ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Maybe Now Congress Will Act On Marijuana Banking Reform?

[ Posted Monday, August 20th, 2018 – 17:16 PDT ]

Over two decades after California legalized medical marijuana (becoming the first of many states to do so), Congress has still refused to act in any way to admit the fact that the times they are a-changin' on marijuana law. Six years after Colorado and Washington became the first two states to outright legalize recreational use for adults, Congress still refuses to act. In the meantime, marijuana has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, and as with every other multibillion-dollar industry (especially agricultural ones -- remember all those "Got Milk?" ads?), it has begun spending money on lobbying politicians. So far it's a relative drop in the bucket -- total marijuana lobbying this year is only a relatively paltry million dollars -- but one story today may eventually have a ripple effect that (hopefully) will end with Congress admitting the new reality of the existence of the state-legal marijuana industry. In a way, it's a sad commentary on our political system, where as we all know money talks quite loudly. But that's a discussion for another day, really. The system is what it is, and if in some way it spurs the otherwise-somnolent legislators into doing the right thing for once, then that at least will be a desirable outcome.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [496] -- OMG Omarosa!

[ Posted Friday, August 17th, 2018 – 17:07 PDT ]

Omarosa was wholly created, as a media personality, by Donald Trump. He absolutely loved her backstabbing and underhanded play on his reality show, The Apprentice. He loved her act so much that he brought it with him to the White House. Now that she's turned against him, however, he isn't loving her act quite so much anymore. Sad!

Read Complete Article »

The Iron 'Stache Wins His Primary

[ Posted Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 – 16:45 PDT ]

Randy "Iron 'Stache" Bryce won his primary last night in Wisconsin, meaning he is now the Democratic nominee who will attempt to flip Paul Ryan's House district in November. It'll be a tough race, but an interesting one to watch no matter the outcome. Partly this is due to Bryce's charisma and personality, and partly it is because of the issues he chose to run on. Because he just may become the prime example of how blue-collar working-class Democrats can win elections in today's political climate.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [495] -- Lost In Space

[ Posted Friday, August 10th, 2018 – 17:19 PDT ]

President Donald Trump, when speaking of his idea to create a "Space Force" branch of the U.S. military, invariably sounds like an adolescent boy raving about his favorite science-fiction film. Perhaps this is why he sent Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis out this week to announce that the Pentagon will (reluctantly) be going along with Trump's idiocy. Trump even unveiled six prototype logos for the new Space Force, all of which look like they were designed by someone who had just woken up from a coma entered into at some time in the early 1960s.

Read Complete Article »

What A Democratic House Would Mean

[ Posted Thursday, August 9th, 2018 – 17:09 PDT ]

Representative Devin Nunes, at a rally for a Republican House leader, let slip the real reason Republicans want to hang onto control of the House -- because if the Democrats win, his committee (and others like it) will no longer be under GOP control. Which would mean investigative and governmental oversight committees would return to doing the job they are supposed to be doing -- investigating possible wrongdoing and overseeing the Trump administration to discover exactly what they're up to (and how much of it is actually illegal).

Read Complete Article »

Primary Season Musings

[ Posted Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 – 16:29 PDT ]

With fewer than 100 days to go until the midterm elections, several states held primaries last night as well as one very closely-watched special House election in Ohio. The final results are not all in, due to the closeness of the race in Ohio and in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Kansas, but enough results are in to draw some broad conclusions overall.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [494] -- It's Always Silly Season Now

[ Posted Friday, July 27th, 2018 – 15:44 PDT ]

The beginning of August, in any normal political year, is when we would usually devote at least one column to trying to predict what the upcoming "silly season" will bring. August may be the dog days for most folks, but in politics it is usually the silliest season of the year. Congress scarpers off to enjoy a month-long vacation, which leaves a vacuum of political news in Washington, which leaves political reporters and commenters desperate for an angle to write about -- any angle at all. This normally leads to focusing on some extraordinarily silly subject matter (to the exclusion of all else), for weeks on end -- hence the season's unofficial name. But these are not normal times, of course, and part of the abnormality that Donald Trump has ushered in is such a vast extension of the silly season that it can now be accurately said to have encompassed the entire calendar year. There is no more silly season anymore, in other words, because it is now silly season all the time. Just check Trump's Twitter feed on any given day, if you require proof.

Read Complete Article »

Memo To Myself: Maintain Skepticism Next Week

[ Posted Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 – 17:13 PDT ]

Although I intend to take to task two of my favorite targets in this column (the mainstream media and the inside-the-Beltway cocktail-circuit chattering class), my real purpose in writing today is to create a memorandum to myself. Next week I will be attending the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, which will be as intense a gathering of lefties as is possible to imagine. This year, obviously, feelings will be running high and the rampant enthusiasm and optimistic expectations for the upcoming midterm elections should be off the charts. A little more than 100 days from now, America will vote -- and midterms are always seen as a referendum on the job the current president is doing. But like all ideological gatherings, Netroots Nation will be an echo chamber or (to be more polite) "speaking with only one voice." And it's important, when joining such a gathering, to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism. I guess what I'm trying to say was best said by that learnèd philosopher Yogi Berra, when he quipped: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Read Complete Article »

Would A "Tea Party Of The Left" Be Effective Or Not?

[ Posted Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 – 16:49 PDT ]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is certainly stirring things up in a big way. After her stunning primary defeat of the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, the 28-year-old from the Bronx has become one of the leading voices for the youthful resurgence of energy Democrats are now enjoying. But precisely because she has become so visible so quickly, she is now beginning to cause some pearl-clutching among establishment Democrats (the ones who are routinely frightened by their own shadows, it's worth mentioning). They counsel the party "not to go too far left" in their eternal quest for centrism to reign supreme in American politics.

Read Complete Article »

Trump Takes His Trade War To Iowa

[ Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is going to attempt to pivot this week to domestic policy, after his disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin didn't exactly turn out as planned. Trump has a meeting with a European leader this week where Trump's proposed European automobile tariffs will be high on the agenda, and Trump will also head out to Iowa to hit the campaign trail for Republicans. Iowa is already one of the front lines of Trump's trade war, since a lot of soybeans are grown there. So far, his farm country base seem to be supporting Trump's trade war (for the moment), but their patience isn't going to be inexhaustible. At some point blind faith in Trump's dealmaking prowess is going to hit the brick wall of reality, in the form of a seriously depressed agricultural market.

Read Complete Article »