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Archive of Articles in the "Free Speech" Category

My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 27th, 2019 – 19:41 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second and final installment of our year-end awards columns! If you missed last week's column, you should probably check that out, too.

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Post-Debate Reactions

[ Posted Thursday, December 19th, 2019 – 23:12 UTC ]

Tonight we saw the sixth in the series of Democratic presidential debates, and my first and strongest impression is that I for one am glad the field is being narrowed. Seven on the stage was enough, in other words, for me.

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Friday Talking Points -- And Here We Are

[ Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2019 – 19:30 UTC ]

That title comes from Fiona Hill's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings this week. When Hill confronted Gordon Sondland over the quid pro quo Trump was forcing Ukraine into, she angrily told him: "This is all going to blow up." To which she added, to the congressmen questioning her: "And here we are."

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My Snap Reactions To The Fourth Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 00:37 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my snap reactions to the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held earlier on CNN. But this time I'm opting for a somewhat simpler format. I'm only giving personal reactions to five of the 12 candidates (which does include the three frontrunners). Then I'm going to give some reactions grouped loosely together, under categories such as "good argument / good delivery" or "amusing moments." We'll have to see whether this is a time-saver or not, in the end.

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Xi, Who Pays The Piper, Calls The Tune

[ Posted Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 – 17:10 UTC ]

I don't think I've ever used this column to comment on the world of basketball, but there's always a first time for everything. The National Basketball Association is currently struggling with a conflict between free speech and making piles of money in China. It is a struggle that many American corporations have faced before, and it boils down to one basic fact: if you want China's money, then you have to play by their rules, period. Chairman Xi is paying the piper, so he gets to call the tune. The concept is clear, and nobody's forcing any company to do business with China, but if any American company does want to tap into their billion-person market, then they've got to follow the Chinese rules for doing business there. And most of those rules are antithetical to democratic norms, which makes perfect sense because China is an authoritarian state.

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Friday Talking Points -- Cavuto Dumps On Trump!

[ Posted Friday, August 30th, 2019 – 19:02 UTC ]

You know things are getting bad in Trumpland when Our Dear Leader is openly attacking Fox News for not being servile enough.

In a series of angry tweets, Trump this week called Fox News "HOPELESS & CLUELESS" and ended his rant with:

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Trump Can't Have It Both Ways On Israel

[ Posted Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 – 17:09 UTC ]

In today's episode of "Irony Is Dead," we have a president who not only just committed the same sin he is accusing another of, but who then went on to flirt openly -- twice! -- with the concept that he should be deified.

Sigh. Just another day in Trumpworld....

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A Real Twitter War

[ Posted Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 17:15 UTC ]

A real Twitter war has now erupted. This is not a mere "tweetstorm," where people snipe at each other through Twitter messages, this is a dispute between Twitter itself and what looks to be the entire Republican Party election machine. How it all ends nobody knows, but it was almost inevitable that Twitter would eventually get sucked in to the partisan divide in one way or another. In this growing conflict, Twitter fired the first shot, by locking up Mitch McConnell's election site for posting a threatening video (the video was of protesters outside Mitch's house threatening him, so it wasn't like the campaign was threatening anyone else, in all fairness). The Republicans have returned fire by announcing they are pulling all election Twitter ad spending. So far, neither side has blinked.

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Friday Talking Points -- GOP Puts The Dog Whistles Away

[ Posted Friday, July 19th, 2019 – 17:24 UTC ]

Obviously, Donald Trump dominated the news this week, by going full-on racist. The Republican Party's reliance on "dog whistles" on racial issues is now no longer necessary, since the leader of the party has given everyone a green light to just go right ahead and publicly scream racist invective as loudly as possible. That was such a big story that it swamped all the other political news.

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It's SCOTUS Season Again

[ Posted Monday, June 17th, 2019 – 17:18 UTC ]

It's June, which means that it is Supreme Court season once again. The high court's session wraps up at the end of June each year, and they usually hold back the most contentious cases until the very end. This year, there are two such big cases that could change American politics for at least the next decade or so. But in the meantime, the court has announced a few other decisions worth examining for their political impact as well.

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