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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

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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Things Are Getting Better

[ Posted Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 – 14:22 UTC ]

As we head into the dog days of August, Democrats have finally gotten some good news to spread, out on the campaign trail. Legislatively, things are definitely looking up, after Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema finally relented and allowed major portions of President Joe Biden's agenda to head to his desk. But it wasn't just the reconciliation bill, there has been a flurry of bills passing, from allowing Sweden and Finland into NATO to helping America's veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their service. Democrats in Congress are showing that they can indeed get things done, with or without the help of the obstructionist Republicans. But the good news doesn't end there, because the economic picture is getting better as well.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Midterm Ground Shifts In Two Big Ways

[ Posted Friday, August 5th, 2022 – 16:37 UTC ]

There were two major events in politics this week which will have a profound effect on the upcoming midterm campaigns. The first was the stunning victory in the Kansas primary of the anti-forced-birth position on an abortion referendum -- which passed with a jaw-dropping 59-41 percent margin in a very red state. The second was Senate Democrats finally achieving unity by all agreeing to the "Inflation Reduction Act" budget reconciliation bill. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has refused to let the Senate begin their month-long August vacation and is planning the first vote on the bill tomorrow, with all the other arcane floor events to follow, so the final passage could come early next week.

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We Need More Jon Stewarts

[ Posted Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 – 17:13 UTC ]

Jon Stewart, a television comedian, just did an amazing and powerful thing. He actually caused Senate Republicans to feel shame.

In this day and age, that is a rarity. The Republican Party has been taught many bad habits by Donald Trump, but one of the worst of all is utter shamelessness, which I would describe (politically) as the inability of your fellow citizens' opinions to sway yours in the least. Trump's "come Hell or high water" attitude and his absolute refusal to ever admit he was wrong about the slightest thing (see: Sharpiegate, et al) has caused Republicans like Ted Cruz (a shameless politician if there ever was one, even before Trump appeared on the scene) to completely divorce themselves from public opinion. They will just insist that down is up, that black is white, and that everyone else in the world is wrong while they have a secret line to the absolute truth (with zero evidence to back it up, of course).

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats In Array!

[ Posted Friday, July 29th, 2022 – 17:18 UTC ]

That title, of course, is intended as a spoof of what some consider the most overused go-to headline in the Washington punditocracy's toolbox: "Democrats In Disarray!" For once, the absolute opposite seems to be true, and it is so glaringly obvious that even the political press's pooh-bahs have had to admit it (full credit where it is due: we got the title from a Politico article). Because Senator Joe Manchin (of all people!) just turned a very rainy day into some beautiful sunshine.

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Do We Need Another Emmett Till Moment?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 – 15:17 UTC ]

There is a debate currently taking place within the editorial departments of some of the nation's biggest newspapers, on the subject of what their own professional ethics and standards should be when it comes to showing the aftermath of violent mass shootings. What it boils down to is this: "Does the country need another 'Emmett Till moment' -- a photo of a child's badly-mangled body who was killed by gunfire in a mass shooting?" Which is an interesting editorial question, seeing as how the American media has gotten more and more timid over time when it comes to showing the results of any violence, really.

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Fighting The Russian Army To A Draw

[ Posted Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 – 15:40 UTC ]

The Russian army has proven to be a lot less impressive than many (including myself, I must in all honesty admit) had previously thought. Ditto the Russian air force. A war of choice waged by an invader with what appeared to be overwhelming military superiority has just not played out as Vladimir Putin expected. They are bogged down, perhaps for good. Their advance has been halted almost everywhere in Ukraine. Today brought the news that Ukrainian forces are actually recapturing territory and pushing the Russians back. This is an astonishing turn of events. Could the war actually be at a turning point? It is likely too early to make such a declaration, but even the fact that there now exists the possibility of that being true gives both the Ukrainians and the rest of the free world hope.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Speaks, The World Listens

[ Posted Friday, March 4th, 2022 – 17:43 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden gave his first State Of The Union speech to the United States Congress, to the American people, and to the rest of world. This speech had to be hastily rewritten at the last minute, obviously, due to intervening events. Russia's Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine at the end of last week, which was obviously a lot more important than any political points or laundry lists of proposed legislation. So the speech got a quick makeover.

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Will There Be A Biden Bounce?

[ Posted Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022 – 16:27 UTC ]

Is President Joe Biden poised on the brink of a resurgence in the polls? Well... maybe. It's no sure thing, but the conditions do seem to be improving for him so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise. The next two months will be key.

Presidents used to routinely get a bump just after their State Of The Union speeches to Congress, but these events have become less and less impactful over the past decade or so. Fewer people watch, being instead content to read or hear what someone else thought about the speech. But by at least one measure, Biden's speech last night was well-received by the people who did watch it -- a CBS insta-poll showed an astonishing 78 percent of those polled approved of his remarks while only 22 percent disapproved. Will that translate into better job approval ratings for Biden overall? It's certainly possible.

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Biden's Big Night

[ Posted Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 – 22:52 UTC ]

But back to the speech. Biden's delivery was awesome both at the start of the speech and at the end. He showed honest heartfelt emotion when denouncing Vladimir Putin and Russia and metaphorically standing with the people of Ukraine. At the end, he spoke louder than the building applause when he called for what is best about America overcoming our worst impulses. Barack Obama couldn't have done a better job with Biden's closing paragraph, and that's high praise indeed!

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