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Chris Weigant

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 07.18.2014 | 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 07.16.2014 | 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 07.14.2014 | 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 07.11.2014 | 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 07.07.2014 | 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 07.02.2014 | 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.

Iraq's Air Force

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Where is the Iraqi Air Force? What does the Iraqi Air Force consist of? How many attack helicopters and attack fighters does it have in flyable condition? Most importantly, how many trained pilots does it have who can fly combat missions?

Biden Was Right

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.18.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

It may not have solved everything, but dividing Iraq up at least had the best chance for success. It might have allowed what is happening now to have happened in a more organized fashion, with a lot less violence and death. Or, to put it another way, Joe Biden was right.

'No Budget, No Pay' Works Once Again in California

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Every so often, in the world of legislation, California lives up to its own self-image of trendsetter. This is one of those times.

The Aftershocks of Cantor's Loss

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.11.2014 | 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.

The Tea Party Is Dead! Long Live the Tea Party!

Chris Weigant | Posted 07.07.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Tea Party groups have evolved over time. Initially, they were supposed to be grassroots, libertarian, and spontaneous; but there were many who almost immediately attempted to grab the Tea Party mantle and turn it into their own giant political machine.

Obama Poll Watch -- April 2014

Chris Weigant | Posted 07.05.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Obama has gained back all the ground he had lost and then some (well, "and then a little bit more" would be more accurate...). He still hasn't quite made it back to where his poll numbers were before the Obamacare website rollout, but if the trendlines continue in May, he is at least within reach of this goal for the first time since October.

NBA Rejects Racism, MLB And NFL Continue Their Silence

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Washington Redskins and Chief Wahoo are not something said in private. They are as public as it gets. Millions of dollars are made each year by the sale of merchandise with these names and logos prominently appearing. Yet the leagues do nothing.

Not Justice Ginsburg, But the Two After Her

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The real fight is going to happen when a conservative either dies in office or steps down. Ginsburg is currently the oldest sitting member of the Supreme Court. But not far behind her are three others: Stephen Breyer (who is 75-years-old), Anthony Kennedy (77), and Antonin Scalia (78).

Are Political Lies Constitutional?

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Popular political speech needs no protection from the First Amendment -- it never has. It is unpopular political speech -- even downright lies -- which need defending by the courts. As ignoble and as impure as that may sound.

Election-Year Posturing From Congress Defines Campaigns

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.09.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Congress is now doing what it normally does, in an election year. This is not intended to sound cynical, as I actually think it is a good thing for a divided Congress to stand up for its divided beliefs -- even while knowing that almost none of the bills it now votes on have a prayer of becoming law before the election.

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."

Obama Poll Watch -- March, 2014

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

President Obama's job approval polling was down a bit last month, ending three months of positive news. He didn't slip back much, but the reversal does bring up a serious question: is Obama stuck in a "new normal" of job approval numbers in the low-40s range?

Interview With Betty Medsger, Author Of The Burglary

Chris Weigant | Posted 05.26.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

This was a historic burglary, to put it mildly. It was also the first time modern newspapers were faced with the ethical question of whether to publish news stories which had as their sole source stolen government documents that arrived anonymously in the mail.

Before Snowden, Before Wikileaks, Before the Church Committee, Before Deep Throat, Before The Pentagon Papers... There Was The Burglary

Chris Weigant | Posted 05.24.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Forty-three years ago this month, an obscure branch office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations located in a Philadelphia suburb was burgled. All their files were stolen (being 1971, these files were all on paper) and whisked away to a secret hideout, then they were sorted and sent to the media.

Friday Talking Points -- Breaking News! Well... Not Really.

Chris Weigant | Posted 05.21.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

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."