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Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Rolling Down The Impeachment Track

[ Posted Friday, December 6th, 2019 – 18:48 UTC ]

The impeachment train is rolling right on down the track, and nothing's going to stop it now. That was the big news this week, without question. This has all been happening at breathtaking speed, when you consider the usual glacial pace of things getting done in Washington. Just this week, the House Intelligence Committee put out its report on impeachment, handed it off to the Judiciary Committee, who then held their first hearing, and by week's end Nancy Pelosi was calling for articles of impeachment to be drafted so that the House could vote on them in time for the Christmas break. That all happened in one week.

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Mainstream Of American Public A Lot More Progressive Than Media Would Like To Admit

[ Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2019 – 18:12 UTC ]

There is good news for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot who espouse progressive policy positions, according to a recent poll cited by today's Washington Post. But even putting it like that buys in to a rather enormous falsehood that both the media as a whole and the Republican Party would dearly like us all to believe. For decades now, they've been beating the drum of "the American public is center-right," when it is just not true (if indeed it ever was). You see this in the constant framing of Democratic candidates in the media as "too far left" or "going hard left" or "dangerously left ideas" or any of the other myriad of misdirection the media routinely loves to push. As this poll stunningly reveals, this is absolutely false because the wide mainstream of political thought in the public at large is actually currently somewhere between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, on the political ideology scale.

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Friday Talking Points -- And Here We Are

[ Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2019 – 19:30 UTC ]

That title comes from Fiona Hill's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings this week. When Hill confronted Gordon Sondland over the quid pro quo Trump was forcing Ukraine into, she angrily told him: "This is all going to blow up." To which she added, to the congressmen questioning her: "And here we are."

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Fifth Debate Roundup

[ Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2019 – 19:51 UTC ]

I'm veering away from the impeachment hearings today to write up my reactions to last night's fifth Democratic presidential debate. This morning's testimony was pretty powerful, and Adam Schiff's closing statement was one for the history books, but it'll all have to wait until tomorrow.

The Democratic field now has 18 people in it, as Wayne Messam formally dropped out but Michael Bloomberg formally took his place. Other than Bloomberg, the candidates who are still running but who didn't appear last night are: Deval Patrick, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson. The ones who did appear on last night's debate stage: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. Hopefully, by the next debate, that entire list will have shrunk a bit more, but these days you never know -- maybe it'll even get bigger!

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Day 3 Reactions

[ Posted Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 – 19:44 UTC ]

I'm starting to write this at about 10 hours in to Day 3 of the public impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee. The five minute segments are continuing as I write this, but at this point they could go on all night. Or so it seems -- you'll have to forgive me for being a bit loopy, since I'm not used to sitting and watching 12 straight hours of television at a time, and certainly not beginning at six o'clock in the morning (my time). So today's review is going to be rather choppy, as I type up what seemed to me to be the high and low points of the testimony so far.

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Three Big Developments In The Democratic Primary Race

[ Posted Monday, November 18th, 2019 – 18:13 UTC ]

In the midst of all the impeachment-mania, there have been several recent interesting developments in the Democratic presidential primary race in the past few days. We've now got one-and-a-half more candidates in the race, a major candidate either backed off (as her detractors would have it) or clarified (as her supporters will tell you) one of her main policy positions, and a poll out of Iowa has shaken up the frontrunner status in that state. So let's dig into all of these developments in an effort to see where the race stands, two days before the next nationally-televised debate.

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Friday Talking Points -- Everything's Just Impeachy-Keen

[ Posted Friday, November 15th, 2019 – 18:13 UTC ]

Rather than our usual weekly roundup, we are going to focus today solely on the public impeachment hearings. This is due to them being the most important thing that happened politically during the week, as well as the fact that we're admittedly more than a little frazzled sitting down to write this, after getting up at 6:00 A.M. and staring at the television for over six hours straight. Normally we would have used a good chunk of that time to sift the news stories from the past week, but that's simply not possible today. Nor is it all that important, because as mentioned everything else really pales in comparison to what is being witnessed right now by the American public.

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...28...29...

[ Posted Thursday, November 14th, 2019 – 17:07 UTC ]

Democrats have always been the masters of a rather dubious skill: second-guessing themselves. For any idea, proposal, or candidate for office, Democrats are continually seeking the perfect, sometimes (as the saying goes) at the expense of the good. Nowhere is this more evident than in Democratic presidential primaries. In fact, it's actually a general rule for Democrats, and it seems to be playing out once again this time around.

After a record-setting number of candidates has been battling it out for voter support for almost a full year now, some in the Democratic Party have now decided that what the race really needs is a few more candidates. This is pretty insane, obviously. To date, by my count, a whopping 27 Democrats have previously announced a bid for the presidency. These range from the well-known to people who are so obscure that few can even remember their names now, whether they've already dropped out of the race (Richard Ojeda) or are still running (Wayne Messam). Out of this incredibly wide field, 17 are still in the race. And yet this week we've seen the entry of the 28th candidate (Deval Patrick) and serious consideration by a man who would become the 29th Democrat to run (Michael Bloomberg). Maybe Democrats should go for an even 30? At this point, why not? Maybe Hillary will run again!

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Friday Talking Points -- See You In The 'Burbs, Baby!

[ Posted Friday, November 8th, 2019 – 18:56 UTC ]

Republicans, it seems, are just never satisfied. First, they howled for a full House vote on impeachment. When the Democrats gave them one, they were not happy for some unfathomable reason. Then they demanded the end to "secret hearings" with no public transcripts. This week, Democrats began releasing all the transcripts to the public. When the first two were released, Republicans complained that the transcripts released were "cherry-picked." By week's end, all the major transcripts were released, putting the lie to this notion. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham, in a snit, said that he wouldn't be reading the transcripts, for some unfathomable reason. Next week, public hearings will begin. So of course now Republicans are decrying the very idea of public hearings, for some unfathomable reason (President Trump: "They shouldn't be having public hearings."). It's almost as if Republicans don't care what they're complaining about as long as they get to complain about something. Hey, it's easier than trying to defend the indefensible, we suppose.

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Flipping The 'Burbs

[ Posted Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

That headline is quite obviously a pun on the phrase "flipping the bird," I will fully admit. But more on bird-flipping in a moment, though. Instead, let's begin with what inspired the pun in the first place: last night's off-off-year election results. The results for the 2019 election cycle are now (mostly) in, and what they show is that the big blue wave which arose in 2018 shows no signs of ebbing. Democrats not only won the governor's race in a state that Donald Trump won by 30 points back in 2016, but they also achieved the "trifecta" in Virginia, flipping both houses of the legislature in a single election (they already held the governor's office, completing the trifecta of one-party control). But the biggest news is how they achieved such gains, and the answer is -- as it also was one year ago -- that they flipped the suburbs that Republicans used to routinely count on as strongholds.

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