Challenging the FBI


Only the foolish or fearless challenge the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a hard lesson learned by a diverse roster that ranges from Al Capone to Hillary Clinton. If there is a deep state in America, the FBI is near its core. Whether the White House is oblivious to this history or trying to notch its belt by challenging the Bureau is worth pondering. This is an agency that defied recent White House attempts to get with the program of minimizing the import of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians as well as arguably sabotaging last year’s Clinton campaign.

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“Inaction” is not “malfunction”


I remain a part of the dissenting minority who argue that our system isn’t broken. Action on a number of thorny issues — ranging from immigration to education reform — is stymied because of big disagreements on what should be done. Our experience with the Affordable Care Act illustrates the peril of making big changes in the absence of substantial majority support.

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Follow the Leader (or not)


On the one hand we’re told that politicians cautiously hold a finger to the wind before acting and lack the courage to get ahead of their constituents. On the other, when politicians step forward—as Obama did on the TPP or ACA or David Cameron did on EU affiliation or Angela Merkel on immigration—their positions are deemed proof of the growing gulf between the governing elite and the masses who would be impacted. Continue reading Follow the Leader (or not)

Parties Search for a Theme

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One of the most valuable gifts Donald Trump has given the Democratic Party is a postponement of the need to define itself. Right now it looks like running as the anti-Trump is an adequate winning strategy.

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Is Campaign Finance Political Porn?

Campaign Finance ReformThe predictable media stories linking donor industries with candidates are the soft porn of the political press, promising incredible titillation and delivering lists of meaningless, largely predictable numbers.

The real reasons people give donations are pretty basic and intuitive: They give to people who agree with them. Continue reading Is Campaign Finance Political Porn?