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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






term limits, Congress, 74%, polls, Rasmussen Poll

Agreeable America

Americans actually agree on a lot of things; it’s a pity that today’s media and political debates play up the discord. Or so argues A. Barton Hinkle at The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Sure, he admits, “[a] lot of people seem willing to tear your head off over the smallest thing.” But






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






Senator Jeff Flake, Senate, term limits, conservatism, Conscience of a Conservative, Arizona

Sic Transit Gloria Flake

Yesterday, a major American politician gave up. Sort of. Senator Jeff Flake, the junior member of the upper chamber from the State of Arizona, took to the Senate floor to announce that his “service in the Senate will conclude at the end of my term in early January, 2019.” Actually,






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






Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Thad Cochran, term limits, age, retirement, politics, placeholder

Frail and Disoriented

Senator Thad Cochran sure is experienced: eight years in the House of Representatives followed by 36 years in the upper chamber. So who better to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee? Rephrase that: who wouldn’t be better? “The 79-year-old Cochran appeared frail and at times disoriented during a brief hallway






Truth in Accounting, TIA, Financial State of the States, Sheila Weinberg, initiative, democracy

Initiative Surplus?

Only nine out of 50 states can pay their bills and meet their obligations; 41 cannot, barring major tax increases or spending cuts. That’s what we learn in last month’s “Financial State of the States” report from Truth in Accounting (TIA). Alaska is in the best shape, “with $11 billion






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






Michigan, term limits, scam, reform

Renewed Interest in Self-Service

“Michigan’s strictest-in-the-nation term limits law will force nearly 70 percent of state senators out of office in 2019 and more than 20 percent of representatives,” reports the Detroit News, “a mass turnover that is fueling renewed interest in reform.” What?!! Could term limitation laws actually make our poor underpaid and






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






spoiler, GOP, incumbents, Republicans, Pro-Trump

Crazy Like a … Spoiler

Seven Republican members of Congress — three in the last two weeks — have announced their retirement.* The Democrats, needing 24 additional seats to gain a majority, see an opening. Steve Kornacki, MSNBC’s national political correspondent, calls these seven “pure retirements.” That is, these politicians aren’t seeking another office, they






leverage, politics, Virginia, Libertarian, influence

The Reverse of the “Spoiler Effect”

“Voter surveys have found the GOP-controlled Congress,” I wrote last weekend at Townhall, “to be more popular among self-described Democrats than self-described Republicans.” Why? Because Republican politicians are proving themselves unable — even unwilling — to legislate as they have promised. One word: Obamacare. And few dare actually cut spending






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