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Archive of Articles in the "Military" Category

Friday Talking Points -- A Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, January 21st, 2022 – 17:37 UTC ]

It was an eventful week in Washington, with a holiday and an anniversary thrown in for good measure, so we're going to try to be a little more succinct in this week's rundown. Well... try to, at any rate.

The week began with Martin Luther King Junior Day, saw a historic (but failed) vote in the Senate on voting rights, contained a marathon of a presidential press conference, and marked the first year President Joe Biden has spent in office. Plus a whole lot of other notable developments along the way.

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Biden's Marathon Presser

[ Posted Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 – 17:41 UTC ]

I am writing this after watching a rather extraordinary press conference with President Joe Biden. It was extraordinary for two reasons, really -- it was only the second such press conference he's given on U.S. soil since becoming president, and it was monumentally long, clocking in at just under two hours. It was a true marathon of a presser, as Biden seemed almost reluctant to end it -- and at several times even kidded with the reporters that he could go for another two or three hours if they were up for it. Perhaps he was making up for the lack of regular press conferences in his first year by giving what amounted to a double press conference to begin his second?

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A Proper Use Of Sedition Law

[ Posted Thursday, January 13th, 2022 – 17:06 UTC ]

For the first time, the Justice Department has brought charges of sedition against those who allegedly plotted to stop the constitutional process of Congress counting the Electoral College votes to officially determine who will be the next president. Eleven members of the Oath Keepers were charged with seditious conspiracy today, which seems entirely fitting for what took place at the United States Capitol on January 6th last year. In fact, many have been wondering what took the Department of Justice so long to bring such charges.

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A Very Slippery Slope

[ Posted Wednesday, January 12th, 2022 – 16:23 UTC ]

An interesting idea is being floated these days about one particular clause in a constitutional amendment. What it boils down to is the question of whether Democrats (or anyone else) should make a concerted effort to bar from ever seeking office those Republicans who in some way participated in the January 6th insurrection attempt. On the face of it, this seems a rational thing to contemplate -- no one who has tried to overthrow the government should be allowed to participate in that government in the future. The Constitution should not become a suicide pact, in other words. But actually applying it in this particular case will almost certainly set us all on an even slipperier slope than we're already on, in terms of partisan warfare in Congress.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Delivers The Best Speech Of His Presidency

[ Posted Friday, January 7th, 2022 – 16:02 UTC ]

Without actually saying his name, President Joe Biden delivered a speech on the anniversary of the failed January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol which directly laid the blame for the atrocity that happened one year ago at Donald Trump's feet. Uncharacteristically (for him), Biden did not pull any punches, did not mince any words, and did not couch his terms in diplomatic language to soften any of the blows. Instead he told the bald truth -- that Trump was responsible for the Big Lie, that the Big Lie was what incited the mob, and that the Big Lie was downright un-American and reprehensible. Biden used one particularly notable phrase multiple times, when he called the violence of January 6th a "dagger at the throat of America" or a "dagger at the throat of our democracy" -- which will probably be the most-remembered line from the whole speech.

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A Grim Anniversary

[ Posted Thursday, January 6th, 2022 – 16:08 UTC ]

Instead of commenting on today's anniversary of the worst attack on the United States Capitol since 1814 (and the only one ever launched by American citizens) or how Congress is marking the occasion or President Joe Biden's rather forceful speech this morning, instead I am going to run the two columns from last year that expressed my own reactions to the outrage.

And I have only two words to add to all of it:

 

Never forget.

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Merrick Garland's Progress Report

[ Posted Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 16:56 UTC ]

Attorney General Merrick Garland gave a speech today to his fellow employees at the Department of Justice. The occasion was to mark tomorrow's anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and on American democracy. In essence, it was a progress report from the attorney general, and a defense of his own department's actions since. The speech broke no real news, but then it wasn't really designed to. Whether it will change any minds is doubtful, although it might at least give Garland the benefit of the doubt for another few months.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! If you missed it, please feel free to check out [Part 1], too.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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Friday Talking Points -- The Hidden Biden Boom

[ Posted Friday, December 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

Even though it is still laughably early to make any such future predictions -- especially when it comes to both the economy and politics -- Joe Biden and the Democrats could actually be poised to have a decent shot in next year's midterm elections.

That may sound shocking to some, mostly because pundits are currently predicting doom and gloom for both Biden's presidency and the midterms. But next November is still a long way away, and things change over time. Including current preconceptions.

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