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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Friday Talking Points [489] -- Ranting About Trump's Cruelty

[ Posted Friday, June 22nd, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

For a change, we're not going to have much to say in this introduction. The reason is that the talking points section is taken up by a lengthy rant this week, because it seemed timely to offer one up. It is a rare week of the Trump presidency where there is really only one overriding issue in the political world to comment on, but this was indeed that kind of week.

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GOP's Glorious Immigration Week Lurches Along

[ Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2018 – 16:18 PDT ]

Well, we're almost to the end of the glorious Republican Immigration Reform Week. That was the original plan, at any rate -- Paul Ryan's House was supposed to pass an immigration reform bill containing all four pillars of Trump's stated immigration goals, and then the bill would then be sent over to the Senate, where Democrats would block it. This was supposed to give political cover for House Republicans on the midterm campaign trail, allowing them to claim "We tried to fix the problem!" all the while knowing that the entire thing was nothing short of a pointless political stunt.

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Trump Blinks

[ Posted Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 – 17:42 PDT ]

Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order to end his own policy of forcing the separation of children from families seeking asylum in America, because his initial position had become so untenable (indeed, downright unbelievable) that his political allies were fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. By this afternoon, there were plenty of other metaphors flying fast and thick: Trump blinked; he waved the white flag; he surrendered; he caved; he backed down; he threw in the towel; he bent to reality. Whichever you choose, the underlying reality is the same: President Donald Trump, in a rare occurrence, was forced today to take an action that proves both he and his aides have been flat-out lying to the American public for days on end. There's just no other way to look at it, and in fact it may be unprecedented for Trump. He's been telling anyone who would listen that he alone could not do anything, and that his hands were tied -- Congress would need to act. Now he has proved himself wrong on that front. He acted, which means he could have done so at any point if he truly had cared about the issue at all. What forced him to act was the overwhelmingly negative and relentless coverage he was receiving in the media, and the flight of his allies in the Republican Party. Today, this all became too much for Trump, so he did what he could have done all along, thus putting the lie to his voluminous statements to the contrary.

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Can House Republicans Explain Political Reality To Trump?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 – 15:58 PDT ]

I would sincerely love to be a fly on the wall at tonight's summit meeting between President Donald Trump and the House Republicans. By the time you read this, the meeting will likely either be underway or already over, so it remains to be seen how much of what goes on will leak out. Indeed, one hopes for a surreptitious recording to be made public, but one doesn't always get what one hopes for (alas!). But no matter how many of the details leak, I'd be willing to bet that the meeting will be described as "a spirited discussion" by someone in attendance. The phrase will likely become unavoidable, really.

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Dianne Feinstein Leads The Way With "Keep Families Together Act"

[ Posted Monday, June 18th, 2018 – 15:56 PDT ]

Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill in the Senate which would end Donald Trump's cruel policy of separating children from their parents at the border. You might not have heard of this bill, which is in itself a messaging failure of both Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats. Feinstein did not appear on any of the Sunday political shows (at least, that I am aware of), and neither most of the media nor her fellow Democrats who did appear yesterday seem to have been aware of Feinstein's bill. The bill is S.3036, or the "Keep Families Together Act." As of this writing, all the Democrats in the Senate have signed on as cosponsors, but not a single Republican has yet done so.

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Friday Talking Points [488] -- Suffer The Little Children

[ Posted Friday, June 15th, 2018 – 18:20 PDT ]

Fox News unwittingly (how else?) spoke a deep truth this week. Or perhaps a deep fantasy -- it's tough to tell, coming from Fox anchors. As President Trump descended the stairs from Air Force One in Singapore, Fox And Friends gushed: "This is history. Regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now -- this is history." Um... how many dictators was that, again? The host later tried to walk back her unintentional gaffe, but is it really all that far off the mark?

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Trump's Legal Woes Multiply

[ Posted Thursday, June 14th, 2018 – 18:00 PDT ]

President Donald Trump and the media he loves to hate are both consumed today with interpreting the Justice Department Inspector General's report on how the F.B.I. handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails during the 2016 presidential election. I am personally going to avoid this particular fray for now and let the report percolate a bit before commenting upon it, mostly because there is so much other breaking legal news surrounding Trump that I feel is far more relevant and interesting. Long story short, the I.G. report condemns James Comey's public handling of the investigation, and ironically slams Comey for using a private email account to conduct official government business -- the very thing Clinton was being investigated for. What the I.G. report does not do is change either the outcome or the conclusions of the investigation one bit -- in other words, Clinton is the one most vindicated by the report, not Trump. But again, everyone (and their brother) is already chiming in on this discussion, so I'm largely going to take a pass and just sit back and listen to the debate rage.

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Friday Talking Points [487] -- Trump Hands Democrats Enormous Midterm Gift

[ Posted Friday, June 8th, 2018 – 18:08 PDT ]

As usual, there was a whole lot of political news this week, as President Trump continues to flail his way around the world in multiple unhinged ways. But this week, our eye was caught by the story that the Trump Justice Department has announced it is now conspiring to hand Democrats the midterm elections. Maybe Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to look into or something?

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Trump Decides To Wing It -- What Could Go Wrong With That?

[ Posted Thursday, June 7th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

President Trump is the ultimate off-the-cuff guy. He has no problem just winging it, on just about any subject under the sun. This week alone, Trump falsely accused Canadians of burning down the White House (they didn't, the British did, over 200 years ago) and reportedly flirted with the idea of just pardoning himself to get rid of all the pesky investigations. He's also decided there will be no formal process for any presidential pardons, other than "a celebrity asks me for one for somebody." Hey, it worked for both Sly Stallone and Kim Kardashian, so why not others? Today, two stories appeared which aren't exactly surprising, but still raised a few eyebrows. The first is that Trump has apparently decided that he doesn't really need a whole lot of briefing for his summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, and that all he really needs is the right "attitude." What could possibly go wrong with that plan? We'll see, next Tuesday, one assumes. But the second report was much more detailed, about a briefing supposedly on disaster preparedness that Trump just got from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, because hurricane season has just begun. Someone present recorded the meeting and leaked the recording to the Washington Post and CNN. So far, only excerpts have been released, but it is sincerely to be hoped that a full transcript will eventually become available, so we can all bask in the splendor of a president unchained.

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Supreme Court Takes The Cake

[ Posted Monday, June 4th, 2018 – 16:40 PDT ]

Today, the Supreme Court punted. Or, to be more properly seasonal, they ruled that a runner didn't touch second base so they invalidated his home run. The case before them was Masterpiece Cakeshop versus Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a test case that dealt with the limits of the freedom of religion and the state's right to regulate commerce to assure equal treatment under the law for all. However, the ruling did not directly address that weighty constitutional issue, but rather ruled that the state behaved improperly in its decision-making process. They didn't rule on the decision itself, in other words, but rather how it was arrived at. This is the big reason why the ruling was not another 5-4 decision, but rather 7-2. If the high court had ruled on the actual question before them, no matter how they ruled it most probably would have been another close 5-4 split.

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