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Presidential Weirdness

Weird & Wacky

Have you noticed how weird politics has gotten? I don’t mean government spying on us or never-ending wars or crony capitalism or rights violations or mounting trillions in debt or new, innovative forms of waste, fraud and abuse. I’m just talking about the presidential horse race. The Donald is way






In Disguise

Conflicts Perplexing Prominent Politicians

When does the same old song-and-dance, performed by yet another self-selected committee of the political elite, become “a unique process” that “Nobody’s ever done . . .”? When the much-liberal Denver Post reports the “much-respected” Daniel Ritchie saying so. Every election cycle for a decade, it seems, a cabal of






Gluttony

The Spenders’ Eternal Excuse

Most modern welfare states have a huge problem: their politicians promise more than government revenue covers. So they borrow and borrow until they can borrow no more. And then they go down. Like Greece has gone down. Banks are closed there, and the people suffer. The problem is over-spending and






Politicians in a jar

Republican-Required Referendum

Last November, Nevada Republicans scored a “stunning” political sweep. The party’s incumbent governor rolled up a 40-point win, while the GOP gained majorities in both the Assembly and Senate — the first time Republicans have controlled all three since before the Great Depression. At the same time, voters crushed a






Campaign Finance Follies

(Un)Intended System Failure

The system worked. The problem? The system doesn’t work. Last year’s successful term limits ballot initiative in Grand Rapids pitted two pro-limits ladies with scant political experience against a united big business/big labor opposition campaign, sporting Dr. Glenn Barkan, professor emeritus of political science at Aquinas College, as treasurer. Just






Playing cards

Swarms of Officers to Harass

Two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s simple but true. And, as a corollary, let me add that using the power of the federal government to harass individuals or groups one happens to dislike or disagree with is wrong. You might recall that our Declaration of Independence rebuked King George






Institutional Memory

Listen to Lobbyists

With 25 of 40 council seats turning over, “term limit advocates are enthusiastic about the influx of new folks and ideas,” explains Tennessean columnist Frank Daniels III, “but many council members are worried about the loss of knowledge and institutional memory.” More precisely, “many council members” fret that the city






Sneaky Democracy

Temporal Redistricting

They must be proud of themselves, the Little Rock insiders who pushed through a vote on a bond measure in hot-as-Hades mid-July. Less than 4 percent of eligible voters turned out for the off-cycle exercise in 100-degree democracy. The measure, which refinances previous library bonds and puts an influx of






Impeach him

Impeach IRS Boss Now

Last week National Review reported that Republicans in the U.S. House have long been pondering impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for stonewalling about whether Lois Lerner’s emails were lost and irretrievable. Lerner is the former IRS official who oversaw the obstructing of applications for non-profit status by right-leaning and






NSA Hydra

Safety, Savings and Symbolism

How can the U. S. save $2.5 billion a year, reduce the federal workforce by 4,000 hires, and engage in a symbolic act of undoubted patriotism, all at the same time? Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security. Matt A. Mayer, a former DHS employee who claims to have






Rand Paul vs. the Surveillance State

Rand to the Rescue

Nothing gets done in Washington? Tell that to Kentucky Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul. Last night, he single-handily “repealed” Section 215 of the Patriot Act, ending the federal government’s mass collection of our phone records. At least, for the next few days. On the floor of the Senate, Paul






Edward Snowden

Court Vindicates Snowden

Sometimes if you postpone something long enough, someone else will do the job. Last week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program unlawful, I immediately saw it as a vindication of Edward Snowden and his “illegal” leaks. It will






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