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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

Congress Taking Historic Steps To Retake Some Powers

[ Posted Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 – 18:24 UTC ]

Just before I sat down to write this, the news broke that the House of Representatives had voted (245-182) to nullify President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. But rather than focusing on the personality-driven nature of this particular vote, I think it is worth taking a step back and looking at it through a bigger-picture lens. Because this isn't the only historic action Congress is currently considering when it comes to retaking constitutional powers that it had previously handed over to the executive branch. Taken together with the upcoming Senate vote on ending American involvement in the war in Yemen, this represents what could be the beginnings of a historic shift in power back to the legislative branch, which would return some power to the legislature that the framers of the Constitution never intended the president to have in the first place.

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My Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union

[ Posted Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 – 23:21 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my own snap reactions to President Donald Trump's second State Of The Union speech (he's actually now given three such addresses to Congress, but the first one doesn't technically count as a State Of The Union speech). I write all of this before hearing or reading what other pundits thought, so I won't be influenced by any sort of groupthink about the speech.

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Friday Talking Points -- Only Halfway Through Our National Nightmare

[ Posted Friday, January 18th, 2019 – 19:24 UTC ]

The government shutdown hits the one-month milestone this weekend, but there's an even more significant calendar event which will happen as well: Donald Trump hits the halfway point of his term in office. Or, to take into account all the possibilities, we'd have to say "at least the halfway point," since if he doesn't serve his whole term for one reason or another (for, you know, whatever reason...) then he'd have hit his halfway point already, at some point in the past. So please read that headline as a worst-case scenario. We're only halfway through this rollercoaster ride, folks.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Temper Tantrum

[ Posted Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 18:43 UTC ]

Most Americans, not being political wonks, have largely moved on from the midterm election results. The mainstream media has also largely been ignoring the still-developing story, for two reasons: (1) they really kind of blew it on Election Night, uniformly coming to the wrong conclusion very early in the evening ("the blue wave is not appearing") and so they're now avoiding having to correct their misinterpretation; and (2) there's a recount in Florida again! Woo hoo! Break out the video clips of that poor myopic cross-eyed guy with the magnifying glass -- that's always fun to run, right?

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Friday Talking Points -- Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

[ Posted Friday, November 2nd, 2018 – 17:18 UTC ]

Our subtitle today is an apt summation of the Republican Party midterm campaign message, in full. That's what they're running on, led by our Snowflake-in-Chief, Donald Trump. Fear. Naked, undiluted fear. "Be afraid!" they warn their voters. "Be very afraid!"

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Closing Midterm Argument

[ Posted Friday, October 19th, 2018 – 17:18 UTC ]

As usual, there was all sorts of idiocy in the political news last week. But, for a change, we're only going to skim lightly over most of it in an abbreviated weekly roundup, because we've got a special talking points section at the end, where we try our hand at writing a "closing argument" speech for all Democratic congressional candidates to consider using. So there's that to look forward to. Before that, though, let's take a very quick look at the week that was.

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Democrats Need To Campaign More On Judicial Picks

[ Posted Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 – 17:21 UTC ]

Gerald R. Ford once famously pointed out that the practical definition of what constituted grounds for impeaching a president (since it is only vaguely defined in the Constitution itself) consisted of whatever a majority of the House of Representatives decided were valid grounds for impeachment (Ford, on the House floor, before he became Nixon's vice president: "The only honest answer is that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history"). Likewise, it almost appears self-evident that defining what is constitutional and what is not can be similarly reduced to whatever a majority of the Supreme Court decides is constitutional, at the present time. Dred Scott was constitutional -- right up until it wasn't -- because a Supreme Court had determined it was. It took a shift of opinion on the highest court to reverse this. Again, this should all be pretty obvious to even the most causal observer of American history. Which is why, in fact, the conservative movement has focused so intently on the judicial branch for the past three decades and more. This began at the height of the anti-abortion movement during Ronald Reagan's time in office, and it continues today on the right side of the spectrum. But for some unfathomable reason, liberals have never matched this level of political fervor about judicial appointments. But now the stakes are higher than ever.

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Blame Canada!

[ Posted Monday, June 11th, 2018 – 16:29 UTC ]

Donald Trump has apparently decided to take the advice of that impressive fount of political wisdom, South Park. It's hard to come to any other conclusion, really, when you recall that one of the songs from their first big movie (a song nominated for an Academy Award, no less) was titled: "Blame Canada." President Trump was obviously inspired by the lyrics: "With all their beady little eyes / And flapping heads so full of lies," when he began his tweetstorm against Justin Trudeau after Trump left the G-7 meeting early.

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Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union

[ Posted Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 23:55 UTC ]

As usual, I hereby offer up my initial snap reactions after watching both President Trump's first official State Of The Union speech (last year's was just "an address to the Congress"), and the Democratic response. I like to do this before I dive in to what others may have opined about the speech, so as not to be influenced by any Washington media groupthink. Tomorrow morning, I'll be able to see who agreed with me and who didn't, of course.

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Freelance Democratic Autopsy Document Released

[ Posted Monday, November 13th, 2017 – 18:12 UTC ]

For a long time now, I've been calling on the Democratic Party to go through the same soul-searching exercise that Republicans did in 2013 after losing a presidential election. The GOP, back then, put out an "autopsy" or "post-mortem" document which examined why they lost and offered suggestions for improving the party's chances in the future. Democrats, I thought, would have been well-served by the same sort of self-examination after 2016, but it never actually appeared from the national party. Because it still hasn't appeared from the national party, a group of Democrats have been inspired to create such a document on their own. This new document can be viewed on the site democraticautopsy.org, and it is well worth a read by anyone who cares about the future of the Democratic Party.

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