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Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Friday Talking Points [489] -- Ranting About Trump's Cruelty

[ Posted Friday, June 22nd, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

For a change, we're not going to have much to say in this introduction. The reason is that the talking points section is taken up by a lengthy rant this week, because it seemed timely to offer one up. It is a rare week of the Trump presidency where there is really only one overriding issue in the political world to comment on, but this was indeed that kind of week.

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GOP's Glorious Immigration Week Lurches Along

[ Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2018 – 16:18 PDT ]

Well, we're almost to the end of the glorious Republican Immigration Reform Week. That was the original plan, at any rate -- Paul Ryan's House was supposed to pass an immigration reform bill containing all four pillars of Trump's stated immigration goals, and then the bill would then be sent over to the Senate, where Democrats would block it. This was supposed to give political cover for House Republicans on the midterm campaign trail, allowing them to claim "We tried to fix the problem!" all the while knowing that the entire thing was nothing short of a pointless political stunt.

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Trump Blinks

[ Posted Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 – 17:42 PDT ]

Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order to end his own policy of forcing the separation of children from families seeking asylum in America, because his initial position had become so untenable (indeed, downright unbelievable) that his political allies were fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. By this afternoon, there were plenty of other metaphors flying fast and thick: Trump blinked; he waved the white flag; he surrendered; he caved; he backed down; he threw in the towel; he bent to reality. Whichever you choose, the underlying reality is the same: President Donald Trump, in a rare occurrence, was forced today to take an action that proves both he and his aides have been flat-out lying to the American public for days on end. There's just no other way to look at it, and in fact it may be unprecedented for Trump. He's been telling anyone who would listen that he alone could not do anything, and that his hands were tied -- Congress would need to act. Now he has proved himself wrong on that front. He acted, which means he could have done so at any point if he truly had cared about the issue at all. What forced him to act was the overwhelmingly negative and relentless coverage he was receiving in the media, and the flight of his allies in the Republican Party. Today, this all became too much for Trump, so he did what he could have done all along, thus putting the lie to his voluminous statements to the contrary.

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Can House Republicans Explain Political Reality To Trump?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 – 15:58 PDT ]

I would sincerely love to be a fly on the wall at tonight's summit meeting between President Donald Trump and the House Republicans. By the time you read this, the meeting will likely either be underway or already over, so it remains to be seen how much of what goes on will leak out. Indeed, one hopes for a surreptitious recording to be made public, but one doesn't always get what one hopes for (alas!). But no matter how many of the details leak, I'd be willing to bet that the meeting will be described as "a spirited discussion" by someone in attendance. The phrase will likely become unavoidable, really.

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Dianne Feinstein Leads The Way With "Keep Families Together Act"

[ Posted Monday, June 18th, 2018 – 15:56 PDT ]

Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill in the Senate which would end Donald Trump's cruel policy of separating children from their parents at the border. You might not have heard of this bill, which is in itself a messaging failure of both Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats. Feinstein did not appear on any of the Sunday political shows (at least, that I am aware of), and neither most of the media nor her fellow Democrats who did appear yesterday seem to have been aware of Feinstein's bill. The bill is S.3036, or the "Keep Families Together Act." As of this writing, all the Democrats in the Senate have signed on as cosponsors, but not a single Republican has yet done so.

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Friday Talking Points [488] -- Suffer The Little Children

[ Posted Friday, June 15th, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

Fox News unwittingly (how else?) spoke a deep truth this week. Or perhaps a deep fantasy -- it's tough to tell, coming from Fox anchors. As President Trump descended the stairs from Air Force One in Singapore, Fox And Friends gushed: "This is history. Regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now -- this is history." Um... how many dictators was that, again? The host later tried to walk back her unintentional gaffe, but is it really all that far off the mark?

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Three Californias? Don't Hold Your Breath...

[ Posted Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 – 17:25 PDT ]

Primary election season for the 2018 midterms continues apace. Last night, voters in Maine reaffirmed their commitment to their new "ranked-choice" voting system. Two Democrats in Wisconsin proved why Governor Scott Walker was so right to be scared of holding special elections, as two more state-level legislative seat flipped from Republican to Democratic (which makes 44, and counting...). A brothel owner in Nevada won his primary. In Virginia, a man who defended the white supremacists in Charlottesville won the GOP nomination and will take on Senator Tim Kaine. So there's plenty of election news to talk about today. But instead of addressing any of these, I simply have to chime in on the fact that in my home state of California a ballot measure has now qualified for the November ballot which will allow voters to decide whether to support the idea of splitting California into three states or not.

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Blame Canada!

[ Posted Monday, June 11th, 2018 – 16:29 PDT ]

Donald Trump has apparently decided to take the advice of that impressive fount of political wisdom, South Park. It's hard to come to any other conclusion, really, when you recall that one of the songs from their first big movie (a song nominated for an Academy Award, no less) was titled: "Blame Canada." President Trump was obviously inspired by the lyrics: "With all their beady little eyes / And flapping heads so full of lies," when he began his tweetstorm against Justin Trudeau after Trump left the G-7 meeting early.

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Friday Talking Points [487] -- Trump Hands Democrats Enormous Midterm Gift

[ Posted Friday, June 8th, 2018 – 18:08 PDT ]

As usual, there was a whole lot of political news this week, as President Trump continues to flail his way around the world in multiple unhinged ways. But this week, our eye was caught by the story that the Trump Justice Department has announced it is now conspiring to hand Democrats the midterm elections. Maybe Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to look into or something?

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Year Of The Woman 2.0

[ Posted Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 – 17:27 PDT ]

I suppose, if one were more classically-minded, that slogan should be: "Year Of The Woman II." But whatever you call it, 2018 is shaping up to be even bigger for the fairer sex than 1992, the original Year Of The Woman in American politics. There are two reasons this is probably soon going to become conventional wisdom (if it already hasn't): impressive women candidates, and suburban and minority women as the key voting demographics.

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