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Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Mueller Report's Aftermath

[ Posted Friday, April 19th, 2019 – 17:41 UTC ]

Yesterday, Robert Mueller's investigative report on Donald Trump was made (mostly) public. Today, Trump and his cheerleaders are insisting that he has been totally vindicated and exonerated, while some Democratic candidates for president are demanding that impeachment proceedings be launched in the House of Representatives. That's a pretty wide gulf in perception, but at this point it was to be expected.

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Mueller Report Changes Little

[ Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 16:56 UTC ]

The Mueller Report is finally out. Portions of it have been redacted, and congressional Democrats will doubtlessly continue their push to get an unredacted version to read, but even if that happens the public may never get to see the full text. So for now, we've only got what was released today to examine. And the emerging consensus seems to be that there was no one glaring thing to point to which will lead to Donald Trump's downfall. As usual, there is plenty of fishy and questionable and possibly illegal conduct by both Trump and his minions, but none of it is likely to spur immediate impeachment hearings.

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First Quarter Democratic Fundraising Numbers Are In

[ Posted Monday, April 15th, 2019 – 18:11 UTC ]

Today is not just the day when millions of Americans have to file their income taxes, if is also the day when the millions of Democratic presidential candidates also have to file their first quarter fundraising numbers. Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but it certainly seems like millions at times, doesn't it?

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Comparing Bernie 2020 To The 2016 Race

[ Posted Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 – 17:16 UTC ]

Before attempting to draw any comparisons or contrasts between Bernie Sanders and the rest of the 2020 Democratic presidential field, what I find rather ironic is to compare his second bid for the White House to two of the candidates from last time around: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Because, whether he likes it or not, Sanders is now close to occupying the position that Clinton held the last time around, and (if he's lucky) he might just follow the path Trump charted in the 2016 race.

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Leak-Free To The Very End

[ Posted Monday, March 25th, 2019 – 16:17 UTC ]

Robert Mueller has now finished his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, and he has handed in his final report on both to Attorney General William Barr. While others are commenting extensively on Barr's summary letter, which was made public over the weekend, instead I would like to draw attention one final time to the most extraordinary thing about the entire Mueller investigation. Because during the entire two-year scope of his investigation as special counsel, Mueller and Mueller's team set (and achieved) an absolute gold standard that, as far as I am aware, has never before been managed in the hotbed of Washington politics: Mueller didn't leak. At all. Ever. Not even once.

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Don't Believe The Pundits -- Democrats Are Indeed United

[ Posted Monday, March 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

This week, the political party in control of the White House and the Senate is going to have a vicious intraparty fight over a broad constitutional issue. Last week, Democrats in the House unanimously passed a resolution condemning hate, and 23 Republicans astonishingly voted against it. Democrats stayed absolutely united in their fight against Trump's border wall funding during the longest shutdown in U.S. history, and they've remained united in the House to pass the first gun control measure in decades and the strongest elections and governmental ethics reform package since Watergate. Democrats have only held power in the House for a little over two months, and yet they've stayed absolutely unified to accomplish these major achievements. In the presidential race, it's actually pretty hard to differentiate between the announced Democratic candidates, because their platforms are all so similar that they defy attempts to find much daylight between them.

So, of course, it must be time for all the inside-the-Beltway pundits to dust off one of their most favorite tropes: "Democrats in disarray!" Because, obviously, they have run out of all other things to cover and all other possible story ideas.

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Bad News For Trump On Trade Deficit

[ Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 – 17:52 UTC ]

For the past few decades in American politics, the idea that a successful businessman would make a good president has been in vogue, most notably on the right. George W. Bush was supposed to be our first "C.E.O. president," and Donald Trump ran a goodly portion of his campaign on the idea that "only he" could fix all of America's problems, because he was such a wildly successful businessman.

Neither premise turned out to be true, of course. Bush was soon tested in a way no businessman ever has been -- by a massive terrorist attack and the question of how America should respond to it. Trump was never all that successful a businessman in the first place (see: his multiple bankruptcies), and continues to show a rather profound ignorance of the way macroeconomics actually works. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the subject of international trade.

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An Even Dozen Democratic Candidates

[ Posted Monday, March 4th, 2019 – 18:52 UTC ]

And then there were twelve....

It's been a few weeks since I last wrote about the Democratic presidential field, and we've had a few announcements in the meantime, so it's time once again to quickly run down who is running for president and who is not. If you think the answer to that first question is "pretty much everybody," well, you're not alone in thinking that. We're likely only about halfway through the announcement season, and we've already got a wealth of Democrats to choose from. It's already gotten to the point where sitting down with a blank piece of paper and listing them all is tough for even the wonkiest among us to do (I just tried this, even after I had been browsing the Wikipedia page on the subject, and I only managed to remember 11... I forgot to list Gillibrand...). And this is likely only going to get harder to do, as more and more people decide to jump in.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Unites Washington!

[ Posted Friday, March 1st, 2019 – 19:11 UTC ]

In a bizarre development this week, President Donald Trump brought unity to all the politicians in Washington. He managed this feat by failing to get any deal out of his much-hyped summit meeting with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong Un. When news of this failure on the international stage reached Washington (in [...]

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Cohen Provides A Roadmap

[ Posted Thursday, February 28th, 2019 – 16:47 UTC ]

After yesterday's testimony before a House oversight committee, Michael Cohen is now being spoken of by some as "Trump's John Dean." This may be overstating the case a bit, but there certainly are parallels. Dean was a lawyer who flipped on Richard Nixon and worked with the prosecution and the Senate committee which was investigating Watergate, but Dean was a central figure in that scandal and held important jobs in the Nixon administration. Cohen is central to the hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels, but by his own testimony was much more of a peripheral figure to the larger scandals facing Donald Trump right now. But just as Dean did in the Watergate investigation, Cohen may have provided an excellent roadmap indicating the direction congressional investigators should now take when it comes to exposing Trump's shadiness.

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