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Archive of Articles in the "2022 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Calm After The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 30th, 2022 – 17:00 UTC ]

We've long thought that America is at her best when disaster strikes. We've thought this since the massive 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, in fact, which we rode out in San Francisco. And we saw firsthand that when life is disrupted, it is disrupted equally. Everyone is affected, so everyone puts aside all their differences and just pitches in to help in the immediate aftermath. Maybe this is a rosy-tinted view, but it still holds mostly true.

Case in point is Hurricane Ian, which just devastated Florida and seems on its way to devastate the Carolinas next. Ian has been one of the biggest hurricanes in American history already (fifth-largest, from one news report) and we haven't even begun to comprehend the scope of the damage or how long it will take to recover from it. The damage isn't even over yet, and most of the East Coast will at least get some heavy rains before Ian disintegrates.

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Joe Manchin Gets His Comeuppance

[ Posted Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 – 15:37 UTC ]

A U.S. senator just got his comeuppance this week, and it really couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. Senator Joe Manchin was forced to pull his pet bill (that would have greenlighted a pipeline in West Virginia), due to lack of bipartisan support. Because he backed down, the government now appears to be in no danger of shutting down this Friday. Both the Senate and the House appear to be on a glide path to passing a short-term budget deal that will kick the "government shutdown" can down the road to mid-December, at the end of the lame-duck Congress. So all around, it's good news: the government will continue to be funded, and Joe Manchin has now gotten a taste of his own medicine.

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Questions The January 6th Committee Has Left Unanswered

[ Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 – 15:01 UTC ]

Overall, two big things have struck me about the committee's public presentations: how tightly organized they are, providing "good television" (which is not just rare but unheard-of for congressional committees); and how disorganized the scheduling has always been. Most of the hearings have not been announced with much lead time (one was thrown together in a single day), and confusion reigns over what each hearing will consist of.

Perhaps this is all meant to tease the public -- "Tune in, or you might miss a big surprise!" That could be. Or perhaps it is just the committee's internal wrangling -- they reportedly have a hard problem reaching consensus on this stuff, so you get conflicting reports ahead of time as to what to expect next. That could be, too.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's "Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification" Defense

[ Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2022 – 17:26 UTC ]

We do try to avoid it in general, but this week it is impossible not to lead our news wrap-up with the ongoing Donald Trump Follies. Spoiler alert: it wasn't a very good week in Trumpland.

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The Lame Duck Will Be Busy

[ Posted Monday, September 19th, 2022 – 14:34 UTC ]

The lame-duck Congress, which will take place from just after the midterm election to the end of the calendar year, is shaping up to be a rather busy one. This isn't too unusual, since punting things to the lame-duck period is always a tempting option for politicians worried about their re-election. But this year's lame duck might be more significant than most, because of what is being teed up for it. They'll only have two months to act on all of it, minus all the breaks they'll take for the November and December holidays. And it looks like they'll have a lot to get done.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine, Trains, And Lindsey Graham

[ Posted Friday, September 16th, 2022 – 17:13 UTC ]

We fully admit that headline isn't really close enough to the original to trip off the tongue very well. But we're in an optimistically cheerful mood, so we're not going to change it.

These were really the three big political stories of the week. Last weekend saw the culmination of an incredible performance by the Ukrainian military. Within a week, they had retaken over 2,000 square miles of their country, as the Russian invading forces mostly just fled. That is beyond impressive, and may prove to be a real turning point in the whole war.

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Lindsey Graham Creates Some Headlines

[ Posted Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 – 15:22 UTC ]

Senator Lindsey Graham today decided he'd like to be headline news. That's really the only possible conclusion I can draw, since what he did and the timing of it are so downright incomprehensible, politically-speaking. Graham introduced a nationwide 15-week abortion ban, with less than two months to run before an election that was already becoming dominated by the abortion issue. The incomprehensible thing is that all the data have pointed to the fact that the abortion issue is motivating Democratic voters, and also motivating independent voters to vote Democratic. So why would Graham shoot his own party in the foot in such spectacular fashion? I have no idea, other than "because he wanted to see his name in the news." It's the only conclusion I can come up with, really.

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Friday Talking Points -- Winning The Culture Wars

[ Posted Friday, September 9th, 2022 – 17:07 UTC ]

For decades now, Republicans have very effectively been using "culture war" issues to entice voters to vote against Democrats. Democrats are routinely pictured as being out of the mainstream and out of touch. This used to work wonders for them. But the shoe seems to be on the other foot this year. This shift is mostly due not to Democratic politicians switching tactics so much as the electorate itself changing its mind on a number of big culture war issues.

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Even A Big Midterm Loss Won't Matter To Trump

[ Posted Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 – 15:12 UTC ]

Will Donald Trump's influence over the Republican Party ever wane? That question has frustrated many who sincerely hope the answer might someday be "yes," because it just never seems to really happen. Which brings up the next possibility for such a partywide epiphany: if Republicans blow the midterm elections in a big and spectacular way, how much of the blame will attach to Trump? He will certainly deserve a whopping portion of the blame, but whether any of it actually sticks to him is an open question.

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The Media Now Has No Excuse For Avoiding The Tough Questions

[ Posted Tuesday, September 6th, 2022 – 15:55 UTC ]

Last week, President Joe Biden gave a rather pivotal speech. In it, he called out and denounced Donald Trump and the extremist "MAGA Republicans" who are supporting him and following in his footsteps. There were varied reactions to this speech, but Biden is not backing down, raising the point in all his appearances since, using similar language: The MAGA Republicans are a threat to American democracy, plain and simple. They do not support the rule of law and they are not just sympathetic to but sometimes openly supportive of using political violence to further their aims and prospects. That should be seen as anti-American by everyone, immaterial of party, Biden pointed out.

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