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FridayTalkingPoints Article Archive

Friday Talking Points -- On The Brink

[ Posted Friday, January 3rd, 2020 – 18:23 UTC ]

As we sit down to write this, America is on the brink... of a lot of things, all at once. Largest among these: we are now on the brink of another war in the Middle East, this time with Iran. We could also be on the brink of a North Korean nuclear test or I.C.B.M. launch, which would probably signal a disastrous end to the Trump diplomatic bromance with Kim Jong Un. We're on the brink of a presidential impeachment trial in the Senate -- only the third one in our entire history. We're on the brink of a presidential primary season. And we're on the brink of a new political decade. All are pretty momentous, meaning that 2020 could turn out to be even more chaotic than the three years which preceded it. There's a scary (or just plain exhausting) thought, indeed.

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My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 20th, 2019 – 19:05 UTC ]

Welcome back once again to our year-end "McLaughlin Awards," named for the awards categories we lifted from the McLaughlin Report years ago. We've added a category here and there over time, but it's still the same basic list.

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Friday Talking Points -- Snowflake-In-Chief Not Person Of The Year, Sorry

[ Posted Friday, December 13th, 2019 – 18:17 UTC ]

And so we come to the close of the most momentous week in Washington of the year. In one week's time, we've seen articles of impeachment move to the floor of the House of Representatives, an agreement between House Democrats and the White House to move forward on the U.S./Mexico/Canada Agreement, a truce declared in the budget battles (that had threatened to shut down the government once again), Democrats agreeing to the creation of the "Space Force" in exchange for paid family leave for federal workers, a tentative trade cease-fire declared with China, the Senate unanimously backing up the overwhelming vote in the House to declare the Armenian genocide for what it was, the release of an inspector general's report that totally debunked most of the conspiracy theories about the initiation of the counterintelligence operation at the edges of the 2016 Trump campaign, President Trump being forced to pay a $2 million fine for misuse of his own charitable foundation, and the House passing a landmark bill to fight the greed of drug companies by finally using the federal government's buying power to force lower prices on prescription medication. Again: all of these rather large things happened in a single week.

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Friday Talking Points -- Rolling Down The Impeachment Track

[ Posted Friday, December 6th, 2019 – 18:48 UTC ]

The impeachment train is rolling right on down the track, and nothing's going to stop it now. That was the big news this week, without question. This has all been happening at breathtaking speed, when you consider the usual glacial pace of things getting done in Washington. Just this week, the House Intelligence Committee put out its report on impeachment, handed it off to the Judiciary Committee, who then held their first hearing, and by week's end Nancy Pelosi was calling for articles of impeachment to be drafted so that the House could vote on them in time for the Christmas break. That all happened in one week.

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Friday Talking Points -- And Here We Are

[ Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2019 – 19:30 UTC ]

That title comes from Fiona Hill's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings this week. When Hill confronted Gordon Sondland over the quid pro quo Trump was forcing Ukraine into, she angrily told him: "This is all going to blow up." To which she added, to the congressmen questioning her: "And here we are."

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Friday Talking Points -- Everything's Just Impeachy-Keen

[ Posted Friday, November 15th, 2019 – 18:13 UTC ]

Rather than our usual weekly roundup, we are going to focus today solely on the public impeachment hearings. This is due to them being the most important thing that happened politically during the week, as well as the fact that we're admittedly more than a little frazzled sitting down to write this, after getting up at 6:00 A.M. and staring at the television for over six hours straight. Normally we would have used a good chunk of that time to sift the news stories from the past week, but that's simply not possible today. Nor is it all that important, because as mentioned everything else really pales in comparison to what is being witnessed right now by the American public.

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Friday Talking Points -- See You In The 'Burbs, Baby!

[ Posted Friday, November 8th, 2019 – 18:56 UTC ]

Republicans, it seems, are just never satisfied. First, they howled for a full House vote on impeachment. When the Democrats gave them one, they were not happy for some unfathomable reason. Then they demanded the end to "secret hearings" with no public transcripts. This week, Democrats began releasing all the transcripts to the public. When the first two were released, Republicans complained that the transcripts released were "cherry-picked." By week's end, all the major transcripts were released, putting the lie to this notion. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham, in a snit, said that he wouldn't be reading the transcripts, for some unfathomable reason. Next week, public hearings will begin. So of course now Republicans are decrying the very idea of public hearings, for some unfathomable reason (President Trump: "They shouldn't be having public hearings."). It's almost as if Republicans don't care what they're complaining about as long as they get to complain about something. Hey, it's easier than trying to defend the indefensible, we suppose.

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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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