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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






tax cut, trickle down, supply side, taxes, jobs, employment

Hey, It’s Your Money

I leave it up to you how to spend your own money. You decide, based on your own circumstances and priorities. Oh, you don’t need my permission? Of course not. But some people think that if you spend your own money on your own priorities in accordance with your own






Tom Paine, Thomas Paine, Laurent Dabos

Happy Birthday, America!

What? Oh, sure, I know the United States of America has its birthday on July 4th, that day in 1776 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Let’s agree I’m early. (Oh, how I wish it were July.) But the interesting thing about history is how we get






marijuana, constitution, intrastate, rights, legalization, decriminalization

The Ninth and the Tenth of It

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama Administration enforcement guidelines regarding the states that have legalized (in their 29 different ways) marijuana, last week, supporters of freedom expressed some worry. But we had to admit, one excuse for Sessions’s nixing of the mostly hands-off policy seemed to make sense






USSR, Soviet Union, communism, socialism, apologist, New York Times

The Times Must Change

“Political leaders prefer to project a noble history, sometimes by turning complicity in atrocities into claims of victimhood,” the New York Times informed us last Sunday. “In Russia, Mr. Putin and many of his lieutenants came from the K.G.B. and resisted fully confronting its repressive history. And they, like many






Al Franken, apology, resignation, exit, sexual, misconduct, disgrace, excuse, guilt

Where Have You Gone, Al Franken?

Today, finally, is the day. Barring some last-minute hijinks in the extended resignation ritual announced almost four weeks ago by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the comedian turned cad turned politician turned pervert leaves his U.S. Senate seat. And hopefully keeps his mitts off other people’s seats to boot. Even without






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






Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, boarding pass, United, airlines

Queen Sheila: Terror of the Skies

What’s all the fuss? Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) was escorted ahead of all the other passengers onto a United Airlines flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., taking seat 1A in first class. The congresswoman described it as “nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary.” Meanwhile, Jean-Marie Simon possessed a






Trump Derangement Syndrome, hysteria, Donald Trump, progressives, leftists, Democrats, taxes, tax bill

The Hyperbole Is Falling

A mad killer is on the loose! That is one way to get attention . . . The sky is falling! You are getting the idea . . . Trump is literally Hitler! Extravagant hyperbole is not necessary to criticize the current President. Indeed, as Chicken Licken and the Boy






Amtrak train derailed, Seattle, I-5, infrastructure, Donald Trump

A Good Tragedy Not Wasted

No matter how “not as bad as we feared” President Donald Trump may be appearing, as we close out the year let’s remember why some of us did not trust him in the first place: his knee-jerk reactions are too often witlessly statist. The speeding Amtrak train that derailed over






Tim Eyman, doll, petition, taxes, Washington, initiative, democracy, voters

What Unlimited Government Costs Us

“Olympia can’t restrain itself,” Tim Eyman wrote the other day, a judgment on legislative irresponsibility hardly unique to the Evergreen State. Citizens around the country have cause to lament the difficulty of obtaining anything close to a good legislature. Too often the merely “bad” would constitute a significant improvement. Which






education, school, panic, hysteria, play, gun, toy, private, competition

Leave Them Kids Alone

This just in: oblivious little boys still play cops and robbers. Just as in days of old. Wait. Hold on. Breathe. Just breathe. This sociological fact doesn’t mean that we’re a nation of incipient international terrorists but for the galumphing grace of grumpy zero-tolerant schoolmasters. Common sense says you don’t






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