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Archive of Articles in the "News" Category

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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Trump's Record-Setting Burn Rate

[ Posted Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 – 18:26 PST ]

The conventional wisdom in Washington is that President Donald Trump, unlike his television persona, actually has a hard time firing people. He reportedly doesn't like such personal confrontation, which can lead him to keep people on long past when they should have been let go. The current episode with Rob Porter and David Sorensen seemed to confirm this view. But whether Trump personally enjoys saying "You're fired!" or not, he is setting records for having higher turnover in top White House jobs than his predecessors.

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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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Leader Time

[ Posted Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 – 17:39 PST ]

As I write this, Nancy Pelosi has been speaking for something like seven straight hours on the floor of the House of Representatives. Historians are scurrying to comb through the House archives, and some are already calling it the longest such speech ever delivered on the House floor. It's not technically a filibuster (which only happen in the Senate), instead Pelosi is exploiting a parliamentary loophole known as "leader time" -- which allows party leaders to speak uninterrupted. Minority Leader Pelosi has been doing so since 10:00 in the morning, Eastern time, and so far shows no signs of stepping down.

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Who Will Trump Try To Blame For Trump Slump?

[ Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 – 18:13 PST ]

Will the "Trump Bump" turn into the "Trump Slump," or will the president somehow manage to successfully shift the political blame? That is the question on everyone's mind in Washington today, as the Dow Jones average slipped close to 1,200 points, after falling over 600 points last Friday. Trump has been overly eager to claim all the credit for a soaring stock market, so now that a bear seems to have taken hold of Wall Street, will he shoulder an equal share of the blame as the credit he's been claiming all along? That seems doubtful, knowing his aversion to accepting blame for pretty much anything under the sun.

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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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A Trainwreck, And An Exit

[ Posted Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 – 18:03 PST ]

Poor Donald Trump. It seems fate has pre-empted the media reviews of his first State Of The Union speech with a story about a Republican trainwreck. That has to have annoyed Trump, one assumes. We all know how much he likes seeing people talk about him on television, so seeing the trainwreck story instead certainly must have put a damper on his victory lap.

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Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union

[ Posted Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 23:55 PST ]

As usual, I hereby offer up my initial snap reactions after watching both President Trump's first official State Of The Union speech (last year's was just "an address to the Congress"), and the Democratic response. I like to do this before I dive in to what others may have opined about the speech, so as not to be influenced by any Washington media groupthink. Tomorrow morning, I'll be able to see who agreed with me and who didn't, of course.

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Trump To Try Bipartisanship?

[ Posted Monday, January 29th, 2018 – 18:11 PST ]

Tomorrow night, President Donald Trump will give his first official State Of The Union speech. The White House is leaking that his speech will be the first where he reaches out in an attempt to unify the country and offer bipartisan leadership to Congress. That is a pretty tall order for this particular president, for obvious reasons. But even if he manages to deliver an impressive speech, it's not likely to change anything afterwards. At least not in the way of actual bipartisan legislation, since Democrats are not likely to strike such deals right before a midterm election that could put them in a much better bargaining position afterwards.

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