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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Mr. Trump's Wild Ride

[ Posted Friday, December 7th, 2018 – 17:44 PST ]

As is now normal, the past week in politics was a pretty wild ride. The stock market went up, then way down, then a bit back up, then way down again -- and that was in a week with only four trading days (Wednesday was a national day of mourning for George H. W. Bush, so the markets were closed). Trump drove much of this confusion, after meeting with the leader of China last weekend to discuss trade. Adding to the confusion was the arrest of the leader of a giant Chinese corporation on Canadian soil at the request of the American Justice Department, and a weaker-than-expected jobs report today.

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It's Time For A New Election In North Carolina's Ninth District

[ Posted Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 18:02 PST ]

In America, elections are almost never nullified. They are contested, they are recounted, they might even be challenged in court, but it's rare indeed for anyone to even propose that an election's entire result to be tossed out so that a new election can be held in its place. It's just not a common occurrence. In fact, it is so rare that I can't even remember when the last "do over" election of this nature even happened.

However, when the results of any individual election simply cannot be trusted with any degree of integrity, then there is no real recourse other than to void the results entirely and start all over again. It's a radical solution, but sometimes desperate times call for such desperate measures. And the situation in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District must now be seen as so damaged that there really can only be one acceptable repair, and that is to start all over.

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We Need A Voters' Bill Of Rights

[ Posted Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 – 17:16 PST ]

As time goes on, America seems to be taking a big step backwards on the long road toward voting equality for all. This election cycle saw a gubernatorial candidate refuse to recuse himself from overseeing the elections process in his current job; what appears to be a blatant effort to throw an election in North Carolina by a shady Republican operative; and the usual GOP bag of tricks when it comes to voter roll purges, long polling lines, and challenging in various ways the outcomes they didn't like. In short, if we're not already there, we're certainly approaching a crisis in confidence over the way Americans vote and the way those votes are counted.

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Discovery (A Musical Interlude)

[ Posted Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 – 19:21 PST ]

Maybe it's the holiday season, but for whatever reason, today while reading the news I had one of those moments of synchronicity, where a song just pops into your head unbidden, grabs ahold of your psyche and refuses to let go. So I thought I'd share it with everyone.

The story I read which caused this to happen was an update on one of the many federal court cases proceeding against President Donald Trump. It was filed by the attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia, and it charges Trump and Trump's D.C. hotel (which he has not divested himself of financially) with violating the "emoluments clause" of the Constitution. The update reported that the judge in the case has ruled that the discovery phase will now begin, which will give the attorneys general the power to issue subpoenas to everyone involved, up to and including departments of the federal government.

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...Nor Excessive Fines Imposed...

[ Posted Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 – 17:27 PST ]

The Supreme Court may be about to seriously rein in the practice of state and local governments essentially committing highway robbery. This practice is known as "asset forfeiture," and I've written extensively about it in the past. But a new court challenge could if not end then at least severely curtail the practice at the state and local level.

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Why I'm Not Overly Concerned About Matthew Whitaker

[ Posted Monday, November 19th, 2018 – 17:23 PST ]

It is rare that I leave myself open to being accused of being too Pollyannaish or otherwise sticking my head in the sand, but today I feel there's definitely a risk of this. Because I am not all that concerned about our new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker -- although I do realize there are plenty of others who are. But I think that while the pushback against his appointment is necessary and should be pursued by Democrats as vigorously as possible, in the end the real fight is going to be over the next actual attorney general, not the acting one we have now.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Temper Tantrum

[ Posted Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 18:43 PST ]

Most Americans, not being political wonks, have largely moved on from the midterm election results. The mainstream media has also largely been ignoring the still-developing story, for two reasons: (1) they really kind of blew it on Election Night, uniformly coming to the wrong conclusion very early in the evening ("the blue wave is not appearing") and so they're now avoiding having to correct their misinterpretation; and (2) there's a recount in Florida again! Woo hoo! Break out the video clips of that poor myopic cross-eyed guy with the magnifying glass -- that's always fun to run, right?

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Democrats Chart Ambitious Path With H.R. 1

[ Posted Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 – 17:55 PST ]

While most of the Washington political press continues an obsession that had little (or nothing) to do with the Democrats' midterm election successes -- merely by changing their stock question: "So, if elected, will you immediately move to impeach Trump?" to: "So, now that you've been elected, will your first act be to impeach Trump?" -- the actual journalists over at NPR took the more obvious step of just asking the incoming House Democratic leadership what they were going to do first (without any preconceived and/or obsessive assumptions). The answer they got back was ambitious, if not downright breathtaking. Their scoop has so far been mostly ignored by the rest of the inside-the-Beltway crowd, but will likely grow in importance over time.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Biggest Midterm House Win Since Watergate

[ Posted Friday, November 9th, 2018 – 17:33 PST ]

Our subtitle today is (appropriately) nothing short of a talking point. Democrats just won their biggest pickup in the House of Representatives since 1974, the first post-Watergate election. That's not only impressive, it's downright historic. But, for some reason, many Democrats and many pundits are concentrating solely on the downside rather than face the many ballot-box victories the Democrats just chalked up. We have no real reason why this is so, and we wonder why so many seek the dark lining to what is indisputably a very silver cloud. Democrats won, and they won big. They didn't win every race, and some rock-star candidates lost, but why dwell on it? There were so many other wins Tuesday night that more than made up for it, after all.

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Setting The Democratic Agenda For The Next Two Years

[ Posted Thursday, November 8th, 2018 – 17:48 PST ]

Democrats are poised to start setting the political agenda in the House of Representatives, beginning in January. This agenda will consist of three different types of actions: investigating the Trump administration, doing legislative deals with Trump where possible, and creating the Democratic Party platform for the 2020 election.

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