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cronyism, Amazon, taxpayers, black hole

Cry Me an Amazon

My idea of a “free market” is not our politicians’. Their idea is to give away free stuff to their new and old business buddies . . . at everyone else’s expense. That sort of “crony capitalism” has been writ large per Amazon’s search for a location for a second






cfpb, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, director, Richard Cordray, Mick Mulvaney, deep state, administrative state, bureaucracy

Invulnerable Government

As of this week, there are two heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Two claimants to the throne, so to speak. The bureau’s previous director, Richard Cordray, resigned last week, and as he left he appointed a deputy director, Leandra English. Ms. English sent out a nice Thanksgiving email,






sexual harassment, Congress, House Page, Washington, DC, hypocrisy, corruption, taxes,

Congress Bites Taxpayers

Is it even humanly possible to be sleazier and more disgusting than the Harvey Weinsteins of Hollywood? Sadly, and clearly . . . yes. There is the U.S. Congress. In 2011, after 175 years in operation, the House page program — whereby young people came to work and learn in the






George Orwell, Kaya Henderson, Washington D.C., equal, Animal Farm, favors, corruption, crony, cronyism, politicians,

More-Equal-Ness

“All animals are equal,” wrote George Orwell, “but some animals are more equal than others.” That was the regime’s final slogan in Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm . . . and it currently serves as the operating principle for local government. Well, at least in Washington, D.C., our country’s pig trough. Washington Post






special prosecutor, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russia, corruption, Trump, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates

Stranger Counsels

The office of special counsel, like that of the special prosecutor in days (and administrations) of yore, is a strange one. Not mentioned in the Constitution, it is institutionally slippery. An executive branch position designed to investigate the executive branch — there is no way it cannot be . .






exit, term limits, experience, Congress, oversight, Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker

Our Experience with Experience

It seems exceedingly plausible that the longer one serves as a legislator, the better legislator one would become. Yet voters back home have noticed something: the longer in office, the less representative their so-called representative tends to become. No wonder that in those states where Americans have been permitted to






Democratic Party, gubernatorial nominee, governor, Frank Northam, Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax, racism, politicians

Omission of Character

One downside to jumping to the wrong conclusion is that the failure to even look for the correct, accurate conclusion inevitably follows.  This sleepy odd-year campaign for governor of Virginia has recently been riled by charges of racism. Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Frank Northam made the “mistake” of “omitting” the






Harvey Weinstein, donor, democrats, corruption, sex scandal, boycott,

Choice Corruption

What is corruption? said no jesting Pilate ever. But please, stay for an answer. A week ago, Jimmie Moore pleaded guilty to filing a false campaign finance report in order to conceal a $90,000 payment to drop out of a congressional race. Moore is a former Philadelphia judge (heavens). The






Seattle, City Light, corruption, security, police, scandal, cronyism

Interfering With a Sweet Racket?

One way for governments and enterprises to save money is to contract out some or all of their services. Towns, cities, counties, states — even the federal government — engage in such practices all the time. It is really just outsourcing, as business lingo dubs it.* But, like any system






great fiction, government, citizen, initiative, term limits, Paul Jacob

The Great Faction

Politics isn’t a pretty business. Frédéric Bastiat called the beast it serves “that great fiction” not because it doesn’t exist — intrusive state power sure persists — but rather because what it promises cannot really happen: “everyone living at the expense of everyone else.” What can we do? How do






John Tyler, Trump, hated, leverage, elites, Ted Cruz, Paul Jacob, despised, term limits, unpopular

Most Hated

I was once “the most hated man in Washington.”* Why? For my work on term limits. I wore the appellation as a badge of honor. Last year I noted that Ted Cruz had taken up the mantle, but now, certainly, it’s President Donald Trump’s. Has ever a president been as






CATO, FEE, crony, cronyism, Washington, corruption, elites, lobbyist, politicians, privilege, power

Cronyism Pays

Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow in fiscal policy at the Cato Institute, is a nice guy. But he’s sort of depressing, too. Weeks ago, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Mitchell offered that “The Washington, DC Gilded Class Is Thriving.” He even provided a “depressing chart” graphing “median






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