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Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- We're Number One (Hundred Thousand)!

[ Posted Friday, March 27th, 2020 – 18:12 UTC ]

We're number one! Well... number one hundred thousand and climbing, at any rate....

Yesterday, the United States of America took the lead on the world stage, but not in a good way. We're now the most-infected nation on the planet, and are now the number one epicenter of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Today, the number of cases in this country surpassed 100,000 -- a grim milestone indeed. We still have a ways to go before we are the country with the most deaths from the disease, but at the rate we're going that won't be long either.

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Don't Forget The Lag Time

[ Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 – 16:32 UTC ]

Tracking the spread of the coronavirus is tough to do on a real-time basis because of several inherent instabilities in the data, and also because of the built-in lag time. We'd all do well to remember this in the next few weeks, when considering when lifting all the social distancing restrictions. President Trump is already leading the charge to get the country back to normal, so this pressure is obviously only going to grow.

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Five Million Tests? Where Are They, Mister Vice President?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 – 17:10 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is well known for flat-out lying to the American public. Indeed, he does it so often it has become a defining trait. But what hasn't gotten a lot of attention in the whole White House coronavirus crisis response fiasco is how much Mike Pence is also lying to us all, on the specific issue of the availability of coronavirus tests. We haven't even gotten close to the point where Pence promised us all we'd be at eleven days ago, in fact -- which shows the true magnitude of his lies. In fact, we're only a little over five percent of the way there (from numbers provided by Mike Pence himself, mind you).

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Friday Talking Points -- 19,382 And Counting

[ Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020 – 17:17 UTC ]

We're kidding, of course. Neither of these stories -- which, in normal times would have been covered extensively by the media -- even caused a blip on the radar this week. Because the nation is gripped in the midst of a viral pandemic and we've got the Keystone Kops running the response. Which, admittedly, is a much bigger story to focus on.

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Gaming Out A Future Pandemic

[ Posted Monday, March 16th, 2020 – 16:15 UTC ]

The administration of President Donald Trump is showing us all, in real time, how not to tackle a widespread medical crisis. Because things are moving so quickly, though, it's tough to tell how much of their woefully inadequate response has been the fault of Donald Trump himself, Trump's scorn for experts of any type who know more things than he does (a category which includes many people, for obvious reasons), or Trump's advisors and aides who have been put in charge of a massive problem but whose main worry seems to be not ever contradicting Trump in public (no matter how wrong Trump gets things). It all adds up to making a bad situation much worse, which is precisely where we find ourselves now. Decisions are made for political reasons, or -- worse -- to avoid making Trump himself look bad in any way. This has shattered the confidence of the stock market, as evidenced by today's record-busting 3,000-point drop. The more time goes by, the more Trump's inadequacies are becoming impossible to ignore, even by his staunchest supporters. Donald Trump, quite obviously, does not have a clue what to do next, is instead out there blatantly lying about the situation on a daily basis, and we're all going to suffer as a direct result. No wonder the market's tanking.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Weird Turn Pro

[ Posted Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

In a surreal bit of coincidence this week, America saw a simultaneous broadcast of President Trump stumbling and lying his way through a primetime Oval Office address, while on another channel former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin danced around in a frilly pink bear costume while rapping "Baby Got Back," which contains the memorable line: "I like big butts and I cannot lie...." Signs of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge. What flashed through our mind was the old quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Or, as we might put it (with a fake Sarah Palin accent): "How's that 'stable genius' stuff workin' out for ya now?"

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The Choice Couldn't Be Starker

[ Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2020 – 17:26 UTC ]

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have taken a page from Michael Bloomberg's campaign playbook, and they really need to continue doing this right up until the election (no matter which one of them becomes the nominee). Because more than anything else, it clearly shows the difference between having a sane adult as president and what we've got now.

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Golfing While Rome Burns

[ Posted Monday, March 9th, 2020 – 16:49 UTC ]

Roman Emperor Nero didn't actually fiddle while Rome burned. It's a myth. Violins (or "fiddles") wouldn't exist for another 1,500 years or so, making the very concept impossible. That's not to say Nero might not have blatantly ignored a flaming crisis, of course, it's just quibbling about the literal meaning of the maxim. Now, American Emperor-With-No-Clothes Donald Trump didn't fiddle while the country was hit by a pandemic, either. Instead, he played golf. Twice. That's right -- in the midst of a huge crisis, Trump spent the entire weekend playing golf.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tennis, Anyone?

[ Posted Friday, March 6th, 2020 – 18:09 UTC ]

The stock market is crashing daily, a pandemic is sweeping America, a tornado in Tennessee just killed two dozen people, so of course First Lady Melania Trump decided to reassure the public with a message designed to calm people in these perilous times. The message? Don't worry, everyone -- the construction of the new White House tennis pavilion was still on track. No, seriously -- you just can't make this stuff up. She even donned a hard hat (in order to look fabulous) while making this tone-deaf announcement.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tax Cuts Will Save Us All!

[ Posted Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

File this one under: "If I doesn't laugh, I thinks I'm gonna cry!"

President Donald Trump, that noted stable genius, apparently has the answer to the coronavirus. Here's how an article in today's Washington Post began:

Trump administration officials are holding preliminary conversations about economic responses to the coronavirus, as the stock market fell sharply again on Friday amid international fears about the outbreak, according to five people with knowledge of the planning.

Among the options being considered are pursuing a targeted tax cut package, these people said.

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