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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.

The Obamacare Website, Version 1.1

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.01.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Obama administration just rolled out what could be called "version 1.1" of HealthCare.gov. After two months of nothing short of disaster, the White House is now confident that the website is ready for prime time. Mostly.

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.

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.

Fundraisers: Sinking One Politician at a Time

Julianne Shinto | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Julianne Shinto

One surprisingly hot topic at fundraisers lately is campaign finance reform. Surprising to me because I can't imagine trying to make a sale and telling my customers that buying is itself a dangerous trend.

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.

Most Americans 18-29 Years Old Believe in Demon Possession, Shows Survey

Bruce Wilson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Bruce Wilson

Are Americans becoming less religious? While church affiliation is probably declining, don't expect the atheist revolution anytime soon: Over one half of young Americans now believe in the notion that invisible, non-corporeal entities called "demons" can take control of human beings.

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.

The Way of the Whig Party

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Most people today just use "go the way of the Whig Party" as an amusing way to say "disappear as a national political party." But a truer parallel to history would be to ask the question: "Will today's Republicans revert back to being the Whig Party?" Or, perhaps: "Will the Tea Party eventually go the way of the Whig Party?"

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.

How the Shutdown Affects Immigration

Ryan Campbell | Posted 01.23.2014 | Latino Voices
Ryan Campbell

Looking to immigration, while there is an immediate material affect of fewer workers or certain visa applications being delayed, the longer-lasting effect may be a more subtle political one.

#Shutdown: Why Won't Democrats Say "Republicans Want Grandparents Dead?"

Jon Hotchkiss | Posted 12.03.2013 | Politics
Jon Hotchkiss

There's something wrong with liberal brains and conscience that doesn't permit us to invoke uber-hysterical hyperbole and rhetoric in the course of political discourse.

What Reid, Pelosi, and Obama Should Say Now

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

If there was some underlying "cut deficits" strategy to the Republican shutdown, then why would the House have passed a budget bill on the brink of the shutdown which increased the debt by $29 billion?

Boehner Hammers Last Nail in Republican Coffin

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.30.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

They ought to just change the name, really. Leave it as just the "Democrats" versus the "Tea Partiers" -- because the Republican Party of yore is nothing more than a corpse waiting for burial, at this point. John Boehner, in fact, just hammered the last nail in its coffin.

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").

Friday Talking Points -- The Answer To Obamacare, The Universe, And Everything

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.20.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

It's all becoming clear now. House Republicans are just really big fans of Douglas Adams -- that's been their plan all along.

Friday Talking Points -- Cold War Nostalgia

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.13.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Before we get this ball rolling, we have two minor points which relate to the calendar which we feel merit mentioning. First, for the superstitious among us, it's not only Friday the 13th, but it's actually a double-dose, being 9/13/13. Wooo! Scary!

Friday Talking Points -- Potholes on the Moral High Road

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.06.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Today's big economic news was that the unemployment rate is down to 7.3 percent, the lowest it has been since 2008. In the first year President Obama took office, the Great Recession spiked the rate to 10.0 percent, to put this figure into perspective.

Generational Déjà vu in Syrian Debate

Michael Hais and Morley Winograd | Posted 11.06.2013 | Politics
Michael Hais and Morley Winograd

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally led an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to convince the US Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I, which included the establishment of a League of Nations.

Beyond Left and Right on Syria

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.04.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to approve a resolution to attack Syria on a vote of 10-7. But the breakdown of the voting reveals that this was in no way a party-line vote.

Friday Talking Points -- A Weed Screed

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.30.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The subject under the microscope today is marijuana, and (in particular) the federal government's views and actions towards this issue.

Friday Talking Points -- The Dog That Didn't Bark, and Herding Stupid Insane Cats

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.23.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Dog-lovers will have to wait for their portion of that headline until the awards part of the column; but as for the cats, I was struck this week by a funny comment on an article I was reading on the continuing civil war within the Republican Party.

Friday Talking Points -- The Debate Debate

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.16.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Republican-on-Republican fear-mongering is such a treat to enjoy. In this case, establishment Republicans vs. the Tea Party.

Friday Talking Points -- PBS, Citizen Koch, and Obama's Press Conference

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.09.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Love him or hate him, call him "patriot" or "traitor" -- it is now absolutely impossible to argue that Edward Snowden's leaks weren't effective, meaningful, and will actually cause the federal government to have a national conversation with its citizens about what it feels it is legally able to do.