ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Can Democrats Flip The Senate?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

It's tough to focus on politics right now, in the middle of a viral pandemic that is sweeping the country. But it's also necessary to step away from the coronavirus news from time to time, so I thought it might be useful to take a look today at where the race for control of the Senate stands.

The current makeup of the Senate is 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with the Democrats. This means to wrest control away from the GOP, Democrats will have to pick up at least three seats if Democrats win the White House, or four if Trump wins a second term. Luckily for them, the map is a lot more friendly to Democratic chances than it was in the last cycle. Only a third of the Senate is up for re-election in any one election, but the makeup of that third is crucial -- and this time it will mostly be Republicans playing defense, not Democrats.

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Friday Talking Points -- We're Number One (Hundred Thousand)!

[ Posted Friday, March 27th, 2020 – 18:12 UTC ]

We're number one! Well... number one hundred thousand and climbing, at any rate....

Yesterday, the United States of America took the lead on the world stage, but not in a good way. We're now the most-infected nation on the planet, and are now the number one epicenter of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Today, the number of cases in this country surpassed 100,000 -- a grim milestone indeed. We still have a ways to go before we are the country with the most deaths from the disease, but at the rate we're going that won't be long either.

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How About A Rent And Mortgage Holiday?

[ Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 15:48 UTC ]

I am not a macroeconomist. In fact, I am not an economist of any type whatsoever. I begin with these admissions because what I'm about to write is probably wrong in some major way, and/or impossible to accomplish, and/or would have some sort of counterproductive effect that I just haven't thought about. In other words, any real economist could probably shoot this idea full of holes without even breaking a sweat. But I feel I have to at least toss it out there for the purposes of discussion.

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Friday Talking Points -- 19,382 And Counting

[ Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020 – 17:17 UTC ]

We're kidding, of course. Neither of these stories -- which, in normal times would have been covered extensively by the media -- even caused a blip on the radar this week. Because the nation is gripped in the midst of a viral pandemic and we've got the Keystone Kops running the response. Which, admittedly, is a much bigger story to focus on.

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It's Time For Bernie To Drop Out

[ Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2020 – 16:26 UTC ]

It's time for Bernie to make an exit from the Democratic presidential nomination race. I don't say this lightly, as I'm actually a Bernie supporter myself. I voted for him this year and back in 2016 as well. I feel free to now say this because I never admit to my own preferences while I think the race is still up in the air -- my own way of attempting to limit my bias in my writing. But I do feel free to say it now, because the race is now essentially over.

Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee this time around. At this point, barring any completely unexpected and drastic changes in circumstance, it is realistically impossible for Bernie Sanders to catch him in the delegate race. This was not true until the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, but it is true now. Which is why Bernie needs to concede this reality.

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Democrats Should Demand Universal Mail-In Voting In Next Must-Pass Bill

[ Posted Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 – 16:51 UTC ]

The coronavirus outbreak is going to change the fabric of American life in many ways. "Social distancing" is just one of them; one which might last a lot longer than anyone now fully realizes. The coronavirus could be successfully fought this spring, and could be brought under some semblance of control by summer -- but then still come raging back next fall, even worse than before. That's precisely what happened with the Spanish Flu, one hundred years ago. Everyone thought it was over, but in fact the worst was yet to come. This is a very real danger, even though most people haven't even begun to focus on it yet.

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Grin And Bear It?

[ Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 – 17:09 UTC ]

The stock market is now officially in bear market territory. Thus endeth the longest bull market in history, which lasted for the 11 years from just after the Great Recession's end until now. For those unfamiliar with the terms, the "bear market" designation is defined as: "losing 20 percent from the market's peak." Less than a month ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 29,500. Today it closed right around 23,500 -- a loss of roughly 6,000 points. And we may not have hit bottom, although with the current volatility it's tough to tell.

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Golfing While Rome Burns

[ Posted Monday, March 9th, 2020 – 16:49 UTC ]

Roman Emperor Nero didn't actually fiddle while Rome burned. It's a myth. Violins (or "fiddles") wouldn't exist for another 1,500 years or so, making the very concept impossible. That's not to say Nero might not have blatantly ignored a flaming crisis, of course, it's just quibbling about the literal meaning of the maxim. Now, American Emperor-With-No-Clothes Donald Trump didn't fiddle while the country was hit by a pandemic, either. Instead, he played golf. Twice. That's right -- in the midst of a huge crisis, Trump spent the entire weekend playing golf.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tennis, Anyone?

[ Posted Friday, March 6th, 2020 – 18:09 UTC ]

The stock market is crashing daily, a pandemic is sweeping America, a tornado in Tennessee just killed two dozen people, so of course First Lady Melania Trump decided to reassure the public with a message designed to calm people in these perilous times. The message? Don't worry, everyone -- the construction of the new White House tennis pavilion was still on track. No, seriously -- you just can't make this stuff up. She even donned a hard hat (in order to look fabulous) while making this tone-deaf announcement.

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Ridiculously Premature Veepstakes Speculation

[ Posted Thursday, March 5th, 2020 – 17:58 UTC ]

I know, I know -- it's way too early for this.

Still, it's fun to speculate about, so we're going to push right ahead anyway and engage in some ridiculously-early ponderings of who should be chosen to round out the Democratic ticket this time around. If you are horrified of even the prospect of such meanderings, I'd advise you to do something else with the next 10 or 15 minutes of your time. There's always plenty of cat videos out there to watch, after all.

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