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Archive of Articles in the "2018 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Borderline Insanity?

[ Posted Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 19:27 PST ]

If our president is going crazy over a non-existent "emergency" at our southern border, could it be called "borderline insanity"? We're just asking....

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No End In Sight

[ Posted Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 – 16:51 PST ]

President Donald Trump held a meeting today with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. It was as pointless as the last few meetings between the three, from all accounts. Reportedly, after Pelosi made her case for opening the government but only extending the budget for the Department of Homeland Security for another month -- to give both sides time to have the border wall fight without penalizing all the federal workers -- Trump asked her point-blank whether she would agree to his wall money in 30 days or not. She said "No," and Trump got up and walked out of the meeting. Which is why the word "pointless" is hard to avoid.

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Snap Reactions To Tonight's Speeches

[ Posted Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 20:44 PST ]

President Trump just got done delivering the first primetime Oval Office speech of his presidency, which was followed by a rebuttal from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The entire experience was an odd one, mostly for the brevity of both speeches, which were planned to be eight minutes each (I did not time them, but they both seemed to fall in that ballpark). So my snap reactions will likewise be abbreviated, meaning this column won't be anywhere near as long as the ones I write after State Of The Union speeches (for instance).

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Speaker Pelosi Takes The Helm Once Again

[ Posted Friday, January 4th, 2019 – 19:30 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi can now correctly be called Speaker of the House Pelosi once again. It's been eight years since that has been true, most of which the Republicans spent proving their own slogan: "Government doesn't work -- elect us and we'll prove it!" The speakerships of both John Boehner and Paul Ryan never really accomplished all that much, other than one massive tax cut for billionaires and Wall Street. Almost the entire time the GOP was in control, their entire legislative agenda was halted in its tracks not by Democrats, but by their own intransigent Tea Party members. With all of that as prologue, Nancy Pelosi won't have to do much to outperform the two intervening House speakers.

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My 2018 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 28th, 2018 – 19:12 PST ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! For those who may have missed it, check out Part 1 from last week to see the awards we've already handed out.

But since these columns are always not only monstrously but downright scroll-bar-defyingly long, let's just dive right back into the 2018 McLaughlin awards, shall we?

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My 2018 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 21st, 2018 – 19:52 PST ]

Welcome back once again to our year-end awards column series! Today we'll have part one, and then we'll finish up next Friday with part two. As always, we will be using the (slightly-modified, over time) awards categories first thought up by the incomparable McLaughlin Group television political-chatfest show.

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Watching The Overton Window Move

[ Posted Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – 18:03 PST ]

Sometimes in politics it is hard to see the big picture, since we so often are consumed with small-picture details of the moment. So I'd like to take a step back today and admire how the Overton window among Democrats is rapidly shifting in a very positive and progressive direction. Because what was considered radical and even unthinkable not so long ago is now becoming so mainstream that Democratic politicians risk their own political survival if they don't support such ideas. These shifts in perception normally take place over a very long period of time, but that doesn't seem to be the case right now.

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The Same Old Shutdown Kabuki

[ Posted Monday, December 17th, 2018 – 18:00 PST ]

The English definition of "Kabuki" reads, in part: "a form of traditional Japanese drama with highly stylized song, mime, and dance, now performed only by male actors, using exaggerated gestures and body movements to express emotions." Other than it being of Japanese origin, and (now that Nancy Pelosi is in a leading role) that bit about only male actors, this describes what we're apparently about to witness in Washington, once again. President Donald Trump is loudly threatening (with exaggerated gestures) to shut the government down if he doesn't get $5 billion for his precious border wall (that Mexico was supposed to have already paid for, of course). But after all the highly-stylized drama, the outcome at this point seems pretty predictable: Democrats are going to hold firm, and Trump -- once again -- won't get his wall money. How exactly we get to that point and how long it takes to get there are really the only open questions at this point. So, everyone got their programs? Then sit back and let the Kabuki drama begin!

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Friday Talking Points -- Done Dirt Cheap!

[ Posted Friday, December 14th, 2018 – 19:14 PST ]

Our title today comes, of course, from former Donald Trump lawyer (and jailbird-to-be) Michael Cohen, who during his sentencing hearing this week said of Donald Trump: "Time and time again, I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds."

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Pelosi Secures Votes To Become Speaker Again

[ Posted Thursday, December 13th, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Barring any last-minute plot twists or other surprises, Nancy Pelosi is going to be the next speaker of the House and reclaim the gavel she had to give up eight years ago. She has now secured a clear majority of votes from the total incoming House, meaning it doesn't even matter now whether Democrats who aren't voting for her vote for someone else or just vote "present." This no longer matters, because Pelosi now has the votes to become speaker no matter how the rebels vote.

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