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Tide Pod, foolish, foolhardy, Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch, Benjamin Wittes, vote, voting, Republican, Democrat, threat, GOP

Threat Assessment

Don’t drink transmission fluid. Or perform a swan dive off the Empire State Building. Or munch on a Tide Pod. Be cautious, in other words, of the advice offered in “Boycott the Republican Party,” the Atlantic opinion piece authored by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, both scholars at the Brookings

House Oversight Committee, lobby, lobbyist, bribes, control, congress, corruption, puppet

Captured Congress

“Do you think party leaders exert too much control over members of Congress and over the agenda,” Full Measure host Sharyl Attkisson asked retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, “in a way that might be motivated by donations and corporate influence and special interests?” Winner of five Emmys, as well as the

Washington Post, lap dog, lapdog, Department of Justice, FBI, crime, accountability

Defiance?

“Once the party of law and order,” screamed the Washington Post’s top-of-the-front-page Sunday headline, “Republicans are now challenging it.” The story’s lede: “Republican leaders’ open defiance last week of the FBI over the release of a hotly disputed memo revealed how the GOP, which has long positioned itself as the

meme, FBI, F.B.I., Clinton, election, Trump, crime, cover up, House Intelligence Committee, FISA

Smoke But No Gun

The Republican memo soaking up so much attention paints an ugly picture of a republic gone off the rails — but it should not be mistaken for The Facts. We have smoke, sure. And the smoke can be seen, not unreasonably, as a sign of . . . a vast

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), corruption, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, Dunkin Donuts, FBI, Russia, Russian

The Smoking Russian Donut

“Politicians in prison garb,” headlined a recent Sun Sentinel editorial, “shake trust in government.” It was not a fashion statement. “What is it about a long career that makes some politicians — not all, let’s be clear about that — feel the rules don’t apply to them?” asked the paper,

IRS, drain the swamp, Trump, Lois Lerner, tax, tax man

Still at Large

Blogger Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine Law School, still counts the days since we learned that the IRS was blocking applications for nonprofit status from right-leaning groups at the behest of former IRS honcho Lois Lerner. Now years later, the agency can still arbitrarily victimize any one of us. Nor

James Clapper, lies, Congress, testimony, Senate Intelligence Committee, surveillance, civil liberty

Clapper into the Clink?

Lying to Congress is a strange crime. A number of people have been prosecuted for it over the years, but Congress isn’t a court of law and, more to the point, Congress may present the densest source of lies in the United States. The idea that it would be illegal

Deyshia Hargrav, superintendent, schoolboard, Vermilion Parish school board, free speech, government, local government, Lozman v. Riviera Beach, Florida, Supreme Court

Lock Her Up

“Who Are We?” I asked Sunday at Townhall.com. Today’s question: What have we come to? Under a seemingly click-bait headline in The Atlantic, “Can Government Officials Have You Arrested for Speaking to Them?” Garrett Epps examines last week’s outrageous handcuffing and arrest of a Louisiana teacher, Deyshia Hargrave, for speech

California, pension, crisis, canary, cage, coal mine, spending, taxes

Babylon Goes Broke

A few Babylonian, er, California cities going bankrupt — Stockton, Vallejo, and Bell — should be seen as more than dead canaries in a coalminer’s care. Indeed, you don’t need special prophetic gifts to see the dangers posed by over-promising cushy pensions to government workers. Californians are coming around. And

earmarks, ear marks, pork, Congress, spending, corrumption, deals

Earmark This Bad Argument

With President Trump endorsing a return to earmarks, House Republicans too are reportedly “reconsidering” their usefulness and pondering “how they might ease back into the practice.” Lawmakers fret that they have lost too much power by giving up this instrument of corruption. (Not their characterization.) Wikipedia defines “earmark” as a

best of times, worst of times, 2017, 2018, optimism, pessimism

A Tale of Two Sectors

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” begins Charles Dickens’ popular 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities. The British master was not prophesying our times. He was describing the period of the French Revolution. But the judgment feels awfully familiar. Over at the Foundation

IRS, I.R.S., corruption, taxes, budget, tears

Been Burned

“They’ve been burned. They’ve been hammered. They’ve been bludgeoned,” George Washington University law professor Miriam Galston explained to the Washington Post. “They’re trying to survive.” In this heartbreaking discussion at this special time of year, the “they” are the poor, long-suffering folks . . . at the Internal Revenue Service. According

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