ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Other" Category

Three Californias? Don't Hold Your Breath...

[ Posted Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 – 17:25 PDT ]

Primary election season for the 2018 midterms continues apace. Last night, voters in Maine reaffirmed their commitment to their new "ranked-choice" voting system. Two Democrats in Wisconsin proved why Governor Scott Walker was so right to be scared of holding special elections, as two more state-level legislative seat flipped from Republican to Democratic (which makes 44, and counting...). A brothel owner in Nevada won his primary. In Virginia, a man who defended the white supremacists in Charlottesville won the GOP nomination and will take on Senator Tim Kaine. So there's plenty of election news to talk about today. But instead of addressing any of these, I simply have to chime in on the fact that in my home state of California a ballot measure has now qualified for the November ballot which will allow voters to decide whether to support the idea of splitting California into three states or not.

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Blame Canada!

[ Posted Monday, June 11th, 2018 – 16:29 PDT ]

Donald Trump has apparently decided to take the advice of that impressive fount of political wisdom, South Park. It's hard to come to any other conclusion, really, when you recall that one of the songs from their first big movie (a song nominated for an Academy Award, no less) was titled: "Blame Canada." President Trump was obviously inspired by the lyrics: "With all their beady little eyes / And flapping heads so full of lies," when he began his tweetstorm against Justin Trudeau after Trump left the G-7 meeting early.

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Bye-Bye, Roseanne

[ Posted Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

The best quip I've heard about the explosive television news today has got to be: "This was the problem all along: Having Roseanne back meant having Roseanne back." In other words, the show was great and funny and all of that, but Roseanne Barr (the actress, not the Roseanne Conner character) had, in the years that intervened between the original run's cancellation and the reboot, completely gone off the rails. She was not just a Trump voter, to put this another way, she was out-Trumping Trump in her support of crazy conspiracy theories. And, yes, some of those crazy conspiracy theories were also pretty racist or (at the start, she later became staunchly pro-Israel) blatantly anti-Semitic.

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Roseanne Continues Long Tradition

[ Posted Thursday, April 5th, 2018 – 17:46 PDT ]

This is going to be a rather strange column for me to write, because it centers on a few subjects that I don't normally write about. In fact, I usually studiously avoid writing about these subjects. But with all the hoo-hah over the reboot of the television sitcom Roseanne, I felt it was time to chime in on popular television culture and my own television viewing preferences. Again, two subjects that I normally strive to avoid, mostly because this just isn't that kind of blog. So if these subjects bore you to death, I'd just stop reading right now. Fair warning.

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Media Giving Trump A Pass On Lack Of Press Conferences

[ Posted Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 – 18:02 PST ]

Why is the White House press corps giving such a giant pass to Donald Trump for his lack of solo press conferences? We are days away from marking his first year in office and in all of that time, Trump has only held one formal solo press conference -- a whopping 328 days ago, on February 16. And yet there is nary a peep from the press corps about this remarkable lack. Previously, when presidents have stiff-armed the press for months on end, news organizations begin running countdown clocks (technically, they're actually count-up clocks) showing how many days and months it has been since the last presidential presser. Haven't seen anything like that this time, though.

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President Oprah?

[ Posted Monday, January 8th, 2018 – 18:43 PST ]

We're officially through the looking glass, folks. I woke up this morning to find not one or two, but four articles on the Washington Post website speculating about the possibility of Oprah Winfrey running for president. Apparently she gave a zinger of a speech last night while accepting a lifetime Golden Globe award, which sparked all the buzz. So I am forced to consider the idea myself: President Oprah?

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Why No Hurricane Maria National Telethon?

[ Posted Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 – 16:30 PDT ]

Donald Trump is rightfully getting slammed over his lackadaisical response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The relief efforts were slow to start and are still pretty disappointing -- the Navy hospital ship just arrived in Puerto Rico yesterday, for instance, a full two weeks after the storm hit. Most of the island still has no electrical power or phone service. Drinking water is not universally available. The critics of Trump are right in pointing all of this out. But there's another glaring absence that also should be raising questions: where is the response from Hollywood? Where is the nationally-televised relief telethon? Why did this happen for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but has not happened for Hurricane Maria? Puerto Ricans are justified in calling attention to their second-class citizenship (as far as Donald Trump is concerned), but it's inexplicable why they are being also snubbed by the liberal artists who normally leap at an opportunity to be seen as doing good.

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Netroots: Energized And Looking Forward

[ Posted Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 14:26 PDT ]

The most heartening thing I've seen so far is how unified the atmosphere is. I've been to Netroots in years following big election losses before, and some of these had a pervasive atmosphere of disappointment, if not outright depression. This is not the case this year at all, I'm happy to report, even though 2016 was the most dismal election loss Democrats have suffered in a long time. Instead of downcast attitudes, people have responded by energetically rededicating themselves to ushering in political change, and the overall feeling is actually one of optimism.

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Off With Her Head!

[ Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

So, comedienne Kathy Griffin's head appears to be on the chopping block. That's a metaphor, of course, and as of now it is even inaccurate, since CNN has already parted ways with Griffin (she co-hosted their New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper, one of the most bizarre television matchups since Al Franken and Arianna Huffington appeared "in bed" together, doing their version of election coverage in 1996). Since CNN's announcement, the proper metaphor becomes: "Kathy Griffin axed by CNN." Or, perhaps: "her head has already rolled." These aren't really political metaphors, they're instead business-related. Speaking of getting "axed" rather than getting fired is merely poetic hyperbole, and who among us hasn't ever used the "heads are going to roll" or "on the chopping block" line ourselves? Does this kind of conflation cross a moral or ethical line? Or is it merely what used to be called "gallows humor" -- attempting to make light of the worst of situations?

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In Praise Of Court Jesters

[ Posted Thursday, May 11th, 2017 – 18:01 PDT ]

There must be something to the myths, though, even if only in a Jungian-archetypical kind of way. Because they certainly still remain with us. In today's world, of course, they are not dressed in motley (well, some less so than others...); and instead of a perch near the throne, they crack wise on television shows to an audience of millions. They are our late-night comedians. Two of them were in the news earlier this week, but before I get to Monday night's performances by Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers, I'd like to confess my own evolution in favor of our modern court jesters.

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