Archive of Articles for April, 2019

Program Note

[ Posted Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 – 16:52 UTC ]

The saga of the transmission continues, which once again ate up my whole day. I will try to get to answering some comments later (something I've been lax at this past week), but my apologies once again as there will be no new column today.
-- Chris Weigant
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

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Good Economic News Not Always The Best Political Indicator

[ Posted Monday, April 29th, 2019 – 18:09 UTC ]

When political wonks look at factors which influence presidential elections, one of the most obvious correlations is with how the economy's doing. Economic indicators are a good indication of the mood of the voters, or at least they have been in the past. Of course, as with any attempt to identify causality in the nebulous field of politics, this isn't a hard-and-fast rule or anything, but tracking the economy is a better indicator than most as to whether the voters are in the mood for a change at the top or not.

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Biden Enters The Race As The Clear Frontrunner

[ Posted Friday, April 26th, 2019 – 17:14 UTC ]

Former Vice President Joe Biden entered the 2020 Democratic presidential field as the clear frontrunner, which is a new experience for him. In his previous two runs for president, he never got to where he is now: comfortably leading the entire pack. Biden is polling ahead of the previous frontrunner Bernie Sanders by anywhere from a few points to a healthy margin of 10 or more, and both men are far out in front of all the other contenders, who are all struggling to even manage to break into double digits in the polls.

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Program Note

[ Posted Thursday, April 25th, 2019 – 17:55 UTC ]

My apologies, but there will be no new column today. I am dealing with automotive (transmission) problems, and had to spend all day running around, leaving no time to write. Hopefully, I'll still be able to get a column out tomorrow for the weekly Friday Talking Points roundup. For now, my apologies [...]

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Should Prisoners Be Allowed To Vote?

[ Posted Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 – 16:51 UTC ]

Monday night, Bernie Sanders appeared on a CNN town hall, and was asked a rather unusual question. An audience member asked whether Bernie supported enfranchising prisoners such as the Boston Marathon bomber or people convicted of sexual assault. Bernie's answer was surprising to many, because he spoke not only in favor of incarcerated prisoners voting, but cut to the heart of the matter: to Bernie, it's a question of basic rights.

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Trump Begins To Push Back

[ Posted Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 – 17:04 UTC ]

The use of the word "begins" in that headline might be a bit puzzling, since President Donald Trump has pushed back on any number of things during the course of his presidency, most often on Twitter. But today we're not talking about exchanging schoolyard insults with his political opponents, but actual legal pushback from the executive department. Which is somewhat new, and can be expected to grow over the coming months.

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Democratic Field Still Growing

[ Posted Monday, April 22nd, 2019 – 17:30 UTC ]

Another day goes by, another Democrat jumps in the presidential race. You'll forgive me if that sounds somewhat cynical (or even a bit loopy), but that's what the first few months of 2019 have seemed like, at times. But hopefully we're getting to the end of this opening phase in the 2020 presidential race, and hopefully within the next few weeks or so we'll have a full Democratic field and nobody else will jump into the race. That's our fervent hope, at any rate. It's hard enough keeping up with the names of everyone running already!

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Friday Talking Points -- The Mueller Report's Aftermath

[ Posted Friday, April 19th, 2019 – 17:41 UTC ]

Yesterday, Robert Mueller's investigative report on Donald Trump was made (mostly) public. Today, Trump and his cheerleaders are insisting that he has been totally vindicated and exonerated, while some Democratic candidates for president are demanding that impeachment proceedings be launched in the House of Representatives. That's a pretty wide gulf in perception, but at this point it was to be expected.

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Mueller Report Changes Little

[ Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 16:56 UTC ]

The Mueller Report is finally out. Portions of it have been redacted, and congressional Democrats will doubtlessly continue their push to get an unredacted version to read, but even if that happens the public may never get to see the full text. So for now, we've only got what was released today to examine. And the emerging consensus seems to be that there was no one glaring thing to point to which will lead to Donald Trump's downfall. As usual, there is plenty of fishy and questionable and possibly illegal conduct by both Trump and his minions, but none of it is likely to spur immediate impeachment hearings.

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The Vaulting Held

[ Posted Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 16:34 UTC ]

The tragic fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral could have been a lot worse, especially at level of the ground floor. But to a large extent this further catastrophe was avoided. Images from within the cathedral show a surprising amount of the floor to be relatively unburnt, including standing pews made of wood. The thanks for this miracle, though, belong not to God but to some unnamed Medieval stonemasons -- those who did the design and construction of the building's vaulted ceilings. Because their vaulting held fast, widespread damage at ground-level was averted.

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