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Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" 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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Friday Talking Points -- Another Fun Week In Trumpland

[ Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

President Donald Trump embarrassed himself today by claiming [TOTAL LIE], and then following up on Twitter with [INSANE CONSPIRACY THEORY]. Both were immediately disproven by [WIDELY AVAILABLE AND INDISPUTABLE FACTS]. When asked for comment, the White House merely stated that "the president's words speak for themselves." Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway was quoted blaming [ANYONE BUT TRUMP] for the whole fracas.

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Nielsen Out, As Trump Doubles Down (Yet Again) On Xenophobia

[ Posted Monday, April 8th, 2019 – 17:12 UTC ]

Political scapegoating of immigrants is certainly nothing new in American politics. Even a cursory look at American history shows this to be true, from the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in the 1790s, to the anti-Catholic-immigrant "Know Nothing" Party of the 1850s, to the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, to the scapegoating of Mexican laborers in the 1950s (Operation Wetback). Being anti-immigrant is about as American as apple pie, as horrifying as that might sound to those who are more comfortable sweeping such excesses under the historical rug. Donald Trump, in other words, did not singlehandedly create xenophobia, instead he merely revived a longstanding tradition of using the issue successfully as a political bludgeon.

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Trump Faces Reality, Twice In One Week

[ Posted Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 18:17 UTC ]

In an extraordinary turn of events, President Donald Trump has had to face reality not once but twice within the same week. Seeing as how this has only happened a handful of times throughout his entire term, this double-shot of reality is rather notable. The last time he was forced by those around him to readjust his worldview to actual facts was after he had hastily announced he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria. It took weeks for his advisors to force him to backtrack on this decision, but in the end they successfully convinced him. This time around, though, it took only days -- and it happened not just once but twice.

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From The Archives -- Our 51st "Estado"

[ Posted Thursday, March 28th, 2019 – 17:19 UTC ]

[Program Note: Still too far under the weather to write today, sorry. But I did see that Democrats have now introduced a bill in Congress which would make Puerto Rico our 51st state, so I thought it was time to dust off the following column, written over 10 years ago. Obviously, the issues [...]

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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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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Humiliated By His Own Party

[ Posted Friday, March 15th, 2019 – 18:03 UTC ]

President Donald Trump just got humiliated three times in the same week. By his own party. Could this be a trend? One would certainly like to think so, but that may be premature (or overly optimistic).

Of course, it's debatable whether Trump can even be humiliated, because it's tough to humiliate someone who does not know the meaning of the word humility. You can call Trump many things (and we often do), but "humble" certainly isn't one of them.

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Trump Losing His Grip On GOP?

[ Posted Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 16:49 UTC ]

It has been a rather astonishing 24 hours in Congress. Last night, the Senate passed a bill which would force President Donald Trump to end American involvement in the war Saudi Arabia is fighting in Yemen, by a healthy margin of 54-46. Today, they followed this rebuke by passing the House bill to rescind Trump's "national emergency" declaration of a non-emergency on the southern border by an even-more-astonishing margin of 59-41. The House, not to be outdone, then unanimously passed (420-0) a resolution demanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's eventual report to the attorney general be made public. That's a whole lot of presidential rebuke for one single day, you've got to admit. And a whole lot of Republicans voting against a president of their own party.

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And Then There Were Five

[ Posted Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 – 16:26 UTC ]

If I had been in a more pedantic mood, that headline would have more-properly read: "And Then There Were Fifty-Two," but that doesn't really have the same ring to it. Whichever math you prefer, there is now a solid majority in the Senate to pass the House's measure rescinding President Trump's "national emergency" declaration at the southern border. A fifth Republican senator, Mike Lee, just announced he'll be voting for the measure, which means there are already 52 votes for it in advance of tomorrow's floor vote. This should assure its passage, and will likely lead to the first presidential veto of Trump's tenure in office.

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