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Archive of Articles in the "Military" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Another Fun Week In Trumpland

[ Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

President Donald Trump embarrassed himself today by claiming [TOTAL LIE], and then following up on Twitter with [INSANE CONSPIRACY THEORY]. Both were immediately disproven by [WIDELY AVAILABLE AND INDISPUTABLE FACTS]. When asked for comment, the White House merely stated that "the president's words speak for themselves." Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway was quoted blaming [ANYONE BUT TRUMP] for the whole fracas.

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Nielsen Out, As Trump Doubles Down (Yet Again) On Xenophobia

[ Posted Monday, April 8th, 2019 – 17:12 UTC ]

Political scapegoating of immigrants is certainly nothing new in American politics. Even a cursory look at American history shows this to be true, from the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in the 1790s, to the anti-Catholic-immigrant "Know Nothing" Party of the 1850s, to the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, to the scapegoating of Mexican laborers in the 1950s (Operation Wetback). Being anti-immigrant is about as American as apple pie, as horrifying as that might sound to those who are more comfortable sweeping such excesses under the historical rug. Donald Trump, in other words, did not singlehandedly create xenophobia, instead he merely revived a longstanding tradition of using the issue successfully as a political bludgeon.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Humiliated By His Own Party

[ Posted Friday, March 15th, 2019 – 18:03 UTC ]

President Donald Trump just got humiliated three times in the same week. By his own party. Could this be a trend? One would certainly like to think so, but that may be premature (or overly optimistic).

Of course, it's debatable whether Trump can even be humiliated, because it's tough to humiliate someone who does not know the meaning of the word humility. You can call Trump many things (and we often do), but "humble" certainly isn't one of them.

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Trump Losing His Grip On GOP?

[ Posted Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 16:49 UTC ]

It has been a rather astonishing 24 hours in Congress. Last night, the Senate passed a bill which would force President Donald Trump to end American involvement in the war Saudi Arabia is fighting in Yemen, by a healthy margin of 54-46. Today, they followed this rebuke by passing the House bill to rescind Trump's "national emergency" declaration of a non-emergency on the southern border by an even-more-astonishing margin of 59-41. The House, not to be outdone, then unanimously passed (420-0) a resolution demanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's eventual report to the attorney general be made public. That's a whole lot of presidential rebuke for one single day, you've got to admit. And a whole lot of Republicans voting against a president of their own party.

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And Then There Were Five

[ Posted Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 – 16:26 UTC ]

If I had been in a more pedantic mood, that headline would have more-properly read: "And Then There Were Fifty-Two," but that doesn't really have the same ring to it. Whichever math you prefer, there is now a solid majority in the Senate to pass the House's measure rescinding President Trump's "national emergency" declaration at the southern border. A fifth Republican senator, Mike Lee, just announced he'll be voting for the measure, which means there are already 52 votes for it in advance of tomorrow's floor vote. This should assure its passage, and will likely lead to the first presidential veto of Trump's tenure in office.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Begins Building Stone Wall

[ Posted Friday, March 8th, 2019 – 19:06 UTC ]

President Donald Trump, as we all know, is a big fan of walls. Big, beautiful walls, according to him. But although he's never gotten Mexico to pony up a single peso for his border wall, and is still having trouble convincing Congress that it's the right thing to do, when future historians look back on this week, they might mark it as when Trump began constructing a metaphorical wall between his administration and Congress. Because the first big block of stone was just deposited on the White House lawn -- with 81 more big stone blocks waiting in the wings.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Unites Washington!

[ Posted Friday, March 1st, 2019 – 19:11 UTC ]

In a bizarre development this week, President Donald Trump brought unity to all the politicians in Washington. He managed this feat by failing to get any deal out of his much-hyped summit meeting with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong Un. When news of this failure on the international stage reached Washington (in [...]

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Congress Taking Historic Steps To Retake Some Powers

[ Posted Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 – 18:24 UTC ]

Just before I sat down to write this, the news broke that the House of Representatives had voted (245-182) to nullify President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. But rather than focusing on the personality-driven nature of this particular vote, I think it is worth taking a step back and looking at it through a bigger-picture lens. Because this isn't the only historic action Congress is currently considering when it comes to retaking constitutional powers that it had previously handed over to the executive branch. Taken together with the upcoming Senate vote on ending American involvement in the war in Yemen, this represents what could be the beginnings of a historic shift in power back to the legislative branch, which would return some power to the legislature that the framers of the Constitution never intended the president to have in the first place.

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Friday Talking Points -- Muellermas Eve?

[ Posted Friday, February 22nd, 2019 – 18:25 UTC ]

The news media -- once again -- has been in a frenzy over the possibility that Robert Mueller will wrap up his investigation next week and issue his long-awaited report. They've gone down this road before, as have President Trump's legal advisors (who have been telling Trump the whole thing is going to be over very soon now for almost a solid year and a half). So you'll forgive us for not being all that convinced that this is indeed the time that Lucy won't pull the football away, and we'll finally get to kick it thumpingly down the field!

Perhaps we're being a wee bit too cynical? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. We'll see what next week brings.

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Truman's Supreme Court Ruling On Emergency Powers

[ Posted Monday, February 18th, 2019 – 18:48 UTC ]

But instead, today I'd like to look a bit further into the past, because there is one particular court case which everyone is going to be paying a lot of attention to in the upcoming weeks. The case is Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer, usually now just referred to as the Youngstown case or "the steel case." The plaintiff was a steel company in Ohio and the defendant was the Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer. But the real defendant was President Harry Truman, who had directed the federal government to seize control of all the steel plants of the country, in order to avoid an imminent strike. Truman believed he had this power because American was in the midst of the Korean War at the time, therefore he reasoned he had presidential power to avoid disruptions to the war effort.

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