ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles for January, 2018

A Taxing Problem

[ Posted Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 – 18:29 PST ]

Congressional Republicans are reportedly (and not too unsurprisingly) gearing up to run their midterm election campaign on their only significant legislative achievement to date, the tax cut bill. Democrats are also fighting for the battle of public perception over what the bill accomplished (and didn't), and the public is probably going to be rather malleable on the issue right up to the election (and beyond). Because the real effect of the tax code changes -- both good and bad -- won't be realized by most taxpayers for over a year.

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What About The House?

[ Posted Monday, January 22nd, 2018 – 18:19 PST ]

The Senate Democrats ended their government shutdown today, not with a bang but with a whimper. They did not achieve their stated objective, to force a vote on a bill to save the DACA program, but they did at least raise awareness of the issue in Washington, so it can't conveniently be swept under a rug for the foreseeable future. The moderates and the Democratic Senate leadership point to a rather squishy promise made by Mitch McConnell to hold a floor vote on a DACA bill at some point in the next two months, which was apparently enough of a commitment to assuage the fears of a majority of Democratic senators for now. But lost in all the recriminations is one glaring question: what about the House?

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Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

Where we find ourselves as a nation: this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000, to keep her silence about an affair they had right after he had married his third wife. It was later revealed by In Touch Weekly magazine that Trump had compared the porn star (stage name: Stormy Daniels) favorably with his daughter. And yet this news didn't even really break onto the front pages. After one year of President Trump, such a revelation is considered minor news, in other words. That's where we find ourselves as a nation, folks.

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A Simple Budget Process Fix

[ Posted Thursday, January 18th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

As I write this, the House of Representatives appears to be ready to hold a vote on the one-month budget extension (continuing resolution), which likely means Paul Ryan has successfully twisted enough arms of the Freedom Caucus ( Tea Partiers) and now has the votes he needs to get the bill passed. Up until a few hours ago, even this was uncertain, showing how Republicans are struggling even among themselves to get anything done. And that's before the bill goes over to the Senate, where it will likely die. Will this lead to a government shutdown tomorrow night? Or will some last-minute deal be struck to keep the doors open? At this point, nobody knows.

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Democrats Flip Another Statehouse Seat

[ Posted Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 – 18:50 PST ]

Last night, Democrats successfully flipped another state legislature seat, this time in Wisconsin. This was a pretty stunning upset, and one that bodes well for Democratic chances this November in the congressional midterm elections. Their continuing string of victories in special elections just adds fuel to the speculation that this year will see a rather large Democratic "wave election" cycle. There are, of course, no guarantees, but so far things continue to look very good for Democratic candidates.

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Playing The Shutdown Game

[ Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 – 18:09 PST ]

As Congress returns to Washington, the question on everyone's mind is whether the federal government will shut down Friday night or whether some sort of deal (whether long or short term) can be agreed to at the last minute. As of this writing, it's impossible to tell what the outcome will be, but then that is the very nature of such games of brinksmanship. If there wasn't an edge to be close to, then there wouldn't be any threat, to put it another way.

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

[ Posted Monday, January 15th, 2018 – 18:26 PST ]

I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when twenty-two million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award in behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice.

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Friday Talking Points [467] -- Our Racist President

[ Posted Friday, January 12th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

The mainstream media crossed two cultural lines this week, in reaction to one of the most offensive things any American president has ever been caught saying. The first line crossed was to overrule the censors. Standards and practices can't complain when a word used on the news is a direct quote from the president, after all. That would be censorship of a different (and darker) type. Still, last night we were rather surprised to here a reporter on the evening NBC news broadcast actually use the word "shithole." No bleeping, no asterisks, just: here is what the president called some African countries. On broadcast (i.e., non-cable) television, at 5:30 P.M. (not some late-night broadcast, in other words). That is a first in America, to be sure. The Washington Post used Trump's unexpurgated, unbowdlerized quote in so many headlines today it was tough to keep an accurate count.

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Democrats Looking Good For House Midterms

[ Posted Thursday, January 11th, 2018 – 17:44 PST ]

Republican Representatives Darrell Issa and Ed Royce both announced this week that they will not be running for re-election in their California House districts. This brings the number of such announced GOP retirements nationwide to 32 for this midterm election cycle. As CNN has been tracking, this is an extraordinarily high number of retirements for so early in the campaign season. As filing deadlines approach, that number will doubtlessly go even higher. Comparatively, only 16 House Democrats have announced their retirement. This is just one indicator, but it shows Democrats well-positioned to make gains in the House races this November.

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Media Giving Trump A Pass On Lack Of Press Conferences

[ Posted Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 – 18:02 PST ]

Why is the White House press corps giving such a giant pass to Donald Trump for his lack of solo press conferences? We are days away from marking his first year in office and in all of that time, Trump has only held one formal solo press conference -- a whopping 328 days ago, on February 16. And yet there is nary a peep from the press corps about this remarkable lack. Previously, when presidents have stiff-armed the press for months on end, news organizations begin running countdown clocks (technically, they're actually count-up clocks) showing how many days and months it has been since the last presidential presser. Haven't seen anything like that this time, though.

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