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Archive of Articles in the "Taxes" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Closing Midterm Argument

[ Posted Friday, October 19th, 2018 – 17:18 PDT ]

As usual, there was all sorts of idiocy in the political news last week. But, for a change, we're only going to skim lightly over most of it in an abbreviated weekly roundup, because we've got a special talking points section at the end, where we try our hand at writing a "closing argument" speech for all Democratic congressional candidates to consider using. So there's that to look forward to. Before that, though, let's take a very quick look at the week that was.

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Friday Talking Points -- "Civil" War

[ Posted Friday, October 12th, 2018 – 17:35 PDT ]

There's a debate going on right now among the chattering classes in Washington over whether Democrats should be "civil" or, alternatively, whether they should "kick" back at their opponents. No, really. The hilariousness of such a genteel debate seems to have escaped everyone engaging in it, apparently. Because it is pretty funny, when you consider the actual facts. Which show that Republicans completely abandoned civility altogether, right about the same time they started supporting Donald Trump -- and things have (if it's even possible) now gotten even worse in the midterm campaigns. So all they're really doing is attempting to hold Democrats to a standard they don't even pretend to hew to themselves anymore (after decades of being the moralizing, finger-wagging party, it bears mentioning).

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One Month To Go

[ Posted Monday, October 8th, 2018 – 17:05 PDT ]

Four weeks from tomorrow, America will vote in the 2018 midterm congressional elections. We're officially in the homestretch now, in other words. And even with all the recent political events, things stand pretty much how they have all year -- Democrats are still favored to take control of the House of Representatives, but Republicans are still favored to retain control of the Senate. The political pundits right now are focusing too tightly on possible effects of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court fight, but the bigger picture hasn't really shifted all that much.

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Friday Talking Points -- Kavanaugh Fight Finally Ends

[ Posted Friday, October 5th, 2018 – 16:46 PDT ]

Brett Kavanaugh is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow. That was the breaking news this afternoon, as Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Democrat Joe Manchin all indicated that they're going to vote in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation. Republican Lisa Murkowski had briefly given rise to hope on the Democratic side when she announced she'll be voting against confirmation, but as things stand now Vice President Mike Pence won't even be required to break a tie, because tomorrow (if every senator votes how they now say they will) the total will be 51 votes for confirmation to 49 against.

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Changing Dynamics For The Midterm Races

[ Posted Monday, October 1st, 2018 – 17:08 PDT ]

Five weeks from tomorrow, the 2018 midterm elections will happen. But, as we all know, a lot can happen in five weeks (especially these days). Up until about two weeks ago, the conventional wisdom had coalesced into a belief that the Democrats were more likely than not to take control of the House of Representatives, but also that they'd probably fall short in the Senate. However, within those two weeks, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight has taken an unexpected turn. And today, perhaps as a very early "October surprise," President Trump announced a new trade deal with both Mexico and Canada. So it's time to consider what impact these two events might have on the midterms, if any.

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Friday Talking Points -- This Is Why Women Don't Report Sexual Assaults

[ Posted Friday, September 21st, 2018 – 18:35 PDT ]

Brett Kavanaugh was supposed to have been confirmed by the Senate to a seat on the Supreme Court by now. That was the original plan, at any rate. But this plan was blown out of the water last Friday when Christine Blasey Ford came forward and publicly accused him of attempting to rape her when the two were in high school. The fallout still continues, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

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Friday Talking Points [500] -- Manafort Flips!

[ Posted Friday, September 14th, 2018 – 17:50 PDT ]

Convicted felon Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to two additional serious federal felonies, one of which was conspiracy to defraud the United States government. He also had to pony up tens of millions of dollars' worth of real estate, because one of the frauds he perpetrated was avoiding paying $15 million in federal taxes by money laundering. The biggest news, however, wasn't Manafort pleading guilty to his ninth and tenth felonies, but the fact that to get a plea deal he had to agree to cooperate with Bob Mueller's investigation. This is what he's been fighting against doing all along, so it is big news.

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The Punditocracy Is Missing Democrats' Real Campaign Focus

[ Posted Thursday, September 13th, 2018 – 16:46 PDT ]

Pretty much all year long, there has been a popular parlor game played on the cocktail-party circuit inside the Beltway. It might be called: "Democrats Should Run On Bashing Trump And Impeachment." Both subjects were endlessly debated, and a consensus opinion emerged that this was obviously the best way for Democrats to campaign. Bashing Trump at every turn and using "the I-word" as often as possible would surely be the Democrats' best chance of success in the midterms. It became accepted as conventional inside-the-Beltway wisdom, meaning the punditocracy would ask actual Democrats about the subject whenever they got a chance. The fact that the answers didn't match with the perceived reality was barely even noted. Now, finally, some of them are beginning to take note that Democrats are actually running a very different campaign, out there beyond the Beltway.

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Could Trump And Pelosi Actually Get Some Things Done?

[ Posted Monday, September 10th, 2018 – 16:37 PDT ]

So, assuming for the sake of argument that Nancy Pelosi does become speaker again and that Donald Trump is still president (there's another rather large assumption), the question that occurred to me was whether the two of them could actually work together to pass some decent new laws. Because that's not as unbelievable (or, if you will, downright laughable) a proposal as it might first sound.

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Friday Talking Points [499] -- The Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here

[ Posted Friday, September 7th, 2018 – 17:55 PDT ]

As we are occasionally wont to do, today's column will be nothing short of a rant. It just seemed like it was time for one, to us. There were two enormous stories in the world of politics this week: the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate, and the two bombshells about Trump revealed by Bob Woodward and an anonymous senior member of the Trump administration. All other political stories paled in significance.

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