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Arkansas, corruption, term limits, Jon Woods, GIF

Politicians Bearing GIFs

Yesterday, we discovered that the biggest term limits opponent in Arkansas — former state senator Jon Woods — also allegedly led an elaborate legislative fraud scheme, whereby he and a state representative traded tax dollars for cash bribes. For now, Woods is an unindicted co-conspirator. But last week, the representative






Arkansas State Rep. Micah Neal, Independent Citizens Commission, Senator Jon Woods

Hog-Wild Corruption

Former Arkansas State Rep. Micah Neal pled guilty last week to a felony charge of conspiring “with an Arkansas state senator to use their official positions to appropriate government money to certain nonprofits in exchange for bribes.” Neal, who embraced graft his first month in office, received $38,000 in “legislating-around”






Tampa, initiative, corruption, Mayor, Mike Deeson, Mayor Bob Buckhorn

Rules for Rulers?

Politicians in Tampa, Florida, have forced citizens there to vote for term limits, and then vote to keep those term limits again and again — against attempts to repeal or weaken the limits. So I keep my eye out for news from the city. Earlier this month, Mike Deeson, an






Trump, protest, conservative, centrist, right, illustration

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Reform

Going into the presidential race, last year, Donald Trump was far from a typical Republican. His rich man braggadocio, his prior support for abortion, and much else, put him culturally at odds with the social conservative wing of the GOP. He dared heap scorn on neoconservative foreign policy strategy, sacrosanct






spy, spies, intelligence, agency, 17, Hillary Clinton, Russia

Seventeen, Again

The first I heard of an actual enumeration of federal “intelligence agencies” was from Hillary Clinton. In the final presidential debate, she claimed that the truths spilling out of the Podesta emails had been revealed courtesy of Russian hackers, and she knew this because all 17 U.S. “intelligence agencies” had






Donald Trump, media, journalism, twitter, tweet, direct, illustration

Prestige, Trump & the Media

“Donald Trump’s election has really undermined America’s democratic prestige in China,” offered Claremont McKenna College Professor Minxin Pei on a recent hour of The Diane Rehm Show, public radio from our nation’s capital. When Pei added that it has “set back the prospect of democracy in China for years,” Mrs.






gamble, betting, HIllary Clinton, Donald Trump, president, presidency, election, voting, illustration, creative commons

A Brexit Effect?

Before the Brexit vote, the likelihood of British secession from the European Union garnered a mere 25 percent chance. That was according to European betting markets, which are usually more accurate. In June, the Brits voted Brexit. Donald Trump has made much hay of this, understandably. On Tuesday, the odds






Bill Clinton, First Gentleman

The Problem with Ruth Marcus

Channeling The Sound of Music’s Mother Superior, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus asks, “How do you solve a problem like Bill Clinton?” Marcus means Bill’s problematic possible return to the White House, the scene of his crimes, as First Dude in a new Clinton Administration — specifically his difficulties with






Eric O'Keefe, Gov. Scott Walker, John Doe, Wisconsin

How Insidious the Plot?

The story of the Wisconsin John Doe raids against conservatives, covered yesterday and the day before, is a big one. Huge. So I now continue. The rest of the story? Recently, materials that police seized from the subjects of those dawn raids were leaked, illegally, to the Guardian newspaper —






Eric O'Keefe, Gov. Scott Walker, John Doe, Wisconsin

A Morning After

Yesterday we celebrated the end to “a disgraceful episode in Wisconsin history” — the dawn police raids of the so-called John Doe investigations against conservatives alleged to have violated campaign finance regulations. State and federal courts ruled that no laws were broken and some laws were unconstitutional — certainly Milwaukee






speech, anti-speech, NAACP, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Free Speech,

Four Measures for Rogue Government

Rule of thumb: don’t enact today laws that, had they been obeyed by folks in the original 13 states of our union, would have prevented independence. Voters in Missouri, South Dakota, and Washington have the “opportunity” to enact such laws this November. In “Beware of Anti-Speech Ballot Measures,” Tracy Sharp






Mia Love, Rand Paul, congress, bills

One at a Time

A new procedural reform is in the offing. And just because it is “procedural” doesn’t mean it’s insignificant. Or boring. Remember, how something gets done determines, in part, what gets done. The checks and balances that were written into our Constitution are there to regulate the how of government, the






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