Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quid, Meet Quo

[ Posted Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 16:30 UTC ]

The impeachment whirlwind shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact each day brings more and more evidence that President Donald Trump is using American foreign policy as his own personal opposition research to undermine his Democratic political opponents. Which, of course, is an eminently impeachable offense.

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Attempted Smears Against Whistleblower Are Irrelevant

[ Posted Monday, September 30th, 2019 – 17:23 UTC ]

President Donald Trump and all his coterie of apologists are right now angrily focused on impeaching the credibility of the whistleblower who complained about Trump's call to the new Ukrainian leader. And, yes, "impeaching" is the right word for what they're trying to do. But it's all both meaningless and irrelevant, because the scandal has already moved beyond any questions of bias or credibility of the whistleblower, largely due to the release of both the semi-transcript of the call itself and the whistleblower's complaint. Trump and his minions are, in essence, screaming about how they're going to sue the heck out of the locksmith, while the barn doors hang wide open and all the horses are running willy-nilly across the landscape. At this point, the story is the horses who are running free, not the lock's possible failure.

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Friday Talking Points -- Collusion, Collusion, Collusion!

[ Posted Friday, September 27th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

This has been an extraordinary week, in a presidency chock-full of extraordinary weeks. Call it extra-extraordinary, we suppose. The country went from hearing vague things about Trump stonewalling a congressional committee to full-on impeachment in a matter of hours, it seemed. Or days, at the longest. We went from zero to impeachment in record time, giving Trump a new superlative to brag about: fastest scandal ever.

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'No Quid Pro Quo' Is The New 'No Collusion'

[ Posted Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 – 17:28 UTC ]

One of Donald Trump's presidential heroes is Andrew Jackson. Jackson rose to the presidency in 1828 after his first attempt failed. The centerpiece of his second campaign was to shine a bright light on the "Corrupt Bargain" in the House of Representatives, which named John Quincy Adams president in 1824 even though he had fewer Electoral College votes than Jackson (it was a four-candidate race and none of them got an outright Electoral College majority, which threw the election's decision into the House). I was reminded today of a central quote from Jackson's second campaign where he spoke about what had happened in the 1824 election, because it seems downright appropriate when discussing our current president: "There was cheating, and corruption, and bribery too." At this point, that seems to accurately sum up Trump's 2020 campaign as well.

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Simple, Obvious, And Indefensible

[ Posted Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 – 16:55 UTC ]

Up until today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been the person riding the brakes on the growing calls to impeach President Donald Trump. This is no longer true. Pelosi has now begun the process of Congress attempting to remove a sitting president from office. By waiting this long, though, Pelosi is now absolutely immune from any accusation that she's in any sort of rush to judgment.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate?

[ Posted Friday, September 20th, 2019 – 18:05 UTC ]

We're in the midst of a brand-new breaking scandal -- one that's so new it hasn't even been assigned a "-gate" label yet. Ukraine-gate? Kiev-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate? As was entirely appropriate, Hillary Clinton had the pithiest tweet of the week: "The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again."

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Moscow Mitch Caves!

[ Posted Thursday, September 19th, 2019 – 16:50 UTC ]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reversed course today and allowed a bill with $250 million in new election security spending to advance. It looks like the "#MoscowMitch" campaign worked, in other words. We got to him, and he finally caved!

It's important to put this issue into some context. While $250 million may sound like a lot of money, in Washington it is absolute peanuts. In terms of the whole federal budget, this is the equivalent of some loose change found in the couch cushions. And not even that much loose change, at that. As the old saying about federal spending goes (a saying so old it was mythically first uttered by a senator who died in 1969): "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." Given that bar -- again, set in the 1960s when Dr. Evil thought "one mil-li-on dollars" was a lot of dough -- $250 million only adds up to one-eighth of what was considered "real money" over a half-century ago. Like I said, peanuts. This is what Mitch McConnell was fighting so hard to avoid ponying up.

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The Question To Ask Moscow Mitch: WWRRD?

[ Posted Thursday, September 5th, 2019 – 16:21 UTC ]

Mitch McConnell is upset. He's in a tizzy because mean people keep calling him "Moscow Mitch." Mitch does not like this. He does not like it one tiny bit. In fact, Moscow Mitch is in a snit.

I'm sorry if that sounds a little like a very bad Dr. Seuss rhyme, but that's about the size of our political discourse these days, like it or not. And McConnell is doing nothing to elevate things, because he has taken to accusing his detractors of practicing "McCarthyism."

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Contemplating The 2020 Primary Calendar

[ Posted Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 – 16:50 UTC ]

Labor Day is the official kickoff of the fall campaign season, when voters increasingly begin to pay attention to the presidential race. Or so the pundits claim, at any rate. Whether this week will be much different than last week is yet to be determined, but I for one am going to hang on to that lazy hazy summer glow for one more day by taking a look much farther into the future and contemplating the start of this cycle's primary calendar in a big-picture sort of fashion.

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