ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

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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Unemployment Figures Even Worse Than They Look

[ Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 17:06 UTC ]

The Department of Labor just announced a rather staggering number -- almost 3.3 million new unemployment insurance claims nationwide in the past week alone. That sets a grim new record for this one-week statistic, far outpacing any previous spike (it's never even gone above one million before, ever). But this record is almost certain to be a huge undercount, which means that next week could be much worse. And by the time they get around to releasing the adjusted numbers (which usually takes a few months) which show the actual reality of the situation, we'll all have moved on.

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Don't Forget The Lag Time

[ Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 – 16:32 UTC ]

Tracking the spread of the coronavirus is tough to do on a real-time basis because of several inherent instabilities in the data, and also because of the built-in lag time. We'd all do well to remember this in the next few weeks, when considering when lifting all the social distancing restrictions. President Trump is already leading the charge to get the country back to normal, so this pressure is obviously only going to grow.

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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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Gaming Out A Future Pandemic

[ Posted Monday, March 16th, 2020 – 16:15 UTC ]

The administration of President Donald Trump is showing us all, in real time, how not to tackle a widespread medical crisis. Because things are moving so quickly, though, it's tough to tell how much of their woefully inadequate response has been the fault of Donald Trump himself, Trump's scorn for experts of any type who know more things than he does (a category which includes many people, for obvious reasons), or Trump's advisors and aides who have been put in charge of a massive problem but whose main worry seems to be not ever contradicting Trump in public (no matter how wrong Trump gets things). It all adds up to making a bad situation much worse, which is precisely where we find ourselves now. Decisions are made for political reasons, or -- worse -- to avoid making Trump himself look bad in any way. This has shattered the confidence of the stock market, as evidenced by today's record-busting 3,000-point drop. The more time goes by, the more Trump's inadequacies are becoming impossible to ignore, even by his staunchest supporters. Donald Trump, quite obviously, does not have a clue what to do next, is instead out there blatantly lying about the situation on a daily basis, and we're all going to suffer as a direct result. No wonder the market's tanking.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Weird Turn Pro

[ Posted Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

In a surreal bit of coincidence this week, America saw a simultaneous broadcast of President Trump stumbling and lying his way through a primetime Oval Office address, while on another channel former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin danced around in a frilly pink bear costume while rapping "Baby Got Back," which contains the memorable line: "I like big butts and I cannot lie...." Signs of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge. What flashed through our mind was the old quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Or, as we might put it (with a fake Sarah Palin accent): "How's that 'stable genius' stuff workin' out for ya now?"

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The Choice Couldn't Be Starker

[ Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2020 – 17:26 UTC ]

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have taken a page from Michael Bloomberg's campaign playbook, and they really need to continue doing this right up until the election (no matter which one of them becomes the nominee). Because more than anything else, it clearly shows the difference between having a sane adult as president and what we've got now.

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