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Archive of Articles in the "Populism" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Calm After The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 30th, 2022 – 17:00 UTC ]

We've long thought that America is at her best when disaster strikes. We've thought this since the massive 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, in fact, which we rode out in San Francisco. And we saw firsthand that when life is disrupted, it is disrupted equally. Everyone is affected, so everyone puts aside all their differences and just pitches in to help in the immediate aftermath. Maybe this is a rosy-tinted view, but it still holds mostly true.

Case in point is Hurricane Ian, which just devastated Florida and seems on its way to devastate the Carolinas next. Ian has been one of the biggest hurricanes in American history already (fifth-largest, from one news report) and we haven't even begun to comprehend the scope of the damage or how long it will take to recover from it. The damage isn't even over yet, and most of the East Coast will at least get some heavy rains before Ian disintegrates.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's "Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification" Defense

[ Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2022 – 17:26 UTC ]

We do try to avoid it in general, but this week it is impossible not to lead our news wrap-up with the ongoing Donald Trump Follies. Spoiler alert: it wasn't a very good week in Trumpland.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ukraine, Trains, And Lindsey Graham

[ Posted Friday, September 16th, 2022 – 17:13 UTC ]

We fully admit that headline isn't really close enough to the original to trip off the tongue very well. But we're in an optimistically cheerful mood, so we're not going to change it.

These were really the three big political stories of the week. Last weekend saw the culmination of an incredible performance by the Ukrainian military. Within a week, they had retaken over 2,000 square miles of their country, as the Russian invading forces mostly just fled. That is beyond impressive, and may prove to be a real turning point in the whole war.

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Making The Trains Run On Time

[ Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2022 – 15:30 UTC ]

President Biden is facing a crisis. The nation's freight railways might shut down in the wee hours of Friday morning, due to a strike. This puts Biden in an incredible bind for a number of reasons, but the one most important politically will be one of optics. You can almost feel the headline-writers of America salivating as they test out their clever variations on: "He Couldn't Make The Trains Run On Time." This is a throwback to the old political joke that "Benito Mussolini may have been a fascist dictator and all of that, but at least he made the trains run on time." This claim was actually false -- it was little more than fascist propaganda -- but the saying lives on in the political lexicon. And Joe Biden loves trains. A railroad strike on his watch would be devastating for his image.

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Friday Talking Points -- Winning The Culture Wars

[ Posted Friday, September 9th, 2022 – 17:07 UTC ]

For decades now, Republicans have very effectively been using "culture war" issues to entice voters to vote against Democrats. Democrats are routinely pictured as being out of the mainstream and out of touch. This used to work wonders for them. But the shoe seems to be on the other foot this year. This shift is mostly due not to Democratic politicians switching tactics so much as the electorate itself changing its mind on a number of big culture war issues.

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Even A Big Midterm Loss Won't Matter To Trump

[ Posted Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 – 15:12 UTC ]

Will Donald Trump's influence over the Republican Party ever wane? That question has frustrated many who sincerely hope the answer might someday be "yes," because it just never seems to really happen. Which brings up the next possibility for such a partywide epiphany: if Republicans blow the midterm elections in a big and spectacular way, how much of the blame will attach to Trump? He will certainly deserve a whopping portion of the blame, but whether any of it actually sticks to him is an open question.

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Friday Talking Points -- Dark Brandon Rips Into MAGA Republicans

[ Posted Friday, September 2nd, 2022 – 15:43 UTC ]

The White House seems to be having just a wee bit too much fun with the whole "Dark Brandon" meme. Because they actually set the stage for it last night, in Philadelphia.

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Biden's Philadelphia Speech

[ Posted Thursday, September 1st, 2022 – 18:53 UTC ]

President Joe Biden came out fighting tonight, delivering a speech titled: "The Continued Battle For The Soul Of Our Nation" in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall. The location, obviously, was appropriate for such a weighty subject. The speech was without doubt the most forceful address Biden has given while president, and indeed harkened back to his days on the campaign trail. This was all part of the design of it, as it was given just in advance of the traditional midterm campaign season's start, Labor Day. It was seen by most as the campaign's unofficial kickoff.

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Trump Done? Well, Maybe Not.

[ Posted Tuesday, August 30th, 2022 – 15:46 UTC ]

Donald Trump's political obituary has been written so many times it is now somewhat of a running joke. "Trump Surely Must Be Toast This Time" is a headline that just keeps on giving, because each and every time the answer turns out to be: "Nope, false alarm, his followers are unfazed." This time, however, what's notable is that the "Trump's Done!" stories seem to be coming more and more from his own diehard supporters in the rightwing media echo chamber. The knee-jerk echoes are dying down, to stretch the metaphor, no matter how loudly Trump shouts.

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What Could A Filibuster-Free Democratic Congress Get Done?

[ Posted Monday, August 29th, 2022 – 15:46 UTC ]

Even though it is a Monday, I find myself in an optimistic mood. Maybe it's just the end of the political Silly Season, but I found myself wondering what would happen if the Democrats truly ran the tables in the midterms and wound up still in control of the House of Representatives and with at least 52 senators in the Senate (so Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin could be politely told to go fly a kite by Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats). What could they get done? What would their agenda look like, with a Democrat in the White House ready to sign whatever passed? I know, I know, it is still the longest of longshots -- Democrats will likely still lose the House even if they manage to expand their majority in the Senate -- but like I said, I'm feeling optimistic, so let's just assume it does somehow come to pass.

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