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Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Snowflake-In-Chief Not Person Of The Year, Sorry

[ Posted Friday, December 13th, 2019 – 18:17 UTC ]

And so we come to the close of the most momentous week in Washington of the year. In one week's time, we've seen articles of impeachment move to the floor of the House of Representatives, an agreement between House Democrats and the White House to move forward on the U.S./Mexico/Canada Agreement, a truce declared in the budget battles (that had threatened to shut down the government once again), Democrats agreeing to the creation of the "Space Force" in exchange for paid family leave for federal workers, a tentative trade cease-fire declared with China, the Senate unanimously backing up the overwhelming vote in the House to declare the Armenian genocide for what it was, the release of an inspector general's report that totally debunked most of the conspiracy theories about the initiation of the counterintelligence operation at the edges of the 2016 Trump campaign, President Trump being forced to pay a $2 million fine for misuse of his own charitable foundation, and the House passing a landmark bill to fight the greed of drug companies by finally using the federal government's buying power to force lower prices on prescription medication. Again: all of these rather large things happened in a single week.

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Picturing Democrats Debating Trump

[ Posted Thursday, December 12th, 2019 – 18:51 UTC ]

One week from tonight the top Democratic presidential candidates will gather once again, for another televised debate. There will be fewer of them on the stage this time around, since as of this writing only seven of them have qualified. After the first of the new year, the debate schedule will accelerate, as we'll get four debates in January and February, one in each of the early-voting states. Taken together, these five debates may be the most influential yet, since voters will assumably be paying more attention. But throughout the whole process, my metric has always been to picture each of the candidates on a stage not with their fellow Democrats, but with Donald Trump. Because that is precisely what they're all vying for -- the chance to take on Trump in the general election.

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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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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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