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Archive of Articles in the "Free Speech" Category

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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Friday Talking Points [461] -- "Berenstain Bear Democrats" Win The Day

[ Posted Friday, November 10th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

Democrats just had the first very good week they've had in an entire year. Tuesday night, they absolutely swept the board in the few elections that were held. Now, granted, this was an off-off-year election, so it's too soon to say whether this presages a Democratic wave (or even a Democratic tsunami) in next year's midterm elections, but that doesn't detract from the gains Democratic candidates made all over the map this week. Michael Murphy, a Republican political strategist, summed up the impact of Tuesday night thusly: "Donald Trump is an anchor for the GOP. We got that message in loud volume in Virginia. The canary in the coal mine didn't just pass out; its head exploded."

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Friday Talking Points [459] -- Deficits Don't Matter, Again (Neither Moral Nor Financial)

[ Posted Friday, October 27th, 2017 – 17:29 PDT ]

There's an easy test to see whether Republicans in Congress care about financial deficits: Is there a Democrat in the White House? If so, then deficits are so important that the situation requires threats of government shutdowns and defaulting on the national debt to fight deficit spending. However, if there's a Republican in the White House, then (as Dick Cheney so eloquently put it) "deficits don't matter." This was on full hypocritical display once again this week, as congressional Republicans voted to blow a $1.5 trillion hole in the national debt, so that the wealthy and big corporations can enjoy massive tax cuts.

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Nailing Scalps To The Newsroom Wall

[ Posted Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 – 17:02 PDT ]

The CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes and the Washington Post may have just clinched a Pulitzer Prize, for their bombshell reporting on how some bought-and-paid-for congressmen did the bidding of Big Pharma for campaign cash and, as a direct result, made the opioid crisis in America worse by limiting the enforcement powers of the Drug Enforcement Agency. But, Pulitzer consideration aside, they've already won an even-more-impressive award: a politician's scalp, metaphorically nailed to the newsroom wall. The television show and the companion print articles appeared Sunday. Tuesday morning, the White House announced that former Representative Tom Marino had been withdrawn from consideration for the job of running the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- a job more commonly referred to as "the drug czar."

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Friday Talking Points [457] -- Buck-Passer In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 13th, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

On Harry Truman's desk famously sat a sign which proudly proclaimed: "The Buck Stops Here." If Donald Trump had such an item, it might read: "Buck-Passer In Chief." His governing style (if it can even be dignified as such) is to cause a crisis on his own, and then dump the entire problem on Congress to deal with. Because we all know what masterful problem-solvers the Republican-led Congress are, or something. This could lead to utter disaster on many fronts, within the next few months.

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Friday Talking Points [451] -- Riders On The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 1st, 2017 – 17:45 PDT ]

Donald Trump began last week (as we measure time here, from Friday deadline to Friday deadline) by pardoning a racist sheriff who had been convicted (but not even sentenced yet) of ignoring the Constitution and defying the federal courts. Trump announced this just as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, in the hopes that nobody but his base would notice. He also sent formal instructions to the Pentagon to begin turning away transgendered Americans who want to serve their country, also in the hopes that few would notice. In the midst of all this "news dump" frenzy, Steve Bannon's acolyte Sebastian Gorka was unceremoniously shown the door at the White House. That all happened late in the day last Friday, so for us it was a fairly jaw-dropping start to the week.

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Distracted Reporting

[ Posted Monday, August 28th, 2017 – 16:31 PDT ]

On Friday, President Donald Trump attempted a trick many previous U.S. presidents have used to good effect, and so far at least it seems to be working out for Trump quite well. The trick is to get sensitive news out late on a Friday, in the hopes that the American public (and the press) will be so distracted by the weekend that the story will have much less impact than it normally would have. Really bad news is usually released right before a three-day holiday weekend, so it'll have even less reach and an even-smaller impact. Trump took this to another level last Friday, by releasing some contentious news right in the midst of the biggest hurricane to hit the U.S. in over a decade.

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Friday Talking Points [450] -- A Ping-Pong Flip-Flop Week

[ Posted Friday, August 25th, 2017 – 17:42 PDT ]

Donald Trump ping-ponged his way from being TelePrompTer Trump to being The Real Unfiltered Trump (and then back again) this week. It started off with a rather amazing flip-flop, as Trump essentially admitted that everything he's ever said or thought about Afghanistan was wrong. Not unlike Arthur Fonzarelli, Trump's mouth couldn't actually form the words "I was wrong," but the admission was still there for all to see.

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Friday Talking Points [449] -- Cleanup On Aisle Trump

[ Posted Friday, August 18th, 2017 – 17:39 PDT ]

Welcome back to Friday Talking Points! Let's see... anything big happen in the two weeks while we were away?

We're kidding, of course. The flood of sewage from Donald Trump's mouth was so pervasive, it was downright impossible to ignore it from anywhere on the planet. So last week we watched in fear as Trump got in a shoving match with Kim Jong Un, and this week we remained agape while Trump told us what he really feels about people who march with swastikas while screaming about Jews -- that they're "very fine people."

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Trump's Tailspin

[ Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 – 15:30 PDT ]

So, America, are we tired of all that "winning" yet?

Yes, that was a facetious question, intended to point out that America is not so much tired of "winning" right now as it is increasingly tired of President Donald Trump's antics. Because his presidency just keeps right on hitting new lows, on a weekly basis (sometimes on a daily basis, in fact). Every time you think: "Well, he certainly can never top that one," he roars back to set the bar even lower, oftentimes with jaw-dropping impact.

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