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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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Friday Talking Points -- The Party With No Shame

[ Posted Friday, May 28th, 2021 – 17:54 UTC ]

The Republican Party continued its downward slide into shamelessness today, as they successfully used the Senate's filibuster to block a bill which would have created an independent commission to investigate the unprecedented attack on the United States Capitol (by insurrectionists who wanted to stop Congress from officially declaring the winner of the presidential election, because they didn't like the election's result). Six Republicans voted for the measure, and one more has said he would have if he had been present. Forty-eight Democrats voted for it, and assumably the two who were absent (Patty Murray and Kyrsten Sinema) would also have voted to approve the measure. But that only adds up to a possible total of 57, which still would have left the bill three votes short of the necessary 60. An odd footnote: the final vote (54-35) actually represented 60.7 percent of the senators who were actually present for it -- but that's not the way the filibuster rules work.

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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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Vaccine Passports Already Exist

[ Posted Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 – 15:25 UTC ]

Every so often, a political issue rises to the fore and I just have to scratch my head and wonder at the sheer stupidity of it all. Not often -- usually even when an idea I don't agree with gains traction in the political debate, I can at least see the other side's reasoning. In other words, I may not agree with the proposed solution, but at least I can understand where the other side is coming from. But the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to more just flat-out stupid political fights than anything else in recent memory. Wearing a face mask is somehow a political statement? What a monumentally stupid idea! Last year, most of this came straight from the top, right out of the Oval Office. But Donald Trump is now just a sad shadow of his former political presence (he's taken to crashing weddings at his resort to whine about how put-upon he is politically, which is pretty sad indeed). So this time it's just free-floating Republican (or Libertarian) craziness.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden About To Get A Big Win

[ Posted Friday, March 5th, 2021 – 17:53 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is about to have a very good month. The Senate is on the brink of passing (after all the Republican time-wasting obstacles are cleared) a mammoth $1.9 trillion pandemic recovery bill. The White House has taken to calling it the "Rescue Plan." It is wildly popular with the public. Next week, the House will pass the same version and Biden will likely sign it immediately thereafter. It will be the first big legislative victory for the president and the Democratic Congress.

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Here To Help

[ Posted Thursday, March 4th, 2021 – 18:05 UTC ]

There's an old and now-dated joke that is the genesis of that headline. The setup to the joke is the question: "What are the three greatest lies in America?" The punchline is: "(1.) The check is in the mail, (2.) I will respect you in the morning, and (3.) I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

I am reminded of this now because of a confluence of disparate issues, from Democrats bolstering the rights of transgendered people to the reaction to the news that the publisher of the Dr. Seuss canon will not be publishing six of his books anymore because of racially insensitive depictions. And a lot of other unrelated things, as well, such as Donald Trump railing about seemingly mundane issues like toilets and lightbulbs and dishwashers. Many of these things are now being lumped together politically as a conservative crusade against "cancel culture."

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Trump's Big Lies Will Get A Lot Smaller Now

[ Posted Monday, January 18th, 2021 – 17:35 UTC ]

The mainstream media is finally using the correct terms to describe Donald Trump's efforts to overthrow an American election. The outbreak of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol apparently was enough for them to start calling a lie a lie. And not just a lie, but (as many journalists are now admitting) a Big Lie.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Disgusting Supporters

[ Posted Friday, September 18th, 2020 – 17:35 UTC ]

Olivia Troye used to be a high-level staffer for Vice President Mike Pence, and she worked closely with him on the coronavirus task force which he led. She recently quit in disgust and went public this week with her support for Joe Biden (in yet another "Republican Voters Against Trump" video). The most damning thing she had to say about the president was the following:

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Friday Talking Points -- How Low Can Trump Go?

[ Posted Friday, September 11th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

Another week, another stunning revelation about the dishonesty and shallowness of our president, it seems. Last week, you'll remember, it was the low regard Trump held ("suckers" and "losers") for American soldiers who died in wartime, American soldiers who were wounded ("nobody wants to see that"), and American soldiers and veterans in general. This week, Bob Woodward leaked a few key excerpts (backed up by audio recordings) from his upcoming book Rage, which showed that Trump understood how serious the coronavirus was going to be and then lied to the American public about it. There simply is no bottom, with Trump -- every time you think that he's reached the lowest of the low, he will once again prove that he can go even lower.

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