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Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points [442] -- Trump Did Not Deny Tapes Exist!

[ Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2017 – 17:26 PDT ]

Every so often, we have a certain reaction to a bit of political news. We then fully expect at least a few other political commentators to have the same reaction, only to be surprised when it seems that nobody else read things the way we did. This is precisely where we find ourselves over President Donald Trump's recent tweets, where he supposedly put the issue to rest of whether secret audio recordings were ever made in his White House. Everybody seems to be buying his spin, and nobody questioned the obvious loophole he left himself. Because if you read what he wrote and take it at face value (not reading more into it than he actually says), Trump still has not answered the question of whether such tapes exist or not. Not even close.

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McConnell's Big Gamble

[ Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 – 15:26 PDT ]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is about to make a big legislative throw of the dice tomorrow, when he (finally) unveils the super-secret Senate Republican healthcare bill not only to the public, but also to the rest of his own caucus. It's a pretty big gamble for McConnell, since he has no way of knowing if he's got the votes to pass it or not. Either way -- whether successful or not -- McConnell says the effort will be over by the Independence Day holiday. Either they pass the bill, or the Senate will just move on to other agenda items.

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Congress Considers Working Through August

[ Posted Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 – 16:08 PDT ]

To me, at least, that's a shocking headline. Because for the life of me, I can't remember this stunning proposal ever before being seriously considered on Capitol Hill. Some Republicans in Congress are now saying that they should all forgo their monthlong August vacation period and actually work instead. Stunning!

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Friday Talking Points [441] -- Happy Birthday, Mr. President

[ Posted Friday, June 16th, 2017 – 17:00 PDT ]

President Donald J. Trump turned 71 years old this week. He held a party and invited all his cabinet members, who were all allowed to sing his praises in a manner one reporter summed up as: "honestly this is like a scene from the Third World." The internet, of course, had a field day afterwards. But it's pretty easy to understand why Trump felt the need to hold a public ass-kissing event to celebrate. After all, pretty much all of his other birthday presents were stinkers.

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Friday Talking Points [440] -- Liar, Liar!

[ Posted Friday, June 9th, 2017 – 17:20 PDT ]

President Donald Trump and former F.B.I. chief James Comey engaged this week in an extended game of "Liar, liar!" Or, more properly: "Liar!" "No, you're a liar!" Yes, it was "Super Bowl" week in Washington, folks!

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Friday Talking Points [439] -- We're All Covfefeed Now

[ Posted Friday, June 2nd, 2017 – 17:45 PDT ]

Yesterday, Donald Trump finished off a two-week stretch of diminishing America's standing in the world by announcing he was pulling out of the historic Paris climate agreement. In Trumpian terms, this means we're all covfefeed now.

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Debt Ceiling Battle Looms

[ Posted Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 – 16:42 PDT ]

These days, Congress rarely does much of anything without a deadline staring them in the face. The only substantive piece of legislation Congress has so far put on President Trump's desk (four months into his term) has been a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. Not exactly a spectacular record of achievement for the GOP to be proud of, but then that's pretty much par for the course for the Republican Congress these days. What will quite likely be the second major piece of legislation that gets passed, at this rate, will be raising the debt ceiling.

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Friday Talking Points [438] -- A Week Of Bad Numbers For Trump

[ Posted Friday, May 26th, 2017 – 17:22 PDT ]

President Donald Trump went on a tour of foreign countries this week, and World War III did not erupt. So things could have been worse.

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Bozeman Beatdown

[ Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017 – 15:35 PDT ]

Today is the second of four special elections for the House of Representatives caused by Donald Trump naming House members to administration positions. The first was in Kansas, where the Democrat lost (but by a much closer margin than anyone expected). We've been through the first round of voting in another of these special elections, down in Georgia. More on that in a moment. The final race is in South Carolina, and is considered the longest longshot of the bunch for Democrats to pick up (all four of these were Republican-held seats). Today, Montanans go to the polls to elect their one at-large House member.

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Health Bill's Score Still Breathtakingly Bad

[ Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 – 15:23 PDT ]

The new Congressional Budget Office numbers are in for the House healthcare bill, and they're almost as breathtakingly bad as the first version's score. Instead of 24 million Americans losing health insurance in the next ten years, now "only" 23 million will lose health insurance. The number of people who will lose health insurance next year alone stayed the same, at 14 million. Medicaid funding will be cut by $834 billion, instead of $880 billion. This would save a paltry $12 billion a year, instead of the $15 billion a year the original bill would have saved. That's a lot of pain for not very much money saved. Which Democrats are going to be pointing out soon, in midterm ads.

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