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So, That Happened: Congress Delivered Its State Of Disarray

Jason Linkins | January 25, 2015 | Politics
In last week's speech, the most newsworthy moment came when the president emphasized the importance of what he called "middle-class economics." The quick, hot take was that by doing so, Obama was opening a new round of combat with Republicans.

Bob McDonnell's Trial Comes To Merciful End, But The Weirdness And The Shame Remain

Jason Linkins | November 6, 2014 | Politics
So, that happened: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) career as a professional defendant has finished its first big story arc, with he and wife Maureen being convicted of 20 counts of corruption between them.

10 Things You Need To Know About Julian Castro If You'd Like To Be Somewhat Informed

Jason Linkins | July 23, 2014 | Politics
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has been nominated to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. What's to be said about this? Well, over at the Washington Post, The Fix hooks you up with "The 10 things you need to know about Julian Castro." This must be a misprint, because the article goes on to relate 10 very inessential and/or inconsequential things about Castro. For example, did you know that he has a twin brother? Or that he does not speak Spanish? Here's a hot scoop: Castro could one day be the first Hispanic president of the United States, according to this one guy who said so once, unless of course someone else becomes the first Hispanic president of the United States. The whole "who will be the first Hispanic president of the United States" thing is really sort of up in the air at the moment.

Republican Senators Promise To Work Five Whole Days A Week If Elected

Jason Linkins | July 2, 2014 | Politics
Good news for people who hate lawmakers giving themselves three-day weekends on the regular! According to Politico, should the Republicans win back the Senate in 2014, they "are vowing to reinstate the five-day workweek." It's a supreme sacrifice that would leave the U.S. Senate with the same workweek as many normal human Americans -- at least the ones who haven't been cowed by their employers into giving up their weekends, which is a new thing that some lawmakers want to help facilitate. There are a lot of schools of thought on whether or not lawmakers should spend more time in Washington, D.C. One theory is that if our Congresscritters actually brought their families to Washington and spent the weekends here, they all might spend more time together socially, would develop more cordial relationships, and thus be less inclined to screw each other over and insult one another all the time.

Here Is Why You're Not Making It In America: Your Sunday Morning Conversation

Jason Linkins | June 13, 2014 | Politics
Is the United States a strong nation? There's a notion that it is, of course -- based mainly on the disruptive philosophical underpinnings upon which this country was established. But these are all really the fumes of nostalgia. What else is there? Well, we have the best fleet of aerial drone death-dealers in the world (for now). Certainly our fast-food accomplishments are second to none. And our Reality Teevee Industry remains one of the more successful and innovative welfare programs in the world, lifting individuals with no evident utility to the human race -- and who would quite likely be pushed into ditches to die in lesser nations -- into the warm embrace of the Fame Economy.

Dear America, 'Meet The Press' Wants To Meet You: Your Sunday Morning Conversation

Jason Linkins | June 6, 2014 | Politics
For years and years, anyone who tuned in to America's Sunday morning political chat shows was invited into a world of cloistered elites whose understanding of the impacts of public policy ended at the bank of the Potomac River. It was a realm in which a massive unemployment crisis that swept across post-crash America was only perceived to affect a group of affluent political celebrities and their electoral hopes. 'Will the terrible Senator What's-His-Nuts lose his ability to go on naming post offices after his cronies' children, or will he be forced to accept six-figure salaries on K Street or through meaningless board positions at useless foundations?'

Mark Halperin Has A Sudden Flash Of Insight, Takes To Twitter

Jason Linkins | May 21, 2014 | Politics
It was in the wan light of a morning still sleepily breaking into the day to come that the idea occurred to him. It was a thought, a notion, that first seemed to be slowly ambling into his consciousness, and then was suddenly there, all at once, like a flood of unfamiliar beliefs. He struggled to understand this new concept welling up in his imagination. A full approximation of its significance was not something he was constitutionally able to achieve in the split-second that was afforded him by this new insight before its insistent demands for concrete realization compelled him -- with the same instinctual needfulness that a worn-out body would seek to put down a heavy load in order to obtain a sweet, spare moment of relaxation -- to get this flash of perception out of his mind and into the world. So he quickly turned to Twitter.

Turns Out The Ohio Chrysler Plant Deemed Doomed In 2012 Is Not So Doomed After All

Jason Linkins | May 14, 2014 | Politics
The Toledo Blade's Tyrel Linkhorn reported Friday that a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, is having itself a pretty terrific year. Chrysler is planning on hiring 'up to 1,000 part-time employees for the Toledo Assembly complex' in order to give their full-timers a break. Those full-timers have been 'regularly working 60 hours a week,' racing to keep up with 'record demand for the Jeep Wrangler and the launch of the new Jeep Cherokee last year.' Chrysler's already been through a round of hiring part-timers: 50 of the 380 they've brought in have had their positions converted to full-time. And both management and the union are content with this arrangement.

Let's Do It! Let's Raise The Minimum Wage! Your Sunday Morning Conversation

Jason Linkins | April 25, 2014 | Politics
This week, the Congressional Budget Office has once again proven itself an able newsmaker, issuing a report scoring the economic impact of a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. And once again, the CBO has produced a reality-based mixed bag.

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Long-Term Unemployed: Your Sunday Morning Conversation

Jason Linkins | April 4, 2014 | Politics
this weeding out of the long-term unemployed is occurring because of some sort of blanket heuristic being applied to pools of job applicants, in which "long-term unemployed" is getting equated with "weakest candidate." Let's face it: Even when the job market has boomed, an applicant with a long gap in work history would likely draw some scrutiny.

PolitiFact 'Lie of The Year': 'If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It'

Jason Linkins | February 12, 2014 | Politics
It's end of the year honors time, here in the media, and with it comes another round of remembering the most dubious political achievements of 2013. Over at PolitiFact, that means it's time for the "Lie Of The Year" -- a dishonor they've been bestowing since 2009, without managing to particularly discourage people from lying. There are years where PolitiFact whiffs rather badly, but this year, they get a lay-up.

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | January 24, 2014 | Politics
Today is going to be weird because last night some sort of complicated diplomatic arrangement with Iran was reached in Geneva, Switzerland and so we awake today in a world in which Sunday's simpletons will break it down and probably Bill Kristol weeps because what about bombing Iran for sport? It will be a weird day, watching people with a mostly flash-card education grapple with a serious thing that happened with such very little time to spare. (Maybe that's why there's no "Meet The Press" today? Their brains got hurted?)

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | January 23, 2014 | Media
Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week's edition of me staring dead-eyed into the television as a gaggle of human wreckage prattle about politics without mentioning all of the people who are losing their SNAP benefits around the holidays and stuff like that. My name is Jason. It looks like today is going to feature widespread Kennedy-era nostalgia, which will probably solve everything, I bet. I'm not entirely immune -- I just read "Dallas 1963" by Bill Minutaglio and Steven Davis, and if you like cynicism and love eerie parallels, then that is the book for you.

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | January 23, 2014 | Media
Today, as you may know, is one of the precious high holy days of the Sunday Morning political television show calendar, the holiest being French Open Sunday, when Meet The Press does not air and many, many angels get their jetpacks. Today is the end of Daylight Saving, when we all get the precious hour that was stolen from us for no good reason back, and we can sleep in one additional hour before we must rise from our slumber and subject ourselves to these terrors. Mitt Romney is going to be interviewed on one of these shows, because cutting-edge relevance. So the punishment continues. But we have at least reclaimed our hour.

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | December 27, 2013 | Media
To those of you who gather here each week to just hang out with one another and get your own valuable Sunday conversation going on in the comments and elsewhere, that here's a space for you all to jam if that's what your heart desires.

On Libya, Winning Debate On Semantics, Missing The Point: The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup For Oct. 19

Jason Linkins | December 20, 2012 | Politics
One final note on this: we were a little dumbstruck by the number of people who commented that Obama had managed to definitively parry the issue or put Libya to bed. No, no! It really is more than what phrases were used in certain speeches, we're afraid. There is a whole debate coming on Monday, exclusively about foreign policy. That debate's moderator, Bob Schieffer, is absolutely going to want to earn his stripes. He will absolutely re-raise the question. If he doesn't he will be pilloried. So the matter has not been put to bed. Hopefully, Schieffer will manage to steer the discussion to more substantive grounds.

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | November 9, 2012 | Media
Could anyone have turned things around in four years, better than has been done by the Obama administration. Hubbard says no. He says that Romney is awesome though, and Obama is terrible, so what are you going to do, America?

Someone Will Win The 2012 Election In A Landslide, Unless They Don't, Say People

Jason Linkins | October 7, 2012 | Politics
If I had just 30 words to describe the state of the 2012 race, I would say, "Obama holds a narrow but not insurmountable lead, and the lousy state of the economy offers Romney a better than average chance to win a close race." That would leave me with three words, which I would donate to a worthy charity. But even if I had several hundred words to describe the state of the race, I probably would not describe it as an imminent "landslide." At least not in August of 2012. But Dick Morris, who primarily exists as a counteragent to Clinton-era nostalgia, is doing just that, because he's seen "numbers" that are more "real" than other, less "real" numbers, and these hypothetically add up to a Romney "landslide"

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins | October 5, 2012 | Media
DWS says that Congress cares more about defeating the President than putting Americans back to work. GSteph asks about the Federal Reserve intervening, and she says that the White House should not dictate to the Fed what they do. Why not, though?

Steve King Ponders The 'Telegram From Kenya' Scenario, For The Birthers

Jason Linkins | October 1, 2012 | Politics
You know, we make fun of Rep. Steve King for the way he opposes restricting dogfighting on the grounds that boxing exists, and isn't that the same thing? (No.) But you've got to hand it to King -- the man is an innovator. Scott Keyes (who I guess is on the Steve King beat these days, not that I'm complaining) has now caught King indulging in a little bit of Birther Calvinball. He's pretty sure that Obama's papers are legit, but you never know, because reasons. The whole point to Birtherism, though, is that you don't need to conclusively make this case to sell it. It's just that the buyers are all blithering loons.
All posts from 01.24.2015