Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points -- A Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, January 21st, 2022 – 17:37 UTC ]

It was an eventful week in Washington, with a holiday and an anniversary thrown in for good measure, so we're going to try to be a little more succinct in this week's rundown. Well... try to, at any rate.

The week began with Martin Luther King Junior Day, saw a historic (but failed) vote in the Senate on voting rights, contained a marathon of a presidential press conference, and marked the first year President Joe Biden has spent in office. Plus a whole lot of other notable developments along the way.

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Grading Biden's First Year

[ Posted Thursday, January 20th, 2022 – 16:53 UTC ]

One year ago today, Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. His Inauguration was notable for a few reasons, first and foremost the fact that it happened only two weeks after the U.S. Capitol had been besieged and overrun by insurrectionists attempting to prevent Biden from ever taking office. So the entire Capitol complex was heavily locked down and defended for what is normally a positive and upbeat public ceremony. The other two notable reasons that stick in my mind were: Amanda Gorman absolutely stealing the show with her poem "The Hill We Climb," and Bernie Sanders providing the best photo op by sitting on a socially-distanced chair wearing adorable homemade mittens.

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Biden's Marathon Presser

[ Posted Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 – 17:41 UTC ]

I am writing this after watching a rather extraordinary press conference with President Joe Biden. It was extraordinary for two reasons, really -- it was only the second such press conference he's given on U.S. soil since becoming president, and it was monumentally long, clocking in at just under two hours. It was a true marathon of a presser, as Biden seemed almost reluctant to end it -- and at several times even kidded with the reporters that he could go for another two or three hours if they were up for it. Perhaps he was making up for the lack of regular press conferences in his first year by giving what amounted to a double press conference to begin his second?

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A Powerful Pro-Weed Senate Candidate In Louisiana

[ Posted Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 – 16:39 UTC ]

Every so often I see a political ad that really catches my eye. Even rarer are those that bowl me over for being particularly effective or powerful. But the rarest of all is seeing an ad that makes me want to move to that state just so I could vote for the guy. Today was one of those days.

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What's Next For Democrats

[ Posted Monday, January 10th, 2022 – 16:27 UTC ]

A new year has dawned and Congress is finally getting back to work. In the Senate, this means (as it has for the entire past year) trying to figure out what Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin will accept. So far, the answers seem to be the usual "not much of anything," but perhaps they'll surprise us and actually get something done in the next few weeks.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! If you missed it, please feel free to check out [Part 1], too.

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You're A Mean One...

[ Posted Monday, December 20th, 2021 – 17:44 UTC ]

[With apologies to Theodor Geisel
Since he could do this so very well.
I will not try to follow him to the letter
Since he could do it ever-so-much better...]

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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GOP Governors' Hypocrisy On COVID Relief Money

[ Posted Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 – 15:48 UTC ]

While reviewing the past year's news in preparation for my year-end columns, I came across something interesting, but didn't mark it down for any special mention. It just seemed one more bit of flotsam in the tsunami of idiocy emanating from the Republican Party over the course of a year. But then today the New York Times provided an update on the situation, so I was left thinking: "that was then, this is now," and I decided to juxtapose the two. Call it a textbook example of Republican hypocrisy.

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Summit Of The Joes

[ Posted Monday, December 13th, 2021 – 17:31 UTC ]

There will be a significant phone call made in Washington today. It may even be happening as I write this. President Joe Biden and Senator Joe Manchin are going to talk directly to each other in an effort to strike some sort of deal on Biden's Build Back Better agenda -- call it a summit of the Joes.

Manchin, of course, is never at a loss for reasons why he still can't bring himself to publicly support the bill being crafted in the Senate. These reasons shift over time and he's always willing to create new ones if previous issues he has raised have already been addressed. Months ago, he called for a "pause" on the whole process, which must translate to: "let's just not do anything for another year or two," since no matter how much time passes he still seems to feel no sense of urgency whatsoever.

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