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Maybe Al Franken Should Run Again

[ Posted Thursday, December 7th, 2017 – 18:03 PST ]

Today was a sad day for progressives, as Al Franken took to the floor of the Senate to announce he will be stepping down from his seat due to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct which have been made against him. Franken was seen by many as one of the best newcomers to politics in the past decade, an intelligent and unrelenting voice strongly supporting a very progressive agenda. So his loss is felt more deeply than some other random Democratic senator (who was a lot less well-known) would have been. Franken was even being talked about as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but that now seems like an impossibility. However, even before the news broke yesterday that Franken was on the brink of resigning, I've been wondering about a larger argument being made -- that of whether the voters aren't the ultimate jury for such allegations against politicians. Which, today, brings me to the question of whether Al Franken might just redeem himself politically by running for the seat he will soon be vacating when it comes up again for election, in 2020.

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Kelly Exit Contest!

[ Posted Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 – 15:05 PDT ]

We haven't had one of these for awhile, but at this point I think everyone could use a distraction. The contest's rules are simple: pick the day when General John Kelly will exit his job as White House chief of staff. Bonus points are possible if you correctly pick the method of his exit (fired in a Trump rage, got so disgusted he had to go, caught in a compromising position with Russians/prostitutes/Ryan Lizza, etc.).

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Friday Talking Points [421] -- Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2017 – 17:47 PST ]

We know there's that pesky clause in the Constitution and all, but doesn't it seem like today would have been more appropriate for Donald Trump's inauguration? That's our way of saying "Happy Friday the 13th" to everyone, we should point out. Ahem.

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Friday Talking Points [367] -- Hillary's Very Good Week

[ Posted Friday, October 23rd, 2015 – 16:55 PDT ]

Hillary Clinton just had the best week of her campaign yet. Not only did she shine at the Benghazi hearing yesterday, three of her Democratic opponents dropped out of the presidential nomination race. Joe Biden was never actually in the race, but his announcement that he wouldn't run was more significant than Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee ending their campaigns. This leaves Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, and Lawrence Lessig. Of those four, only Sanders and Clinton have any chance at winning the nomination, and Hillary's doing better in the polls than Sanders. So, all in all, a very good week for Hillary Clinton.

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Reactions To D.E.A. Chief Michele Leonhart's Resignation

[ Posted Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 – 17:49 PDT ]

Yesterday, the news broke that the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Michele Leonhart, will be resigning her post. Leonhart has long been controversial, openly contradicting the White House and President Obama at times. She was seen as out of step since both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have moved the federal stance on marijuana closer to the new reality of states now legalizing it for adult recreational use. But it wasn't her controversial positions that forced her ouster, it was instead the news that D.E.A. agents in Colombia had been accepting from the drug cartels themselves not just gifts of fancy weapons but also "sex parties" with strippers and prostitutes. This, obviously, is unacceptable behavior.

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Friday Talking Points [342] -- Chasing The Scooby Van

[ Posted Friday, April 17th, 2015 – 17:11 PDT ]

Strange but true, the "Scooby van" is now part of our political lexicon. Hillary Clinton herself is apparently to blame for this one, as this was the playful name she came up with for the van she used to get from New York to Iowa this week. The media, as it will be doing for the next year and a half over pretty much any new aspect of Hillary Clinton's campaign (and we do mean "any new aspect at all -- even the laughably trivial"), quite predictably, freaked out.

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Friday Talking Points [341] -- Jeb Bush, Hispanic?

[ Posted Friday, April 10th, 2015 – 16:31 PDT ]

So, apparently, Jeb Bush used to think he was Hispanic. At least, that's the box he checked when he registered to vote, a few years back. While immediately created much online amusement (my favorite: "It's pronounced 'Heb' Bush"), it does raise an interesting but tangential question -- and not just for Bush -- in the upcoming presidential primary process: Do Republican ballots in all states require full legal names for candidates?

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Friday Talking Points [302] -- Give America A Raise!

[ Posted Friday, May 2nd, 2014 – 16:55 PDT ]

There was a lot of political news this week, most of it pretty good for Democrats. In the Senate, Democrats forced Republicans to filibuster a minimum wage bill (more on that in a bit), and then the week ended with some very good news in the unemployment numbers.

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The History Of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And The F.B.I.

[ Posted Monday, January 20th, 2014 – 18:41 PST ]

Almost immediately after Martin Luther King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Council (S.C.L.C.) in 1957, the F.B.I. began a trail of internal memos warning that the group was "a likely target for communist infiltration." Within a year, King had his own personal F.B.I. file. But it wasn't until 1962 that surveillance of King would be ratcheted up -- which was approved personally by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. By November of 1963, all of King's phones -- both at home and at the S.C.L.C.'s offices -- would be wiretapped.

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Friday Talking Points [255] -- Helium Brains

[ Posted Friday, April 26th, 2013 – 17:35 PDT ]

That was all a prelude to the breaking news today: "Congress moves at lightspeed, to fix a problem that would have hit them personally, as they take yet another weeklong vacation instead of doing the nation's business." Could've knocked me over with a feather. Ahem.

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