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Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Jeff Sessions Brings Back Highway Robbery

[ Posted Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

That headline sounds like hyperbole or a metaphor, but sadly it is quite literal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bringing back a program which steals money and other valuables from people -- often while they're traveling -- and then refuses to give it back unless the victim sues to get it back in federal court. The costs of bringing a federal case often are more than the value of the property stolen, or "seized" as Sessions would put it. This all takes place even though the victim is never charged with any crime. Meaning the only crime here is the highway robbery by the government, even if they pretty it up with the name "asset forfeiture."

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Giving Thanks For Republican Incompetence

[ Posted Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 – 16:56 PDT ]

Well, that was quick. In less than 24 hours, Mitch McConnell's "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill went down in flames, and then his hastily-constructed Plan C -- the "repeal and delay" idea -- also went down in flames, in spectacular fashion. Without an obvious Plan D on the horizon, this most likely means that the GOP push to repeal Obama's signature legislation is now completely dead in the water, hopefully from now all the way until after the 2018 midterm elections. The finger-pointing among Republicans has already begun, and will likely continue throughout the August congressional break. The real culprit here, though, is nothing short of Republican incompetence. They can spin it all they want, but they're still going to look like the gang who couldn't shoot straight to a significant portion of their own base.

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Is Resisting Trump Enough?

[ Posted Monday, July 17th, 2017 – 16:36 PDT ]

In the most recent Washington Post public opinion poll, only a little over a third of the respondents (36 percent) approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing. This is the lowest rating for any president, roughly six months into the job, since polling began. It's historically dismal, in other words. But while this is good news for the Democratic Party looking towards the midterm 2018 elections, there was one other poll question that should have them at least a little worried. When asked if Democrats "stand for something" or "just stand against Trump," only 37 percent responded that the Democratic Party stood for something. A whopping 52 percent said the party is now solely defined by their opposition to Trump.

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Friday Talking Points [445] -- It's Raining Shoes!

[ Posted Friday, July 14th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

In normal political crises, everyone waits for "the other shoe to drop." The Russia/Trump scandal was upgraded earlier this year (by Senator John McCain) to "a centipede, because there are so many shoes left to drop." We thought that was rather clever, at the time. But we've now entered a whole new realm of scandal -- one where it is simply raining shoes down from the sky. Americans can barely go outside before they are clobbered by a falling workboot. Somebody needs to design a much stronger umbrella to protect public safety, and quick!

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McConnellcare 2.0 On Life Support Already

[ Posted Thursday, July 13th, 2017 – 16:22 PDT ]

I have to preface this article with the useful phrase "as of this writing," because events are moving quickly in Washington. So, as of this writing, Mitch McConnell has released his new draft of the Republican "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill, and within mere hours two GOP senators said they wouldn't even vote to begin debate on the bill. If McConnell loses one more vote, then this draft will be pronounced as dead as McConnellcare 1.0.

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What Is Mitch McConnell Up To?

[ Posted Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 – 17:10 PDT ]

What happens in the Senate in the next month could be pivotal for Republicans. They'll either chalk up some legislative victories or they won't, but either way it could be the moment that defines the political parameters of the 2018 midterm election cycle. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to realize this, as he's already (gasp!) said he's cutting the Senate's August recess by a full two weeks -- meaning senators will only have three weeks to play in the sun this year, rather than the usual five. Snarkiness aside, though, you have to wonder what Mitch is really up to with this move. What mischief can a Republican Senate get up to, with an additional two weeks to cook things up?

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Junior's Smoking Gun

[ Posted Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

Donald Trump's story, up until now, has been that "there was no collusion with Russia" during his campaign. That is now -- as the Nixon White House used to say -- no longer an operative statement. The best they can now claim is that while such collusion was attempted, it ultimately wasn't successful. That's pretty weak, though, and with the shifting nature of the story even that may soon become impossible to claim. We'll have to wait and see where the next smoking gun points, before we find out what Trump's next party line will be.

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Friday Talking Points [444] -- To Insanity And Beyond!

[ Posted Friday, July 7th, 2017 – 16:52 PDT ]

Sometimes, even when reading professional journalism, you have to connect the dots on your own. This week both the president and the vice-president interacted with NASA, and the results were... well... kind of spacey.

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At Least We're Not The Other Guys? Really?

[ Posted Thursday, July 6th, 2017 – 17:26 PDT ]

So the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running a few new campaign slogans up the old flagpole, but so far it doesn't seem like many people are saluting them. It's the D.C.C.C.'s job to get more Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, and part of that job is to help out Democratic candidates with messaging they can use in their campaigns. But what they came up with is pretty insipid -- and I'm even bending over backwards to be polite, at that.

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Friday Talking Points [443] -- You Crazy, Lunatic, 70-Year-Old Man-Baby

[ Posted Friday, June 30th, 2017 – 17:04 PDT ]

That's a doozy of a subheading, but we felt it was completely appropriate this week. It is a direct quote, from conservative (and "Never Trump") commentator Ana Navarro. During an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Navarro responded to Trump's recent tweetstorm attacking Mika Brzezinski by calling on Republicans to say to Trump (either on television or personally) the following: "Listen, you crazy, lunatic, 70-year-old man-baby, stop it. You are now the president of United States, the commander-in-chief and you need to stop acting like a mean girl because we just won't take it." We've saved her entire rant for the talking points, because it is indeed worth reading in full; but because it was the most forceful pushback on Trump we heard all week, we thought it deserved headline status. Tell us what you really think, Ana!

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