ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Russia" Category

Friday Talking Points -- A Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, January 21st, 2022 – 17:37 UTC ]

It was an eventful week in Washington, with a holiday and an anniversary thrown in for good measure, so we're going to try to be a little more succinct in this week's rundown. Well... try to, at any rate.

The week began with Martin Luther King Junior Day, saw a historic (but failed) vote in the Senate on voting rights, contained a marathon of a presidential press conference, and marked the first year President Joe Biden has spent in office. Plus a whole lot of other notable developments along the way.

Read Complete Article »

Biden's Marathon Presser

[ Posted Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 – 17:41 UTC ]

I am writing this after watching a rather extraordinary press conference with President Joe Biden. It was extraordinary for two reasons, really -- it was only the second such press conference he's given on U.S. soil since becoming president, and it was monumentally long, clocking in at just under two hours. It was a true marathon of a presser, as Biden seemed almost reluctant to end it -- and at several times even kidded with the reporters that he could go for another two or three hours if they were up for it. Perhaps he was making up for the lack of regular press conferences in his first year by giving what amounted to a double press conference to begin his second?

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- America Is Back

[ Posted Friday, June 18th, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

President Joe Biden had a pretty good week all around. He began the week in Europe, where he met with the leaders of NATO, the European Union, the G7, a few royals (just to mix things up), and Vladimir Putin. That's a pretty packed schedule, but Biden seemed to manage just fine. The Europeans were both visibly thrilled and massively relieved to be visited by a United States president who was, once again, a sane adult (and not a petulant little child-man). They heaped praise upon Biden -- mostly just for being "President Not-Trump." You may laugh, but please recall President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize solely for being "President Not-Dubya," years earlier. But more seriously, Europe announced some deals with Biden (including, notably, a truce being called on the subsidy war over Boeing and Airbus airplanes). Not only were personal relationships either reaffirmed or begun, tangible diplomatic progress was made. Europe stood as one with the United States over the contentious issues of Russia and China, which only strengthened Biden's position for his meeting with Putin. The Putin summit didn't produce a whole lot in the way of tangible deliverables, but then again it didn't produce an American president willing to believe Russia's ex-K.G.B. leader over his own intelligence services either, so it has to be chalked up as a major improvement. Throughout it all, Biden stuck to one very simple slogan that summed up what his trip was supposed to be showcasing to the world: "America is back."

Read Complete Article »

Biden Wraps Up His European Trip

[ Posted Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 – 16:20 UTC ]

President Joe Biden wrapped up his tour of Europe today with a personal meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin and then a solo press conference afterwards (Putin also gave his own solo press conference, before Biden spoke). The summit meeting between the two leaders was built up with breathless anticipation in the political media, but the actual outcome was pretty mundane and more process-oriented than many might have expected. This first meeting was never supposed to be about big breakthroughs or bilateral agreements, it was designed to lay the groundwork for future negotiations and possible cooperation.

Read Complete Article »

A Return To Normalcy On The World Stage

[ Posted Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 – 15:43 UTC ]

Joe Biden has returned America's foreign policy (or at least the face of it to the rest of the world) back to normalcy. The president of the United States is once again treated respectfully by foreign leaders, mostly because he understands that allies are indispensible in the modern world -- and he knows the difference between allies and dictatorships (no matter how much dictators might try to flatter him and build up his ego). Our allies have welcomed our return to sanity and comity, and Biden's outreach is already bearing fruit on his first trip abroad. The trip's biggest test will come when he meets with Russia's Vladimir Putin, but he will do so knowing that Europe is largely backing the United States. That is all a drastic and relieving change from the past four years, when Donald Trump could barely stand to be in a room with Europe's leaders, would casually and viciously denigrate NATO and other bedrock alliances, and then throw his arms open wide for the likes of Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Or, to put it more succinctly, we are experiencing a return to normalcy.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Welcome To Cloud Cuckoo Land

[ Posted Friday, May 14th, 2021 – 18:03 UTC ]

The Republican Party has officially divorced itself from reality. They have, quite simply, moved their headquarters to Cloud Cuckoo Land. Any among their ranks who do not swear fealty to the fantastic lies they now believe must be either shunned or expelled. That is the state of one of the two major American political parties, in the twenty-first century.

Normally, such a development would be a reason for glee among the other political party, but this is not merely a matter of Republicans believing that the world is flat, the moon is made of green cheese, or tax cuts always pay for themselves -- no, this is no mere pedestrian fantasyland they have now taken up residence within. This is far more dangerous.

Read Complete Article »

Liz Cheney Goes Down Swinging Hard

[ Posted Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 – 15:26 UTC ]

In more ways than one, Liz Cheney is her father's daughter. Coming from a liberal, however, that's not exactly a compliment. Both Cheneys are unapologetic warmongers, and both are extremely cunning denizens of Washington. Both stand for principles I personally abhor, and I doubt there's a single political issue or stance on which I would ever agree with either one of them. Having said all of that, though, Cheney is to be praised for going down swinging. She refuses to back down, she refuses to stay quiet, and she will tell anyone who will listen that what Donald Trump and his spineless enablers are doing is nothing short of an attack on both American democracy itself and the United States Constitution.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- We Don't Need No Education! We Don't Need No Thought Control!

[ Posted Friday, May 7th, 2021 – 17:22 UTC ]

In 2018, Democrats dominated the midterm elections. This was not historically unusual, although the size of the victory was at the high end of the scale. Since there is now a Democrat in the White House, the 2022 election has to be seen as tilted towards the Republicans. But there is one very potent issue that Democrats should truly begin exploiting -- in the same manner they exploited healthcare in 2018. Back then, Democrats ran on a very obvious choice: vote for us, we will try to make health insurance cheaper and easier to get, while Republicans' only answer is to repeal Obamacare (which, by then, had become quite popular). It worked. In 2022, the Democrats' message should be: vote for us, we will make [or, if it passes, "we made"] four additional years of education free, while Republicans told you it was evil and socialism and maybe even communism -- while they fought hard against two free years of preschool for America's children.

Read Complete Article »

Joe Biden's First Big Speech

[ Posted Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 – 21:22 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has achieved one rather monumental task since he took office, at least to me: in his first 99 days as president, Biden has successfully made the presidency boring again. This sounds like a joke, but it isn't. The previous president was the one to make the presidency itself a joke, in fact -- Biden is just returning us all to the normal state of things. And the public -- even a lot of Republicans -- are relieved at this development. Joe Biden is not an egomaniac nor is he a megalomaniac. The difference is striking. Biden does not crave seeing his face on the news each night, so he has no need to deliberately cause a mini-crisis just to get everyone to pay attention to him during that day's news cycle. Biden also does not communicate like a petulant pre-teen on social media. He's downright boring, and that's an enormous relief to us all.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- GOP White Supremacist Caucus Forms

[ Posted Friday, April 16th, 2021 – 18:13 UTC ]

Some Republicans have apparently decided that political dog whistles are just no longer even necessary. After the bombast of Donald Trump, they're now quite comfortable just openly saying exactly what they mean -- no matter how racist it might be.

We refer to the formation of a new congressional caucus: the "America First Caucus." Normally, this wouldn't be all that big a deal -- just some group of extra-Trumpy GOP members getting together to figure out what their Dear Leader would want them to do in Congress. But their founding document was leaked, and it goes a wee bit further in laying out the founding principles of the new caucus. Here are their first few paragraphs on immigration, for instance:

Read Complete Article »