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Archive of Articles in the "Mexico" Category

What About The House?

[ Posted Monday, January 22nd, 2018 – 18:19 PST ]

The Senate Democrats ended their government shutdown today, not with a bang but with a whimper. They did not achieve their stated objective, to force a vote on a bill to save the DACA program, but they did at least raise awareness of the issue in Washington, so it can't conveniently be swept under a rug for the foreseeable future. The moderates and the Democratic Senate leadership point to a rather squishy promise made by Mitch McConnell to hold a floor vote on a DACA bill at some point in the next two months, which was apparently enough of a commitment to assuage the fears of a majority of Democratic senators for now. But lost in all the recriminations is one glaring question: what about the House?

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Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

Where we find ourselves as a nation: this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000, to keep her silence about an affair they had right after he had married his third wife. It was later revealed by In Touch Weekly magazine that Trump had compared the porn star (stage name: Stormy Daniels) favorably with his daughter. And yet this news didn't even really break onto the front pages. After one year of President Trump, such a revelation is considered minor news, in other words. That's where we find ourselves as a nation, folks.

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Playing The Shutdown Game

[ Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 – 18:09 PST ]

As Congress returns to Washington, the question on everyone's mind is whether the federal government will shut down Friday night or whether some sort of deal (whether long or short term) can be agreed to at the last minute. As of this writing, it's impossible to tell what the outcome will be, but then that is the very nature of such games of brinksmanship. If there wasn't an edge to be close to, then there wouldn't be any threat, to put it another way.

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A Face-Saving Border Wall Compromise Everyone Could Live With

[ Posted Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 – 17:43 PST ]

President Trump sat down today with the Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, in an attempt to hash out a compromise on immigration (specifically, the DACA program that Trump suspended). The larger budget negotiations may hinge on getting such a deal, but at this point the two sides are pretty far apart. Where Trump stands on the issue is pretty clear, which is to say he just wants to sign something and doesn't really care what's in it. This was evidenced by him appearing to agree with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer about the need for a "clean DACA" bill in the negotiations, only to be yanked back by the Republicans in the room who want a whole lot more than a clean DACA bill. But it's obvious Trump just wants a bill to sign, no matter what it contains.

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2017 – 18:52 PST ]

Sadly, for the first time, we really have to explain our title. It used to be rather self-evident, but then it's been more than a year since The McLaughlin Group went off the air, after the death of host John McLaughlin.

The show was a political chatfest and ran for decades. Regulars such as Clarence Page and Pat Buchanan used to face off every week on all sorts of subjects, but at the end of the year they put on two special awards shows.

Long ago, we decide to write our own suggestions in an homage (which is so much nicer than "in a blatant ripoff of their bit," don't you think?). We've done so for over a decade now (there's a list of links to all of these at the end of this article, for anyone interested in past awards given).

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Can Trump Deal With The Democrats?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 – 17:35 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are apparently ready to play hardball at the start of the negotiations to work out a year-end deal with Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress. They signaled their intentions today by snubbing a planned photo op at the White House in response to a rather nasty tweet the president sent out about them, hours before the meeting was supposed to begin. Why negotiate when Trump is already calling them names, after all?

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White House Tries Deal-Making

[ Posted Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 – 17:09 PDT ]

Amidst all the continuing distractions emanating from the White House these days (I.Q. tests, the N.F.L., World War III, etc.), something interesting and unprecedented has happened in the past few weeks. The Trump administration has begun actual negotiations with Congress, on two contentious issues. It's rather astonishing when you think about it, but this is actually the first time such a thing has happened since Trump took office.

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Trump Deals With Chuck And Nancy Again

[ Posted Thursday, September 14th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

For the second time in two weeks, President Donald Trump may have cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, this time on protecting the DACA "dreamers." That isn't a definitive statement because, at this point, nobody's really even sure if a deal was actually agreed to, or what exactly will be in any such a deal. Trump is sending out some very mixed messages, perhaps in reaction to his base already condemning the idea as "amnesty." But the fact remains that Trump once again reached out to the Democratic congressional leaders, inviting them over to dinner to hammer out some sort of path forward on major legislation. Notable in their absence in this meeting were any Republican congressional leaders.

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Trump On DACA: Blame Congress, Not Me!

[ Posted Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 17:47 PDT ]

President Donald Trump certainly annoyed many today with the announcement that he'll be ending the DACA (or "dreamer") program. The dreamers themselves are outraged, their parents and relatives are suffering massive disappointment, and their supporters have yet another reason to disapprove of Trump. But what I found striking about today's announcement is that it is the first one I can recall from Trump which even attempts to show any sort of nuance or political shrewdness. Perhaps this is a result of the rising influence of his new chief of staff, or perhaps he really doesn't want to be seen as completely heartless towards the most sympathetic group of undocumented immigrants around. Either way, though, when compared to (for instance) his first attempt at a "Muslim ban," how Trump is ending DACA shows a wee bit more of what might be called political savvy.

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Friday Talking Points [451] -- Riders On The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 1st, 2017 – 17:45 PDT ]

Donald Trump began last week (as we measure time here, from Friday deadline to Friday deadline) by pardoning a racist sheriff who had been convicted (but not even sentenced yet) of ignoring the Constitution and defying the federal courts. Trump announced this just as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, in the hopes that nobody but his base would notice. He also sent formal instructions to the Pentagon to begin turning away transgendered Americans who want to serve their country, also in the hopes that few would notice. In the midst of all this "news dump" frenzy, Steve Bannon's acolyte Sebastian Gorka was unceremoniously shown the door at the White House. That all happened late in the day last Friday, so for us it was a fairly jaw-dropping start to the week.

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