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Chris Weigant

Contemplating a Republican Senate

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.20.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

A Republican Senate is pretty much an iron-clad guarantee of the return of "fiscal cliffs" and "government shutdowns" and "hostage-taking" and all the rest of the budgetary games Republicans are known for playing.

Friday Talking Points -- Don't Panic

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.17.2014 | 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 10.11.2014 | 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 10.03.2014 | 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.

Profiles In Cowardice

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.29.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The United States Congress is currently abdicating one of its most solemn duties: declaring when America is at war, and with whom. This is nothing short of disgraceful, and every member of Congress who didn't actively push their leadership to hold a vote should be ashamed of themselves right now.

Friday Talking Points -- Eric Holder's Record

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.26.2014 | 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 09.19.2014 | 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.

In Celebration of Our National Anthem's Bicentennial

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.15.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The War of 1812 didn't gain America much, as a country. It didn't address the complaints that led the Americans to declare war in the first place. We didn't conquer Canada. But we did gain a certain amount of what can be called our "national identity" after the war. Right at the heart of this was a new patriotic (and popular) song.

Friday Talking Points -- Slouching Off to War

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.12.2014 | 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.

A Reluctant Warrior

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.10.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Obama is trying to walk a very fine line between doing nothing and all-out war. He will be counting on others to do the ground fighting, which may depend on how much support America gets from regional allies. The end game of this limited warfare is going to be hard to see, however.

Coyly Campaigning in Kansas

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.08.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

What it all boils down to is that we may not know which party controls the Senate when the votes are all in on election night. It may be days before anyone knows whether Democrats or Republicans will control the chamber.

Friday Talking Points: The Gender Gap

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.29.2014 | 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.

The Impending Showdown

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.27.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

If Obama does announce immigration changes, Republicans may decide the issue is bigger than any competence issue, and go right ahead and shut the government down. But this doesn't automatically make the issue a winner for Democrats everywhere in the midterms, of course.

25 Years Ago -- The 'Big One' of '89

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This weekend's quake got plenty of news coverage, starting Sunday morning. So I thought it would be a good time to share my story from the "Big One," which starts with some generalized comments about earthquakes for the benefit of those who have never felt one.

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.

McConnell's Reconciliation

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.20.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

I'm using the word "reconciliation" in a very specific rules-of-the-Senate fashion. Because McConnell just revealed to Politico how he intends to govern, should his party take control of the Senate in November -- and it appears that the previously-arcane "budget reconciliation" maneuver will figure heavily in his playbook.

Perry Case Complicates Boehner's Lawsuit

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.18.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Republicans are going to be arguing one thing for Perry, and the exact opposite for Obama. This is going to become more and more obvious to all concerned.

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.

The Obama Tactic

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.11.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The American public isn't exactly strongly supportive of Obama's foreign policy right now, but one thing the public really doesn't support is getting involved with any of the various conflicts raging over there. We are still -- again, according to the polls -- a pretty war-weary nation.

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.

A Polish Song For Ukraine's Revolution

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.06.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This is a story of a song. Revolutions are often fertile breeding grounds for good music, and the song this story is about was at the heart of the Uk...

Friday Talking Points -- Boehner's 'Keystone Kops' House

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.01.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

As I write this, the House has still not managed to pass a bill to deal with the border crisis. They've been trying for a few days now, but have been locked in a serious battle between Tea Party hardliners and Republicans from more moderate districts.

Congressional Vacations For All!

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.29.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This is a rare week indeed in Washington, since it is one of those weeks when Congress actually attempts to get something done. There's a reason for this, of course, and it is the usual one: they're about to take another jaw-droppingly extensive vacation.

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.

Chalking Up Montana As A Democratic Loss

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.22.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The revelations that John Walsh plagiarized a major paper in college have now completely torpedoed his chances for retaining the seat. To be fair, there was little chance that Walsh was going to win in any case. But the difference between "little chance" and "no chance" can be measured in hope. There is now no hope for Democrats in Montana, this year.