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Archive of Articles in the "Russia" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Republican Senators Prepare To Violate A Sworn Oath

[ Posted Friday, January 17th, 2020 – 17:46 UTC ]

This doublethink continued this week, as every sitting senator (except the one who was absent due to a family medical emergency) swore a solemn oath to be an impartial juror -- an oath that several Republicans have already publicly promised to utterly disregard. Because, you know, all that business about being for law and order and all that tut-tutting over the sins of "moral relativism" is so 1990s.

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Snap Reactions To The Seventh Democratic Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 00:12 UTC ]

To use a sports metaphor, we're right at the end of the pre-season and about to start the actual games that count. Tonight was the last presidential debate between the Democratic candidates before Iowa votes in its caucuses. From now on, in each subsequent debate, we'll know not just who is up in the public opinion polling, but who has done better at the actual polls, where voters cast their ballots for the Democratic nomination.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Madman Theory, Personified

[ Posted Friday, January 10th, 2020 – 18:29 UTC ]

We've said it before and we're sure we'll have to say it again before the year's out, but President Trump is the personification of what Richard Nixon used to call the "Madman Theory" of foreign policy. Back then, it was a bluff -- if Nixon acted crazy enough, then perhaps the North Vietnamese would think he was so crazy he might just drop a nuclear bomb on them. This would tend to restrain them more than if they were sure he wouldn't.

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Precedent Trump

[ Posted Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 18:23 UTC ]

Today, I'd like to step back from a day-to-day analysis of Donald Trump's actions in order to look at a slightly bigger picture. Because at this point, it almost seems like we should all start calling him "Precedent Trump," since he is setting so many of them for future presidents to either use or abuse at will. Republicans who now slavishly insist upon supporting anything and everything Trump does -- no matter how outrageous, no matter how disruptive -- should be warned that future presidents (Democratic ones most definitely included) may one day point to current GOP behavior while insisting that they have exactly the same rights that Trump has claimed for himself. Because this is always the ultimate test of supporting any expansion of presidential powers: would you support a president of the other party doing such a thing? Again, Republicans would do well to consider this in the Trump era, because it's my guess that some of these precedents are going to come back to bite them later on. And it'll be pretty tough for them to argue against these precedents after so wholeheartedly supporting them now.

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My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 27th, 2019 – 19:41 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second and final installment of our year-end awards columns! If you missed last week's column, you should probably check that out, too.

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My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 20th, 2019 – 19:05 UTC ]

Welcome back once again to our year-end "McLaughlin Awards," named for the awards categories we lifted from the McLaughlin Report years ago. We've added a category here and there over time, but it's still the same basic list.

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Friday Talking Points -- Snowflake-In-Chief Not Person Of The Year, Sorry

[ Posted Friday, December 13th, 2019 – 18:17 UTC ]

And so we come to the close of the most momentous week in Washington of the year. In one week's time, we've seen articles of impeachment move to the floor of the House of Representatives, an agreement between House Democrats and the White House to move forward on the U.S./Mexico/Canada Agreement, a truce declared in the budget battles (that had threatened to shut down the government once again), Democrats agreeing to the creation of the "Space Force" in exchange for paid family leave for federal workers, a tentative trade cease-fire declared with China, the Senate unanimously backing up the overwhelming vote in the House to declare the Armenian genocide for what it was, the release of an inspector general's report that totally debunked most of the conspiracy theories about the initiation of the counterintelligence operation at the edges of the 2016 Trump campaign, President Trump being forced to pay a $2 million fine for misuse of his own charitable foundation, and the House passing a landmark bill to fight the greed of drug companies by finally using the federal government's buying power to force lower prices on prescription medication. Again: all of these rather large things happened in a single week.

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Democrats Go Narrow On Impeachment Articles

[ Posted Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 – 17:59 UTC ]

Today, House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. This is a historic development, since it has only previously happened on three other occasions. Somewhat surprisingly, the Democrats opted to only focus very narrowly in the charges they brought, limiting them to the fallout from Trump's attempt to get the Ukrainian government to do opposition research on a political opponent. Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership made a decision in drafting such narrowly-focused articles, since they had the option of including other obviously-impeachable offenses, but in the end chose not to.

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Friday Talking Points -- Rolling Down The Impeachment Track

[ Posted Friday, December 6th, 2019 – 18:48 UTC ]

The impeachment train is rolling right on down the track, and nothing's going to stop it now. That was the big news this week, without question. This has all been happening at breathtaking speed, when you consider the usual glacial pace of things getting done in Washington. Just this week, the House Intelligence Committee put out its report on impeachment, handed it off to the Judiciary Committee, who then held their first hearing, and by week's end Nancy Pelosi was calling for articles of impeachment to be drafted so that the House could vote on them in time for the Christmas break. That all happened in one week.

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The Phase Two Hearings Begin

[ Posted Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 – 18:31 UTC ]

Today, I watched some more daytime television. Eight-and-a-half hours of it, to be precise. Because it was time once again to view gavel-to-gavel coverage of an event that has only taken place three (or four, if you count Nixon) times in our nation's history: the impeachment of a sitting U.S. president. The House Intelligence Committee wrapped up its work for now by voting on and making public their report on their findings of fact, and by doing so handed the impeachment inquiry off to the House Judiciary Committee. Which held its first public hearing today by opening with four constitutional scholars as witnesses.

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