ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles for May, 2017

Off With Her Head!

[ Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

So, comedienne Kathy Griffin's head appears to be on the chopping block. That's a metaphor, of course, and as of now it is even inaccurate, since CNN has already parted ways with Griffin (she co-hosted their New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper, one of the most bizarre television matchups since Al Franken and Arianna Huffington appeared "in bed" together, doing their version of election coverage in 1996). Since CNN's announcement, the proper metaphor becomes: "Kathy Griffin axed by CNN." Or, perhaps: "her head has already rolled." These aren't really political metaphors, they're instead business-related. Speaking of getting "axed" rather than getting fired is merely poetic hyperbole, and who among us hasn't ever used the "heads are going to roll" or "on the chopping block" line ourselves? Does this kind of conflation cross a moral or ethical line? Or is it merely what used to be called "gallows humor" -- attempting to make light of the worst of situations?

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Debt Ceiling Battle Looms

[ Posted Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 – 16:42 PDT ]

These days, Congress rarely does much of anything without a deadline staring them in the face. The only substantive piece of legislation Congress has so far put on President Trump's desk (four months into his term) has been a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. Not exactly a spectacular record of achievement for the GOP to be proud of, but then that's pretty much par for the course for the Republican Congress these days. What will quite likely be the second major piece of legislation that gets passed, at this rate, will be raising the debt ceiling.

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From The Archives -- The How-Many-Years' War

[ Posted Monday, May 29th, 2017 – 17:10 PDT ]

Being in the midst of history sometimes mean events are not seen in the "big picture" view that historians often later take, when looking back at the period. Case in point: what will America's ongoing war eventually be known as? To date, we've been at war since October 2001, or a mind-boggling period of 15 years. This war was initially called "The Global War On Terror" by the Bush administration, which lumped in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq with all the skirmishes in various other North African and Middle East countries. The Obama administration has dropped the term, but they've never really replaced it with anything else. But what I wonder this Memorial Day is what it will be called in the future. Right now, it'd be the "Fifteen Years' War" -- but few expect all conflicts will end by the time the next president is sworn in, so eventually that number will likely be higher.

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Friday Talking Points [438] -- A Week Of Bad Numbers For Trump

[ Posted Friday, May 26th, 2017 – 17:22 PDT ]

President Donald Trump went on a tour of foreign countries this week, and World War III did not erupt. So things could have been worse.

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Bozeman Beatdown

[ Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017 – 15:35 PDT ]

Today is the second of four special elections for the House of Representatives caused by Donald Trump naming House members to administration positions. The first was in Kansas, where the Democrat lost (but by a much closer margin than anyone expected). We've been through the first round of voting in another of these special elections, down in Georgia. More on that in a moment. The final race is in South Carolina, and is considered the longest longshot of the bunch for Democrats to pick up (all four of these were Republican-held seats). Today, Montanans go to the polls to elect their one at-large House member.

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Health Bill's Score Still Breathtakingly Bad

[ Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 – 15:23 PDT ]

The new Congressional Budget Office numbers are in for the House healthcare bill, and they're almost as breathtakingly bad as the first version's score. Instead of 24 million Americans losing health insurance in the next ten years, now "only" 23 million will lose health insurance. The number of people who will lose health insurance next year alone stayed the same, at 14 million. Medicaid funding will be cut by $834 billion, instead of $880 billion. This would save a paltry $12 billion a year, instead of the $15 billion a year the original bill would have saved. That's a lot of pain for not very much money saved. Which Democrats are going to be pointing out soon, in midterm ads.

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Newspaper War!

[ Posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 – 16:40 PDT ]

To really be true to today's subject, I should have come up with a headline more along the lines of: "Donald Trump Takes America Back To 1890s!" That's a tad sensationalistic, but we do seem to be right in the middle of a good old-fashioned newspaper war. In the past month alone, I have lost count of the times that major scoops about the extent of the Trump administration's misdeeds have appeared in both the New York Times and the Washington Post. Even without counting them, the score seems pretty close to tied, although the Post may have a slight edge at the current moment.

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Trump's Exhausting First Road Trip

[ Posted Monday, May 22nd, 2017 – 16:41 PDT ]

President Donald Trump has only just begun his first road trip outside the United States, and he's already "exhausted," according to one of his own advisors. This may or may not be true, since anything either Trump or any of his spokespeople say at this point has to be taken with a grain of salt -- especially considering the "exhausted" comment was given as an excuse for a Trump gaffe (more on that in a bit). But this week's calendar for Trump seems to have been constructed on the theme of: "Any Trump campaign promises left unbroken? Well, let's see how many we can break in a single week!"

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Friday Talking Points [437] -- That Thing That Trump Did

[ Posted Friday, May 19th, 2017 – 17:44 PDT ]

We'd like to begin today by apologizing for not including whatever scandal broke while we were writing this column. It takes us hours to write these, and while we're typing we're not reading news headlines. So this weekly wrapup will doubtlessly not mention whatever scandal broke in the past few hours, and for this we apologize. We would direct you to the final talking point today to cover this lapse (from which we also borrowed our subtitle today, because Daniel Drezner's article is such a hilarious piece of satire).

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Scandalpalooza!

[ Posted Thursday, May 18th, 2017 – 17:12 PDT ]

From the beginning, the administration of Donald Trump has been providing roughly one scandal per week. Not a week went by without some explosive story appearing in the headlines. That pace, obviously, was unsustainable. Incredibly, however, this pace is now rapidly increasing. Last week, we moved into "scandal of the day" territory, and are now fast approaching "scandal of the hour." Welcome to the Scandalpalooza that is the Trump administration!

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