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Greg Gianforte, Montana, U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, elections, voting, democracy, media

The Early Vote Worm

Last week was consequential for Greg Gianforte. Awfully. The Republican businessman won the special election for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also body-slammed a reporter. He now faces misdemeanor assault charges. For which Gianforte apologized publicly . . . as he was declaring victory. Welcome






minimum wage, closure, restaurant, business, prohibition, wages, pay, Berkeley, San Francisco

Minimum Shock

“Three restaurants vacated the Bay this week, with Berkeley’s Bistro Liaison getting the most attention,” the San Francisco edition of Eater informs us. “It’s a bittersweet exit for the owners, who plan to start new careers.” The week in question was in February. But this was not an isolated event.






Congress, checks and balances, war, cowardice, responsibility, Afghanistan, president, presidential powers

The Chicken-Ostrich Congress

Those who work for the president must tell the POTUS hard truths — on matters of war, most of all. Citizens must also be told hard truths. After all, we are, at least theoretically, the ultimate decision-makers . . . the president works for us. That was my point yesterday.






Trump, Vietnam, truth, adviser, Johnson, McNamara, lies, war, advice

The First Casualty

Former Marine Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s current national security advisor, is the author of Dereliction of Duty, a look at how President Lyndon Johnson conducted the Vietnam War.  Last Sunday, the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada reviewed the 1997 non-fiction book, noting that McMaster hadn’t minced words.  McMaster argues,






Anthony Weiner, sexting, twitter, folly, sex, scandal, Clinton, election, Huma Abedin

Weiner’s Place in History

As if to finalize the Great Derailment of 2016, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty in federal court to felony sexting: transferring obscene materials to a 15-year-old girl. Prosecutors are asking he serve 21 to 27 months in federal prison, register as a sex offender and continue mental health






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






House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, Justice Department, information, Congress, Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, checks and balances, secret, secrets

Feckless, Indeed

Last night, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, where Chaffetz was asked how he would know if the Justice Department fully complied with subpoenas issued by his committee for documents. “Look, we have a storied and horrific background on this,” explained the






New York Times, taxes, tax, libraries, tax cuts, big government, public services, free markets

Ballots & Books

The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, “Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.’” “For generations in America,” readers are informed, “small cities . . . declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries






U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, corruption, term limits

One Incumbent Falls

When former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was indicted last July on 24 felony counts of fraud and obstruction, she suggested that if the FBI hadn’t wasted time investigating her for milking a charity for personal gain, they might have prevented the Orlando massacre. “These are the same agents that






juicer, juice, silicon valley, innovation, risk, luxury, free markets, government waste, freedom

Juicer Choosers

We all have our complaints about this company or that, this product or that.* And it is popular to rag on “consumerism” and the emptiness of “capitalism.” But put it into perspective: me “wasting money” on, say, an expensive juicer is nowhere near as offensive — that is, worth a






Washington, secession, division, exit, legislature, legislation, city, country, representation, initiative, ballot

Not a Joke

Yesterday, the chief sponsor of a Washington State legislative bill withdrew it. He said it was “a joke.” His co-sponsor wasn’t laughing, however . . . even proclaimed an intent to introduce the bill again next year. The legislation’s purpose? Split the state into two. The eastern, drier half of






realpolitik, human rights, dictators, chess, empire, John McCain, Rex Tillerson, Glenn Greenwald, Trump

An Inconvenient Empire

“Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way






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