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Archive of Articles in the "Syria" Category

Friday Talking Points [462] -- Speaking Out Causes A Sea-Change In Attitudes

[ Posted Friday, November 17th, 2017 – 18:24 PST ]

America is in the midst of a gigantic sea-change on how accusations of sexual misconduct are viewed. That much seems certain. You could say it began with the Access Hollywood tape during Donald Trump's campaign, or you could argue it began with the end of Harvey Weinstein's Hollywood career. Notably, the "Me Too" movement has actually been around for a decade, but it really caught fire this year in a big way. But no matter the origins of the shift, America now views accusations of sexual misconduct in a much different light than before.

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Freelance Democratic Autopsy Document Released

[ Posted Monday, November 13th, 2017 – 18:12 PST ]

For a long time now, I've been calling on the Democratic Party to go through the same soul-searching exercise that Republicans did in 2013 after losing a presidential election. The GOP, back then, put out an "autopsy" or "post-mortem" document which examined why they lost and offered suggestions for improving the party's chances in the future. Democrats, I thought, would have been well-served by the same sort of self-examination after 2016, but it never actually appeared from the national party. Because it still hasn't appeared from the national party, a group of Democrats have been inspired to create such a document on their own. This new document can be viewed on the site democraticautopsy.org, and it is well worth a read by anyone who cares about the future of the Democratic Party.

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Friday Talking Points [460] -- #BillionairesFirst? #NotOnePenny!

[ Posted Friday, November 3rd, 2017 – 17:56 PDT ]

To date, the two best hashtags we've seen to counter the just-released Republican tax plan are #BillionairesFirst and #NotOnePenny, so we decided to use them in our title. Because over the next few weeks, there will be a monstrous messaging battle between Republicans and Democrats over how their new tax cut plan should be framed. Democrats seem poised to win this battle, but then again there is no guarantee that's how it will play out. So today we thought we'd devote a large portion of the column to mustering up the arguments Democrats should immediately start making to any who will listen.

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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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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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Distracted Reporting

[ Posted Monday, August 28th, 2017 – 16:31 PDT ]

On Friday, President Donald Trump attempted a trick many previous U.S. presidents have used to good effect, and so far at least it seems to be working out for Trump quite well. The trick is to get sensitive news out late on a Friday, in the hopes that the American public (and the press) will be so distracted by the weekend that the story will have much less impact than it normally would have. Really bad news is usually released right before a three-day holiday weekend, so it'll have even less reach and an even-smaller impact. Trump took this to another level last Friday, by releasing some contentious news right in the midst of the biggest hurricane to hit the U.S. in over a decade.

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Trump's Not-So-New Afghanistan Strategy

[ Posted Monday, August 21st, 2017 – 19:42 PDT ]

There's a reason why Afghanistan is known as the "graveyard of empires." Ask the Soviets... or Alexander the Great, for that matter. The United States of America's war in Afghanistan has gone on far longer than any other conflict we've ever fought in, and there has been no real end in sight for a long time now.

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Friday Talking Points [446] -- Pardon Me?

[ Posted Friday, July 21st, 2017 – 15:51 PDT ]

We awoke to the breaking news that spinmeister Sean Spicer is out, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is in as White House press secretary. Trump finally found a communications director as well, Anthony "Mooch" Scaramucci, whose main qualification for the job seems to be his world-class standing in the Olympic event entitled "kissing Trump's ass." We personally lost count, during his debut press conference, of how many times he used the phrase "I love Donald Trump" or some variation thereof. Trump, according to Mooch, is a demigod who strides the Earth and can do no wrong, ever, on anything.

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Friday Talking Points [445] -- It's Raining Shoes!

[ Posted Friday, July 14th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

In normal political crises, everyone waits for "the other shoe to drop." The Russia/Trump scandal was upgraded earlier this year (by Senator John McCain) to "a centipede, because there are so many shoes left to drop." We thought that was rather clever, at the time. But we've now entered a whole new realm of scandal -- one where it is simply raining shoes down from the sky. Americans can barely go outside before they are clobbered by a falling workboot. Somebody needs to design a much stronger umbrella to protect public safety, and quick!

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