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Chris Weigant

Friday Talking Points -- Live, From the Moon

Chris Weigant | Posted 04.08.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Barack Obama is the second Honorable Mention recipient this week, for his impressive public opinion polling on job approval in January. He had his best month (measured by month-to-month improvement) of his entire second term, and the fourth-best month he's ever had as president.

Republicans' Losing Game on Homeland Security Bill

Chris Weigant | Posted 04.06.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Republicans in Congress have, once again, successfully painted themselves into a corner. Even though they've done exactly this previously (in exactly the same way), they now have absolutely no idea how to get out of this dilemma (which they created for themselves).

Friday Talking Points -- Sarah Palin, Under the Republican Bus

Chris Weigant | Posted 04.01.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The muck in question isn't even Democratic muck. It's purely conservative and Republican mudslinging, at a person who used to be put on a pretty tall pedestal in Republicanland: Sarah Palin.

The Multi-Ring Republican Nomination Circus

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.30.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The sheer size of the Republican field, even at this early date, is downright astonishing. By some calculations, there are over two dozen valid possibilities for the Republican nomination.

Marijuana Grows Up

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Marijuana is now the nation's fastest-growing industry. The legal marijuana industry brought in $2.4 billion last year, so it's certainly no longer any sort of laughing matter. That figure represents an increase of a whopping 74 percent in one year's time, and it is estimated that the total legal market could be worth $11 billion as soon as 2019.

Friday Talking Points -- Obama Steals GOP's Honeymoon

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.

Embracing Populism

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.21.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The main theme of a national election can turn on a dime, due to a major world event or even due to the public's fascination with one unforeseen minor topic. But, at least for the time being, the 2016 election seems to be shaping up as a race centered on economic populism.

Friday Talking Points -- Getting Ready For Obama's Big Speech

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.18.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This was a busy week in politics, as the Republicans in the new Congress began a bout of legislating and President Obama ramped up his agenda in preparation for next Tuesday's big speech to Congress and the country.

Obama Bouncing Back

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.16.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

All in all, ever since his forceful response to the midterm elections, Obama seems to be getting more and more popular. In absolute numbers, of course, Obama still has a long way to go.

Friday Talking Points -- Nous Sommes Charlie Hebdo

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.11.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Je suis Charlie Hebdo. In fact, let's go even further: Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Because we are all Charlie, this week. However, most of the American media cravenly allowed the terrorists to dictate their editorial policy this week, which is truly disappointing.

What to Expect From the 114th Congress

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.09.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Personally, I'm not holding my breath waiting for rousing choruses of "Kumbaya" to be echoing through the Capitol any time soon.

Obama Poll Watch -- December, 2014

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.04.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Barack Obama's job approval polling numbers, at times, seem to follow seasonal trends. He usually loses ground in the summer, particularly in August. In winter, however, he usually gains ground. This year Obama seems likely to repeat this pattern, if December's numbers are any indication.

Polar Vortex of 2015's Cray-Cray Banished Words

Chris Weigant | Posted 03.03.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

To put it a different way: "Dang these kids today." Anyway, as usual the comments from people proposing words for the banished list were pretty amusing at times.

My 2014 'McLaughlin Awards' Part 2

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.25.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.

Cyberwar or Cybervandalism?

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.21.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Does hacking into a private entertainment corporation's computer files constitute an act of war? Against whom, exactly?

My 2014 'McLaughlin Awards' [Part 1]

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Loath as we are to admit it, there was no single Biggest Winner Of 2014, because the award must be handed, collectively, to the Republican Party. A case could be made for Mitch McConnell, since he will win the biggest prize of any Republican next year: control of the United States Senate.

The End of the Cold War

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.16.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

President Barack Obama just spoke on the telephone with the leader of Cuba to finalize the two countries' new relations -- an event that hadn't happened in over half a century. The Cold War is now almost completely a matter of interest only to historians, to put things into context.

Jeb Bush's Pros and Cons

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.14.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

If Jeb does run, he may face Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. Now, a "Clinton vs. Bush" contest doesn't exactly thrill many people who are looking for perhaps a little more variety (and a little less dynasty) in our presidential choices, but it is indeed worth contemplating at this point, at least if Jeb is serious about running.

Friday Talking Points -- How Bad Laws Get Made

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.11.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

How do bad laws get made? Quickly, for the most part. No, that's not a joke. The worst laws nearly all have one thing in common: They are rushed through very quickly, usually because Congress is facing some self-imposed deadline.

The Feinstein Torture Report

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.09.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

We can't pretend it wasn't torture anymore, because the facts weren't swept under a historical rug this time.

Interview With the Authors of American Conspiracy Theories

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.07.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The deepest thing I took away from reading American Conspiracy Theories was how hard it is to actually define the term. Especially while conducting the interview, I was forced to reexamine and redefine what I would personally qualify as a conspiracy theory. In other words, the book made me think -- especially about my own biases and perceptions.

Friday Talking Points -- 'Tis The Season

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.04.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

It's that magical time of year when the wee folk of Capitol Hill actually get something done. These brief bursts of activity only happen very rarely, of course, and always immediately proceed another one of the many, many long vacations Congress takes during the year.

Cromnibus Stop?

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.02.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

There are plenty of metaphors to choose from, as we all breathlessly watch the Republican Party make their latest attempt at semi-rational governing.

Jumping On The Cromnibus

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.26.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Yes, apparently that's a new word now: "cromnibus." Now, some, editorially-speaking, have been insisting on "CRomnibus" or "Cromnibus," but for the time being here, we've decided that it doesn't qualify for proper-name status in any way.

Benghazi Conspiracy Theories Definitively Debunked. Again.

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.24.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence just publicly released its report, which systematically knocks down pretty much every paranoid theory over the tragedy which happened in Benghazi, Libya and what happened immediately afterwards.