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Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

My Snap Reactions To The Fourth Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 00:37 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my snap reactions to the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held earlier on CNN. But this time I'm opting for a somewhat simpler format. I'm only giving personal reactions to five of the 12 candidates (which does include the three frontrunners). Then I'm going to give some reactions grouped loosely together, under categories such as "good argument / good delivery" or "amusing moments." We'll have to see whether this is a time-saver or not, in the end.

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Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Should Pelosi Hold Impeachment Inquiry Vote?

[ Posted Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

The biggest question Nancy Pelosi will face next week, when the House of Representatives gets back from yet another multiweek vacation, will be whether or not to hold a full floor vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry that has already begun in various House committees. There are arguments to be made both pro and con on the issue, and so far Pelosi has been resisting the pressure to hold such a vote. President Donald Trump upped the stakes on this decision by claiming in a White House letter that he's not going to comply with any subpoena or request for interviews or documents until the House holds such a vote. But it's still an open question whether he would do so even with a floor vote for the impeachment inquiry, because if he stays true to form then he'll just manufacture another specious argument for why he is continuing to stonewall Congress.

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Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 16:57 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure getting a lot of advice from the punditocracy right now. Mostly, over the last few days, this has focused on the question of whether she should or should not hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor. I'm going to ignore that issue today (perhaps to be revisited in a later column) because I feel there are other strategy ideas worth exploring, as the Democrats chart their course through the choppy waters of impeachment.

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Trump Betrays The Kurds

[ Posted Monday, October 7th, 2019 – 17:06 UTC ]

All of a sudden, "letting Trump be Trump" isn't looking like such a good idea any more to many congressional Republicans. Ditto the concept of Trump conducting foreign policy on a whim, often one heavily interrelated with his own re-election prospects. Abandoning the Kurds in Syria may, in fact, turn out to be Trump's very own "red line" with the Republicans who, up until now, have given him nothing but a green light to do what he wishes on the world stage. Perhaps that's too chromatically-mixed, as metaphors go, but it has indeed been astonishing to see the swift and forceful pushback from previously-supine GOP senators and congressmen. Some of them are even talking about using veto-proof majorities to do things like slap sanctions on Turkey or even kick them out of NATO. That's quite a change from last week, you have to admit.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quid, Meet Quo

[ Posted Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 16:30 UTC ]

The impeachment whirlwind shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact each day brings more and more evidence that President Donald Trump is using American foreign policy as his own personal opposition research to undermine his Democratic political opponents. Which, of course, is an eminently impeachable offense.

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Pelosi Has Luxury Of Setting Impeachment Timetable

[ Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 – 17:02 UTC ]

House Democrats are soon going to face a stark choice. Either they wait for the court system to slowly grind its way up to the Supreme Court, and then hope that John Roberts values his legacy enough to rule in their favor; or they can just move past judicial delays altogether and draft articles of impeachment sooner rather than later. So far it seems they're more inclined to pursue the latter strategy, but it is still too early in the process to state that definitively. A court ruling limiting Trump's excessive executive privilege claims would be a valuable thing in its own right, but the question is going to be: is it worth the inevitable wait?

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Attempted Smears Against Whistleblower Are Irrelevant

[ Posted Monday, September 30th, 2019 – 17:23 UTC ]

President Donald Trump and all his coterie of apologists are right now angrily focused on impeaching the credibility of the whistleblower who complained about Trump's call to the new Ukrainian leader. And, yes, "impeaching" is the right word for what they're trying to do. But it's all both meaningless and irrelevant, because the scandal has already moved beyond any questions of bias or credibility of the whistleblower, largely due to the release of both the semi-transcript of the call itself and the whistleblower's complaint. Trump and his minions are, in essence, screaming about how they're going to sue the heck out of the locksmith, while the barn doors hang wide open and all the horses are running willy-nilly across the landscape. At this point, the story is the horses who are running free, not the lock's possible failure.

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Friday Talking Points -- Collusion, Collusion, Collusion!

[ Posted Friday, September 27th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

This has been an extraordinary week, in a presidency chock-full of extraordinary weeks. Call it extra-extraordinary, we suppose. The country went from hearing vague things about Trump stonewalling a congressional committee to full-on impeachment in a matter of hours, it seemed. Or days, at the longest. We went from zero to impeachment in record time, giving Trump a new superlative to brag about: fastest scandal ever.

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The Fastest Scandal Ever

[ Posted Thursday, September 26th, 2019 – 17:00 UTC ]

We all know how much President Donald Trump loves superlatives, most especially when they are used in reference to himself or his presidency. This week added yet another one of these superlatives, since Trump is now at the center of the fastest-progressing political scandal ever. Think about it: a mere two weeks ago, nobody knew anything about it; and now we've seen the public release of a president-to-president phone call's semi-transcript, the public release of the whistleblower's slightly-redacted complaint, testimony on the scandal before both houses of Congress, and the start of impeachment proceedings. To say the past week has been a whirlwind doesn't even begin to accurately describe the blinding pace of the growing scandal.

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