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Archive of Articles in the "Iraq" Category

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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Friday Talking Points -- The Blunderful Blizzard Of Oz

[ Posted Friday, May 20th, 2022 – 17:55 UTC ]

We were reminded of the whole Wonderful Wizard of Oz metaphor early this week, when we saw Mehmet "Dr." Oz at a last-minute Pennsylvania campaign rally, holding up his smartphone to the crowd, as the disembodied voice of the great MAGA Dear Leader bellowed forth bombast and nonsense to the crowd. All it needed was some smoke and fireballs at the sides of the stage, really. It seemed to us (but then we do have a rather warped sense of humor...) that Oz was begging the crowd to please pay lots of attention to the man behind the curtain.

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From The Archives -- Presidential Mythmaking

[ Posted Monday, February 21st, 2022 – 17:00 UTC ]

Since it's fun to do, and since today's a good day for it, let's take a look at one particular moment in American history. A Republican president sits in the White House. His very presence terrifies liberals, who consider him an intellectual lightweight (and even that's being polite) and not up to the job in any way. He cares more for his television presence than actual policy matters, it seems. Both the president and his wife seem elitist to the core and disdainful of reining in their excesses after moving to the White House. He is seen as a total puppet, and the only question members of the media have to explore is who the puppetmaster pulling his strings currently is. He packed his White House with his buddies, and they spend a lot of time fighting with Washington insiders. The rest of the world is horrified that we elected such a man president. There are even rumors that his campaign cut a deal with a tyrannical foreign government in order to help him get elected. In fact, there are very real fears he could start a nuclear war at any time, since his foreign policy is both erratic and belligerent. About the only thing he can get done in Congress is to pass a massive tax cut. That's what the prevailing opinion was at the time, inside the Beltway. His name? Ronald Reagan.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Friday Talking Points -- War's End

[ Posted Friday, August 20th, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

This has been a rather historic week, so we are dispensing with our regular format to spend our entire column discussing the withdrawal of United States military forces from Afghanistan, and the emergency airlift operation now being undertaken to get every American and every interpreter and translator and other Afghan ally of ours out as well.

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The End Of The Forever War

[ Posted Monday, August 16th, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

So ends America's longest war. The forever war in Afghanistan is entering its final moments, at least for us. It is an ugly and chaotic picture. Just last week the U.S. government was saying that Kabul might -- just might mind you -- be overrun by the Taliban in roughly 90 days. The reality was closer to 90 hours. That is either a monumental failure of intelligence or was an enormous lie told to the American people. I strongly suspect it was the first of those, since the speed of it all seems to have caught everyone -- up to and including the decision-makers in the Pentagon and White House -- by complete surprise.

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