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Archive of Articles in the "2024 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- GOP Defunded The Tax Police

[ Posted Friday, July 16th, 2021 – 17:00 UTC ]

There were two interesting developments in the congressional sausage-making process this week, both of which Democrats should immediately adopt as their main messages for the next week or so.

The first was that Senators Bernie Sanders and Mark Warner announced they had come to a compromise on the reconciliation bill which will fund the lion's share of President Joe Biden's economic agenda. They settled on a total figure of $3.5 trillion in new spending, which is far less than Bernie's original goal of $6 trillion (just for this bill alone), but also far more than the opening bid of the fiscally-conservative Democrats, which was in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range. It also will mean that Biden got the exact total he asked for in his "three-legged stool" of economic legislation. His first big legislative achievement (the American Rescue Plan) spent $1.9 trillion, and the bipartisan infrastructure deal represents $0.6 trillion more, which will mean a grand total of $6 trillion for all three -- which is exactly what Biden asked for in the first place.

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Friday Talking Points -- America Is Back

[ Posted Friday, June 18th, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

President Joe Biden had a pretty good week all around. He began the week in Europe, where he met with the leaders of NATO, the European Union, the G7, a few royals (just to mix things up), and Vladimir Putin. That's a pretty packed schedule, but Biden seemed to manage just fine. The Europeans were both visibly thrilled and massively relieved to be visited by a United States president who was, once again, a sane adult (and not a petulant little child-man). They heaped praise upon Biden -- mostly just for being "President Not-Trump." You may laugh, but please recall President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize solely for being "President Not-Dubya," years earlier. But more seriously, Europe announced some deals with Biden (including, notably, a truce being called on the subsidy war over Boeing and Airbus airplanes). Not only were personal relationships either reaffirmed or begun, tangible diplomatic progress was made. Europe stood as one with the United States over the contentious issues of Russia and China, which only strengthened Biden's position for his meeting with Putin. The Putin summit didn't produce a whole lot in the way of tangible deliverables, but then again it didn't produce an American president willing to believe Russia's ex-K.G.B. leader over his own intelligence services either, so it has to be chalked up as a major improvement. Throughout it all, Biden stuck to one very simple slogan that summed up what his trip was supposed to be showcasing to the world: "America is back."

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Manchin Should Sit Down With McConnell

[ Posted Monday, June 14th, 2021 – 16:19 UTC ]

The two most powerful men on Capitol Hill should really sit down and have a talk with each other. It'd be risky, but maybe it's the only way the situation could improve. Senator Joe Manchin should invite Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lunch, and the two should spend the entire time talking about the concept of bipartisanship. Of course, the risk involved in this strategy would be if McConnell instead actually talked Manchin into switching parties (which has to be considered a real possibility, at this point). But the benefit could be Manchin coming to a new understanding of how there just is never going to be any bipartisanship on the budget, on voting rights, on the 1/6 commission, or on just about anything else of any importance at all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Bipartisan Kabuki's Last Act

[ Posted Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 17:43 UTC ]

The ushers are flashing the lights in the lobby. Intermission is over, and the last act of the "Bipartisan Infrastructure Kabuki" extravaganza is about to begin. Actually, truth be told, we were among those who thought this play would be over by now, but apparently a final act was hastily added at the last minute, for no real apparent reason.

President Joe Biden called Senator Shelley Moore Caputo today, in what most view as the final negotiation attempt which will try to hammer together a compromise infrastructure package that 10 Republican senators will actually vote for. Biden is, in essence, making his final offer. It is eminently reasonable, considering where the two sides started from, but that doesn't mean it will have any chance of success, since Republicans are really just trying to run the clock out and stall for as long as they can get away with before they admit to the world that there simply is no infrastructure bill that 10 Republican senators are ever going to vote for -- at least not while a Democrat sits in the Oval Office.

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The Incredible Shrinking Trump

[ Posted Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 15:52 UTC ]

The biggest thing America gained with the election of President Joe Biden was the freedom to ignore Donald Trump once again. And it seems, with each passing day, that more and more people are happily exercising that freedom. Trump is fading. Call him the incredible shrinking Donald Trump. This was what went through my mind upon hearing the news that Trump's personal blog/website (all it ever really was, despite Trump touting it as a "a new social media platform") had turned out the lights and disappeared from the internet. It didn't even survive three Scaramuccis, which is a pretty short life span indeed for something Trump had promised would rival Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media platforms which had evicted Trump from their sites. A month later, Twitter, Facebook and the rest of them are doing just fine, while Trump's site is dark after only 29 days, due to lack of interest.

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Florida's Affront To The First Amendment (Part 2)

[ Posted Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 – 16:57 UTC ]

We now have to jump forward to what the state of Florida is attempting to do, with their new law. Florida is run by Republicans and its governor is widely reported to be considering an eventual presidential run. He's always been a big supporter of Donald Trump and so the state Republicans have taken up the insistence on the right that somehow social media platforms banning conservatives is some sort of tyrannical outrage that must be stopped by governmental intervention. In this one area -- social media and Big Tech in general -- Republicans are for all the regulations they can impose, which obviously runs counter to their longstanding drive to remove as many regulations on as many corporations as possible. So far, though, Republicans don't seem to have any ideological opposition to more and more regulations in this one area, and it's doubtful they ever will.

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Friday Talking Points -- Welcome To Cloud Cuckoo Land

[ Posted Friday, May 14th, 2021 – 18:03 UTC ]

The Republican Party has officially divorced itself from reality. They have, quite simply, moved their headquarters to Cloud Cuckoo Land. Any among their ranks who do not swear fealty to the fantastic lies they now believe must be either shunned or expelled. That is the state of one of the two major American political parties, in the twenty-first century.

Normally, such a development would be a reason for glee among the other political party, but this is not merely a matter of Republicans believing that the world is flat, the moon is made of green cheese, or tax cuts always pay for themselves -- no, this is no mere pedestrian fantasyland they have now taken up residence within. This is far more dangerous.

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Friday Talking Points -- Jim Crow In The 21st Century

[ Posted Saturday, March 27th, 2021 – 08:27 UTC ]

We're going to start off in a rather inane fashion today, by noting that we were slightly confused at one point during President Joe Biden's first formal press conference yesterday. Biden was speaking about the alarming movement in over 85 percent of the states to curtail voting rights. But he tried to introduce a new term or metaphor and we have to admit we're still not sure what he really meant. Here's what Biden said about the voter-suppression efforts: "This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle." Which begs the question: is "Jim Eagle" a good thing or a bad thing?

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Biden's First Presser

[ Posted Thursday, March 25th, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

Without having read much of what anyone else though about President Joe Biden's first formal press conference today, I'm going to just write my reactions down cold. This is always an amusing test for me, just to see if anyone else picked up on the same things I did.

Heading in, I had fairly low expectations for Biden. I'm not sure why this is, perhaps some of the angsty stories I've read in the political media over the past few weeks have rubbed off. Biden annoyed the press corps by waiting longer to hold his first press conference than any other modern president, so for the past few weeks they've been doing some endless navel-gazing about it all.

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InstaTrump!

[ Posted Monday, March 22nd, 2021 – 17:13 UTC ]

Joe Biden has been president for over two months now. And, so far, the most momentous development in his presidency has been the result of something which happened a few weeks before he even took the oath. Because, throughout his entire term in office so far, Biden has been able to completely and utterly ignore Donald Trump. His absence from Twitter and Facebook and all the rest of the social media universe has rendered Trump completely irrelevant to the day-to-day political conversation. Which has allowed Biden the elbow room he needs to get his job done. And, from what one Trump spokesman just said, it looks like this period of lying low is going to continue for at least two or three more months.

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