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Archive of Articles in the "Military" Category

My Snap Reactions To The Fourth Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 00:37 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my snap reactions to the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held earlier on CNN. But this time I'm opting for a somewhat simpler format. I'm only giving personal reactions to five of the 12 candidates (which does include the three frontrunners). Then I'm going to give some reactions grouped loosely together, under categories such as "good argument / good delivery" or "amusing moments." We'll have to see whether this is a time-saver or not, in the end.

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What To Look For In The Fourth Democratic Debate

[ Posted Monday, October 14th, 2019 – 16:40 UTC ]

Tomorrow night the top Democratic candidates will debate each other, for the fourth time in the 2020 primary race. The number of candidates on the stage has grown from the third debate (up from 10 last time around to tomorrow night's even dozen) as a result of the Democratic National Committee laying down exactly the same entry criteria for both events. Since there was more time to qualify, more people managed to make it onto the stage for the fourth debate than the third. From this point on, though, the D.N.C. seems likely to reset the criteria individually for each debate, so this is probably the last time the field will expand rather than shrink. Also, the decision was made to put all 12 on stage together tomorrow night rather than breaking them up into two debates of six candidates each, held on two successive nights. What this means is that each candidate will not have very much time to speak tomorrow night.

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Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Trump Betrays The Kurds

[ Posted Monday, October 7th, 2019 – 17:06 UTC ]

All of a sudden, "letting Trump be Trump" isn't looking like such a good idea any more to many congressional Republicans. Ditto the concept of Trump conducting foreign policy on a whim, often one heavily interrelated with his own re-election prospects. Abandoning the Kurds in Syria may, in fact, turn out to be Trump's very own "red line" with the Republicans who, up until now, have given him nothing but a green light to do what he wishes on the world stage. Perhaps that's too chromatically-mixed, as metaphors go, but it has indeed been astonishing to see the swift and forceful pushback from previously-supine GOP senators and congressmen. Some of them are even talking about using veto-proof majorities to do things like slap sanctions on Turkey or even kick them out of NATO. That's quite a change from last week, you have to admit.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quid, Meet Quo

[ Posted Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 16:30 UTC ]

The impeachment whirlwind shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact each day brings more and more evidence that President Donald Trump is using American foreign policy as his own personal opposition research to undermine his Democratic political opponents. Which, of course, is an eminently impeachable offense.

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The Fastest Scandal Ever

[ Posted Thursday, September 26th, 2019 – 17:00 UTC ]

We all know how much President Donald Trump loves superlatives, most especially when they are used in reference to himself or his presidency. This week added yet another one of these superlatives, since Trump is now at the center of the fastest-progressing political scandal ever. Think about it: a mere two weeks ago, nobody knew anything about it; and now we've seen the public release of a president-to-president phone call's semi-transcript, the public release of the whistleblower's slightly-redacted complaint, testimony on the scandal before both houses of Congress, and the start of impeachment proceedings. To say the past week has been a whirlwind doesn't even begin to accurately describe the blinding pace of the growing scandal.

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'No Quid Pro Quo' Is The New 'No Collusion'

[ Posted Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 – 17:28 UTC ]

One of Donald Trump's presidential heroes is Andrew Jackson. Jackson rose to the presidency in 1828 after his first attempt failed. The centerpiece of his second campaign was to shine a bright light on the "Corrupt Bargain" in the House of Representatives, which named John Quincy Adams president in 1824 even though he had fewer Electoral College votes than Jackson (it was a four-candidate race and none of them got an outright Electoral College majority, which threw the election's decision into the House). I was reminded today of a central quote from Jackson's second campaign where he spoke about what had happened in the 1824 election, because it seems downright appropriate when discussing our current president: "There was cheating, and corruption, and bribery too." At this point, that seems to accurately sum up Trump's 2020 campaign as well.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate?

[ Posted Friday, September 20th, 2019 – 18:05 UTC ]

We're in the midst of a brand-new breaking scandal -- one that's so new it hasn't even been assigned a "-gate" label yet. Ukraine-gate? Kiev-gate? MassiveTrumpCollusion-gate? As was entirely appropriate, Hillary Clinton had the pithiest tweet of the week: "The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again."

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Friday Talking Points -- Selenofriggatriskaidekaphobia (Revisited)

[ Posted Friday, September 13th, 2019 – 17:00 UTC ]

We have to begin today with an apology. Five years ago, without knowing any better, we erroneously reported in this space that there would not be another Friday the 13th which coincided with a full moon until 2049. So it was much to our surprise that we heard that this week we all were going to see another one, only five short years after we feverishly coined the word "selenofriggatriskaidekaphobia" to describe those with the very specific neurotic fear (-phobia) of both full moons (seleno-) and Fridays (-frigga-) the 13th (-triskaideka-).

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My Snap Reactions To The Third Democratic Debate

[ Posted Thursday, September 12th, 2019 – 22:48 UTC ]

Finally, everyone on one stage! That was my reaction before the third 2020 Democratic presidential debate even began, because for the first time it's a one-night affair. Unfortunately, at least 11 candidates have already qualified for the next debate, with a few other candidates hovering on the brink of qualification, so it's looking like we're going to have to wait for the fifth debate to see all the frontrunners on the same stage together again.

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