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term limits, elections, voting, limits, white lines, yellow lines, democracy

The Yellow and White Lines

If I’ve heard it one million times, I’ve heard it ten: “We already have term limits; they’re called elections.” A statement usually offered as the beginning and end of wisdom regarding the problems term limits are designed to tackle. Equally “profound” is the collateral claim that “the only term limits

Oklahoma State Senator, Mike Schulz, term limits

Too Ignorant to Lead

I’m convinced. Oklahoma State Senator Mike Schulz, leader of his chamber, has persuaded me that he just can’t do his job. He should have resigned years ago. Too late now, alas; he’s about to be termed out of office. Well, better late than never, I always say. Schulz burbles that

matchbook, Congress, term limits, legislative, power

Like Motel Matches

When President Trump announced he was slapping a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, a friend asked me how the president could possibly possess such unilateral authority.  That was my first thought, too, before surmising that Congress had again given away its constitutional power, as

Mao, term limits, China, Xi Jinping, censorship, Mao Zedong

Dictatorship with the Usual Characteristics

“Argh, we’re going to become North Korea,” a dejected Chinese citizen wrote on his country’s social media site, Weibo. His comment, later removed by China’s “safe space” police, responded to the Communist Party’s announcement that it would soon remove term limits on President Xi Jinping. While neighboring North Korea has

instant-runoff elections, Memphis, city council, government, term limits,

Graceless Memphis Politicians

“We could care less about instant runoff voting,” fibbed Allan Wade, the city attorney for Memphis, Tennessee. Wade was rebutting the recent Commercial Appeal revelation that Memphis’s “City Council worked behind the scenes to find a sponsor for legislation this year that could ban instant-runoff elections statewide.” After long relying

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

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,

Washington Post, Democracy, term limits,

Let There Be Light

The Washington Post sports a new masthead slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness,.” A story in last Sunday’s Metro section suggests that the editors are yet to fully implement the slogan’s implicit mission — providing impartial, unbiased illumination. “Term limits for Maryland legislators?” reads the headline. “Here’s why that’s unlikely,” it

Frankenstein, monster, shut down, shutdown, Congress, government, deep state

The Politics of Inertia

Congress’s failure to establish, last week, any semblance of budgetary responsibility led to one of those “government shutdowns” that the press likes to yammer about so breathlessly. Then, early this week, Senate holdouts caved, allowing a short-term fix to bring the federal government fully back to life, like the monster

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

Michigan Congressman John Conyers, scandal, resignation, term limits, nepotism, congress, experience

The Great Dood Drain of ’17

How can we expect the federal government to continue to function at its usual peak efficiency without the awesome 52 years of experience and institutional knowledge supplied by Michigan Congressman John Conyers? American government faces a congressional brain drain, Conyers’s resignation in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment not

Illinois, Supreme Court, term limits, initiative, democracy, gerrymandering

Illinois’s Chicken-and-Fish Supreme Court

A constitution is the law of the land only to the extent that it’s enforced. And in Illinois, the right of citizen initiative — provided for in the state constitution — is not enforced. The constitution’s wording is explicit: “Amendments . . . may be proposed by a petition signed

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