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Archive of Articles in the "News" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Um... Madison Cawthorn Getting Naked In Sweden?

[ Posted Friday, April 29th, 2022 – 17:17 UTC ]

As we write this, everyone inside the Beltway is getting ready for the upcoming White House Correspondents' Dinner, which President Joe Biden has said he will be attending (after a hiatus of presidents attending due to COVID and, earlier, due to Donald Trump having incredibly thin skin). But, as usual, our invitation seems to have been lost in the mail or something. Ahem.

We are excited with a sort of "something good is about to happen" feeling, however, because the House Select January 6th Committee has finally announced a preliminary schedule for public hearings. Here's the story (as it stands so far):

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Friday Talking Points -- The Wait Better Be Worth It This Time

[ Posted Friday, April 22nd, 2022 – 17:20 UTC ]

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

It's been a rather bizarre week, which is even more odd since Congress is still off lollygagging, rather than doing the people's business as they are handsomely paid to do. Perhaps all these vacations have a cost? That's what we were thinking, at any rate, when we heard the news today that the House Select Committee on January 6th has punted the ball yet again, and will not even be scheduling public hearings until June, rather than next month. Seriously, guys? You're going to break the biggest political scandal story of the year right at the start of summer?!?

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Elizabeth Warren Is Right

[ Posted Monday, April 18th, 2022 – 15:45 UTC ]

Senator Elizabeth Warren published what amounts to a call to action for her fellow Democrats in today's New York Times, and it's really hard to disagree with anything she has written. Her main point is that if Democrats sit back and try to run on their record (since 2020), they are going to get badly beaten in the midterm elections. Without coming right out and saying it, Warren calls on Senate Democrats to pass whatever Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can manage to agree to. And for President Joe Biden to start using his executive pen far more aggressively than he has, so far. There is no guarantee any of this will be successful, but if Democrats don't at least make the attempt, they're going to be toast in the midterms. This is Warren's main point, and like I said, it is hard to disagree with her.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democratic Early Primary Free-For-All

[ Posted Friday, April 15th, 2022 – 17:01 UTC ]

It wasn't the biggest or most important political news of the week, we admit, but the one story that definitely caught our attention was the earthquake which reverberated outward from the Democratic National Committee. This Wednesday, the D.N.C.'s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to upset the early-primary applecart to allow for the possibility of a complete shakeup of the roster of early-voting states (currently: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina). For the 2024 presidential race, all the states have now been encouraged to apply for a spot on the early calendar -- with no guarantees for the four states that have previously enjoyed the privilege of going first.

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COVID Checkup

[ Posted Wednesday, April 13th, 2022 – 16:33 UTC ]

It's time for another COVID checkup. I say this for two reasons, one personal and one media-related. The personal is that I just got my second booster shot this past weekend. Which I would have done anyway, because I personally trust medical science and want to be as protected as possible against the pandemic; but in the past few days I might have been more motivated to do so, if all the information I got was from television news. Because, according to them, it's time for everyone to panic once again.

The news media has taken a lot of flak for their pandemic reporting, some of it justified and some not. This is a deadly disease which has swept through the American population in multiple waves and is close to having caused one million American deaths. That's as serious as it gets, obviously. The number of deaths is almost certainly a lot higher than that, but when the official number does push through the seven-digit threshold, it will doubtlessly be big news. It is natural to note when such a milestone number has been reached, but what is less natural is to treat all COVID news as bad -- or to exclusively report on the bad at the expense of any good news at all. Which sums up the viewpoint of television news for roughly the past year or so.

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Inflation's Political Deadweight

[ Posted Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 – 16:00 UTC ]

There are two major political storms on the horizon that will both break long before the midterm congressional elections, but as it looks now there is one overriding issue in domestic politics that will likely be one of the core issues in the race no matter what. Yes, it's time once again to dust off the 30-year old quip from James Carville: "It's the economy, stupid." This time around, it could be narrowed to: "It's the inflation, stupid."

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Cashing In On Daddy's Name

[ Posted Monday, April 11th, 2022 – 16:44 UTC ]

I know this might astonish some folks, but it is indeed a fact of life in America that the children of famous and influential politicians occasionally cash in on their last name. Well, technically, they don't even have to have the same last name, they don't have to be children (they can be other family members or even close friends sometimes), and occasionally the "cashing in" is a bit more nefarious than just your garden-variety grifting. But the fact remains that a closeness (or even perceived closeness) to power is indeed a saleable commodity out in the marketplace.

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Friday Talking Points -- History In The Making

[ Posted Friday, April 8th, 2022 – 16:36 UTC ]

History was made this week, as Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman ever confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court. It's rare that such a milestone is reached, and it is unquestionably worth celebrating when it does finally happen. Especially since the first Black woman ever to become vice president was the one presiding over the Senate as it cast this historic vote.

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Obama Returns

[ Posted Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 – 15:43 UTC ]

President Barack Obama returned to the White House yesterday, for the first time in five years. He was there to support President Joe Biden in a signing ceremony, although it wasn't for a bill but merely for an executive order. This directive will provide a fix for some people who had fallen through the cracks of the Affordable Care Act, and will wind up helping many American families afford health insurance for their whole family. So it's easy to see why Obama was invited, to help usher in a technical fix for his greatest achievement as president.

But I have to say, while it was good to see Obama give a short speech and crack a few jokes with Biden, it did kind of draw attention to how much he's kept himself in the background ever since he left office. And if Biden and the rest of the Democrats are smart, they'd be all but begging Obama to take a much more active role in his party heading into the midterm election season.

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McCarthy Gives Cawthorn A Stern Talking-To, But Refuses To Actually Do Anything

[ Posted Wednesday, March 30th, 2022 – 15:13 UTC ]

The only sin a Republican can commit these days that merits any sort of consequences from members of their own party seems to be to badmouth or otherwise cast aspersions on either (1) Donald Trump, or (2) any Republican politician in good standing with Donald Trump. This is the new GOP Rubicon, it seems. Falling afoul of this standard means shunning and perhaps excommunication from the Republican ranks, but anything short of it (and it's getting more and more obvious that they really do mean anything) might lead to a strong talking-to, at worst.

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