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Archive of Articles in the "Politicians" Category

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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Mainstream Of American Public A Lot More Progressive Than Media Would Like To Admit

[ Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2019 – 18:12 UTC ]

There is good news for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot who espouse progressive policy positions, according to a recent poll cited by today's Washington Post. But even putting it like that buys in to a rather enormous falsehood that both the media as a whole and the Republican Party would dearly like us all to believe. For decades now, they've been beating the drum of "the American public is center-right," when it is just not true (if indeed it ever was). You see this in the constant framing of Democratic candidates in the media as "too far left" or "going hard left" or "dangerously left ideas" or any of the other myriad of misdirection the media routinely loves to push. As this poll stunningly reveals, this is absolutely false because the wide mainstream of political thought in the public at large is actually currently somewhere between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, on the political ideology scale.

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The Phase Two Hearings Begin

[ Posted Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 – 18:31 UTC ]

Today, I watched some more daytime television. Eight-and-a-half hours of it, to be precise. Because it was time once again to view gavel-to-gavel coverage of an event that has only taken place three (or four, if you count Nixon) times in our nation's history: the impeachment of a sitting U.S. president. The House Intelligence Committee wrapped up its work for now by voting on and making public their report on their findings of fact, and by doing so handed the impeachment inquiry off to the House Judiciary Committee. Which held its first public hearing today by opening with four constitutional scholars as witnesses.

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Democratic Field Grows, Then Shrinks

[ Posted Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 18:26 UTC ]

We haven't formally taken the pulse of the Democratic campaign for a month now, so we thought it was time to dive back into the numbers.

In the intervening time, we've seen the total Democratic field (everyone who has run, even if they've subsequently dropped out) grow to a record-setting 29 candidates, although, thankfully, the number of active candidates is now down to "only" 16 left in the race. With so many left to still cover, let's just move right along and break them down one by one.

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An Idea For A Thanksgiving Question

[ Posted Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 – 17:43 UTC ]

My suggestion: avoid all the Trump drama, and ask your conservative relatives how they see the Republican Party after Trump leaves the stage. Be nice, and concede the possibility of a second term, while pointing out that after eight years, he's going to have to go. What happens then? What would they want to see happen as well as what they think is likely to happen are both areas to explore.

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What Will Bolton Do?

[ Posted Monday, November 25th, 2019 – 18:00 UTC ]

The biggest remaining question in the impeachment inquiry now is what John Bolton is going to do (or not do, as the case may be). The ball is now squarely in his court, after a federal judge ruled today that Don McGahn can indeed be compelled to testify before a House committee. The judge rightly rejected the "blanket immunity" claim that the White House tried to use to block McGahn's testimony, but of course the case won't be ultimately decided until it gets to the Supreme Court (unless the White House backs down, which seems highly unlikely at this point). Bolton could either use this initial ruling as a reason for deciding to testify, or he could continue to play it coy. This could be a crucial step in the entire impeachment inquiry.

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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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Fifth Debate Roundup

[ Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2019 – 19:51 UTC ]

I'm veering away from the impeachment hearings today to write up my reactions to last night's fifth Democratic presidential debate. This morning's testimony was pretty powerful, and Adam Schiff's closing statement was one for the history books, but it'll all have to wait until tomorrow.

The Democratic field now has 18 people in it, as Wayne Messam formally dropped out but Michael Bloomberg formally took his place. Other than Bloomberg, the candidates who are still running but who didn't appear last night are: Deval Patrick, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson. The ones who did appear on last night's debate stage: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. Hopefully, by the next debate, that entire list will have shrunk a bit more, but these days you never know -- maybe it'll even get bigger!

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Two Plus Two Equals Four

[ Posted Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 – 17:24 UTC ]

You'll have to forgive me, but during this morning's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee by Gordon Sondland, I kept thinking of a few key passages from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. If you watched the hearing, you'll understand what I'm referring to. Here are the quotes that sprang to my mind during this extended math lesson:

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Day 3 Reactions

[ Posted Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 – 19:44 UTC ]

I'm starting to write this at about 10 hours in to Day 3 of the public impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee. The five minute segments are continuing as I write this, but at this point they could go on all night. Or so it seems -- you'll have to forgive me for being a bit loopy, since I'm not used to sitting and watching 12 straight hours of television at a time, and certainly not beginning at six o'clock in the morning (my time). So today's review is going to be rather choppy, as I type up what seemed to me to be the high and low points of the testimony so far.

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