It has been a momentous week, with the resignation (read: "firing") of a cabinet secretary, a presidential speech on America's foreign and military policy, and the announcement of a timetable to bring home the remaining troops in Afghanistan. Plus all the usual Washington squabbling. But one story risks being buried among all this other newsworthy stuff, and that is the vote which happened late last night in the House of Representatives. Because, with a healthy bipartisan majority, they just voted to end the war on medical marijuana forever. If the Senate follows their lead, this could be one of the biggest turning points in ending the federal War On Weed altogether. In other words, it is a momentous event.
Archive of Articles for May, 2014
The window of opportunity for comprehensive immigration reform to pass Congress is getting narrower, and is about to slam shut until (realistically) the year 2017. More accurately, if John Boehner doesn't allow the House to vote on a bill before the August congressional month-long vacation, then there is little-to-zero chance of immigration reform passing before our next president is sworn into office.
In the past month, the Obama White House has found itself at the center of two new scandals. While one is being (so far) treated as a minor matter, it may later grow in importance once Republicans wake up to the political embarrassment potential for the president. The second scandal is systemic and entrenched, and is going to require a lot of drastic action to fix. How Obama reacts to both the "outing" of the C.I.A. station chief in Afghanistan and the ongoing problems at the Veterans Administration will wind up reflecting on his presidential legacy, for better or worse.
Important Question For All ChrisWeigant.com Readers:
Does anyone actually use the "Comments RSS" feed here? There may be a problem with it, and rather than dig into fixing it, it would be a lot easier for me to just turn this feature off.
But I will not do so if people are actively using [...]
Today President Barack Obama announced the beginning of the end of America's longest war. This announcement was fully anticipated and therefore came as no surprise, seeing as how Obama was elected in large part to end two wars. He successfully withdrew all American troops from Iraq in 2011, and he announced today the schedule for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan. From 32,000 current troops, we will draw down to 9,800 by the end of this year. This number will then shrink by half (to roughly 5,000) by the end of 2015. By the end of 2016, they will all be out (except possibly for a small force left for security, in the range of 1,000 troops or less). Thus will end a 15-year-long war effort -- the longest in American history.
I was all set to write an original Memorial Day column today, and had a subject lined up and everything, but then the subject matter and research just got too depressing. So instead, I'm re-running a column I wrote last summer, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (and the larger 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which we are still in the midst of).
Before we begin, our sincere condolences to the George W. Bush family for the loss of former White House pet Miss Beazley, who died this week. As always, we are strictly non-partisan in our love for "First Dogs" and "First Cats," because we feel the president's (any president's) humanity can only be improved by having a pet to play with on occasion (the photo of Bush with Miss Beazley which accompanies that article shows exactly what we're talking about). As Harry Truman famously put it: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Our thoughts are with the Bush family in their time of loss.
As has been noted, at times art imitates life and at other times life imitates art. This is one of those latter times, when what was purported to be a "Women and Colorado's Future" debate among Republican gubernatorial candidates seemed like nothing more than a Saturday Night Live sketch ridiculing the awfulness of the Republicans' continuing failure to reach out to women voters in any meaningful way. And that is actually the most polite thing I can bring myself to say about it: it seemed like satire, but (sadly) it wasn't.
The Senate race in Montana is going to a be a tough one, that's for sure. Democrats currently hold the seat, but this is one state where Republicans have a clear shot at an upset this November. Senator John Walsh has just released a rather amazing television ad, though, which is the best pushback on the "personhood" concept I think I've ever seen. Because it features a rape victim telling her own story.
Today is a big day for primary elections. Well, a medium-big day, maybe. But it is worth pointing out that it's nowhere near a "super" day. In the past few presidential election cycles, so many states voted in primary elections on one particular day that it merited the label "Super Tuesday." Today, the label is also being used by a few, but it's really a stretch to call it "super," when only six states are voting in their primary elections. In a few weeks, the third of June will beat that, with eight primaries occurring simultaneously.