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Archive of Articles in the "Syria" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Infair To Rupublicans!

[ Posted Friday, November 1st, 2019 – 18:02 UTC ]

Does President Trump's phone even have a spell-checker? One has to wonder, when he tweets so many idiotic misspellings on such a regular basis. This week's gem came directly after the House voted on impeachment inquiry procedures, which Trump wasn't exactly happy about:

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Friday Talking Points -- Collective Republican Amnesia

[ Posted Friday, October 25th, 2019 – 18:18 UTC ]

Remember when Republicans were the party that stood squarely for law and order? Or for that matter, remember when they used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, chock full of deficit hawks? Yeah, those were the days....

This week it was announced the annual deficit scraped the trillion-dollar ceiling last year -- figures not seen since the depths of the Great Recession. Republicans' reaction to this news? Sounds of crickets chirping. In the same week, Republicans "stormed" a secure facility, illegally carrying in and using their cell phones, in an attempt to intimidate both the committees conducting an impeachment inquiry and the witness scheduled to appear. Republicans also had to twist their pretzel logic a few more turns to explain why their previous go-to response ("There was no quid pro quo") is now, as Richard Nixon would have said, "no longer operative." Meanwhile, President Trump played the victim card once again, saying the constitutionally-sanctioned impeachment process was nothing short of a "lynching," in addition to referring to a clause in the Constitution as "phony." Trump also took the time this week to hold his very own "Mission Accomplished" moment, announcing that Syria was now a wonderful paradise, and that everyone should thank him personally for this splendiferous outcome. Nobel committee, please take note.

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Friday Talking Points -- They Just Don't Care Anymore

[ Posted Friday, October 18th, 2019 – 18:14 UTC ]

We've reached the stage where Donald Trump and his henchmen are no longer even pretending to care about their lawlessness -- they're just doing it right out in the open for everyone to see, daring their fellow travellers in the Republican Senate to care. Right after Trump's White House chief of staff admitted that there was indeed a quid pro quo in Trump's call to the Ukraine, the White House announced that the upcoming G-7 summit would take place at Trump's own Florida resort. Both are, quite obviously, impeachable offenses. Right out there in the open, for all to see.

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The Trump Doctrine

[ Posted Thursday, October 17th, 2019 – 16:37 UTC ]

As I read the breaking news that Turkey has now agreed to a five-day ceasefire of its invasion into Syria, I couldn't help but think that this is yet another example of what might be called the Trump Doctrine. Unlike other presidential doctrines, however, this one works just as easily on domestic affairs as it does on foreign affairs. It's really nothing short of Trump's modus operandi, writ large.

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New Rule: No Repeat Debate Questions

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 16:29 UTC ]

I have a proposal for a new rule for the Democratic presidential debate moderators, going forward: no repeat questions should be allowed. It's a pretty simple idea, really. The moderators would be barred from asking the candidates questions that have already been asked in previous debates. After all, there are plenty of other subjects that have yet to be talked about, so why should voters be subjected to these re-run debate segments, over and over again?

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My Snap Reactions To The Fourth Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 00:37 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my snap reactions to the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held earlier on CNN. But this time I'm opting for a somewhat simpler format. I'm only giving personal reactions to five of the 12 candidates (which does include the three frontrunners). Then I'm going to give some reactions grouped loosely together, under categories such as "good argument / good delivery" or "amusing moments." We'll have to see whether this is a time-saver or not, in the end.

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What To Look For In The Fourth Democratic Debate

[ Posted Monday, October 14th, 2019 – 16:40 UTC ]

Tomorrow night the top Democratic candidates will debate each other, for the fourth time in the 2020 primary race. The number of candidates on the stage has grown from the third debate (up from 10 last time around to tomorrow night's even dozen) as a result of the Democratic National Committee laying down exactly the same entry criteria for both events. Since there was more time to qualify, more people managed to make it onto the stage for the fourth debate than the third. From this point on, though, the D.N.C. seems likely to reset the criteria individually for each debate, so this is probably the last time the field will expand rather than shrink. Also, the decision was made to put all 12 on stage together tomorrow night rather than breaking them up into two debates of six candidates each, held on two successive nights. What this means is that each candidate will not have very much time to speak tomorrow night.

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Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 16:57 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure getting a lot of advice from the punditocracy right now. Mostly, over the last few days, this has focused on the question of whether she should or should not hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor. I'm going to ignore that issue today (perhaps to be revisited in a later column) because I feel there are other strategy ideas worth exploring, as the Democrats chart their course through the choppy waters of impeachment.

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Trump Betrays The Kurds

[ Posted Monday, October 7th, 2019 – 17:06 UTC ]

All of a sudden, "letting Trump be Trump" isn't looking like such a good idea any more to many congressional Republicans. Ditto the concept of Trump conducting foreign policy on a whim, often one heavily interrelated with his own re-election prospects. Abandoning the Kurds in Syria may, in fact, turn out to be Trump's very own "red line" with the Republicans who, up until now, have given him nothing but a green light to do what he wishes on the world stage. Perhaps that's too chromatically-mixed, as metaphors go, but it has indeed been astonishing to see the swift and forceful pushback from previously-supine GOP senators and congressmen. Some of them are even talking about using veto-proof majorities to do things like slap sanctions on Turkey or even kick them out of NATO. That's quite a change from last week, you have to admit.

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