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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

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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The Grim New Reality

[ Posted Thursday, February 24th, 2022 – 17:36 UTC ]

The invasion has now officially begun. Vladimir Putin wasn't bluffing. President Joe Biden's warnings that this was going to happen were not overblown or premature. Russia is redrawing the geopolitical lines in Eastern Europe and the rest of the world is going to have to adjust to the new reality. This is all very grim to contemplate, obviously. We are going back in time to the 20th century, when wars of aggression were a reality that killed untold millions. So it behooves us to look ahead to what this new order will mean, especially what it will mean militarily.

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Friday Talking Points -- What Will Putin Do?

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

The world pauses and holds its collective breath as we all wonder the same thing: What is Vladimir Putin up to? Will he invade Ukraine? Is this all some sort of bluff or feint? Or is he deadly serious about reconstituting the Soviet Union's sphere of influence (of satellite states subservient to Moscow)? Is he just waiting for the Olympics to end as some sort of favor to China? Or will the troops eventually go home and the whole crisis blows over?

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Grading Biden's First Year

[ Posted Thursday, January 20th, 2022 – 16:53 UTC ]

One year ago today, Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. His Inauguration was notable for a few reasons, first and foremost the fact that it happened only two weeks after the U.S. Capitol had been besieged and overrun by insurrectionists attempting to prevent Biden from ever taking office. So the entire Capitol complex was heavily locked down and defended for what is normally a positive and upbeat public ceremony. The other two notable reasons that stick in my mind were: Amanda Gorman absolutely stealing the show with her poem "The Hill We Climb," and Bernie Sanders providing the best photo op by sitting on a socially-distanced chair wearing adorable homemade mittens.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! If you missed it, please feel free to check out [Part 1], too.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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