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Friday Talking Points -- Don't Panic

Chris Weigant | Posted 12.17.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

That headline, of course, quotes the cover to the fictional Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: "Don't Panic." This week, it seems like timely advice, as the news media and American politicians go into full-blown panic mode over one death and two illnesses within the United States.

Friday Talking Points -- Is There Anybody Out There?

Chris Weigant | Posted 12.10.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

You know what might help in this crisis-to-end-all-crises? Having a Surgeon General in office. President Obama nominated someone for the job last November, but his confirmation has been blocked ever since.

Friday Talking Points -- Games the Whole Family Can Play

Chris Weigant | Posted 12.03.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The head of the Secret Service abruptly resigned, after she got grilled by Congress over several disconcerting lapses which happened on her watch. She fell on her sword immediately, to her credit, rather than drawing the story out day after day.

Friday Talking Points -- Eric Holder's Record

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.26.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The news that Attorney General Eric Holder would be stepping down sent a shockwave through Washington. On the whole, was his term worth praising or condemning? We have to say that "both" is the only real answer to that question.

Friday Talking Points -- Congress Briefly Interrupts 3-Month Vacation to 'Work'

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.19.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Congress followed up their recent five-week vacation with almost two whole weeks of actually doing their jobs, so to reward themselves they're now going to take off on another vacation. Until mid-November.

Friday Talking Points -- Slouching Off to War

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.12.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Congress needs to vote on this war. They need to vote not just on a budget item to move some money to some rebels, they need to vote on a clear Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution.

Friday Talking Points: The Gender Gap

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.29.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

As Silly Season winds to a close, there were a smattering of 'Obama's on vacation -- how dare he!?!' stories, as usual. Obama has taken less than a third of the days off that President Bush did, but that certainly doesn't stop pundits from complaining every time Obama picks up a golf club.

Friday Talking Points -- Big and Little Brother

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.22.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

We're going to focus on the aftermath and ramifications of what has been happening in Ferguson, Missouri for the past few weeks. It even reached international proportions, as both Egypt and Russia got in a few digs at American police and protesters.

Friday Talking Points -- Dog Days

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.15.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Welcome to the 'Dog Days' of summer, at the height of the political Silly Season. This year, one dog did indeed have his day in August, as 7-year-old 'Duke' just won a rather bizarre election to become mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.

Friday Talking Points -- Past, Present and Future

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.08.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Forty years ago today, President Nixon addressed the nation to announce he would be resigning the next day -- the only time in US history this has happened. Today, President Obama announced the US will be dropping bombs on Iraq once again. That's a pretty heavy-duty amount of the past to contemplate, in one week.

Friday Talking Points -- Prelude To Silly Season

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.24.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Paul Ryan is attempting to address poverty, once again. What he's really doing is trolling the media to write "compassionate conservative" columns about him (which, so far, doesn't seem to be working very well), to bolster his chances to get the Republican presidential nomination.

The Aftershocks of Cantor's Loss

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.11.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The message this sends to other Republicans in Congress (both House and Senate) is that this can happen to anyone. The fear this is going to create may become all-encompassing in the House, and possibly even the Senate (if Republicans win control of the chamber this November). The Tea Party sword hanging over their heads is now plain to see.

Friday Talking Points -- 'And Counting'

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Democrats, from this point on, should adopt a very simple technique to disarm Republican squabbles about Obamacare numbers. To every figure quoted for people gaining health insurance, Democrats should end with "... and counting."

My 2013 'McLaughlin Awards' [Part 2]

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.26.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column! Part one of this column ran last week, just in case you missed it. We've got a lot to cover, so let's jump right in with no further introduction.

Friday Talking Points -- Republican Sandwich Filling Hits The Fan

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.12.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

One bit of minor calendar news before we get on with it: for the next two weeks, this column will be on hiatus. Instead, it will be pre-empted by our annual awards columns where we note the notable and laud the laudable from the past year.

Friday Talking Points -- Defending Populism

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.05.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Welcome back (after we took last week off, to digest) to our Friday roundup! We should have two weeks of news to cover, but nothing much of anything strange or startling happened Thanksgiving week, so we're going to concentrate on just this current week.

Friday Talking Points -- Harry Reid's Explosive Week

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

In fact, it was even a big week just for political anniversaries. Fifty years ago this week, an event of no little importance happened. I speak, of course, tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who by the BBC.

Launch the 'Nuke,' Harry!

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

There's an old adage in politics that the way to win political struggles is to "bring a gun to a knife fight." If this imagery isn't violent enough for you, the subject on the table now is whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering what is called the "nuclear option."

Friday Talking Points -- As The Wedgie Turns

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

We decided it was time to coin a new political term. We'll repeat the definition we gave it, back in May. Wedgie: When a political party's "wedge" issue turns on them and instead of dividing the other party, begins to divide their own.

Friday Talking Points -- Two Obama Promises

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Although it's been a week heavy on Obamacare, we're going to (mostly) look forward this week, to the upcoming budget battles. Because buried in the Obamacare stories this week was one very important bit of news.

Friday Talking Points -- Monkey Business

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This may be the quotation of the week, from Representative Frank Pallone, describing the House "Obamacare Is So Very, Very Bad" hearings held this week.

Friday Talking Points [278] -- ...And the Law Won

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.18.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This week will be seen as a turning point in the future. Ted Cruz and his band of merry Tea Partiers fought the Obamacare law, with every ounce of energy they could muster. And the law won.

Political Fundraising Boosted by Shutdown, Default

The Center for Public Integrity | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
The Center for Public Integrity

As both sides negotiate atop Capitol Hill to reopen federal offices that've been closed for more than two weeks, politicos are trying to score every last partisan point -- and suck in every last political dollar.

Friday Talking Points -- Shutdown Follies

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Well, I have to admit -- I never thought John Boehner was stupid enough to shut the government down over Obamacare. Shows what I know, right? Sigh.

Friday Talking Points -- Ted Cruz: Senator Ham-I-Am

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.27.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Talk about missing the point. And no, I do not refer to the mindless mainstream media (who apparently don't know the difference between "a filibuster" and "a 21-hour ego trip").