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FridayTalkingPoints Article Archive

Friday Talking Points -- Crunch Time

[ Posted Friday, September 24th, 2021 – 16:58 UTC ]

It's one of those rare weeks in Washington, where Congress is actually forced into doing its job -- legislating, holding hearings... you know, the things the taxpayers actually pay them to do. As usual, they are facing multiple deadlines. They deserve zero pity, though, since they just returned from their annual month-long summer vacation. If they had stayed and worked instead of gone and played, then they wouldn't be facing all these time crunches simultaneously. Which is why we say: zero pity.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats Should Lean In To Biden's New Pandemic Mandates

[ Posted Friday, September 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden picked a political fight. Or, more accurately, he got up off the sidelines and engaged in a political fight that had already begun, by strongly opposing Republican politicians fighting against basic public health safety measures under the fake guise of "freedom." Biden stood squarely for science and safety, while Republicans are left to fight for recklessness and death. That is precisely how the matter should be framed politically, and so far it looks like Biden is doing a fairly good job of presenting this dichotomy to the public. He's even taking the fight directly to all the GOP governors who are sounding increasingly unhinged about the basic concepts of public health and safety.

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Friday Talking Points -- War's End

[ Posted Friday, August 20th, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

This has been a rather historic week, so we are dispensing with our regular format to spend our entire column discussing the withdrawal of United States military forces from Afghanistan, and the emergency airlift operation now being undertaken to get every American and every interpreter and translator and other Afghan ally of ours out as well.

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Friday Talking Points -- Legislative Trains Running On Both Tracks

[ Posted Friday, August 13th, 2021 – 17:55 UTC ]

Astoundingly, the United States Senate just had a very productive week. We know the word "astoundingly" is a bit snarky, but we do try to be honest, after all. After months and months of delays and headfakes, this week the final two legs of President Joe Biden's three-legged economic agenda passed the Senate, just before they left on an abbreviated summer break.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated

[ Posted Friday, August 6th, 2021 – 16:11 UTC ]

President Joe Biden gave a speech this week on where the country stands with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a timely thing to do, since with the Delta mutation so ascendant, we've now entered a fourth wave which has already grown bigger than the first two waves (but, thankfully, not yet bigger than the third). Right now, 100,000 people are getting sick each day -- which is up from just 12,000-per-day a few short weeks ago. The good news is that fewer people are dying than when the third wave surpassed the 100,000-infections-per-day mark, because now over 70 percent of all American adults have gotten at least their first vaccine shot. But what's changing now is that vaccinated Americans have pretty much lost all tolerance for the unvaccinated among us. When the graph lines were all heading downwards and restrictions easing, it wasn't that big a deal. With them skyrocketing back up again, it is. And businesses and governments and the vaccinated population are at the end of their rope when it comes to making allowances for the anti-vaxxers.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Closes In On A Big Bipartisan Win

[ Posted Friday, July 30th, 2021 – 16:49 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is now getting very close to securing the second leg of his three-legged economic legislative stool. To put it another way: this week we all finally got to experience the almost-mythological "Infrastructure Week" which we had been promised for lo, these many years. Bipartisanship struggled back to life, fulfilling not just a campaign promise from Biden but also his deep-seated desire to return Washington to some sort of pre-Trump normality.

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Friday Talking Points -- "We're Just The Guys To Do It!"

[ Posted Friday, July 23rd, 2021 – 17:23 UTC ]

It's like the Republicans all suddenly got put on double-secret probation or something. It seems to have finally dawned on them that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is actually real, and it is now killing off an inordinate number of their own base voters. So some of them had, as President Joe Biden said this week, their "altar call" moment.

Of course, hearing "Delta," what popped into our minds for this tectonic shift was Animal House's John Belushi asking his fellow Delts: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!" Of course, his speech ended when his frat brother stood up and proclaimed: "I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part." To which Belushi responded: "And we're just the guys to do it!"

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Friday Talking Points -- GOP Defunded The Tax Police

[ Posted Friday, July 16th, 2021 – 17:00 UTC ]

There were two interesting developments in the congressional sausage-making process this week, both of which Democrats should immediately adopt as their main messages for the next week or so.

The first was that Senators Bernie Sanders and Mark Warner announced they had come to a compromise on the reconciliation bill which will fund the lion's share of President Joe Biden's economic agenda. They settled on a total figure of $3.5 trillion in new spending, which is far less than Bernie's original goal of $6 trillion (just for this bill alone), but also far more than the opening bid of the fiscally-conservative Democrats, which was in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range. It also will mean that Biden got the exact total he asked for in his "three-legged stool" of economic legislation. His first big legislative achievement (the American Rescue Plan) spent $1.9 trillion, and the bipartisan infrastructure deal represents $0.6 trillion more, which will mean a grand total of $6 trillion for all three -- which is exactly what Biden asked for in the first place.

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