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December 16th, 2017

Does “Smart” Barbie Look a Little Heavier?

The latest barrage of sexual assault and harassment allegations against men has me thinking and viewing the world differently. As it should. A friend sent me this picture of two Barbies. There’s the “scientist” Barbie and “ice skater” Barbie. They are both attractive representations, but the scientist Barbie seems to be dressed more modestly, and …

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December 14th, 2017

The Tax Bill: Sausage Getting Made

If there’s anything certain in politics, it’s this: politics always wins. The GOP Tax bill first promised big cuts for the middle-class, then scared a lot of Americans with the threat of draconian cuts in long established areas, and now is positioned to do as originally intended; provide tax relief for corporations. To be sure, …

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December 14th, 2017

Sandy Hook and the Right to Life

Five years ago I was standing at the altar of a church. I was the Sunday morning guest speaker. The minister had the day off. I had my sermon prepared of course. It was about Christmas, and the beautiful metaphor of seeing God in the form of a tiny child. But a few days earlier, …

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December 13th, 2017

When “They” Lose, Do “You” Win?

The Democratic party had a great Tuesday, or maybe the GOP had a horrific one. Is there a difference? Politics is like those geometry tests where the two trains are heading for a crash. You just have to calculate when. In the case of Jones vs Alabama, GOP voters rejected Moore. And in doing so, …

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December 13th, 2017

A Victory For Old Fashioned Democratic Party Politics

As the smoke clears from last night’s bellwether election in Alabama, one thing is clear — this is a victory for old fashioned mainstream Democratic Party politics. From Tom Perez and the DNC all the way down to the newest kid walking precincts and working the phones, Doug Jones’s thin margin of victory was hard-won …

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December 12th, 2017

The War On Christmas? Sign Me Up!

Spoiler alert: Santa is “Fake News.” I’m kidding of course, although in this political climate, who knows? How did Christmas get so complicated? I love Christmas, but I still say Holidays. Not because I’m afraid of offending my Jewish, Muslim, or Christian friends; I say “Happy Holidays” just to tweak Republicans who think I’m being …

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December 10th, 2017

The Washington Post and Trump’s Small Hands

The Washington Post has been on the front lines of a political battle with a President before, but has acknowledged that these are unique times. Tweets, Facebook, Russian bots and Trump’s own Pravda, FOX news, have made it even harder, not to accurately report the news, but to battle Trump’s claims to the contrary. Almost …

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December 9th, 2017

When Gods Collide

Our more adamant Christian friends defensively remind us that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Then they load their kids up in the SUV and take them to the mall to see Santa. “It’s tradition,” they say. It certainly is. In religious studies there’s a word for this. It’s called henotheism. You’ve heard of …

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December 8th, 2017

Diversity Our Greatest Strength Against GOP

A Republican congressman says “diversity” is not a strength. He says it’s “common sense.” Well, what do you expect from a white, middle aged man from the mid-west? Actually, all of evolutionary science says the opposite. The only thing to survive a nuclear war will be cockroaches (and possibly my student debt), and that’s because …

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December 8th, 2017

Give Peace A Chance. Again

John Lennon wasn’t my hero. I was too young for the Beatles; they “retired” in 1970. I heard their music over the years, but it didn’t resonate. The Beatle who died 37 years ago today was an enigma to a teenage boy growing up as a musician. Instead of wallowing in excess, he married this …

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December 8th, 2017

What’s Wrong With Democrats is Also What’s Right With Democrats

There’s an old saying in politics – Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. And it’s never been truer. All of my left-leaning friends, people who normally agree about everything, are deeply divided over the Al Franken resignation. Facebook and other social media platforms were a veritable blood bath yesterday as Democrats passionately argued …

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December 7th, 2017

Democrats Take The High Road, After All Else Fails

An Alabaman church is comparing Roy Moore’s accusers to the Romans and going on to compare Moore’s plight to the guy for whom after they named their church. Here’s the problem with that logic; JC didn’t fondle 14 year-olds. And to quote a t-shirt from the 70’s, “Jesus is coming, and boy is he pissed!” …

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December 7th, 2017

Al Franken, Bill Clinton, and the End of Silent Complicity

Al Franken left all of us Democrats in an untenable and unseemly position — to have to again and again attempt to make distinctions between the relative severity of various forms of sexual misconduct. “Well yeah, that was bad, but this other thing’s worse…” I for one am sick of differentiating between forced kissing, unwelcome …

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December 6th, 2017

What’s at Stake in the Gay Cake Case

Today the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments pro and con about a Colorado baker’s alleged right to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. LGBT advocates and allies argue that no American can legally be discriminated against for their innate, inherent qualities, like race, gender, height, or sexual orientation. You can …

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December 6th, 2017

When Moore Wins, Blame Franken

We are not an incredibly sophisticated country. By that I mean we live in the literal, where nuance goes to die. Where Americans deny the existence of time because the hands of a clock move with a grace and subtlety that escapes their lazy gaze. Where a Donald Trump can wrap his vitriolic hate in …

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December 5th, 2017

Will The Real GOP Please Stand Up?

Note: I’m burying the lead, but follow me. With all of the talk of obstruction and the legal maneuvering it will take to end this Faustian nightmare, one thing to remember is Roy Moore. Just two weeks ago, McConnell and Co denounced Moore as a predator. They actually said “predator.” They discussed how they would …

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December 2nd, 2017

No Collusion? Let’s Define it First

Trump denies he colluded with Russians. So what is collusion? Collusion is among other things an agreement between two or more parties to obtain an objective forbidden by law. That sounds pretty straightforward. So let’s go back to the Manafort, Kushner, Trump Jr. meeting at the Trump tower in June, 2016, when Trump Jr. expressed …

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December 2nd, 2017

Boycott San Francisco or Boycott The Facts?

There’s a small, but emotional group of Americans who are upset at the Kate Steinle verdict and are calling for a boycott of San Francisco. The problem is they’re boycotting the wrong things. The jury that found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder, considered the facts and returned with the only verdict they could. …

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December 2nd, 2017

The White House Xmas Party? I Won’t Be Attending.

The annual White House Christmas party for reporters is always worthy of a few jokes. During the course of the year a popular joke among the press corps is “Man you pissed them off. You won’t get an invitation to the Christmas party.” Apparently April Ryan, the African American reporter from American Urban Radio Networks, …

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December 2nd, 2017

Whataboutism and the Death of Political Discourse

If you’re a politics-watcher like me, you need to know about whataboutism. It’s spreading like a cancer and threatening the most vibrant and crucial component of our democracy — dispassionate, accurate, and rational discourse. Invented by the Nazis and perfected by the propaganda arm of the Soviet-era KGB, whataboutism is a rhetorical tactic more traditionally …

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December 16th, 2017

CBS

Roy Moore Cries Election Fraud and Launches “Election Integrity Fund”

Roy Moore lost fair and square the old fashioned way, by not getting enough votes. But that’s not stopping him from whining like a little bitch and crying for his momma. Even though his ideological overlord President Trump has called on him to concede, he refuses. Instead, he’s taking to the airwaves and hinting at election fraud, turning his defeat into a fundraising opportunity. Give now to his “election integrity fund!” If for no other reason than pure entertainment value. This is getting hilarious.

December 16th, 2017

Huffington Post

Trump Banning Words In Science

Banning valid terminology from government reports is both ignorant and dangerous,” Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University’s School of Medicine, told HuffPost in an email. “Not since Lysenko and Stalin has government made hate, malice and duplicity official policy. The Trump administration with its seven-dirty-words policy has now elevated lying to a national standard.

“We cannot replace truth with bias – the nation cannot survive a steady diet of bullshit.”

December 12th, 2017

business insider

Roy Moore: What He Wants In His Foxhole

Roy Moore is not afraid to drag out old cliches. He recently said “I know we do not need transgender in our military. If I’m in a foxhole, I don’t want to know whether this guy next to me is wondering if he’s a woman or a man.”

Well, it’s a cliche. And it’s old. But seeing Roy Moore with anything older than 14 years is a good start. But the fox hole metaphor has been used to discriminate against blacks, Jews, and women. And vets like Moore know the truth. If you’re really in a firefight, and you’re worrying about another man’s package, the problem’s with you.

December 11th, 2017

daily beast

Perfect Timing – GOP Tax Bill Cuts Deduction for Wildfire Losses

As wildfires rage throughout California, back in Washington Republican lawmakers have eliminated the deduction for property losses due to wildfires or other natural disasters. I know California didn’t vote for Trump, and is overwhelmingly Democratic, but seriously? This feels personal.

As the Thomas Fire, the fifth largest fire in American history, continues to rage this morning, threatening Santa Barbara, and as images of hundreds of lost homes, dead horses, and tens of thousands of displaced Californians fill the news feeds, the timing could not have been worse. Sure am glad the Republicans in Washington are taking away a nominal tax break for regular people suffering the worst days of their lives so that the richest corporations and individuals can have more money they don’t need.

Inside the Beltway