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FridayTalkingPoints Article Archive

Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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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 [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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Friday Talking Points [461] -- "Berenstain Bear Democrats" Win The Day

[ Posted Friday, November 10th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

Democrats just had the first very good week they've had in an entire year. Tuesday night, they absolutely swept the board in the few elections that were held. Now, granted, this was an off-off-year election, so it's too soon to say whether this presages a Democratic wave (or even a Democratic tsunami) in next year's midterm elections, but that doesn't detract from the gains Democratic candidates made all over the map this week. Michael Murphy, a Republican political strategist, summed up the impact of Tuesday night thusly: "Donald Trump is an anchor for the GOP. We got that message in loud volume in Virginia. The canary in the coal mine didn't just pass out; its head exploded."

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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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Friday Talking Points [459] -- Deficits Don't Matter, Again (Neither Moral Nor Financial)

[ Posted Friday, October 27th, 2017 – 17:29 PDT ]

There's an easy test to see whether Republicans in Congress care about financial deficits: Is there a Democrat in the White House? If so, then deficits are so important that the situation requires threats of government shutdowns and defaulting on the national debt to fight deficit spending. However, if there's a Republican in the White House, then (as Dick Cheney so eloquently put it) "deficits don't matter." This was on full hypocritical display once again this week, as congressional Republicans voted to blow a $1.5 trillion hole in the national debt, so that the wealthy and big corporations can enjoy massive tax cuts.

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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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Friday Talking Points [457] -- Buck-Passer In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 13th, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

On Harry Truman's desk famously sat a sign which proudly proclaimed: "The Buck Stops Here." If Donald Trump had such an item, it might read: "Buck-Passer In Chief." His governing style (if it can even be dignified as such) is to cause a crisis on his own, and then dump the entire problem on Congress to deal with. Because we all know what masterful problem-solvers the Republican-led Congress are, or something. This could lead to utter disaster on many fronts, within the next few months.

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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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Friday Talking Points [455] -- Price Break!

[ Posted Friday, September 29th, 2017 – 17:49 PDT ]

As we sat down to write this, the news broke that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has resigned. So, of course, we immediately had to come up with a snappy "price" pun for our title. We could have gone with the Rolls Royce slogan ("If You Have To Ask The Price, You Can't Afford It"), or maybe "The High Price Of Airfare These Days," but both are kind of wordy. So we had to settle for "Price Break!" (we did consider "Price Cut," but that would have been more appropriate if he had actually been fired). The news of Price's resignation came immediately following the news that President Donald Trump was going to decide -- tonight -- whether to fire him or not. So, one way or another, the Price would have been lowered, so to speak.

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