Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Biden Takes The Fight To The MAGA Republicans

[ Posted Friday, March 10th, 2023 – 17:45 UTC ]

We have to warn everyone up front here that this week's Friday Talking Points column is not going to follow the normal format. Most of it is actually going to review the speech that President Joe Biden gave yesterday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden went to Philly to introduce his annual budget proposal, which was publicly released just before he spoke.

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Biden's Opening Bid

[ Posted Thursday, March 9th, 2023 – 17:14 UTC ]

President Joe Biden released his third budget proposal today. It is an opening bid which both lays out Biden's negotiating position in the upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans. But it also unveils a policy blueprint for Biden's yet-to-be-announced re-election campaign. Biden used his budget to showcase his unfinished agenda -- much of which was included in his earlier "Build Back Better" proposal -- and indicate where his political priorities lie. It is a promise to the American people what Biden will be fighting for, whether for the next two years or the next six.

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Something Versus Nothing

[ Posted Wednesday, March 8th, 2023 – 16:47 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is reportedly going to unveil his budget proposal tomorrow. Like any White House budget proposal, it will contain both some good ideas and some bad ideas, and it will be argued about by both sides of the political divide. Progressives will argue it doesn't contain enough of their agenda items, moderate Democrats will argue it contains too many progressive ideas, and the Republicans will try to demonize it as the worst idea anyone has had since the dawn of time. Also, like all presidential budgets, it will not pass Congress intact -- not by a long shot. The House and the Senate will want to pass their own budgets, and at most they'll co-opt a few ideas from Biden's budget while charting their own course on much of it. But politically, Democrats will have a window of time where they will be able to make a potent point: something is better than nothing.

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Tucker Carlson's Wet Firecracker

[ Posted Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 – 16:40 UTC ]

Some people were expecting some explosive news this week from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. He had, after all, been handed what could have been something extremely volatile -- access to all 40,000-plus hours of video footage from the January 6th insurrection attempt at the United States Capitol. Carlson himself predicted his revelations from this extraordinary access would land with a bang. But what he just unveiled wasn't just "not a bang," it barely even qualifies as a whimper. It fizzled. It was a dud. A gigantic nothingburger.

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Friday Talking Points -- Some Bipartisanship Appears, For Better Or Worse

[ Posted Friday, March 3rd, 2023 – 19:00 UTC ]

Apparently, there was a big murder trial down South that culminated this week, but we have to admit that since it wasn't an overtly political case, we just didn't pay much attention to it. Instead, as always, we had our nose to the grindstone of sifting through the week's political news so that you don't have to. In other words: Welcome to another installment of Friday Talking Points!

We're going to start this week with some good news. Not great news, mind you, but pretty good nonetheless. A spate of actual bipartisanship broke out in the Senate this week and with amazing speed (for Congress in general and for the Senate in particular) they came up with proposed legislation that might actually have a chance of passing. Well, passing the Senate at least, since nobody has any clue of what the GOP House will do these days.

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Marco Rubio's Timely Bill

[ Posted Thursday, March 2nd, 2023 – 16:25 UTC ]

Today, I'm going to do something I rarely do in this column: praise Marco Rubio. Because Rubio has been the driving force behind trying to change a system that virtually everyone hates, but that which will also probably continue for quite some time to come. And time is the heart of the issue, because I am speaking of the biannual change to and from daylight saving time.

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Sometimes Corporate Shaming Works

[ Posted Wednesday, March 1st, 2023 – 16:40 UTC ]

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced today that they would be slashing their prices for insulin by 70 percent. Think about that for a moment -- a corporation was pricing a product so high that it can cut the price by 70 percent and still make money off of it. That should be seen as nothing short of obscene to the average person. But what is interesting about this announcement is that it seems a combination of public shame and some competition in the marketplace has brought about this change. And that's worth celebrating a little bit, even if the case isn't exactly cut-and-dried.

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Friday Talking Points -- Off The Rails

[ Posted Friday, February 24th, 2023 – 18:28 UTC ]

Trains were at the heart of the political scene this week. Internationally, President Joe Biden took a 10-hour train ride to get to Kyiv in person (which he must have thoroughly enjoyed, knowing his general love of trains). Domestically, the trainwreck in Ohio became sidetracked into a political circus.

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Kill The Blue Slip!

[ Posted Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 – 16:19 UTC ]

Changes to Senate rules and traditions tend to happen somewhat incrementally. Democrats are currently considering taking another step towards making the Senate actually functional once again, and it is a step that definitely needs taking. Because it is time to kill the "blue slip" on judicial nominations, once and for good.

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Friday Talking Points -- Republican Woes

[ Posted Friday, February 17th, 2023 – 19:19 UTC ]

We have to begin today with a look at the woes of the Republican Party. Because, when you think about it, why not?

The most amusing news (speaking from across the political aisle) all has to do with the Republican Party trying to come to grips with another presidential nominating process with Donald Trump as the 800-pound elephant in the room. Most of the party establishment would dearly love to see literally anyone else win the nomination than Trump, but they also fear the prospect of Trump going rogue if he doesn't win and launching his own third-party bid.

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