I had fully intended to write another column postulating that our president and a few of his advisors are nothing short of blithering idiots (you know, the usual thing), but then I got hooked into the modern world of technology and instead sat through the entire hour-long oral arguments hearing in Washington v. Trump, which turned out to be fascinating. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals helpfully live-streamed the audio of a conference call where the lawyers from the Trump administration and the state of Washington made their case to a three-judge panel, on the merits of the temporary restraining order that a district judge in Washington issued that shut down President Trump's executive order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States. So any citizen could, in effect, sit in the courtroom and hear the cases made. I have to admit a certain level of wonky awe that this is the world we live in -- where such things are not just possible, but are now routine.
Archive of Articles in the "Cuba" Category
We know there's that pesky clause in the Constitution and all, but doesn't it seem like today would have been more appropriate for Donald Trump's inauguration? That's our way of saying "Happy Friday the 13th" to everyone, we should point out. Ahem.
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!
Normally we open our annual awards column with an explanation of why John McLaughlin shouldn't sue us. It's become traditional, in fact, to skate the thin ice of "homage" and "satire" versus straight-up theft of intellectual property (which, of course, we'd never ever do... or, at least, admit).
In deciding how to describe the ongoing fratricide within the Republican Party, several metaphors and phrases sprang to mind. Rock, hard place. Rats, sinking ship. Petard-hoisting. There are several which are apt and appropriate, but I finally settled on the wise words of Pogo Possum. Because the Republican Party truly has fulfilled Pogo's reflective prediction: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Our subtitle today is not original, so we've got to start by giving credit where credit is due. David French, a writer for the ultraconservative National Review (and a man once so horrified by Donald Trump's candidacy that he considered running himself), had the funniest metaphor for Trump's performance in Monday's first presidential debate:
President Obama made a big breakthrough in public opinion polling in March, one that is (for once) pretty obvious in his chart. For the first time since May, 2013, Obama's average job approval number for last month was higher than his average disapproval. Take a look at this month's new chart -- it's pretty easy to see how big a deal this is, even on the overall chart of his entire time in office.
I'm pleased to announce that ChrisWeigant.com is applying for press credentials for both national political conventions this year. Longtime readers of the site will remember that I (and my lovely wife, whose blogs also appeared in the Irish Times) attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention, but seeing as how the level of political excitement this year (in both parties) seems almost unparalleled, this year we really want to see what both parties have to offer, in person.
That really should be "Copulating Rodents, Batman!" for full effect. Or it should just come right out and use the original term being euphemized. But somehow we couldn't quite bring ourselves to use either one of those in our title today.
Appropriately, for the week which will also contain the Super Bowl, the first state to weigh in on the presidential election was decided (for Democrats) by a coin-toss. Or, to be accurate, seven of them. With tied caucuses in seven precincts, tossing a coin determined the winner between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Clinton won six coin-tosses, Sanders only one. Because of this, Clinton claimed a razor-edge victory in the whole state. To put it plainly, she got lucky. If the coin tosses had been a little less lopsided, Bernie would have had the opportunity to claim victory. Such is life, and such is the political process in Iowa.