Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Recent Posts
  • Supreme Court, NPC, packing the court, FDR, law, justice, constitution
    national politics & policies
    The Court-Packers

    “What if there were five justices selected by Democrats,” presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke explored at an Iowa campaign stop, “five justices selected by Republicans, and those ten then pick five more justices independent of those who picked the first ten?” Beto, meet FDR. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried something similar

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Green New Deal, socialism, Greta Thunberg,
    ideological culture
    The Ominous Linkages

    What does a 16-year-old Swedish girl have in common with a popular 29-year-old U.S. Representative? Environmentalism and socialism. The young woman is Greta Thunberg, who spear-headed a “global movement of schoolchildren striking to demand climate change action.” The Representative is AOC, er, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who last month launched her

  • links
    Townhall: Dear Fellow Peasant

    The core idea behind the institutions of representative government — state legislatures, city councils, Congress — is that lawmakers, sometimes referred to as “representatives,” should endeavor to implement “the will of the people.” Right? Stop laughing.  To be such a ‘servant of the people’ necessarily entails knowing the public’s preferences.

  • video
    CNN Sued for $275 million

    The Covington Catholic students’ Lincoln Memorial brouhaha has reached the next level of extremity: There has been much analysis of the suit. Timcast’s is worth checking out. Another worthwhile interview about the subject was conducted by Dave Rubin.

  • Government Property, draft, selective service, slavery, commission,
    general freedom
    There’s a Word for It

    The word is “effrontery.” With shameless boldness, two gentlemen testifying for mandatory “National Service” at a recent hearing of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service pitched the notion that social dysfunction and directionlessness among the young could be best solved by forcing them to work for government

  • Trump, deficit, spending, military, cuts, budget
    national politics & policies
    Seriously Not Serious

    While one segment of the voting public regards President Donald Trump as a heaven-sent savior, a louder mob treats Trump as the Beast, a veritable Anti-Obama.  I am in neither tribe. To me, Mr. Trump must be judged on what he does. Nominating Neil Gorsuch? A-plus. But The Donald has

  • licensing, license, permission, work, labor, regulations
    free trade & free markets
    Opportunity for . . . All?

    Simple pleasures are the best. So are simple questions. Senate Bill 2306 in North Dakota “would make it easier for spouses of military personnel to transfer their existing occupational licenses for use in North Dakota, provided they are in good standing and licensed by a reasonable entity,” explains Rob Port

  • Great Britain, British, England, knives, violence, freedom, surveillance,
    crime and punishment
    Porn, Video Games and British Crime

    British freedom is eroding. The attack comes from two directions. First, there is the over-bearing police-state style, surveillance-everywhere government. Second, there is the increasing violence. Thing is, the justification for Britain’s mass surveillance, as well as for strict gun controls, was to prevent crime. Oops. So of course the Labour

  • North Dakota, initiative, citizen initiative, ballot initiative, democracy, suppression
    March Sanity

    “A public debate on the merits of a measure can reveal its flaws,” the Bismarck Tribune calmly and reasonably editorialized yesterday, “and then we have to trust voters to do the right thing.” “Why are some legislators so afraid to allow North Dakota voters to decide what is in their

  • Bernie Sanders, climate change, global warming, extremism
    Green New Extremism

    Citation is here. And here.

  • by Paul Jacob
    Congress Considers the Draft

    Yes, “mandatory national service” is a live topic — again! Mandatory National Service? on Vimeo. But the situation is not hopeless. This is not a “done deal.” Indeed, there is something you can do to prevent universal, intersex/all-gender mandatory conscription. Click here to find out more. Why not click right

  • surveillance, metadata, Snowden, Edward Snowden
    Fourth Amendment rights
    Snowden Won?

    “The phone records program” that Edward Snowden risked life, limb and freedom to expose “had never thwarted a terrorist attack,” the New York Times informs in a somewhat startling bit of reportage published on Monday. But that isn’t the startling part.  The National Security Administration’s unauthorized metadata phone-records collection program

  • Donald Trump, 4d Chess, strategy, Michael Cohen, investigation, Russia
    national politics & policies
    The Cohen Conspiracy?

    The whole “Russia conspiracy” charge, relentlessly picked at and hyped since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 — and, more relevantly, since Hillary Clinton’s loss — suggests that Trump’s an evil mastermind. The infamous “dossier” that included tales of Russian harlots in a suite Barack Obama stayed in, suggests that Trump’s

  • NEA, 1976, National Emergenncy Act, Congress, standards,
    national politics & policies
    A Congress-Proof Wall?

    When members of Congress run for the Presidency, they often talk a good game about acting within the boundaries set by the Constitution . . . but maybe we should roll our eyes, at least a bit, when senators like Elizabeth Warren and Corey Booker complain about President Trump’s Executive

  • citizen's initiative, democracy, mob, North Dakota, initiative
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Meet the Mob

    North Dakota faces a serious problem: The Mob.  “The point of being a republic is so that Mob doesn’t rule,” warned Chris Berg, host of Point of View on Fargo, North Dakota’s Valley News Live. “If you live in a true democracy that’s where Mob can rule.” Berg called citizens

  • socialism, comedy, tragedy, Bernie Sanders, democratic socialism
    ideological culture
    The Hilarity of a Serious Threat

    Is today’s politics tragic or comic? Take the current Democratic Party obsession with socialism. There is nothing more tragic than full-blown socialism: mind-control and the snitch society; purges and mass starvation, with millions upon millions dead. But give them credit: the trendy new Democrats say they’re only for the Nordic

  • links
    Townhall: Socialist-ic

    This weekend at Townhall: The rise of self-proclaimed socialists within the ranks of the Democrats is alarming. But is it only tragic? Might not it be a little bit comic? Here you can find some context: Human Freedom Index (Cato Institute) Bernie’s Bogus “Medicare for All” (Common Sense), Paul Jacob (January 19, 2016)

  • video
    Gatekeeper Platforms?

    Social media is a jungle. The most popular platforms are engaged in gate-keeping practices we usually associate with edited publications, not open platforms. And now it is proven that Facebook is conspiring against some of its users for the benefit of an ideology. Proven? Well, there is this, courtesy of

  • Elizabeth Warren, housing bubble, crash, regulations, finance
    ideological culture
    Warren’s No Socialist

    Senator Elizabeth Warren knows that when people trade, both sides gain. She made that clear last year, in a fascinating interview in The Atlantic. But then she went blithely on, saying that she could fix markets by creating a “level playing field.” Markets create value, but Mrs. Warren asserts that

  • New York, Five Boroughs, split, division,
    general freedom
    New York, Pre Scission

    What might be the pluses and minuses to splitting New York State in two?  “Let’s look at it, get definitive figures,” says a first-term state senator, Daphne Jordan. Sen. Jordan serves a region in the eastern part of the state. Her proposal for an official study, as yet unsponsored in

  • Thomas Jefferson, term limits, democracy, Democratic-Republican,
    term limits
    Democratic-Republican Day

    “We live in a republic,” I often hear, “not a democracy!” Sometimes it seems like we live in neither. Today is the first National Term Limits Day. Its proponents aim to style February 27th as an annual event.  It’s a new thing.  But term limits themselves are not new. For

  • Paul Jacob, draft, registration, selective service, slavery, freedom
    general freedom
    National Disservice

    Common Sense focused on the draft, last week, specifically the idea of “national service,” too often portrayed as a wonderful enriching experience. My midweek commentaries “Old Codger Draft,” “The Opposite of Freedom,” and “Green New Conscript?” pinpointed the plethora of problems with enslaving folks.  On Thursday, I traveled with two

  • Bill Clinton, impeachment, sexual, #metoo, sex, scandal

    “Will Democrats regret if they don’t open an impeachment investigation?” NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Heather McGhee, a distinguished senior fellow at Demos. “It’s important, right?” Ms. McGhee responded. “And we can have, you know, Bill Clinton impeached for obstruction of justice about a sexual affair,” she

  • links
    Townhall: Uncle Sam Wants to Nationalize You!

    …this weekend at Townhall…. Some folks cannot leave well enough alone. They want not only your money and access to your property. They want you. And seek to compel you. To do what they want. And they see this because . . . freedom? Universal Service Hearing of National Commission

  • by Paul Jacob
    The Coming Draft?

    With talk of forcing young people to provide a year of “national service” to the government, why was Paul Jacob offering this exalted congressionally-established Commission advice about their website address?You must watch to discover.Sure, Congress may not be quite on the verge of legislating a mandatory year of national service

  • Sophie Scholl, White Rose, Nazis, Germany, Third Reich
    general freedom
    Ever Again?

    Today marks a solemn anniversary. Seventy-six years ago — on Feb. 22, 1943 — three German students at the University of Munich were tried for treason by the Nazis, convicted and then executed, all in one day. The method of execution: guillotine. Days earlier, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie

  • selective service, draft, slavery, submissive dog, freedom, involuntary servitude
    general freedom
    Green New Conscript?

    It can happen here. Congress could simply identify a group of citizens and pass a law forcing them into servitude. At least, Congress thinks it has this incredibly abusive power . . . even though the 13th Amendment specifically prohibits it.* In fact, the idea of conscription — not merely

  • service, mandatory, draft, slavery, hearings, involuntary servitude
    general freedom
    The Opposite of Freedom

    Do your young adult children need the government to take over their lives for, say, a year, to whip them into tip-top citizenship shape? Forced service could be the new rite of passage into adulthood. Right after our kids finally get through high school or college, slap 12 months of

  • Dan Glickman, draft, selective service, slavery, freedom
    general freedom
    Old Codger Draft

    Stay calm. Dan Glickman has discovered serious problems.  “Washington is a divided town in a very politically divided nation,” Glickman wrote in The Hill last year. “From the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, to the extreme rhetoric on social media, to the bombs mailed to public officials, to the mass shooting

  • President's Day, George Wahington, term limits, power
    The Soul of Citizen Government

    Today’s federal holiday represents a truly spectacular feat of modern public administration: actual downsizing. By our federal government, no less. Where once there were two federal holidays, Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday, now there is just one: Presidents’ Day. There is no equal in public sector simplicity, frugality, efficiency. Stand

  • links
    Townhall: Don’t Interrupt the Democrats

    At Townhall, Paul Jacob cuts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez enough slack for the Democrats to hang themselves. Green New Deal FAQ, NPR “House Resolution,” Hannity on AOC, Fox News Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal: A Bizarre Grab-Bag of Terrible Ideas, Reason TV Ocasio-Cortez retracts erroneous information about Green New Deal backed by

  • video
    Arrested in Home for Tweet

    In Britain, the police are now arresting people for saying controversial things on Twitter. The controversy, in this case, is the subject of “misgendering” — a mother was taken into custody for calling a “trans woman” . . . “a man.”

  • draft, selective service, registration, slavery, servitude, Ronald Reagan
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New Green Deal, socialism
    ideological culture
    Greenlighting Socialism

    Can we blame U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), really?  A decade of quantitative easing, along with trillion-dollar annual deficits run up recently by congressional Republicans, have paved a debt-ridden road upon which she hopes her massive Green New Deal (GND) might glide. We can derisively point to the now-withdrawn FAQ,

  • civil asset forfeiture, police, corruption, theft
    crime and punishment
    Of Loot and Leverage

    Without a special kicker, why should police bother to do their jobs?   The subject is civil asset forfeiture. This legal procedure makes it easy to take property from criminals. For the War on Drugs, civil forfeiture was so loosened as to allow police to take property from anyone .

  • e pluribus unum, democracy, racism, collectivism, individualism
    ideological culture
    Pigment Politics

    “VOTE LIKE YOU,” read the Election Day sign from last November, pictured above Dan Balz’s Sunday Washington Post column about identity politics. The implication is clear: one should vote for the candidate with the same skin color, of the same race as your own. Uh, really? We do want our

  • term limits, democracy, representative, congressman, Senate, House of Representatives
    What’s Love Got to Do With It?

    “One of the great myths in official Washington,” writes pollster and pundit Scott Rasmussen at, “is that voters hate Congress but love their own representative.” Working for term limits, boy have I heard this assertion a lot. Oh, voters do hate Congress; this we know. Less than one in

  • socialism, force, incentive, Occassio-Cortez
    ideological culture
    Socialism Doesn’t Work, But…

    “Socialism” — we all want to be sociable, right? Last week’s anti-socialist moment was not limited to the president’s promise that America would never go socialist, as I noted this weekend there was also Panera Bread’s abandonment of its quasi-charitable Panera Cares (“pay-what-you-want”) fast food chain. Isn’t that a bit

  • Bernie Sanders, monopoly, control, redistribution, central. planning, government, meme, illustration
    Townhall: Testing Humanity, and Other Fails

    Socialism depends for its increasing support upon widespread ignorance of economic reality. That it keeps creeping back into politics may not seem strange. What may seem strange is that a major business enterprise would also not understand that reality. But that appears to be the case. More at Townhall. And yet more below:

  • Bernie Sanders, monopoly, control, redistribution, central. planning, government, meme, illustration
    Townhall: Testing Humanity, and Other Fails

    Socialism depends for its increasing support upon widespread ignorance of economic reality. That it keeps creeping back into politics may not seem strange. What may seem strange is that a major business enterprise would also not understand that reality. But that appears to be the case. More at Townhall. And yet more below:

  • video
    An Ideological Moment

    We live in interesting times, as aliiances reshuffle their political commitments and ideas. Here is one.

  • Velfredo Pareto, economics,laws, socialism
    ideological culture
    Test of Humanity

    It has been a big week for socialism — or, rather, anti-socialism. The high point was probably President Trump’s State of the Union Address, in which he opposed not only the murderous, ruinous regime in Venezuela, but also the rising tide of socialism in the Democratic Congress — with Senator

  • Tim Eyman, democracy, initiative
    initiative, referendum, and recall
    Advice & Conceit

    The core idea behind the institutions of representative government — state legislatures, city councils, Congress — is that lawmakers, sometimes called “representatives,” endeavor to implement “the will of the people.” To do so . . . necessarily entails knowing the public’s preferences. Hmmm. How to find out what people want?

  • Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax
    Old Dominions

    A photo, found on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page, went viral. It was of a person in black-face next to another in a Ku Klux Klan sheet. In almost no time at all, Democrats and others quickly demanded that the governor resign. Why the speed?  The

  • Accountability
    Insiders Strike Back

    It costs time, not money. Ron Calzone and others read and consider legislation on their own dime. Calzone’s all-volunteer Missouri First group, which analyzes legislation filed in Jefferson City from a constitutional, pro-liberty perspective, doesn’t even have a bank account. A small businessman outside of Rolla, Calzone devotes a great

  • term limits, Venezuela, socialism, canary
    term limits
    Beautiful Canary

    New hope for Venezuela: A direct constitutional challenge against the horrific reign of socialist strongman Nicolás Maduro enjoys massive popular support and has quickly gained international recognition. If 35-year-old National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, who launched the campaign, succeeds in restoring a democratic government, he should also restore term limits

  • links
    End the Occupation

    What to do about America’s longest-running war…. Click on over to Townhall for an answer. And here are some hints for further reading: The Hill’s reportage of a U.S./Taliban deal . . . New York Times op-ed on the withdrawal… Max Boot’s op-ed on the no-win war…. India Times article

  • video
    A Deplatforming Mystery

    Why the major social media platforms ban some people and not others remains something of a mystery. Why they will not explain themselves is probably not a mystery, though: if they explained themselves their inconsistencies would be even plainer yet. Or their disregard for their own ways of doing business,

  • Barnie, sentry, connectivity, individuality, violence, peace, love, play, comedy
    ideological culture
    Evergreen State Blues

    One of the things many people no longer understand about these United States is its — their — peculiar genius: decentralism. The extreme of this is that contentious notion of state nullification of federal law, which most “smart” people deride (contra Jefferson and Madison) as itself made null and void

  • Howard Schultz, candidate, president, coffee, challenge?
    political challengers
    Democrats Can’t Afford Competition

    Howard Schultz’s recent announcement that he might run for president “sent a shiver through the Democratic Party,” writes David Siders at Politico, “terrifying party officials who fear a well-funded, third-party candidate could siphon votes from the Democratic nominee and hand a second term to Trump.” Schultz is the former Starbucks

  • MAGA, white, hat
    ideological culture
    Hat Hate

    I will concede — at least “arguendo”  — that President Trump is awful. But I will not concede that he is uniquely awful. His Tweets and signature verbal provocations aside, he is arguably better than his predecessors.* Arguably. Which means that his cribbed campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” affixed

  • building a divide, wall, immigration, ideology, Trump, Pelosi
    The Obstruction

    The federal government “shutdown” — now on reprieve — has been and continues to be a rather strange charade. Various political players make motions towards one another, and we, the people, are supposed to guess the real meaning.  Which is usually conceived as All about President Trump’s “Wall”; All about

  • video
    “It’s suicide,” says the murderer

    The Covington high schooler’s triggering smile, discussed here on Thursday, got the full Greg Gutfeld treatment on Fox’s The Five this week:

  • registration, draft, selective service, slavery
    general freedom
    Service Sans the Smile

    “A personal commitment of time, energy and talent to a mission that contributes to the public good by protecting the nation and its citizens, strengthening communities or promoting the general welfare.” That’s how the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service (NCMNPS) officially defines service.  “It’s time to talk

  • smirk, smile, Covington, MAGA, PC
    general freedom
    Toxic Smile?

    Smirking is a subset of smiling. But what is a grimace?  Nick Sandman, the offending Covington, Kentucky, Catholic high school student who triggered so much outrage last weekend, smiled. The effrontery! Seeing a snippet of video, a social media mob formed, leaping to the conclusion that young Mr. Sandman was

  • green new deal, AOC, money, folly
    national politics & policies
    Re-Packaging Nonsense as Wisdom

    When committed to folly, clever people make it look wise. An article last week in Forbes, “The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay For It Isn’t ‘A Thing’ — And Inflation Isn’t Either,” by Robert Hockett, says that “how could we pay for it?” challenges have already been answered

  • First Amendment rights
    First Things First

    Surely there’s something good in the first legislation put forth by the brand-new Democratic House majority — though nothing jumps to mind.  The 571-page smorgasbord bill “addresses voting rights, corruption, gerrymandering and campaign finance reform,” writes Thomas Edsall in The New York Times, “as well as the creation of a

  • women, woman, march, inclusion, in group, out group
    Inclusivity Not Included

    The 3rd annual Woman’s March strolled by over the weekend — a tiny fraction of its former self.  Two years ago, close to a million protesters converged on Washington, D.C., while this year’s event “appeared to attract only thousands,” The Washington Post reported, “mirroring lower turnout at marches . .

  • general freedom
    Service vs. Involuntary Servitude

    The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service will release an interim report this Wednesday at an event at the Newseum in Washington, DC, beginning at 9:00 A.M. The Commission was created by Congress “to consider and develop recommendations concerning the need for a military draft, and means by which to foster a greater attitude

  • Accountability
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of … Abortion?

    Andrew Klavan begins his show with satire, but then segues into a serious discussion of abortion. Oh, and Google, evil Google:

  • denier, climate change, globlal warming, skepticism, science
    Skepticism in Order

    It is not a question of “belief,” says Anastasios Tsonis.  In “The overblown and misleading issue of global warming,” this emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee explains that in a “scientific problem ‘believing’ has no place,” going on to clarify:  “In science, we either prove or disprove.” And

  • Paul Krugman, libertarianism, libertarian, freedom, shutdown
    free trade & free markets
    A Former Economist

    Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and former economist, tested our patience last week with “Trump’s Big Libertarian Experiment.” How many non sequiturs will squeak past the Gray Lady’s editorial department?  Loads — and all about how the federal government shutdown gives limited government folks what they want: less government.

  • meme
    Why Do You Want People to Starve?

    Why should we protect individual rights if people are starving? We know exactly how this plays out. 100 million people murdered by socialist ideologues in the 20th century. Because socialists cared so much.

  • Congress, Emergency, Presidential,
    None Dare Call It Careerism

    Let’s build a wall, I said last week, between the Office of the President and all these emergency powers our Congress has recklessly given away to the chief executive. After admittedly “scrambling to figure out” the emergency powers possessed by POTUS, the Washington Post’s editorial board lamented its discovery “that

  • tenement, rent control, New York, de Blasio
    free trade & free markets
    Towards a Genealogy of Policy

    If it seems like each new government program is more intrusive than the last, there’s a reason. That last one did not work as planned. So a new one gets concocted to fix its mess.  The latest? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has established a new enforcement bureau,

  • soldiers, foreign policy, war, peace, Syria, Afghanistan
    War Lust Flags

    A new poll shows that a narrow majority of Americans would support the President were he to pull troops out of Afghanistan. Less than a quarter of those polled said they would oppose it.  “The survey also indicates Americans remain unconvinced that the United States has a clear purpose in

  • Tom Paine, Thomas Paine, quote, quotation, wrong, right, meme, illustration
    Common Sense
    The Uncommon Author of Common Sense

    Last week we noted the 243rd anniversary of the publication of Common Sense — Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, that is. The importance of this document for the formation of the United States of America can hardly be over-estimated. And the general good . . . sense . . . of

  • video
    Racism Everywhere — Bias Confirmed?

    Thomas Sowell’s many books on race and discrimination haven’t made a dent in whole sectors of the body politic; Larry Elder may have convinced Dave Rubin that the standard model of “systemic racism” no longer applies, but he has not convinced everybody; and, generally, there is much work to be

  • Mark Twain, legislature, government, property, rights, meme
  • emergency, alarm, Trump, Donald, President, power
    too much government
    Five-Alarm Foolishness

    Will President Trump declare a “national emergency”? Is he that desperate to get the funds needed to build a wall (or steel-slate fence or barrier of some sort) on the U.S. border with Mexico? It looks increasingly likely, but who knows . . .  What I do know is how

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    ideological culture
    Worse Than Her Faux Pas

    “If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress,” stumbled U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.), “uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House. . . .” The Daily Wire, where I encountered this particular snippet

  • Peter Boghossian, Portland, postmodernism, academic research, education
    education and schooling
    Administrators Strike Back

    The academic world is filled with “scholars” who write papers that are almost never cited, and which are so filled with gobbledygook and periphrasis that they are almost impossible to read. Without cracking up, anyway. A year and a half ago I wrote about one team who authored fake papers

  • Caldara, gun rights, 2nd Amendment, Colorado
    crime and punishment
    Resisting Registration

    Jon Caldara won’t register his guns. He also won’t remain silent about his refusal. He has lots of company in Boulder, Colorado, with respect to the former, if not the latter, form of resistance — his unwillingness to compromise his right to bear arms. The town recently began requiring owners

  • Armenia, term limits, freedom, progress, The Economist
    term limits
    The World Wants Term Limits

    The Economist magazine has announced its “Country of the Year.”  It’s Armenia. The idea behind the award is to recognize the nation that has “improved the most” during the past year. The honorific implies no rosy assumptions about the future. Obviously, a country can backslide. The Economist’s editors admit that

  • links
    RCV Update

    We have been covering, with great interest, the Maine Ranked Choice Voting story. Now there is an important update: Poliquin drops challenge to ranked-choice voting, clearing way for Golden to take seat in Congress (Press Herald) For recent developments in another state, try this: Five Utah cities to pilot ranked

  • straw, regulations, law, punishment, punish, authoritarian society
    How to Know

    Many people don’t seem to realize that a prohibition (banning something) is AUTHORITARIAN BY DEFINITION. Whether it’s drugs, guns, alcohol, offensive language, dangerous ideas, texting while walking(!), plastic straws(!)… authoritarians are perfectly happy to use government violence to force the rest of us behave as they wish. Because they think

  • media and media people
    Suppressed Data Trends

    One thing you notice when engaging in public policy discussions is the misuse of statistics in a particular way: truncating a timeline of data, to focus almost exclusively on short-term trends rather than a more meaningful long-term (“secular”) accounting of trends. For example, you will often see proponents of state

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, #PayGo, austerity, spending
    national politics & policies
    PayGo Piffle

    Republicans are especially good at deficit spending. Give them control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, and watch the money flow! It happened under George W. Bush, and now under President Donald Trump. But note: the Democrats have gained control of the House of Representatives. We might see

  • regulations, rule of law, control, freedom
    An Important Distinction

    A “rule of law” is based on general principles, and makes room for — or, better yet, is based upon — the protection of individual rights. It used to be common to say, “a rule of law, not of men”; it was even as common in political oratory as was spouted

  • San Francisco, homeless, zoning, housing, regulations
    free trade & free markets
    San Francisco Obstructionism

    Bob Tillman wants to build a 75-unit apartment building in San Francisco. He owns the property — a laundromat. He just wants to convert it. But although there are no good reasons why he shouldn’t, city officials and activists opposed to the property rights of developers have been blocking the

  • Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, secrecy, transparency, negotiations
    Put the Public in Public Policy

    “Negotiations are impossible without trust,” wrote Leon Panetta in a Washington Post op-ed. What with all his experience, Mr. Panetta has some reason to be trusted on his chosen subject, government shutdowns. The California Democrat spent 16 years in the Congress before joining the Clinton Administration as Director of the

  • New Year, 2019, Jefferson
  • Benjamin Franklin, We must all hang together, quote
    Common Sense
    Ideas, Online and Ongoing … with Help

    In recent years there has been a great burgeoning of public debate about ideas. Politics. Ethics. UFOs. You name it. This “burgeoning” has mostly taken place online. Some people are so good at it that they have made their whole livings at it, parlaying advertisements and donations into successful careers.

  • links
    Boss Rule and Brain Freeze

    Over at Townhall, we determine where the boss rule is taking place. And it may not reside (preside) where you think. Michael Madigan (Chicago Tribune, Story Gallery) Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal (New York Times) Noam Chomsky says US should stay in Syria to protect the Kurds (Kurdistan 24) Howard Dean on

  • video
    Face the Pull-Out

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gets grilled by the Face the Nation grillmistress. Her continued pushing of one point is interesting to behold. Jake Tapper’s grilling of the senator, on CNN, is even more egregious, perhaps. You decide.

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