Tag: Congress

Brian Riedl and Shai Akabas discuss the U.S. federal budget, budget negotiations, and why Congress hasn’t addressed the rising national debt—even as it gets worse.

The case for a “grand deal” on the budget has never been more evident: within a decade, annual budget deficits are projected to exceed $2 trillion. Entitlement programs are projected to drive trillions in new government debt over the next few decades. Yet increasing partisanship and political polarization—both in Washington and among voters—have significantly diminished the likelihood of bipartisan cooperation to avoid a fiscal calamity.

Could Adam Schiff Lose his Next Election?


Adam Schiff just got some serious competition for his 2020 reelection campaign.

Eric Early is a high powered Beverly Hills Attorney who ran for California Attorney General in 2018 and received almost a million votes, which for a Republican in CA is very good. Now he’s set his sites on beating shifty Schiff in CA-28. We interviewed Eric last month (see below) and when I asked if would run against Schiff (his Congressman) he gave me a wry smile. Watch this race and get more details here: https://ericearly.com/.

Draining the Swamp: An Impossible Task?


The administrative state, also known as the Deep State and The Swamp, has been with us for a long time. Recently, however, I heard Professor John Marini talk about his work in “unmasking” the administrative state and I realized the future of the Republic is precarious, if not endangered. I learned about his work when he appeared on Mark Levin’s Sunday night Fox News show, Life, Liberty & Levin.

Professor Marini is one of the few writers who talk about the attack on our constitutional system by the workings of the administrative state:

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The Democrat-Deep State-Media Cover-Up that Protected the Russiagate Narrative — Revisiting the Awan Cybersecurity Scandal with Luke Rosiak Luke Rosiak is an investigative reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation where he broke arguably one of the biggest scandals in the history of the federal government — one the media refused to cover and the […]

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Wile E. Coyote Democrats, President Trump, and a Dangerous World


In case you missed it, two nuclear-armed nations, India and Pakistan, just had an aerial skirmish with bombs dropped and planes shot down. Also, a failed socialist state in our own hemisphere is on the edge of complete lawlessness, as the dictator, Maduro, shut down the last border crossing to stop relief supplies flowing to Venezuelans. Meanwhile, President Trump is practicing tough but patient nuclear diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, the third-generation hereditary North Korean dictator, and tough but patient trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping, the strongest Chinese Communist leader since Chairman Mao, while meeting in a tough, smaller rival to China, Vietnam.

So, naturally, the House Democrats, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi 1.2, held their first big show hearing with a man convicted of lying to Congress. It went as well as President Trump could have wished. These same geniuses thought having House Democratic women wear white at the State of the Union was a brilliant move, only to be completely owned by a smiling President Trump. Who, again, is the political neophyte?

The congressional Republicans have continued to demonstrate their lack of fitness to govern, helping the Democrats stay in the game. Yet, the Democrats are moving so far left and behaving so foolishly that we should all be investing in Acme stock. Indeed, the only better investment than Acme stock may be proposition bets with British betting houses on President Trump to win reelection in 2020.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recoil at the Trump world sleaze revealed by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in his testimony to Congress, but also realize he’s the least credible witness Congress could have called on the subject. They also worry about escalating tension between nuclear powers India and Pakistan after Pakistan claims to shoot down two Indian military planes. And they get a kick out of the House Democrats having to adjourn their own hearing on climate change denial because not enough of them attended.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a unanimous Supreme Court decision forbidding states from seizing assets in excess of the penalties a convicted person faces.  They also unload on Labor Secretary Alex Acosta as a judge rips the former U.S. Attorney for striking a 2007 plea bargain with Jeffrey Epstein and not sharing those deliberations with the accusers at the request of Epstein’s lawyers.  They react to North Carolina officials ordering a do-over in a North Carolina congressional race after a shady absentee ballot strategy by the Republican campaign.  And they react to the Robert Kraft news, which broke as they were recording.

The 411 on the Latest National Emergency


President Trump’s declaration, on 15 February 2019, of a “national emergency,” is quite ordinary, the latest in a long line of such declarations going back to President Carter. Far from creating some dangerous precedent, it only reinforces our constitutional order. While it will certainly be challenged in federal court, this may actually be the opportunity to set Article III courts back on their proper path, ending bad behavior by the lowest level, federal district judges.

The Ricochet editors desk posted the entire text of the declaration in Trump Declares National Emergency at the Southern Border. The text is quoted from the White House page, Presidential Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States. C-SPAN has the video and transcript of President Trump’s remarks, followed by some hostile questions on the lawn.

In his remarks beforehand, President Trump repeatedly invoked Angel Moms and had them stand with the photograph of their dead loved one. These women, seated in the front row, turned and put the inconvenient truth into the face of the media who have pointedly ignored their loss. Do watch the video.

Genius v. Stupidity? Genius Has Its Limits


Today’s lesson is about what the newly-elected members of Congress from the 6th and 14th Districts of Illinois don’t know about their jobs.

It begins with a headline in the Northwest Herald that says: “Underwood, Casten Call for IRS to Help With Local Tax Burden.” The article goes on to say:

“Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, and Rep. Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, are urging the IRS to address what they call the disproportionate tax burden on Illinois taxpayers because of the changes in the law, which limit the state and local tax deduction.”

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After protracted smashmouth negotiations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) with the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) on November 30, 2018. The new USMCA is largely NAFTA with certain positive elements drawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”). Unfortunately, certain new protectionist provisions unnecessarily […]

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Anti-Religious Left is on a Roll


It’s not news to describe the Left as anti-religion. But they seem to be unabashedly attacking Christians and Jews more often with little criticism from their own members. Still, some people from the Right are not afraid to speak up. Although Ben Sasse is often criticized for his comments on Donald Trump, his call for the support of religious freedom was admirable.

Senator Ben Sasse called out his fellow Senators on blatantly using a religious test to interview Brian Buescher, nominee for U.S. District Judge for the District of Nebraska. Mr. Buescher was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and he was disparaged for his membership by Senators Kamala Harris and Maizie Hirono. Senator Sasse wasn’t going to stand for it, and called for a Senate resolution:

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What will happen regarding this years State of the Union address? And, what should happen regarding this years State of the Union address? Just to remind the reader, earlier this month House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Trump asking him to postpone his planned State of the Union address citing safety concerns […]

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The “411” on “National Emergency”


Sadly, supposedly expert, professional commentators have continued the lazy practice of bloviating rather than elucidating. Let’s circle back around and lay out the law on “national emergencies.” It is right there for anyone who can read to read, without any special permissions: 50 U.S. Code Subchapter II – DECLARATIONS OF FUTURE NATIONAL EMERGENCIES. Let’s all do a bit of reading together, and then I invite members with relevant legal experience to comment on any relevant case law.

Consider the following law. Think very carefully through the very first sentence. As with some many other areas, where Congress feels a need to “do something” but doesn’t know how to specify, to clearly limit, the usual result is a vague grant of authority to the Executive branch.

Declare National Border Emergency, Kill Two Birds with One Stone



Talk of President Trump building the border wall under a declaration of national emergency seemed fanciful, unanchored in law. While major media including Fox News have done no more than wave the term around, a lawyer and talk show host for Urban Family Talk actually laid out the law. There is a case for building under a national emergency, and if the President takes this route, there is also an opportunity to force the federal judiciary back under the Constitution.

The case for “wall” construction under national emergency powers:

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I invested nearly two decades of experience in the region into this show and we look at what forces are there, how we got involved, regional context, possible paths, consequences, ISIS, Congress and POTUS rolls, and much more. Curious on your takes? Please take the time to really listen to this episode, the media coverage […]

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Quote of the Day: Congress and the Law


“When Congress makes a joke it’s a law, and when they make a law, it’s a joke.” – Will Rogers

The one law always in force is the law of unintended consequences. Congress can ignore it, and yet it remains, a reef to create the shipwreck of their hopes. This is the secret inherent in Will Rogers’s quote. No one individual is smart enough to foresee every possibility arising from an action. That is one reason it is always best to get a lot of outside input for a decision – especially one outside your area of expertise.

Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the French people for forcing their government to suspend implementation of new fuel taxes, although their tactics leave a lot to be desired.  They also shake their heads as Congress punts any tough spending decisions to Dec. 21 and appears unwilling to do much of anything to rein in spending.  And the liberal site Slate draws an avalanche of condemnation for trashing the late Pres. Bush’s service dog, suggesting there should be no sentimental reaction to the dog since Bush only had him since June.

Quote of the Day: Anti-Semitic or Anti-Israel—or Both?


“Now, it isn’t inherently anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli political leadership or policies. The Democratic Party antagonism toward the Jewish state has been well-established over the past decade. But [Ilhan] Omar used a well-worn anti-Semitic trope about the preternatural ability of a nefarious Jewish cabal to deceive the world.

“It’s something you would expect to read in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or hear from a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, not a US congresswoman.

“Omar had a chance to retract, or at least refine, her statement. Instead, she doubled down. ‘These accusations are without merit,’ she claimed, blaming Jewish Islamophobia for the backlash. ‘They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.’” — David Harsanyi, The New York Post

Congress Is Broken. Let’s Fix It.


The founders gave us a wonderful system, and it has served us well for over 230 years. This I must believe, as an American. Those people spent a lot of time working out how best, considering all of history, to make a nation last. So, what is this system they created? Broken down into relevant parts, it is the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Executive (no branch, they didn’t create the three letter alphabet soup that now is placed under the Executive), and the Justice System.

Why so many moving parts? First off, it’s true that the people, and what they think, matters. However, people are subject to flights of popular fantasy (see: Democrats), and our constitution respects this. So we get a lot of parts to our federal government to try and respect both what people think right now, but also to temper those thoughts with time.