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Archive of Articles in the "Mexico" Category

Friday Talking Points [494] -- It's Always Silly Season Now

[ Posted Friday, July 27th, 2018 – 15:44 PDT ]

The beginning of August, in any normal political year, is when we would usually devote at least one column to trying to predict what the upcoming "silly season" will bring. August may be the dog days for most folks, but in politics it is usually the silliest season of the year. Congress scarpers off to enjoy a month-long vacation, which leaves a vacuum of political news in Washington, which leaves political reporters and commenters desperate for an angle to write about -- any angle at all. This normally leads to focusing on some extraordinarily silly subject matter (to the exclusion of all else), for weeks on end -- hence the season's unofficial name. But these are not normal times, of course, and part of the abnormality that Donald Trump has ushered in is such a vast extension of the silly season that it can now be accurately said to have encompassed the entire calendar year. There is no more silly season anymore, in other words, because it is now silly season all the time. Just check Trump's Twitter feed on any given day, if you require proof.

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Trump Takes His Trade War To Iowa

[ Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is going to attempt to pivot this week to domestic policy, after his disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin didn't exactly turn out as planned. Trump has a meeting with a European leader this week where Trump's proposed European automobile tariffs will be high on the agenda, and Trump will also head out to Iowa to hit the campaign trail for Republicans. Iowa is already one of the front lines of Trump's trade war, since a lot of soybeans are grown there. So far, his farm country base seem to be supporting Trump's trade war (for the moment), but their patience isn't going to be inexhaustible. At some point blind faith in Trump's dealmaking prowess is going to hit the brick wall of reality, in the form of a seriously depressed agricultural market.

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Friday Talking Points [491] -- FART Act, Pruitt Out

[ Posted Friday, July 6th, 2018 – 16:55 PDT ]

We are (of course) not drawing any onomatopoetic comparisons to Scott Pruitt's last name with that title -- perish the thought! -- because it is merely a reference to two political stories which bookended this week. That's all. Ahem.
We begin with a little history. Benjamin Franklin was a funny guy, and was [...]

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White House Rips Out A Real Stinker Of A Proposal

[ Posted Monday, July 2nd, 2018 – 16:31 PDT ]

In the midst of the opening salvos in Trump's worldwide trade war, Axios just uncovered a very interesting story. Apparently, President Trump is now considering backing out of the World Trade Organization, one way or another. He feels constrained by its restrictions, he (of course) feels it is unfair to America, and he would much prefer realigning all of America's trade into bilateral agreements that he will personally negotiate with each country on the planet. But what was most amusing was one of the ways the White House is considering achieving this. They've drafted a piece of legislation that would give Trump full control over tariffs (removing Congress completely from the equation) and also allow Trump to essentially ignore the W.T.O. and all their pesky rules. Pretty much par for the "I alone can fix this country" course, really. But whichever Trump policy flunky put this legislation together needs a quick refresher course on creative acronyms, because the proposed bill is currently named the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act." Yep, that's right, the "U.S. FART Act" (or, if you want to be pedantic, the "U.S. FaRT Act"). Either way, it's a ripe and fetid stinker of a proposal.

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Friday Talking Points [490] -- Full Court Press

[ Posted Friday, June 29th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

Liberals had a very bad week at the Supreme Court last week. There's no denying it. Almost all of the final decisions of the year went against them, and that was before the news of Justice Anthony Kennedy's impending retirement hit Washington like a bombshell. Fears that President Donald Trump will pick an ultra-conservative to replace him mean that bedrock decisions such as Roe v. Wade are now hanging in the balance. Democrats are vowing to fight hard against the next justice's confirmation, but this is quite likely a fight they are going to lose.

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"Zero Tolerance" Legal And Political Fallout Will Continue

[ Posted Monday, June 25th, 2018 – 17:15 PDT ]

President Trump probably thought that a decisive move from him would end all the fuss over his "zero tolerance" policy on immigration. He signed an executive order, therefore the problem would thus go away. But this isn't how things work in the real world, where the fallout is going to continue for the foreseeable future. There will be two major arenas where this is going to play out: in the courtroom, and on the political stage.

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Friday Talking Points [489] -- Ranting About Trump's Cruelty

[ Posted Friday, June 22nd, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

For a change, we're not going to have much to say in this introduction. The reason is that the talking points section is taken up by a lengthy rant this week, because it seemed timely to offer one up. It is a rare week of the Trump presidency where there is really only one overriding issue in the political world to comment on, but this was indeed that kind of week.

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GOP's Glorious Immigration Week Lurches Along

[ Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2018 – 16:18 PDT ]

Well, we're almost to the end of the glorious Republican Immigration Reform Week. That was the original plan, at any rate -- Paul Ryan's House was supposed to pass an immigration reform bill containing all four pillars of Trump's stated immigration goals, and then the bill would then be sent over to the Senate, where Democrats would block it. This was supposed to give political cover for House Republicans on the midterm campaign trail, allowing them to claim "We tried to fix the problem!" all the while knowing that the entire thing was nothing short of a pointless political stunt.

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Trump Blinks

[ Posted Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 – 17:42 PDT ]

Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order to end his own policy of forcing the separation of children from families seeking asylum in America, because his initial position had become so untenable (indeed, downright unbelievable) that his political allies were fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. By this afternoon, there were plenty of other metaphors flying fast and thick: Trump blinked; he waved the white flag; he surrendered; he caved; he backed down; he threw in the towel; he bent to reality. Whichever you choose, the underlying reality is the same: President Donald Trump, in a rare occurrence, was forced today to take an action that proves both he and his aides have been flat-out lying to the American public for days on end. There's just no other way to look at it, and in fact it may be unprecedented for Trump. He's been telling anyone who would listen that he alone could not do anything, and that his hands were tied -- Congress would need to act. Now he has proved himself wrong on that front. He acted, which means he could have done so at any point if he truly had cared about the issue at all. What forced him to act was the overwhelmingly negative and relentless coverage he was receiving in the media, and the flight of his allies in the Republican Party. Today, this all became too much for Trump, so he did what he could have done all along, thus putting the lie to his voluminous statements to the contrary.

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Can House Republicans Explain Political Reality To Trump?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 – 15:58 PDT ]

I would sincerely love to be a fly on the wall at tonight's summit meeting between President Donald Trump and the House Republicans. By the time you read this, the meeting will likely either be underway or already over, so it remains to be seen how much of what goes on will leak out. Indeed, one hopes for a surreptitious recording to be made public, but one doesn't always get what one hopes for (alas!). But no matter how many of the details leak, I'd be willing to bet that the meeting will be described as "a spirited discussion" by someone in attendance. The phrase will likely become unavoidable, really.

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