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Archive of Articles in the "Mexico" Category

Friday Talking Points -- "Civil" War

[ Posted Friday, October 12th, 2018 – 17:35 PDT ]

There's a debate going on right now among the chattering classes in Washington over whether Democrats should be "civil" or, alternatively, whether they should "kick" back at their opponents. No, really. The hilariousness of such a genteel debate seems to have escaped everyone engaging in it, apparently. Because it is pretty funny, when you consider the actual facts. Which show that Republicans completely abandoned civility altogether, right about the same time they started supporting Donald Trump -- and things have (if it's even possible) now gotten even worse in the midterm campaigns. So all they're really doing is attempting to hold Democrats to a standard they don't even pretend to hew to themselves anymore (after decades of being the moralizing, finger-wagging party, it bears mentioning).

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One Month To Go

[ Posted Monday, October 8th, 2018 – 17:05 PDT ]

Four weeks from tomorrow, America will vote in the 2018 midterm congressional elections. We're officially in the homestretch now, in other words. And even with all the recent political events, things stand pretty much how they have all year -- Democrats are still favored to take control of the House of Representatives, but Republicans are still favored to retain control of the Senate. The political pundits right now are focusing too tightly on possible effects of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court fight, but the bigger picture hasn't really shifted all that much.

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Friday Talking Points -- Kavanaugh Fight Finally Ends

[ Posted Friday, October 5th, 2018 – 16:46 PDT ]

Brett Kavanaugh is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow. That was the breaking news this afternoon, as Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Democrat Joe Manchin all indicated that they're going to vote in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation. Republican Lisa Murkowski had briefly given rise to hope on the Democratic side when she announced she'll be voting against confirmation, but as things stand now Vice President Mike Pence won't even be required to break a tie, because tomorrow (if every senator votes how they now say they will) the total will be 51 votes for confirmation to 49 against.

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Changing Dynamics For The Midterm Races

[ Posted Monday, October 1st, 2018 – 17:08 PDT ]

Five weeks from tomorrow, the 2018 midterm elections will happen. But, as we all know, a lot can happen in five weeks (especially these days). Up until about two weeks ago, the conventional wisdom had coalesced into a belief that the Democrats were more likely than not to take control of the House of Representatives, but also that they'd probably fall short in the Senate. However, within those two weeks, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight has taken an unexpected turn. And today, perhaps as a very early "October surprise," President Trump announced a new trade deal with both Mexico and Canada. So it's time to consider what impact these two events might have on the midterms, if any.

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Friday Talking Points -- This Is Why Women Don't Report Sexual Assaults

[ Posted Friday, September 21st, 2018 – 18:35 PDT ]

Brett Kavanaugh was supposed to have been confirmed by the Senate to a seat on the Supreme Court by now. That was the original plan, at any rate. But this plan was blown out of the water last Friday when Christine Blasey Ford came forward and publicly accused him of attempting to rape her when the two were in high school. The fallout still continues, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

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Friday Talking Points [498] -- Remembering John McCain, Good And Bad

[ Posted Friday, August 31st, 2018 – 17:19 PDT ]

We have to begin today, sadly, by speaking ill of the dead. However, we do so respectfully (unlike some other folks have done this week). We fully realize it is a serious breach of etiquette, but in all the laudatory remarks given this week about the late Senator John McCain, there has been one glaring omission. Because, more than anyone else, John McCain is responsible for regularizing the concept that a know-nothing could be considered presidential. Some might push the blame back further, to George H. W. Bush, who selected Dan Quayle as his vice president, but McCain certainly shoulders the lion's share of this blame for deciding that Sarah Palin was qualified to be president. Anyone listening to her speak for more than two minutes could easily tell how misguided the idea of her running the country truly was, after all. And yet McCain went ahead and selected her anyway.

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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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