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Chris Weigant

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 08.22.2014 | 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 08.20.2014 | 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 08.18.2014 | 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 08.15.2014 | 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 08.18.2014 | 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 08.08.2014 | 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 08.07.2014 | 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 08.01.2014 | 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 07.30.2014 | 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 07.25.2014 | 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 07.23.2014 | 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.

Obama's Immigration Dilemma

Chris Weigant | Posted 07.21.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

But what is pretty clear is that if Obama does act, it is going to help Democrats in the 2016 presidential contest. The whole immigration reform issue is a gigantic trap for Republicans, and they will likely be unable to resist the urge to walk right into it.

Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' 'Middle Class Jumpstart' Agenda

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.17.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

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."

Boehner's Laughable Lawsuit

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.15.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Republicans believe that suing Obama will excite and turn out their base voters, and they're betting that this benefit will be larger than any political blowback. Whether they're right in this political calculation or not remains to be seen. But what is undeniable is that, so far, this lawsuit is nothing short of laughable.

Boehner's History of Inaction on Border Control

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.13.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Boehner has gone from confidently touting his and his fellow House Republicans' upcoming leadership on the issue of immigration, to now doing nothing more than groveling for Obama to solve the problem using his executive authority -- which is an ironic enough stance for a Republican to take, these days.

Friday Talking Points -- First Marijuana TV Ad Created

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.10.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This ad will likely be followed by other companies' ads -- all competing freely in a marketplace for customers -- which means it does represent a historic turning point.

Marijuana Legalization Update

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.06.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This year may see some progress on legalization, but it will be limited. But there are five state-level efforts where news is being made on the legalization front.

Poor Hillary?

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.01.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Poor Hillary? I don't think so. I think she's perhaps a little surprised at which particular aspect of her life is now being attacked (if she had a cartoon thought bubble over her head right now, it might read: "This is all you got? Really?!?"), but I don't think she's surprised the attacks have started.