ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Constitution" Category

Friday Talking Points [459] -- Deficits Don't Matter, Again (Neither Moral Nor Financial)

[ Posted Friday, October 27th, 2017 – 17:29 PDT ]

There's an easy test to see whether Republicans in Congress care about financial deficits: Is there a Democrat in the White House? If so, then deficits are so important that the situation requires threats of government shutdowns and defaulting on the national debt to fight deficit spending. However, if there's a Republican in the White House, then (as Dick Cheney so eloquently put it) "deficits don't matter." This was on full hypocritical display once again this week, as congressional Republicans voted to blow a $1.5 trillion hole in the national debt, so that the wealthy and big corporations can enjoy massive tax cuts.

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Flake News

[ Posted Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 – 15:31 PDT ]

I have to begin with an apology for that headline... but in the era of Donald Trump, it was impossible to resist. Senator Jeff Flake made the news today by announcing he will not be seeking re-election next year. He did so in a rather spectacular fashion, with a Senate floor speech that came close to denouncing Trump and all he stands for. As time goes by, more and more Republicans are taking the opportunity to do the same thing, but so far this hasn't much impact on the political world beyond the realm of rhetoric. So while I appreciate Flake's statement for the entertainment value alone, I also have serious doubts as to whether it means much in the grand scheme of things.

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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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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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A Sad New Normal

[ Posted Monday, October 2nd, 2017 – 16:53 PDT ]

Here we are again. We all know the drill by now. We all know pretty much what the eyewitnesses will say, what the talking heads on the television will say, and what the politicians will say. None of it ever seems to change, and none of it seems to change anything going forward, either. We go through the cycle of "mass gun attack" and hear the same words over again. We go through the cycle of grief which will then fade, right up to the time when it happens anew all over again. This is, sadly, the new normal for America.

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Trump On DACA: Blame Congress, Not Me!

[ Posted Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 17:47 PDT ]

President Donald Trump certainly annoyed many today with the announcement that he'll be ending the DACA (or "dreamer") program. The dreamers themselves are outraged, their parents and relatives are suffering massive disappointment, and their supporters have yet another reason to disapprove of Trump. But what I found striking about today's announcement is that it is the first one I can recall from Trump which even attempts to show any sort of nuance or political shrewdness. Perhaps this is a result of the rising influence of his new chief of staff, or perhaps he really doesn't want to be seen as completely heartless towards the most sympathetic group of undocumented immigrants around. Either way, though, when compared to (for instance) his first attempt at a "Muslim ban," how Trump is ending DACA shows a wee bit more of what might be called political savvy.

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Friday Talking Points [451] -- Riders On The Storm

[ Posted Friday, September 1st, 2017 – 17:45 PDT ]

Donald Trump began last week (as we measure time here, from Friday deadline to Friday deadline) by pardoning a racist sheriff who had been convicted (but not even sentenced yet) of ignoring the Constitution and defying the federal courts. Trump announced this just as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, in the hopes that nobody but his base would notice. He also sent formal instructions to the Pentagon to begin turning away transgendered Americans who want to serve their country, also in the hopes that few would notice. In the midst of all this "news dump" frenzy, Steve Bannon's acolyte Sebastian Gorka was unceremoniously shown the door at the White House. That all happened late in the day last Friday, so for us it was a fairly jaw-dropping start to the week.

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Distracted Reporting

[ Posted Monday, August 28th, 2017 – 16:31 PDT ]

On Friday, President Donald Trump attempted a trick many previous U.S. presidents have used to good effect, and so far at least it seems to be working out for Trump quite well. The trick is to get sensitive news out late on a Friday, in the hopes that the American public (and the press) will be so distracted by the weekend that the story will have much less impact than it normally would have. Really bad news is usually released right before a three-day holiday weekend, so it'll have even less reach and an even-smaller impact. Trump took this to another level last Friday, by releasing some contentious news right in the midst of the biggest hurricane to hit the U.S. in over a decade.

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