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Archive of Articles in the "Russia" Category

Friday Talking Points [467] -- Our Racist President

[ Posted Friday, January 12th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

The mainstream media crossed two cultural lines this week, in reaction to one of the most offensive things any American president has ever been caught saying. The first line crossed was to overrule the censors. Standards and practices can't complain when a word used on the news is a direct quote from the president, after all. That would be censorship of a different (and darker) type. Still, last night we were rather surprised to here a reporter on the evening NBC news broadcast actually use the word "shithole." No bleeping, no asterisks, just: here is what the president called some African countries. On broadcast (i.e., non-cable) television, at 5:30 P.M. (not some late-night broadcast, in other words). That is a first in America, to be sure. The Washington Post used Trump's unexpurgated, unbowdlerized quote in so many headlines today it was tough to keep an accurate count.

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Friday Talking Points [466] -- The Wolff Who Cried "Boy!"

[ Posted Friday, January 5th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

What's that you say? Trump's golfing wasn't the big story this week? There was, in fact a Wolff at the door, and nobody's certain yet whether Trump lives in a house built of straw(men) or brick (as in: "thick as a...")?

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 29th, 2017 – 18:22 PST ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! For those who may have missed it, check out Part 1 from last week to see what awards have already been handed out.

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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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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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Friday Talking Points [458] -- Gold Star Lies

[ Posted Friday, October 20th, 2017 – 17:41 PDT ]

Call this the week when White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lost all remaining shreds of credibility. Kelly, as we all know, was supposed to bring the adult supervision to the White House that would magically transform Donald Trump into a serious president. A retired Marine Corps general was going to whip the White House into shape, and clear sailing ahead would thus quickly ensue.

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End Is Near For Islamic State's State

[ Posted Thursday, October 12th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

A major geopolitical goal is now in sight, and should arrive within months if not weeks. The Islamic State is about to become stateless. They are about to lose the last shreds of territory they still control in Iraq and Syria, forcing their transformation into a stateless terrorist network (like Al Qaeda) or even their total collapse. Because their self-proclaimed "caliphate" is about to disappear.

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Friday Talking Points [456] -- Rex Says What Everyone's Been Thinking

[ Posted Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

It's getting kind of hard to understand why Rex Tillerson is still secretary of state. He just had an extremely rough week, and that's even without counting the breaking news that he had previously called President Trump not just a "moron" but a "fucking moron." It's easy to get distracted by such salacious news (especially when Tillerson pointedly refused to deny the "moron" part of it), but even before that juicy leak, Tillerson was roundly being ridiculed for, once again, how his boss snarkily contradicted and belittled him on Twitter. Last weekend, Trump destroyed Tillerson's efforts to bring North Korea to the diplomatic table, tweeting that Tillerson was "wasting his time."

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The Kurds' Historic Vote In Iraq

[ Posted Monday, September 25th, 2017 – 18:03 PDT ]

Most Americans alive today have no memory of our country ever changing its borders. And the last time it happened, many Americans alive at the time had no memory of the country adding previous states, either. The 47th state (Arizona) was admitted to the Union in 1912. Hawai'i and Alaska joined in 1959. Since then, we've now gone 57 years without the United States of America changing its outline on the world map. "This sort of history happens to other people in the world, not us," we tell ourselves. I was thinking of this while watching the muted attention given to Puerto Rico after it got hammered by Hurricane Maria this weekend. But that's a really subject for another column. What made me think about our historic cartological stability again today was the vote for independence being conducted in the parts of Iraq under Kurdish control.

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Friday Talking Points [454] -- Senator Cassidy Fails Jimmy Kimmel Test

[ Posted Friday, September 22nd, 2017 – 17:28 PDT ]

The zombie legislation attacks (again)! While much else was going on in the political world this week, the most important event was the reanimation of the Republican "repeal and replace Obamacare" effort: It's not dead! It's alive! And it's lurching around threatening millions!

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