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Archive of Articles in the "News" Category

Alabama's Stunning Upset

[ Posted Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 – 18:10 PST ]

Doug Jones will be the next senator from Alabama, according to all media sources. With over 90 percent of the votes counted, Jones snatched away the lead that Roy Moore had been holding for almost the entire night. Rural votes got counted first, but when the urban votes came in, they propelled Jones into the lead. Alabama has stunned the nation with this upset victory -- the first Democrat they'll have in the U.S. Senate in a quarter-century.

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Trump Hits New Polling Low

[ Posted Monday, December 11th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

I originally wrote "Trump Hits New Low" as this article's title, but then realized that it was far too generic a headline. After all, Trump hits new lows all the time, in many shocking and unusual ways. A sitting president endorsing an accused child molester to sit in the U.S. Senate, for instance. So I clarified it, since this is a more qualitative thing -- Trump has indeed hit a new all-time low in the polls. As of this writing, his daily job approval average (as calculated by Real Clear Politics) is a dismal 37.3 percent. Trump's job disapproval also hit a record high, to now stand at 57.9 percent. This is also (not surprisingly) the most he's ever been underwater in the polls -- a negative gap of 20.6 points.

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Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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Maybe Al Franken Should Run Again

[ Posted Thursday, December 7th, 2017 – 18:03 PST ]

Today was a sad day for progressives, as Al Franken took to the floor of the Senate to announce he will be stepping down from his seat due to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct which have been made against him. Franken was seen by many as one of the best newcomers to politics in the past decade, an intelligent and unrelenting voice strongly supporting a very progressive agenda. So his loss is felt more deeply than some other random Democratic senator (who was a lot less well-known) would have been. Franken was even being talked about as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but that now seems like an impossibility. However, even before the news broke yesterday that Franken was on the brink of resigning, I've been wondering about a larger argument being made -- that of whether the voters aren't the ultimate jury for such allegations against politicians. Which, today, brings me to the question of whether Al Franken might just redeem himself politically by running for the seat he will soon be vacating when it comes up again for election, in 2020.

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Making The GOP Tax Bill Slightly Less Awful

[ Posted Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 – 18:11 PST ]

Republicans like to boast about how their current plan to reform the tax code is the biggest such effort since the 1980s. They especially like this line because it references Saint Ronald of Reagan [pause for GOP genuflections], whose irreproachable sanctity is about all the Republican Party can even agree upon, these days. But back in Reagan's day, Congress spent something like two years developing their tax code overhaul, with at least six months of that spent in committee hearings and bipartisan work toward a common goal. That common goal was to reduce taxes on individuals and increase them on corporations. None of that is true this time around, of course, as Republicans only even have a prayer of passing anything these days (despite controlling both houses of Congress) by rushing things so hastily that nobody has a chance to talk about what is in the massive bill. That two-year process will be smushed into a few paltry weeks, with a self-imposed Christmas deadline. Also, the end goal this time is exactly the opposite -- massively reduce the taxes corporations pay by increasing the share individuals pay.

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Forty-Nine Sister States All Had Alabama In Their Eyes

[ Posted Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 – 17:59 PST ]

In one week, Alabama is going to shock the nation in one way or another. Either they will elect an accused child molester to the United States Senate, or they will elect a Democrat. Either one is pretty jaw-dropping to consider, in this day and age. The polls are as tight as can be, with several recent ones showing Republican Roy Moore up by a few points, and others that show Democrat Doug Jones up by a few points. In other words, it is all going to come down to turnout.

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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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The Keys To Democrats Winning Next Year

[ Posted Monday, November 27th, 2017 – 19:01 PST ]

Two weeks from tomorrow, Alabama will hold its special Senate election. The chances of Democrat Doug Jones pulling off an upset win are really anyone's guess, at this point. Is Roy Moore so damaged that the very conservative voters of Alabama will reject him in favor of a Democrat? Stranger things have happened, but this is in no way assured. This is, after all, Alabama we're talking about. But Democrats should be looking ahead, whether Jones wins or not, to shape their strategy for the upcoming 2018 midterm congressional elections.

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Thankfully, 2017 Is Almost Over

[ Posted Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 – 18:08 PST ]

As a rule, I don't generally write touchy-feely columns where I talk about my own life or my personal feelings. This isn't that kind of blog, after all. I may give my personal impressions about politics in the midst of commenting on the issues of the day, but almost never spend a whole column navel-gazing. Today I'm departing from this general rule, and would like to offer up the following as a very personal Thanksgiving Day message to my readers. So if you're not into that sort of thing, I'd advise you to stop reading right now.

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Who Will Be Next?

[ Posted Monday, November 20th, 2017 – 19:18 PST ]

Who will be next? That's the point we've all gotten to, it seems, on sexual misconduct charges made about powerful men pretty much across the spectrum of fame, journalism, and politics. Just today the news contained eight women accusing television journalist Charlie Rose of what can only be called workplace harassment and sexually predatory behavior. Also today, new accusations were made against New York Times political reporter Glenn Thrush, and a second woman accused Al Franken of groping her. That's merely one day's worth of news, and it follows months of such revelations going back to Harvey Weinstein, who was really the start of this cycle of accusations.

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