ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles for February, 2018

Will The N.R.A. Attack Trump?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 – 17:21 PST ]

The word "mercurial" is an elegant one, perhaps overly so. When used to describe President Donald Trump -- as it often is -- it lends him a certain majesty that he doesn't really deserve. Mercurial conjures up an image of quicksilver, liquid and shiny but impossible to pin down. Which is why so many in the media use the word to describe Trump, after all. But a more honest assessment would be that Trump just says whatever pops into his head at that particular moment, even if it blatantly contradicts something else he might have said minutes earlier.

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All In The Family

[ Posted Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 – 18:16 PST ]

Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded, the Washington Post reported today, from the highest level of access to the nation's secrets to the second-highest. This may not sound like much, but it will severely limit the information legally available to him -- he should no longer be able to read the president's daily briefing document put together by the national security apparatus, for example. This is important because it was recently disclosed that Kushner does actively read these daily briefings (or, at least, did so before last week). What it will mean in the larger sense for both Kushner and the rest of the Trump White House going forward is unclear, at this point.

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CA Democrats Refuse To Endorse Dianne Feinstein

[ Posted Monday, February 26th, 2018 – 17:53 PST ]

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior senator from California, failed to get her own party's endorsement for re-election last weekend. In a stunning vote of no confidence, the California Democratic Party not only refused to endorse Feinstein, but came very close to endorsing her biggest primary opponent instead. A total of 60 percent of the votes was needed for an official party endorsement. Feinstein got only 37 percent, while challenger Kevin De León got 54 percent. That's a pretty sharp rebuke from the state party, obviously.

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Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

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From The Archives -- No Silver Bullet

[ Posted Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 – 17:08 PST ]

The article below was written a few weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm running it again today both because nothing much has changed since then, but also because I think it is a fairly realistic examination of what gun control laws can be expected to do, and what they cannot.

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Advice For The Florida Teen Activists

[ Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 – 18:56 PST ]

In the aftermath of the horrific slaughter at a Florida high school, the survivors of the massacre have moved onto center stage in the American political debate in a big way. This has happened with astonishing swiftness and with astonishing breadth. Television news producers are falling all over themselves to book the spokespeople for the teens, they've already tried their hand at lobbying (on the state legislator level), they've staged protests, they've come up with a plan for nationwide events to take place next month, and their nascent movement has already attracted millions of dollars of pledges from liberal celebrities. That is an immensely impressive list, especially considering it all took place in the time span of a single week. These kids have achieved more in one week's time than many advocacy groups have ever achieved from years of effort.

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Slaying The Gerrymander

[ Posted Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 – 17:49 PST ]

The "Gerry-Mander," originally, was a flying lizard -- or, one might say, a dragon. In March of 1812, the Boston Gazette published a cartoon based on a district the governor at the time (Elbridge Gerry) had approved. The cartoonist thought it looked like a salamander, drew the winged lizard, and thus introduced the word "gerrymander" to the politician lexicon. In current American politics, a wide group of citizens are now girding their loins and seeking to slay the gerrymander dragon, once and for all.

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Presidential Mythmaking

[ Posted Monday, February 19th, 2018 – 18:23 PST ]

Since it's fun to do, and since today's a good day for it, let's take a look at one particular moment in American history. A Republican president sits in the White House. His very presence terrifies liberals, who consider him an intellectual lightweight (and even that's being polite) and not up to the job in any way. He cares more for his television presence than actual policy matters, it seems. Both the president and his wife seem elitist to the core and disdainful of reining in their excesses after moving to the White House. He is seen as a total puppet, and the only question members of the media have to explore is who the puppetmaster pulling his strings currently is. He packed his White House with his buddies, and they spend a lot of time fighting with Washington insiders. The rest of the world is horrified that we elected such a man president. There are even rumors that his campaign cut a deal with a tyrannical foreign government in order to help him get elected. In fact, there are very real fears he could start a nuclear war at any time, since his foreign policy is both erratic and belligerent. About the only thing he can get done in Congress is to pass a massive tax cut. That's what the prevailing opinion was at the time, inside the Beltway. His name? Ronald Reagan.

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Friday Talking Points [472] -- Infrastructure Week!

[ Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 – 18:04 PST ]

Before we get to all the rest of the news, here's an interesting anniversary: it has been exactly one year since Trump's last solo press conference. In all the time he's been president, he has held a grand total of precisely one press conference, a month after he was sworn in. So what is he afraid of?

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DACA Bills Fail In Senate

[ Posted Thursday, February 15th, 2018 – 17:24 PST ]

The best chance to save DACA failed today in the Senate. Three more Republican votes would have been necessary for it to have had a chance, even though it did prove to be the most bipartisan plan out there with anywhere near the support needed to pass the Senate. What happens next is uncertain, although "Congress takes yet another week off with a serious deadline staring them in the face" would probably be a safe guess.

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