ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" 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 Tuesday morning, the White House announced that former Representative Tom Marino had been withdrawn from consideration for the job of running the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- a job more commonly referred to as "the drug czar."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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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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Friday Talking Points [453] -- Deal? Or No Deal?

[ Posted Friday, September 15th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

As is true during most weeks of the Trump administration, a whole lot happened in the political world last week. But most of it was completely overshadowed by the game of "Deal, or no deal?" that Trump was playing. For the second week in a row, President Donald Trump shocked the leadership of his own party by sitting down and (quite literally) breaking bread with Democrats. Yes, Donnie had Chuck and Nancy over for dinner, and Washington hasn't been quite the same since.

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Bernie Moves The Overton Window On Single-Payer

[ Posted Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 – 17:50 PDT ]

Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled his single-payer "Medicare For All" plan today, and so far he's already got 15 Democratic co-sponsors. More may soon add their names to this list. The plan is -- as any such plan has to be, right now -- merely aspirational, since there is no way it will ever even get a Senate floor vote with Republicans controlling the chamber. Bernie's bill also punted completely on the crucial questions: "How much will it cost, and how will we pay for it?" -- something many will take him to task for (as indeed I already pre-emptively did). But even having said all of that, Bernie's Medicare For All bill sets a very important marker for the debate to come, whether that debate takes a few years or longer. Because Bernie has -- with his bill and also with his relentless championing of the issue both during the 2016 campaign and since -- successfully moved the "Overton window" on single-payer healthcare in the United States.

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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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