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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

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From The Archives -- No Silver Bullet

[ Posted Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 – 17:08 PST ]

The article below was written a few weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm running it again today both because nothing much has changed since then, but also because I think it is a fairly realistic examination of what gun control laws can be expected to do, and what they cannot.

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Advice For The Florida Teen Activists

[ Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 – 18:56 PST ]

In the aftermath of the horrific slaughter at a Florida high school, the survivors of the massacre have moved onto center stage in the American political debate in a big way. This has happened with astonishing swiftness and with astonishing breadth. Television news producers are falling all over themselves to book the spokespeople for the teens, they've already tried their hand at lobbying (on the state legislator level), they've staged protests, they've come up with a plan for nationwide events to take place next month, and their nascent movement has already attracted millions of dollars of pledges from liberal celebrities. That is an immensely impressive list, especially considering it all took place in the time span of a single week. These kids have achieved more in one week's time than many advocacy groups have ever achieved from years of effort.

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Friday Talking Points [472] -- Infrastructure Week!

[ Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 – 18:04 PST ]

Before we get to all the rest of the news, here's an interesting anniversary: it has been exactly one year since Trump's last solo press conference. In all the time he's been president, he has held a grand total of precisely one press conference, a month after he was sworn in. So what is he afraid of?

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What About All The Others In The White House Without Permanent Security Clearances?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 – 17:55 PST ]

Donald Trump's White House is, once again, making a bad news story worse by the day. That's quite an accomplishment this time around, since the bad news story was pretty bad to begin with -- the White House having to fire two accused wife-beaters in the same week. But all the missteps and lies told since then have only served to make things much worse, to the point where the entire White House security clearance process itself is now under a microscope. This raises all kinds of questions that Trump really should have tried to avoid, such as why his son-in-law still only has a temporary security clearance, and indeed how many other White House staffers haven't been cleared yet. But if you take a wider view, as many are now beginning to do, you'd have to conclude that any president influences his entire administration, or (to put it more colorfully) the fish rots from the head.

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Friday Talking Points [471] -- Trump's Kim Jong Un Envy

[ Posted Friday, February 9th, 2018 – 18:25 PST ]

There's an old joke in Washington that the press knows how to ask politicians questions that can't be answered in any acceptable way. The classic example, of course, is: "So, Senator, have you stopped beating your wife?" This week, however, the Trump White House has been getting a variant: "So, how long was a wife-beater who couldn't get a security clearance allowed to work for the president, and why?"

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Friday Talking Points [470] -- No Smoke, No Gun

[ Posted Friday, February 2nd, 2018 – 17:25 PST ]

Happy Nunes Memo Day, everyone!

Today, of course, was supposed to be the day when the memo from House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes caused the skies to split and the F.B.I. building to spontaneously implode in upon itself, leaving nothing left but a mysterious rift to some dark and deep otherworld. Bob Mueller was also supposed to make a public announcement that his entire investigation was nothing short of a sham (secretly directed by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros), and that he would be shutting down his office just as soon as all the documents could be shredded and the hard drives erased.

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The Other Two Immigration Pillars

[ Posted Thursday, February 1st, 2018 – 18:51 PST ]

I've been meaning to write about immigration specifics, but hadn't quite come up with a way to present the issues I wanted to address. Then I read a story in today's Washington Post and while perusing the comments came across an excellent set of questions for Republicans. This seemed the best way to launch into the subject.

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Friday Talking Points [469] -- A Crazed Definition Of Modern Womanhood

[ Posted Friday, January 26th, 2018 – 18:58 PST ]

American women were in the news this week in a big way, on both sides of the political aisle. Last weekend, millions of women took to the streets to protest, once again, Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office. By the end of the week, a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri was making headlines for his rather Neanderthal views on, as he put it, "modern womanhood."

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Marijuana Legalization Has Passed The Tipping Point

[ Posted Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 – 18:38 PST ]

The state of Vermont has just made some history. It has become the first state in the Union to legalize the recreational adult use of marijuana through its legislature. There was no citizens' referendum where the people voted the new law in; instead, representative democracy worked as designed -- a clear majority of Vermonters were in favor of legalization and their elected representatives actually represented this viewpoint by changing the law. This is important because there are many states like Vermont (24 in total) where the direct democracy of ballot initiatives never took hold. When the people can't directly vote on the issue, it is up to the state government to act, to put it another way. Vermont will become the ninth state with legal recreational marijuana this July, when the new law takes effect. Over one-fifth of the American population now lives where weed is legal. Marijuana legalization can now be said to have reached -- and passed -- the tipping point. There is no going back, at this point, to the failed War On Weed, which has been waged for approximately the last century of American history. All that is really left to happen is for the federal government to wake up to this new reality. That may still take a few years, but at this point it has to be seen as all but inevitable.

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