Archive of Articles in the "Name-dropping" Category

Style Versus Substance

[ Posted Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 – 18:03 PST ]

President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress and to the American public was not a disaster of epic proportions. Normally, I wouldn't begin a speech review with such a statement, but with Trump, the possibility always exists (see: Trump's first press conference). Trump managed to clear the bar of "speaks like the public wants to hear a president speak, and not like an enraged adolescent on the playground." Again, for any other president this bar wouldn't even be mentioned, because it has never been an issue before now. Because it was Donald Trump, however, much of the audience watching the speech breathed a sigh of relief that Trump finally managed to "look presidential."

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Rocky Starts In Presidential History

[ Posted Monday, February 20th, 2017 – 18:52 PST ]

Since it is Presidents' Day (or whatever else you call today, apostrophized or not), I thought I'd take it easy on our current president, and take a break from the regular ridicule I've been heaping upon him since he was sworn in. Today's supposed to be a noble holiday, after all, so I thought I'd make an extra effort at evenhandedness, and take a look back through history at some of the rocky starts various American presidents have had on the job.

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Like A Rug

[ Posted Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 – 18:11 PST ]

No, that's not a Donald Trump hair joke. It is nothing more than the end of a simile on lying. Rugs are the epitome of lying, since nothing lies more obviously than a rug. Of course, I could have gone with a different motif, but Al Franken had already used the title: "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them," so I had to go with what was available, as it were.

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My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 30th, 2016 – 18:22 PST ]

Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!

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Sorry To See You Go

[ Posted Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 – 18:12 PST ]

I'm really taking this week off as a vacation week, so I'd just like to take a short moment today to remember some of the fallen of 2016. I realize that on Friday there will be a category in the annual awards for "Sorry To See You Go," but I wanted to branch out from politics a bit (and the Friday column is already going to be monstrously long) and honor a few people from other fields who were lost in 2016 and who also had a personal impact on my life.

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My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2016 – 18:55 PST ]

Normally we open our annual awards column with an explanation of why John McLaughlin shouldn't sue us. It's become traditional, in fact, to skate the thin ice of "homage" and "satire" versus straight-up theft of intellectual property (which, of course, we'd never ever do... or, at least, admit).

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Thank You, Seth Meyers

[ Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 – 17:22 PST ]

I have to say, I don't write about television all that often, and when I do it is normally to rip into a network or a host or some other form of complaint. As I did regularly, until NBC wised up and replaced David Gregory with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press (just to give one obvious example). But today, I write in praise of a late-night host.

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California Rebuilding Democratic Bench

[ Posted Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 – 18:20 PST ]

The Democratic Party is currently struggling with the question of who should be leading it, heading into the future. Should they stick with known leaders, or is it time for fresh blood? Most notable in this power struggle are the questions of who should lead the Democrats in the House, and who should lead the Democratic National Committee. The Senate had largely decided their own leadership question before the election, since Harry Reid had already announced his retirement. The Senate leadership handoff that just happened had already been worked out months ago, and Senator Chuck Schumer will (starting in January) be known as Minority Leader Schumer for the next two years. Over on the House side, a fierce debate is taking place as to whether Nancy Pelosi should continue as the Democratic leader or whether someone younger might be a better option. The D.N.C. leadership may be the biggest fight of all, though, as multiple candidates have already thrown their hats in the ring.

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2016 Electoral Math -- A Very Wild Ride At The End

[ Posted Monday, October 31st, 2016 – 17:51 PDT ]

The 2016 presidential election has been the wildest rollercoaster ride I can remember, and it looks like the final week will be even wilder than anyone imagined. So welcome back to Electoral Math, where we try to make some sort of sense of the state-level polling, measured over time.

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Haunting Hallowe'en Nightmares For Left And Right

[ Posted Friday, October 28th, 2016 – 18:39 PDT ]

Yes, it's time once again for our yearly frightfest, where we toss out a spine-tingling nightmare for folks on both sides of the political chasm. Right and left will be quaking in their boots after contemplating the following twisted tales! [Cue: shrieking and chains clanking]

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