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Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" Category

Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

Where we find ourselves as a nation: this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000, to keep her silence about an affair they had right after he had married his third wife. It was later revealed by In Touch Weekly magazine that Trump had compared the porn star (stage name: Stormy Daniels) favorably with his daughter. And yet this news didn't even really break onto the front pages. After one year of President Trump, such a revelation is considered minor news, in other words. That's where we find ourselves as a nation, folks.

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Playing The Shutdown Game

[ Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 – 18:09 PST ]

As Congress returns to Washington, the question on everyone's mind is whether the federal government will shut down Friday night or whether some sort of deal (whether long or short term) can be agreed to at the last minute. As of this writing, it's impossible to tell what the outcome will be, but then that is the very nature of such games of brinksmanship. If there wasn't an edge to be close to, then there wouldn't be any threat, to put it another way.

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Friday Talking Points [467] -- Our Racist President

[ Posted Friday, January 12th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

The mainstream media crossed two cultural lines this week, in reaction to one of the most offensive things any American president has ever been caught saying. The first line crossed was to overrule the censors. Standards and practices can't complain when a word used on the news is a direct quote from the president, after all. That would be censorship of a different (and darker) type. Still, last night we were rather surprised to here a reporter on the evening NBC news broadcast actually use the word "shithole." No bleeping, no asterisks, just: here is what the president called some African countries. On broadcast (i.e., non-cable) television, at 5:30 P.M. (not some late-night broadcast, in other words). That is a first in America, to be sure. The Washington Post used Trump's unexpurgated, unbowdlerized quote in so many headlines today it was tough to keep an accurate count.

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A Face-Saving Border Wall Compromise Everyone Could Live With

[ Posted Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 – 17:43 PST ]

President Trump sat down today with the Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, in an attempt to hash out a compromise on immigration (specifically, the DACA program that Trump suspended). The larger budget negotiations may hinge on getting such a deal, but at this point the two sides are pretty far apart. Where Trump stands on the issue is pretty clear, which is to say he just wants to sign something and doesn't really care what's in it. This was evidenced by him appearing to agree with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer about the need for a "clean DACA" bill in the negotiations, only to be yanked back by the Republicans in the room who want a whole lot more than a clean DACA bill. But it's obvious Trump just wants a bill to sign, no matter what it contains.

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Friday Talking Points [466] -- The Wolff Who Cried "Boy!"

[ Posted Friday, January 5th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

What's that you say? Trump's golfing wasn't the big story this week? There was, in fact a Wolff at the door, and nobody's certain yet whether Trump lives in a house built of straw(men) or brick (as in: "thick as a...")?

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 29th, 2017 – 18:22 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 what awards have already been handed out.

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2017 – 18:52 PST ]

Sadly, for the first time, we really have to explain our title. It used to be rather self-evident, but then it's been more than a year since The McLaughlin Group went off the air, after the death of host John McLaughlin.

The show was a political chatfest and ran for decades. Regulars such as Clarence Page and Pat Buchanan used to face off every week on all sorts of subjects, but at the end of the year they put on two special awards shows.

Long ago, we decide to write our own suggestions in an homage (which is so much nicer than "in a blatant ripoff of their bit," don't you think?). We've done so for over a decade now (there's a list of links to all of these at the end of this article, for anyone interested in past awards given).

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Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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Can Trump Deal With The Democrats?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 – 17:35 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are apparently ready to play hardball at the start of the negotiations to work out a year-end deal with Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress. They signaled their intentions today by snubbing a planned photo op at the White House in response to a rather nasty tweet the president sent out about them, hours before the meeting was supposed to begin. Why negotiate when Trump is already calling them names, after all?

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