruit, if Democrats keep the pressure on McConnell until the Senate does reconvene.

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For The 250th Time This Year...

[ Posted Monday, August 5th, 2019 – 17:07 UTC ]

Here we are again. We all know the drill by now. We all know pretty much what the eyewitnesses will say, what the talking heads on the television will say, and what the politicians will say. None of it ever seems to change, and none of it seems to change anything going forward, either. We go through the cycle of "mass gun attack" and hear the same words over again. We go through the cycle of grief which will then fade, right up to the time when it happens anew all over again. This is, sadly, the new normal for America.

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Friday Talking Points -- Judging The Fire In The Belly

[ Posted Friday, August 2nd, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

Well, the second round of the Democratic debates is over, which means we are now smack in the middle of the debate about the debates. This is a window where we don't yet have an accurate picture of whether this week's debates will change anything in the polling (likely outcome: not very much), so instead of hard data all we have to argue about is sheer speculation and opinion. And, from what's being said, some are wringing their hands with worry.

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Throwdown In Motown (Part 2)

[ Posted Thursday, August 1st, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

Whew! The second Democratic presidential debates are now officially in the history books. Thankfully, this will likely be the last marathon two-night debate round, as the third debate is likely to cut the field so significantly that those who qualify might all be able to fit on a single stage.

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Throwdown In Motown (Part 1)

[ Posted Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 – 16:39 UTC ]

Last night was indeed a throwdown in the Motor City, with 10 Democrats sparring on one stage. My overall impression of the first round of the second debates was that this was, in many ways, the debate that I've been personally itching to see for at least four years now. It was a direct confrontation between the "moderate" or "centrist" wing of the Democratic Party versus the "progressive" or "Democratic" wing of the party. It rarely descended into personalities, and instead remained a purely ideological battle of different visions for how to lead both Democrats and the entire country into the future. We almost got such a debate last time, with Bernie mixing it up with Hillary, but there was far too much personality getting in the way of the purely ideological debate. Also, both the country and the Democratic Party have moved significantly since 2016, so the ground for this debate has shifted.

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