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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Friday Talking Points [453] -- Deal? Or No Deal?

[ Posted Friday, September 15th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

As is true during most weeks of the Trump administration, a whole lot happened in the political world last week. But most of it was completely overshadowed by the game of "Deal, or no deal?" that Trump was playing. For the second week in a row, President Donald Trump shocked the leadership of his own party by sitting down and (quite literally) breaking bread with Democrats. Yes, Donnie had Chuck and Nancy over for dinner, and Washington hasn't been quite the same since.

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Friday Talking Points [451] -- Riders On The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 1st, 2017 – 17:45 PDT ]

Donald Trump began last week (as we measure time here, from Friday deadline to Friday deadline) by pardoning a racist sheriff who had been convicted (but not even sentenced yet) of ignoring the Constitution and defying the federal courts. Trump announced this just as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, in the hopes that nobody but his base would notice. He also sent formal instructions to the Pentagon to begin turning away transgendered Americans who want to serve their country, also in the hopes that few would notice. In the midst of all this "news dump" frenzy, Steve Bannon's acolyte Sebastian Gorka was unceremoniously shown the door at the White House. That all happened late in the day last Friday, so for us it was a fairly jaw-dropping start to the week.

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Selling Single-Payer As A Hassle-Free Option

[ Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2017 – 16:44 PDT ]

Senator Kamala Harris is in the news today because she just announced at a town hall that she will be co-sponsoring the single-payer healthcare bill that Senator Bernie Sanders will soon unveil. Harris has previously been lukewarm towards single-payer (according to her critics on the left), so this was seen as a big political step for her to have taken. Read another way, though, it seemed more that Harris is moving with an abundance of caution rather than being in any way against the concept of single-payer healthcare.

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Distracted Reporting

[ Posted Monday, August 28th, 2017 – 16:31 PDT ]

On Friday, President Donald Trump attempted a trick many previous U.S. presidents have used to good effect, and so far at least it seems to be working out for Trump quite well. The trick is to get sensitive news out late on a Friday, in the hopes that the American public (and the press) will be so distracted by the weekend that the story will have much less impact than it normally would have. Really bad news is usually released right before a three-day holiday weekend, so it'll have even less reach and an even-smaller impact. Trump took this to another level last Friday, by releasing some contentious news right in the midst of the biggest hurricane to hit the U.S. in over a decade.

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Jeff Sessions Brings Back Highway Robbery

[ Posted Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

That headline sounds like hyperbole or a metaphor, but sadly it is quite literal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bringing back a program which steals money and other valuables from people -- often while they're traveling -- and then refuses to give it back unless the victim sues to get it back in federal court. The costs of bringing a federal case often are more than the value of the property stolen, or "seized" as Sessions would put it. This all takes place even though the victim is never charged with any crime. Meaning the only crime here is the highway robbery by the government, even if they pretty it up with the name "asset forfeiture."

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Friday Talking Points [445] -- It's Raining Shoes!

[ Posted Friday, July 14th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

In normal political crises, everyone waits for "the other shoe to drop." The Russia/Trump scandal was upgraded earlier this year (by Senator John McCain) to "a centipede, because there are so many shoes left to drop." We thought that was rather clever, at the time. But we've now entered a whole new realm of scandal -- one where it is simply raining shoes down from the sky. Americans can barely go outside before they are clobbered by a falling workboot. Somebody needs to design a much stronger umbrella to protect public safety, and quick!

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Junior's Smoking Gun

[ Posted Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

Donald Trump's story, up until now, has been that "there was no collusion with Russia" during his campaign. That is now -- as the Nixon White House used to say -- no longer an operative statement. The best they can now claim is that while such collusion was attempted, it ultimately wasn't successful. That's pretty weak, though, and with the shifting nature of the story even that may soon become impossible to claim. We'll have to wait and see where the next smoking gun points, before we find out what Trump's next party line will be.

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Friday Talking Points [444] -- To Insanity And Beyond!

[ Posted Friday, July 7th, 2017 – 16:52 PDT ]

Sometimes, even when reading professional journalism, you have to connect the dots on your own. This week both the president and the vice-president interacted with NASA, and the results were... well... kind of spacey.

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Travel Ban Ruling Mishmash

[ Posted Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 – 16:37 PDT ]

The Supreme Court just issued a ruling on Donald Trump's Muslim ban, and it is something of a political Rorschach test, because how you see it really depends on how you see politics in general. Trump, for instance, is claiming he won a total and sweeping victory. But so can the actual plaintiffs in the case -- the people who sued the Trump administration over the ban. The reason both sides can claim victory is that the ruling was issued on specific legal grounds, not political grounds. And legally, there was something for everyone, in a sort of a grand mishmash of an outcome.

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Friday Talking Points [442] -- Trump Did Not Deny Tapes Exist!

[ Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2017 – 17:26 PDT ]

Every so often, we have a certain reaction to a bit of political news. We then fully expect at least a few other political commentators to have the same reaction, only to be surprised when it seems that nobody else read things the way we did. This is precisely where we find ourselves over President Donald Trump's recent tweets, where he supposedly put the issue to rest of whether secret audio recordings were ever made in his White House. Everybody seems to be buying his spin, and nobody questioned the obvious loophole he left himself. Because if you read what he wrote and take it at face value (not reading more into it than he actually says), Trump still has not answered the question of whether such tapes exist or not. Not even close.

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