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FridayTalkingPoints Article Archive

Friday Talking Points -- Happy Independence Day!

[ Posted Friday, July 2nd, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

Happy Independence Day! No, that heartfelt wish is actually not premature, as we pointed out years ago. The second of July is indeed the day American declared her independence from Britain. All the histories, all the traditions, all the celebrations get it wrong each and every year. No, really!

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Friday Talking Points -- The Art Of The Deal

[ Posted Friday, June 25th, 2021 – 17:49 UTC ]

Call it true irony. The man who had a book ghost-written for him called "The Art Of The Deal" could never actually manage to strike any kind of deal. So the man who replaced him ran on his own dealmaking skills, in a time where pretty much everyone in Washington considered the idea too old-fashioned to ever work. But President Joe Biden just got his first big deal, this week. A bipartisan infrastructure plan is now going to move forward in the United States Senate and has what can only be called a better-than-average chance of passing.

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Friday Talking Points -- America Is Back

[ Posted Friday, June 18th, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

President Joe Biden had a pretty good week all around. He began the week in Europe, where he met with the leaders of NATO, the European Union, the G7, a few royals (just to mix things up), and Vladimir Putin. That's a pretty packed schedule, but Biden seemed to manage just fine. The Europeans were both visibly thrilled and massively relieved to be visited by a United States president who was, once again, a sane adult (and not a petulant little child-man). They heaped praise upon Biden -- mostly just for being "President Not-Trump." You may laugh, but please recall President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize solely for being "President Not-Dubya," years earlier. But more seriously, Europe announced some deals with Biden (including, notably, a truce being called on the subsidy war over Boeing and Airbus airplanes). Not only were personal relationships either reaffirmed or begun, tangible diplomatic progress was made. Europe stood as one with the United States over the contentious issues of Russia and China, which only strengthened Biden's position for his meeting with Putin. The Putin summit didn't produce a whole lot in the way of tangible deliverables, but then again it didn't produce an American president willing to believe Russia's ex-K.G.B. leader over his own intelligence services either, so it has to be chalked up as a major improvement. Throughout it all, Biden stuck to one very simple slogan that summed up what his trip was supposed to be showcasing to the world: "America is back."

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Friday Talking Points -- Making America Respected Again

[ Posted Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 17:56 UTC ]

President Biden is currently in Europe, in the midst of his first trip abroad since he took office. So the folks at Pew Research decided it was a good time to see how America is now viewed by the rest of the world (or the countries with advanced economies that were surveyed, at any rate). The answers are exactly what you'd expect them to be -- America's standing in the world has dramatically improved, now that a sane adult is in charge of the country once again (instead of an unstable and temperamental toddler).

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Friday Talking Points -- Bipartisan Kabuki's Last Act

[ Posted Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 17:43 UTC ]

The ushers are flashing the lights in the lobby. Intermission is over, and the last act of the "Bipartisan Infrastructure Kabuki" extravaganza is about to begin. Actually, truth be told, we were among those who thought this play would be over by now, but apparently a final act was hastily added at the last minute, for no real apparent reason.

President Joe Biden called Senator Shelley Moore Caputo today, in what most view as the final negotiation attempt which will try to hammer together a compromise infrastructure package that 10 Republican senators will actually vote for. Biden is, in essence, making his final offer. It is eminently reasonable, considering where the two sides started from, but that doesn't mean it will have any chance of success, since Republicans are really just trying to run the clock out and stall for as long as they can get away with before they admit to the world that there simply is no infrastructure bill that 10 Republican senators are ever going to vote for -- at least not while a Democrat sits in the Oval Office.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Party With No Shame

[ Posted Friday, May 28th, 2021 – 17:54 UTC ]

The Republican Party continued its downward slide into shamelessness today, as they successfully used the Senate's filibuster to block a bill which would have created an independent commission to investigate the unprecedented attack on the United States Capitol (by insurrectionists who wanted to stop Congress from officially declaring the winner of the presidential election, because they didn't like the election's result). Six Republicans voted for the measure, and one more has said he would have if he had been present. Forty-eight Democrats voted for it, and assumably the two who were absent (Patty Murray and Kyrsten Sinema) would also have voted to approve the measure. But that only adds up to a possible total of 57, which still would have left the bill three votes short of the necessary 60. An odd footnote: the final vote (54-35) actually represented 60.7 percent of the senators who were actually present for it -- but that's not the way the filibuster rules work.

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Friday Talking Points -- Just Not A Good Bad Guy

[ Posted Friday, May 21st, 2021 – 17:43 UTC ]

Republicans, these days, just seem rather lost. They used to be so good at coming up with semi-cohesive talking points to use against Democrats, and they have always admirably been able to all sing from this same songbook every Sunday morning (for the political chatfest shows on television). But these days, all the issues they choose to highlight are all so incredibly short-term that the problem usually disappears before their politicization of the issue really even has a chance to take hold.

Case in point: Republicans' heavy lean on school reopenings. They've been so convinced this is going to be a big winning issue for them, they rode it all the way to getting a recall election called for California's governor (Gavin Newsom). But by the time Californians vote on it (later October or early November of this year), everyone will already be back in school again.

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Friday Talking Points -- Welcome To Cloud Cuckoo Land

[ Posted Friday, May 14th, 2021 – 18:03 UTC ]

The Republican Party has officially divorced itself from reality. They have, quite simply, moved their headquarters to Cloud Cuckoo Land. Any among their ranks who do not swear fealty to the fantastic lies they now believe must be either shunned or expelled. That is the state of one of the two major American political parties, in the twenty-first century.

Normally, such a development would be a reason for glee among the other political party, but this is not merely a matter of Republicans believing that the world is flat, the moon is made of green cheese, or tax cuts always pay for themselves -- no, this is no mere pedestrian fantasyland they have now taken up residence within. This is far more dangerous.

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Friday Talking Points -- We Don't Need No Education! We Don't Need No Thought Control!

[ Posted Friday, May 7th, 2021 – 17:22 UTC ]

In 2018, Democrats dominated the midterm elections. This was not historically unusual, although the size of the victory was at the high end of the scale. Since there is now a Democrat in the White House, the 2022 election has to be seen as tilted towards the Republicans. But there is one very potent issue that Democrats should truly begin exploiting -- in the same manner they exploited healthcare in 2018. Back then, Democrats ran on a very obvious choice: vote for us, we will try to make health insurance cheaper and easier to get, while Republicans' only answer is to repeal Obamacare (which, by then, had become quite popular). It worked. In 2022, the Democrats' message should be: vote for us, we will make [or, if it passes, "we made"] four additional years of education free, while Republicans told you it was evil and socialism and maybe even communism -- while they fought hard against two free years of preschool for America's children.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Goes Big

[ Posted Friday, April 30th, 2021 – 17:44 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is either a radical, far-left socialist who hates many things about America and lied to everyone in his campaign about "unity" (because deep down he really just wants to divide us to foster his own political ambitions)... or he is not. If he isn't, then he just might be a moderate Democratic centrist who has been thrust into three simultaneous crises and who has reacted by abandoning his former timidity and instead decided that the time is now to prove to the American public that the federal government can indeed be a force for good in their lives, in the biggest way possible. Joe is going big, even though his natural instinct would be to sit down with Republicans and hash out a compromise that fell far short of what the Democratic side of the aisle thought was necessary.

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