ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points [458] -- Gold Star Lies

[ Posted Friday, October 20th, 2017 – 17:41 PDT ]

Call this the week when White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lost all remaining shreds of credibility. Kelly, as we all know, was supposed to bring the adult supervision to the White House that would magically transform Donald Trump into a serious president. A retired Marine Corps general was going to whip the White House into shape, and clear sailing ahead would thus quickly ensue.

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Nailing Scalps To The Newsroom Wall

[ Posted Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 – 17:02 PDT ]

The CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes and the Washington Post may have just clinched a Pulitzer Prize, for their bombshell reporting on how some bought-and-paid-for congressmen did the bidding of Big Pharma for campaign cash and, as a direct result, made the opioid crisis in America worse by limiting the enforcement powers of the Drug Enforcement Agency. But, Pulitzer consideration aside, they've already won an even-more-impressive award: a politician's scalp, metaphorically nailed to the newsroom wall. The television show and the companion print articles appeared Sunday. Tuesday morning, the White House announced that former Representative Tom Marino had been withdrawn from consideration for the job of running the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- a job more commonly referred to as "the drug czar."

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Friday Talking Points [457] -- Buck-Passer In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 13th, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

On Harry Truman's desk famously sat a sign which proudly proclaimed: "The Buck Stops Here." If Donald Trump had such an item, it might read: "Buck-Passer In Chief." His governing style (if it can even be dignified as such) is to cause a crisis on his own, and then dump the entire problem on Congress to deal with. Because we all know what masterful problem-solvers the Republican-led Congress are, or something. This could lead to utter disaster on many fronts, within the next few months.

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White House Tries Deal-Making

[ Posted Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 – 17:09 PDT ]

Amidst all the continuing distractions emanating from the White House these days (I.Q. tests, the N.F.L., World War III, etc.), something interesting and unprecedented has happened in the past few weeks. The Trump administration has begun actual negotiations with Congress, on two contentious issues. It's rather astonishing when you think about it, but this is actually the first time such a thing has happened since Trump took office.

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Digging Through Feinstein's Record

[ Posted Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 – 17:10 PDT ]

Yesterday, I laid out the reasons why I was disappointed to hear that Dianne Feinstein would be seeking re-election. Since then, I've seen a few other articles also expressing dismay over the news. So I thought it'd be worthwhile to take a look at how I've judged Feinstein over the years. While thinking about yesterday's column, I dug into my own archives to see what Feinstein's score had added up to. I did this by combing the "Friday Talking Points" all-time awards list, to see where she stood. Her current tally is seven Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards, and fifteen Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards. That's worse than 2-to-1 against, obviously. I did not take into consideration any "Honorable Mention" or "(Dis-)Honorable Mention" awards, because I do not keep statistics for the minor awards.

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Dianne Feinstein Decides To Run Again

[ Posted Monday, October 9th, 2017 – 17:14 PDT ]

Dianne Feinstein was born less than three months after Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office for the first time, in 1933. Today, she announced she will be seeking another term in the Senate, even though she is already the oldest sitting senator. If re-elected, she will be 85 years old when she starts her next 6-year term of office.

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Friday Talking Points [456] -- Rex Says What Everyone's Been Thinking

[ Posted Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

It's getting kind of hard to understand why Rex Tillerson is still secretary of state. He just had an extremely rough week, and that's even without counting the breaking news that he had previously called President Trump not just a "moron" but a "fucking moron." It's easy to get distracted by such salacious news (especially when Tillerson pointedly refused to deny the "moron" part of it), but even before that juicy leak, Tillerson was roundly being ridiculed for, once again, how his boss snarkily contradicted and belittled him on Twitter. Last weekend, Trump destroyed Tillerson's efforts to bring North Korea to the diplomatic table, tweeting that Tillerson was "wasting his time."

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The Rise And Fall Of Trump's Polling

[ Posted Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 – 17:59 PDT ]

It's been two months since we last took a look at it, so it seemed like a good time to check in on President Donald Trump's job approval ratings. During this time period, Trump went down, then up, then back down again, finishing up within one point of where he started.

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Friday Talking Points [455] -- Price Break!

[ Posted Friday, September 29th, 2017 – 17:49 PDT ]

As we sat down to write this, the news broke that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has resigned. So, of course, we immediately had to come up with a snappy "price" pun for our title. We could have gone with the Rolls Royce slogan ("If You Have To Ask The Price, You Can't Afford It"), or maybe "The High Price Of Airfare These Days," but both are kind of wordy. So we had to settle for "Price Break!" (we did consider "Price Cut," but that would have been more appropriate if he had actually been fired). The news of Price's resignation came immediately following the news that President Donald Trump was going to decide -- tonight -- whether to fire him or not. So, one way or another, the Price would have been lowered, so to speak.

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How About Some "Regular Order" On Taxes, GOP?

[ Posted Thursday, September 28th, 2017 – 17:07 PDT ]

There's an old saying that when all you have is a hammer, pretty soon every problem starts to resemble a nail. Which brings us to the subject of Republicans and tax cuts, of course. For approximately the past 35 years or so, there has been no problem the GOP doesn't think can be fixed with a good old fashioned gigantic tax cut, mostly for the wealthiest Americans. Even their recent failed efforts on "repeal and replace Obamacare" were mostly just an excuse to slash taxes on the wealthy. Now that that's over with (for now, at least), Republicans no longer have to even pretend to have any other goal than slashing taxes on the well-off. But perhaps the process will improve. And then again, perhaps that is overly optimistic.

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