The biggest political event of the week (for Democrats, at any rate) was Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats rolling out a new campaign agenda -- the "Middle Class Jumpstart" -- in the tradition of Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America."
The end of June is an important time on the political calendar, but it is one which most Americans don't really think about all that much. It's hard to fault this, so let's take a quick run through the important decisions handed down in the past week.
The news media showed without a shadow of a doubt that they have not learned from their coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war, as pretty much everyone who got Iraq fundamentally wrong before we invaded was invited to share their views.
As we've noted, 2014 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for marijuana reform. The Colorado and Washington experiments are proceeding apace, and the only real question people are asking is "which state will be next?"
This week was a big week for women's rights, as the Senate pushed for an Equal Pay Act to celebrate Equal Pay Day. It was filibustered, which just goes to show that one party cares about women's rights and one party clearly does not.
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."
House Republicans now say it's just too late to pass an extension of unemployment benefits. This, after they spent time this week trying to strip President Obama of the power to create national monuments. Way to prioritize, guys...
Republicans all patted themselves on the back this week for fixing their party's problems. No, really! It's been one year since their "autopsy" or "post-mortem" of the 2012 elections and the party's completely "fixed."
Ukraine erupted in crisis during the past week, as Russia's Vladimir Putin essentially grabbed Crimea in his own hissy fit. President Obama, of course, has very limited options for dealing with Russia.
Even when Republicans weren't shooting at their own feet this week, it appears they were conducting a circular firing squad instead. The 2014 campaign, in other words, is off to a raucous start... and it's only February.
Republicans in the House have announced they are now ready to do something on immigration. There will be traps laid by the Republicans, so Democrats have to be vigilant about defusing each one as it pops up.
Will 2014 (or perhaps 2016) become known as the "Year Of The Marijuana Voter"? This question can now be seriously asked, because the issue of radically reforming marijuana laws seems to be growing bigger and more imperative with each passing week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.