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Archive of Articles in the "China" Category

New Rule: No Repeat Debate Questions

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 16:29 UTC ]

I have a proposal for a new rule for the Democratic presidential debate moderators, going forward: no repeat questions should be allowed. It's a pretty simple idea, really. The moderators would be barred from asking the candidates questions that have already been asked in previous debates. After all, there are plenty of other subjects that have yet to be talked about, so why should voters be subjected to these re-run debate segments, over and over again?

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Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Should Pelosi Hold Impeachment Inquiry Vote?

[ Posted Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

The biggest question Nancy Pelosi will face next week, when the House of Representatives gets back from yet another multiweek vacation, will be whether or not to hold a full floor vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry that has already begun in various House committees. There are arguments to be made both pro and con on the issue, and so far Pelosi has been resisting the pressure to hold such a vote. President Donald Trump upped the stakes on this decision by claiming in a White House letter that he's not going to comply with any subpoena or request for interviews or documents until the House holds such a vote. But it's still an open question whether he would do so even with a floor vote for the impeachment inquiry, because if he stays true to form then he'll just manufacture another specious argument for why he is continuing to stonewall Congress.

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Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 16:57 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure getting a lot of advice from the punditocracy right now. Mostly, over the last few days, this has focused on the question of whether she should or should not hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor. I'm going to ignore that issue today (perhaps to be revisited in a later column) because I feel there are other strategy ideas worth exploring, as the Democrats chart their course through the choppy waters of impeachment.

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Xi, Who Pays The Piper, Calls The Tune

[ Posted Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 – 17:10 UTC ]

I don't think I've ever used this column to comment on the world of basketball, but there's always a first time for everything. The National Basketball Association is currently struggling with a conflict between free speech and making piles of money in China. It is a struggle that many American corporations have faced before, and it boils down to one basic fact: if you want China's money, then you have to play by their rules, period. Chairman Xi is paying the piper, so he gets to call the tune. The concept is clear, and nobody's forcing any company to do business with China, but if any American company does want to tap into their billion-person market, then they've got to follow the Chinese rules for doing business there. And most of those rules are antithetical to democratic norms, which makes perfect sense because China is an authoritarian state.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quid, Meet Quo

[ Posted Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 16:30 UTC ]

The impeachment whirlwind shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact each day brings more and more evidence that President Donald Trump is using American foreign policy as his own personal opposition research to undermine his Democratic political opponents. Which, of course, is an eminently impeachable offense.

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Pelosi Has Luxury Of Setting Impeachment Timetable

[ Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 – 17:02 UTC ]

House Democrats are soon going to face a stark choice. Either they wait for the court system to slowly grind its way up to the Supreme Court, and then hope that John Roberts values his legacy enough to rule in their favor; or they can just move past judicial delays altogether and draft articles of impeachment sooner rather than later. So far it seems they're more inclined to pursue the latter strategy, but it is still too early in the process to state that definitively. A court ruling limiting Trump's excessive executive privilege claims would be a valuable thing in its own right, but the question is going to be: is it worth the inevitable wait?

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate?

[ Posted Friday, September 20th, 2019 – 18:05 UTC ]

We're in the midst of a brand-new breaking scandal -- one that's so new it hasn't even been assigned a "-gate" label yet. Ukraine-gate? Kiev-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate? As was entirely appropriate, Hillary Clinton had the pithiest tweet of the week: "The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again."

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Our Fifth Trillion-Dollar Deficit

[ Posted Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 – 17:03 UTC ]

It was little noticed, but last week the U.S. government admitted that this year's budget deficit has already topped the trillion-dollar mark. And the fiscal year won't be over for another month. This will be only the fifth time in American history that the annual deficit has been over a trillion dollars, and the other four years were all in the depths of the Great Recession. We're supposed to have a good economy right now, but we're running a deficit as if we're in some pretty bad times. Of course, all of this proves how both Donald Trump and the Republicans have been lying to the American public all along, and how Democrats can continue to make the rather easy argument that the only time the nation gets its fiscal house in anything resembling good order is when there's a Democrat in the White House.

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Friday Talking Points -- Selenofriggatriskaidekaphobia (Revisited)

[ Posted Friday, September 13th, 2019 – 17:00 UTC ]

We have to begin today with an apology. Five years ago, without knowing any better, we erroneously reported in this space that there would not be another Friday the 13th which coincided with a full moon until 2049. So it was much to our surprise that we heard that this week we all were going to see another one, only five short years after we feverishly coined the word "selenofriggatriskaidekaphobia" to describe those with the very specific neurotic fear (-phobia) of both full moons (seleno-) and Fridays (-frigga-) the 13th (-triskaideka-).

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