President Donald Trump gave a press conference today, in which he uttered more than one blatant falsehood. The fact-checkers are, once again, going to have to pull an all-nighter just to keep up with them all. But while they're busy disproving the weightier of these lies, I thought I'd concentrate on just the easiest to debunk. Call me lazy if you will, but this one is just so laughably wrong that it would be downright hilarious if it weren't so obvious that Trump has such a deep-seated need to believe in it.
Archive of Articles in the "2008 Elections" Category
Last night, President Barack Obama bid the American public farewell. He gave a speech that was inspiring, and called upon Americans to get involved in the political process in a multitude of ways. Like many historic farewell addresses (even quoting from George Washington's), it also delivered a warning about what Obama perceives as current and future dangers which threaten America. Washington's farewell address, when read in full, contains a scathing denunciation of the mere concept of political parties (called "factions" at the time), and Obama's followed suit in denouncing the rabidly partisan era we now find ourselves in.
This article was written in response to a Huffington Post article by Max Weiss, which was in turn written as a response to a Slate article. The original Slate article was titled: "So We're Still Blaming Jill Stein And James Comey, Huh?" and the Weiss response was titled: "Things I Blame For Hillary Clinton's Loss, Ranked." But the Weiss list was so far removed from my own feelings about the Clinton loss that I felt it was time to respond with my own blame list. It's been a month since the election, so hopefully enough time has passed that Democrats can discuss what went so wrong. So here is my own list of the things I blame for the 2016 election loss, ranked. And I have to quote Weiss in saying (while he was blaming Bernie Sanders): "I know this is going to piss a lot of people off, but so be it."
Nancy Pelosi just got re-elected to lead the House Democrats, but almost a third of them voted for a much younger representative who urged the party to shift focus in a major way. Hillary Clinton underperformed among minorities and young people, which contributed in a big way towards her loss in the presidential election. And Barack Obama, in a Rolling Stone "exit interview" just revived one of the major Democratic problems he ran against, by saying: "The point is that politics in a big, diverse country like this requires us to move the ball forward not in one long Hail Mary to the end zone, but to, you know, systemically make progress." This, from a man who ran on: "Yes we can!' as a campaign slogan.
Program Note: What follows is a repeat column from eight years ago, and the only time I've ever sat down and typed out a transcript because I was shocked that it didn't already exist on the web somewhere. This was the first time I ever laid eyes on Craig Ferguson's late-night comedy talk show, and I have to admit I was hooked from this point on. Oddly, he almost never mentioned politics again (except for the occasional sex scandal jokes) -- this was a completely out-of-character rant for him.
Even with that big caveat, Hillary Clinton had another good week in the polls. In fact, almost all the news was good news for Clinton and bad news for Donald Trump. Clinton continued to ride the wave from the first debate, and this week shows the public's reaction to Trump's tax returns being leaked, showing an almost-billion-dollar loss in a single year (so much for the "I'm a great businessman" thing...). Trump is defiant about not paying any federal income taxes for almost two decades, which certainly didn't help him any with public opinion.
Up until the past week, there was one aspect of the 2016 presidential race that most had completely overlooked. Barring any third-party surprises, America is about to elect either the oldest or the second-oldest first-term president ever. Furthermore, if Bernie Sanders had edged Hillary Clinton out for the Democratic nomination, we would have been guaranteed to elect the oldest first-term president in our entire history.
Senator John McCain is, as I type this, awaiting the results of today's Arizona primary election. The outcome will likely be that he will once again obtain the Republican Party's nomination for his Senate seat. But the results will probably be a lot closer than any of McCain's other primary races, because he is facing a Tea Party (or perhaps "Trumpesque") challenger who actually has a chance to unseat McCain. Discontent with McCain (and Establishment Republicans in general) from the Republican base voters is palpable -- so much so that McCain has been forced to support Donald Trump's campaign, even after Trump personally insulted him (and all American prisoners of war, for good measure) in a very public manner. But even if McCain, as expected, wins tonight, he'll then go on to face a Democratic challenger in what could also be a very tight race for him.
Hillary Clinton got her long-awaited endorsement from Bernie Sanders today, in an event designed to unify the Democratic Party base heading into their national convention. Although there are still plenty of "Bernie or Bust" die-hards out there, Democrats had already largely unified behind Clinton, even before Sanders officially endorsed her today. Perhaps this all would have played out differently in a different election year, but Donald Trump is proving to be a powerful unifying force among Democrats -- because his elevation to president is seen as being downright unthinkable by both Bernie and Hillary supporters. Getting behind Hillary may be problematic for some Bernie supporters, but considering the alternative is a big motivating factor for most.
Before we begin, we should mention that this week's talking points section consists of a few extended excerpts from President Obama's recent speech on fighting the Islamic State. What he had to say was important, and it counters several insidious talking points that have been used against him in the past, so we felt it was worth taking over this week's talking points. Just to warn everyone up front.