Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points [488] -- Suffer The Little Children

[ Posted Friday, June 15th, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

Fox News unwittingly (how else?) spoke a deep truth this week. Or perhaps a deep fantasy -- it's tough to tell, coming from Fox anchors. As President Trump descended the stairs from Air Force One in Singapore, Fox And Friends gushed: "This is history. Regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now -- this is history." Um... how many dictators was that, again? The host later tried to walk back her unintentional gaffe, but is it really all that far off the mark?

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Trump's Legal Woes Multiply

[ Posted Thursday, June 14th, 2018 – 18:00 PDT ]

President Donald Trump and the media he loves to hate are both consumed today with interpreting the Justice Department Inspector General's report on how the F.B.I. handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails during the 2016 presidential election. I am personally going to avoid this particular fray for now and let the report percolate a bit before commenting upon it, mostly because there is so much other breaking legal news surrounding Trump that I feel is far more relevant and interesting. Long story short, the I.G. report condemns James Comey's public handling of the investigation, and ironically slams Comey for using a private email account to conduct official government business -- the very thing Clinton was being investigated for. What the I.G. report does not do is change either the outcome or the conclusions of the investigation one bit -- in other words, Clinton is the one most vindicated by the report, not Trump. But again, everyone (and their brother) is already chiming in on this discussion, so I'm largely going to take a pass and just sit back and listen to the debate rage.

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Friday Talking Points [486] -- Hurricane-Force Lies

[ Posted Friday, June 1st, 2018 – 17:11 PDT ]

It was another rollicking week in the world of politics, which is admittedly not saying much in the era of Trump. It was revealed this week that the death toll on Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was not just higher than had been officially reported, but at least seventy times higher, and in fact was more than twice as high as the death toll from Hurricane Katrina. You'd think this would be a gigantic media story, but (sadly) you would be wrong. Just like everything else about the devastation, most certainly including the media's treatment of it, this bombshell report was largely ignored this week. No wonder Puerto Ricans feel like second-class citizens, when they keep getting second-class treatment like this.

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Trey Gowdy (Of All People) Debunks Trump

[ Posted Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 – 16:45 PDT ]

Representative Trey Gowdy -- not normally known for being a Trump antagonist -- has been publicly debunking the president's new favorite conspiracy theory, in his latest news interviews. This is a somewhat stunning development, and further marginalizes Representative Devin Nunes, who keeps fruitlessly trying to uncover the smoking gun that proves that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other nefarious Democrats somehow entered into a giant plot to use the F.B.I. to further their own political aims. The F.B.I. and the rest of the "Deep State" conspired to put Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, according to Nunes and the rest of the tinfoil-hat gang. Of course, this conspiracy theory never really gets around to explaining why, if this was the case, the F.B.I. intervened twice to undercut Clinton during the campaign, but never did so for Donald Trump. Recently, Nunes tried again to reveal the supposed truth of his suspicions by forcing a briefing about a confidential F.B.I. informant, initially to just him and Gowdy. Then Nunes would have run to the television cameras with his proof and the entire Bob Mueller investigation would just disappear like the morning dew. Or something. But the bombshell Nunes anticipated turned out to be a dud, once again. And in the past 24 hours, Gowdy has shot the whole "spygate" theory down in flames.

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Friday Talking Points [485] -- "If You Change Your Mind..."

[ Posted Friday, May 25th, 2018 – 17:22 PDT ]

We've always been planning a meeting with Eastasia. What's that? Oh, wait... we've never been planning a meeting with Eastasia. Any suggestion of such a meeting has been tossed down the memory hole -- along with the commemorative coins we prematurely minted to celebrate it.

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Is Bernie Sanders "Rigging" His Own Election?

[ Posted Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 – 16:44 PDT ]

That's a rather jarring headline, because it's a rather jarring thought. Is Bernie Sanders "rigging" his own election? Sanders was not a big fan (to put it mildly) of election-rigging not so long ago, after all, so the charge is especially personal. Given the evidence, I would have to say that technically Bernie isn't trying to "rig" his own election, rather he is encouraging the voters to rig it for him -- which to some may be a distinction without a difference, but to me is a hair worth splitting.

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Listen To The Candidates, Not The Beltway Cocktail Party Chatter

[ Posted Thursday, May 17th, 2018 – 17:20 PDT ]

Mainstream media political pundits are often accused of focusing too much on "the horserace" aspect of elections, to the detriment of the actual issues being fought over in the race. It's so much easier to just watch the polls go up and down (and bang out an article about it) than it is to do a deep dive into what candidates are actually running on. At the most, the pundits will critique candidate television ads, always with an eye on how they are affecting the polls.

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N.P.V. Adds Connecticut

[ Posted Monday, May 14th, 2018 – 17:55 PDT ]

Last week, Connecticut became the twelfth state to join the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" (usually referred to as the N.P.V. movement), which aims to legally ensure that the presidential candidate who gets the most votes nationwide actually becomes president. This interstate agreement won't take effect until the total number of their Electoral College votes hits 270, which is the number required to win the presidency. With the addition of Connecticut, they have now reached 172, which means they only need to add states with fewer than 100 more Electoral College votes for the plan to become reality.

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A Made-Up, Phony Crime That Never Existed

[ Posted Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 – 16:47 PDT ]

Yesterday I wrote about a politician committing what's known as a Kinsley gaffe (i.e., a politician accidentally telling the truth in public). Today, we have Donald Trump, who seems to have randomly stumbled upon a truth, by accident, with no actual intent whatsoever -- much like a broken clock will tell the right time twice a day, in fact. Of course, even this requires a generous reading of Trump's tweet, but that doesn't make it any less amusing.

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Rubio Admits The Truth About GOP Tax Cut

[ Posted Monday, April 30th, 2018 – 16:55 PDT ]

Senator Marco Rubio just let the cat out of the bag. In traditional "Kinsley gaffe" fashion (defined as a politician accidentally telling the truth), Rubio admitted what Democrats have known all along -- that the Republican tax cuts were primarily designed to help Wall Street, not Main Street. Here is the relevant quote, from a recent interview Rubio gave to The Economist: "There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they're going to take the money they're saving and reinvest it in American workers. In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." That's a pretty sweeping indictment not only of the sole item on the Republican agenda that the GOP Congress has managed to pass, but also on the sole plank in the Republican platform for the 2018 midterm elections (which will take place almost exactly six months from now).

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