ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

What About The House?

[ Posted Monday, January 22nd, 2018 – 18:19 PST ]

The Senate Democrats ended their government shutdown today, not with a bang but with a whimper. They did not achieve their stated objective, to force a vote on a bill to save the DACA program, but they did at least raise awareness of the issue in Washington, so it can't conveniently be swept under a rug for the foreseeable future. The moderates and the Democratic Senate leadership point to a rather squishy promise made by Mitch McConnell to hold a floor vote on a DACA bill at some point in the next two months, which was apparently enough of a commitment to assuage the fears of a majority of Democratic senators for now. But lost in all the recriminations is one glaring question: what about the House?

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Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

Where we find ourselves as a nation: this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000, to keep her silence about an affair they had right after he had married his third wife. It was later revealed by In Touch Weekly magazine that Trump had compared the porn star (stage name: Stormy Daniels) favorably with his daughter. And yet this news didn't even really break onto the front pages. After one year of President Trump, such a revelation is considered minor news, in other words. That's where we find ourselves as a nation, folks.

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A Simple Budget Process Fix

[ Posted Thursday, January 18th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

As I write this, the House of Representatives appears to be ready to hold a vote on the one-month budget extension (continuing resolution), which likely means Paul Ryan has successfully twisted enough arms of the Freedom Caucus ( Tea Partiers) and now has the votes he needs to get the bill passed. Up until a few hours ago, even this was uncertain, showing how Republicans are struggling even among themselves to get anything done. And that's before the bill goes over to the Senate, where it will likely die. Will this lead to a government shutdown tomorrow night? Or will some last-minute deal be struck to keep the doors open? At this point, nobody knows.

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Playing The Shutdown Game

[ Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 – 18:09 PST ]

As Congress returns to Washington, the question on everyone's mind is whether the federal government will shut down Friday night or whether some sort of deal (whether long or short term) can be agreed to at the last minute. As of this writing, it's impossible to tell what the outcome will be, but then that is the very nature of such games of brinksmanship. If there wasn't an edge to be close to, then there wouldn't be any threat, to put it another way.

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Friday Talking Points [467] -- Our Racist President

[ Posted Friday, January 12th, 2018 – 18:17 PST ]

The mainstream media crossed two cultural lines this week, in reaction to one of the most offensive things any American president has ever been caught saying. The first line crossed was to overrule the censors. Standards and practices can't complain when a word used on the news is a direct quote from the president, after all. That would be censorship of a different (and darker) type. Still, last night we were rather surprised to here a reporter on the evening NBC news broadcast actually use the word "shithole." No bleeping, no asterisks, just: here is what the president called some African countries. On broadcast (i.e., non-cable) television, at 5:30 P.M. (not some late-night broadcast, in other words). That is a first in America, to be sure. The Washington Post used Trump's unexpurgated, unbowdlerized quote in so many headlines today it was tough to keep an accurate count.

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A Face-Saving Border Wall Compromise Everyone Could Live With

[ Posted Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 – 17:43 PST ]

President Trump sat down today with the Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, in an attempt to hash out a compromise on immigration (specifically, the DACA program that Trump suspended). The larger budget negotiations may hinge on getting such a deal, but at this point the two sides are pretty far apart. Where Trump stands on the issue is pretty clear, which is to say he just wants to sign something and doesn't really care what's in it. This was evidenced by him appearing to agree with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer about the need for a "clean DACA" bill in the negotiations, only to be yanked back by the Republicans in the room who want a whole lot more than a clean DACA bill. But it's obvious Trump just wants a bill to sign, no matter what it contains.

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Friday Talking Points [466] -- The Wolff Who Cried "Boy!"

[ Posted Friday, January 5th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

What's that you say? Trump's golfing wasn't the big story this week? There was, in fact a Wolff at the door, and nobody's certain yet whether Trump lives in a house built of straw(men) or brick (as in: "thick as a...")?

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Sessions Orders Tide To Turn Back

[ Posted Thursday, January 4th, 2018 – 18:59 PST ]

While I do realize there are all kinds of things happening in the political world right now -- not least among them the juicy slugfest between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump -- all of that is going to have to wait for another day (which is to say, tomorrow's column). Instead, I feel compelled to again write about the same subject I wrote about yesterday. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have cast himself into the role of King Canute, desperately ordering the incoming tide to halt and turn back. This didn't work out so well for Canute, and it is not going to work for Sessions, either.

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A Day Of Liberation In The Golden State

[ Posted Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 – 19:21 PST ]

For the third day in a row, marijuana is legally available for both purchase and consumption in California, for purely recreational purposes, to any adult age 21 or older. Also, for the third day in a row: the sky did not fall, the sun still rose in the east, and people are not rioting in the streets. Astonishingly, it turned out to be only an acorn that beaned Chicken Little, and none of the dire hellscapes predicted -- for almost a century -- by the government, the Puritans, and the likes of Nancy Reagan has yet come to pass. It's just another day, in fact, little different from all the tens of thousands of days when marijuana was prohibited.

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My 2017 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 29th, 2017 – 18:22 PST ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! For those who may have missed it, check out Part 1 from last week to see what awards have already been handed out.

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