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Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

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From The Archives -- No Silver Bullet

[ Posted Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 – 17:08 PST ]

The article below was written a few weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm running it again today both because nothing much has changed since then, but also because I think it is a fairly realistic examination of what gun control laws can be expected to do, and what they cannot.

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Advice For The Florida Teen Activists

[ Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 – 18:56 PST ]

In the aftermath of the horrific slaughter at a Florida high school, the survivors of the massacre have moved onto center stage in the American political debate in a big way. This has happened with astonishing swiftness and with astonishing breadth. Television news producers are falling all over themselves to book the spokespeople for the teens, they've already tried their hand at lobbying (on the state legislator level), they've staged protests, they've come up with a plan for nationwide events to take place next month, and their nascent movement has already attracted millions of dollars of pledges from liberal celebrities. That is an immensely impressive list, especially considering it all took place in the time span of a single week. These kids have achieved more in one week's time than many advocacy groups have ever achieved from years of effort.

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Friday Talking Points [472] -- Infrastructure Week!

[ Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 – 18:04 PST ]

Before we get to all the rest of the news, here's an interesting anniversary: it has been exactly one year since Trump's last solo press conference. In all the time he's been president, he has held a grand total of precisely one press conference, a month after he was sworn in. So what is he afraid of?

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Trump Budget Has No Fairy-Tale Ending

[ Posted Monday, February 12th, 2018 – 18:16 PST ]

The Trump administration released its budget proposal today, and it is nothing more than a bad joke. Or a badly-written fairy tale, perhaps. Like most presidential budget requests, it is going to wind up bearing little resemblance to reality -- that's almost a given -- but even at its most fantastical, they couldn't make the numbers magically add up. Rapunzel lets her hair down, but it turns out to be fifteen feet short of the ground. Sad!

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Friday Talking Points [471] -- Trump's Kim Jong Un Envy

[ Posted Friday, February 9th, 2018 – 18:25 PST ]

There's an old joke in Washington that the press knows how to ask politicians questions that can't be answered in any acceptable way. The classic example, of course, is: "So, Senator, have you stopped beating your wife?" This week, however, the Trump White House has been getting a variant: "So, how long was a wife-beater who couldn't get a security clearance allowed to work for the president, and why?"

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Deficit (Chicken) Hawks

[ Posted Thursday, February 8th, 2018 – 18:00 PST ]

The deficit hawks have all flown south, it seems. This is a cyclical migration, because it happens whenever a Republican occupies the White House. When a Democrat moves in, the deficit hawks all return from sunnier climes and begin beating their chests and rending their garments once again. For Washington, this is considered normal.

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Leader Time

[ Posted Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 – 17:39 PST ]

As I write this, Nancy Pelosi has been speaking for something like seven straight hours on the floor of the House of Representatives. Historians are scurrying to comb through the House archives, and some are already calling it the longest such speech ever delivered on the House floor. It's not technically a filibuster (which only happen in the Senate), instead Pelosi is exploiting a parliamentary loophole known as "leader time" -- which allows party leaders to speak uninterrupted. Minority Leader Pelosi has been doing so since 10:00 in the morning, Eastern time, and so far shows no signs of stepping down.

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Who Will Trump Try To Blame For Trump Slump?

[ Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 – 18:13 PST ]

Will the "Trump Bump" turn into the "Trump Slump," or will the president somehow manage to successfully shift the political blame? That is the question on everyone's mind in Washington today, as the Dow Jones average slipped close to 1,200 points, after falling over 600 points last Friday. Trump has been overly eager to claim all the credit for a soaring stock market, so now that a bear seems to have taken hold of Wall Street, will he shoulder an equal share of the blame as the credit he's been claiming all along? That seems doubtful, knowing his aversion to accepting blame for pretty much anything under the sun.

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Friday Talking Points [470] -- No Smoke, No Gun

[ Posted Friday, February 2nd, 2018 – 17:25 PST ]

Happy Nunes Memo Day, everyone!

Today, of course, was supposed to be the day when the memo from House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes caused the skies to split and the F.B.I. building to spontaneously implode in upon itself, leaving nothing left but a mysterious rift to some dark and deep otherworld. Bob Mueller was also supposed to make a public announcement that his entire investigation was nothing short of a sham (secretly directed by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros), and that he would be shutting down his office just as soon as all the documents could be shredded and the hard drives erased.

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