Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


House, Democrat, John Dingell

Hating the Senate

The longest-serving politician in Congress — ever — thinks he has the perfect reform to put American government back on track. Former House Democrat John Dingell wants to abolish the Senate. According to him, the United States should go unicameral. The ancient bicameral tradition — which goes back to Sumer

Peru, term limits, Trump

Trump Should Look to Peru

Democracy can degrade into other things, even strong-man rule. To avoid such degradation, we have a ready prophylactic. Term limits. Which hamper would-be dictators-for-life, including entrenched oligarchs in the legislature. Many countries illustrate the point. But take Peru, where the new head of state, Martin Vizcarra, has been combatting political corruption by supporting a referendum to impose

nothing, Washington, pay raise, Tim Eyman,

The Seinfeld Referendum

There is an unmistakable connection between Washington State initiative guru Tim Eyman and New York City comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Mr. Seinfeld gave viewers what they wanted for nine seasons as the star of the self-named 1990s hit television sitcom, Seinfeld. It was slyly defined as “a show about nothing.” Meanwhile,

Regnat Populus, Arkansas, term limits, initiative

Suppressed Measure Woulda Won

Arkansas politicians and their cronies were terrified by Issue 3. So when this tough state legislative term limits measure was approved for the ballot, foes of citizen-controlled government sued to kill it. Agreeing that thousands of already-approved signatures of bonafide registered voters must be tossed because of new, legislatively-imposed, byzantine,

domino, power, election, term limits, initiatives

Electing a Better Way

For the seventh time in the last 22 years, the Metro Nashville Council put a measure on the ballot to weaken or abolish their own term limits. And for the seventh time voters said no.  Term limits were under attack elsewhere in Tennessee — along with Ranked Choice Voting. The

Jack Gargan


What can one person do? I wish Jack Gargan were here to answer that question — I can almost hear his characteristic chuckle, see the glint in his Irish eyes, in preparation. But sadly, Jack passed away late Sunday night or early Monday morning in Thailand, where he had retired.

Gender, neutral, term limits, Memphis, City Council,

Seventh Time’s the Charm?

“You have to give the public something,” explained termed-out former Councilperson Emily Evans, a few years ago. She was referring to a 2015 initiative she had pushed. The unsuccessful measure had tempted voters with a smaller council in exchange for weakened term limits. On Tuesday’s ballot, voters find lame attempt

Memphis, City Council, term limits, lie, cheat, steal

Lie, Cheat AND Steal

Sometimes lying just isn’t enough. But dishonest politicians have additional weapons at their disposal. There’s cheating. And stealing, too. Meet the Memphis City Council. Apparently fearful that their official fibbery through deceptive ballot wording on three council-referred measures won’t be enough to successfully hoodwink a majority of voters, the council

bone saw, Saudi Arabia, murder, free speech, ,press freedom,consulate,

The Bonesaw Massacre

Last week, the Washington Post published journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s final column. Khashoggi was apparently murdered by dismemberment at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month. “The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain,” Khashoggi wrote, “imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces

Arkansas, term limits, corruption, rules, regulations, initiative, democracy

Corruption, Arkansas-Style

On Friday, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck Issue 3, a citizen-initiated measure to restore legislative term limits, from Arkansas’ November ballot. The Court declared, 4-3, that there weren’t enough “valid” signatures. This, despite opponents never disputing that more than enough Arkansas voters had signed the petition. In recent years, legislators

Mercatus, map, term limits, Democrats, Republicans

In the Pudding

Republicans have made much hay of the Mercatus Center map of our United States, colored by fiscal condition. Why? Well, nine out of the ten least financially stable state governments are run by Democrats. But there’s another way to look at it. “Only 15 state legislatures in the U.S. are

Paul Jacob, Rome, term limits, inititative, ballot

The Perfect Couple

A marriage made in . . . democracy?  Last Thursday, at the 2018 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, held at the Palazzo Senatorio in Rome, Italy, I talked about term limits. And initiative and referendum rights. Italy’s populist Five Star Movement, the leading party in the new ruling coalition,

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