Tag: Congress

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The third in a series on what I take to be the best or second best political strategy on the market in terms of the strategy’s return on investment, and on what should be the contents of the bill or bills this strategy would require, and on what we can do to get started. I […]

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What’s the Best Political Strategy on the Market?

 

We-The-960x321Obergefell v. Hodges has stimulated a lot of thought on the Right about how to restore Constitutional government, but plenty of strategies had been considered before that. A lot of folks say that politics is downstream from culture, but that doesn’t mean these political strategies are a bad idea:

I happen to think we should go with quite a few of these strategies. But which is the best strategy?

I think having a new Constitutional Convention probably has the potential to do the most good.[1] To those who fear the risks, keep in mind that the Constitution requires “three fourths of the several States” to approve each amendment separately. With Republican control of record numbers of state governments, and only thirteen states needed to block a new amendment, it’s a strategy the Left would find hard to co-opt.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Victory, oh Victory!

 

shutterstock_158132165The most common form of contemporary conservative electoral argument is flawed in its premise. They argue that we don’t win elections because we don’t follow their advice (give up on social issues / double down on social issues / the same for fiscal issues and/or foreign stuff / use stronger language / use more moderate language / educate the public on abstract issues / stop talking about abstract issues / talk about gaffes more / talk about gaffes less).

In fact, we win elections. We run the legislature in most states, reaching a level of (small d) democratic control rarely seen in American history. We have most governor’s mansions, again, right at the edge of the historical record. We have the House; after decades of suffering from Ike’s neutrality and Watergate, we got it back in 1994 and we’ve mostly kept it. We have the Senate. Even presidentially, we’ve lost just five out of the last twelve races, with the “always losing” argument often resting on the last two. If you decide on the basis of receiving two tails after tossing a coin twice that the coin must be faulty and have no heads on it, you’re probably excessively predisposed that belief.

When people tell you that we’re losing and the only way to win is to buy their snake oil, whether classy snake oil like Arthur Brooks’ or off-brand oils like Mike Murphy’s or Mark Levin’s, they’re wrong in two ways. Firstly, we’re winning, and secondly, many of those who are winning are not from their faction of the party. Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey win in blue-purple states while being unapologetically socially conservative, whatever Murphy might prefer; while Graham, McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Cochran, and Alexander can win in red states despite Levin’s assurances that their path is doomed to fail.

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It just dawned on me while I was doing the most mundane thing (unloading the dishwasher) that everything in the world is connected.   Let me zero in on a few thoughts.  Funding for the suicidal Iran deal, funding for the murder and collection of humans at Planned Parenthood, funding for Obamacare when we all […]

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This photo was taken on Thursday’s bicycle ride.  To get to this place I had ridden 3 miles out of my way and more into the wind than I would have liked.  (The total ride ended up being 70 miles.) Pretend for a moment that you’re a Congressional Republican. What does this sign mean to […]

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Conservative Mike Flynn Takes on the Establishment

 

Mike FlynnRemember Aaron Schock? Killer abs, big “Downton Abbey” fan, resigned in disgrace? On Tuesday, voters in Illinois’s 18th District will decide which nominee should finish the remainder of Schock’s term and perhaps represent them going further.

Out of the goodness of their hearts, Republican leadership wanted to make the choice for Illinois voters. They anointed Darin LaHood, current state senator and son of CD18’s former representative, Ray LaHood. Most recently, dad flaunted his conservative cred by serving as President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation and demanding Congress spend, spend, spend on an endless list of pet projects. LaHood Sr. now works as a lobbyist, of course, so it’s understandable that Speaker Boehner, et al., want his son to be another cog in the profitable Beltway machine.

But another Republican lives in the LaHood Family heirloom, a sprawling Central Illinois district that includes Peoria, Springfield, and Quincy. Mike Flynn is a smart, passionate conservative who decided to challenge the well connected scion and present a choice for his fellow small-government Republicans.

Dick Shelby, Vlad Putin’s BFF

 

Earlier this week, I pointed out how Congress seems determined to keep us dependent on the Russians for access to space indefinitely:

    …despite the desperate need and warning from the administrator, just before the most recent Russian failures, in a vote on June 3rd, the House once again cut the NASA 2016 request for Commercial Crew by about 20%, from $1.243B to an even billion dollars, while once again increasing the SLS budget by almost half a billion, an increase of over a third from the request of $1.365B.

Congress Fiddles with Monster Rockets, While Human Spaceflight Burns

 

Art_of_SLS_launchOver at PJMedia this past weekend, I have yet another piece on what a godawful mess the civil space program is, in its ongoing dependence on the Russians.

Just in the past six years, the Russians have now had sixteen space mission failures, one of which had NASA actually contemplating temporarily abandoning the ISS in 2011. Their industry is beset by strikes, underpaid workers, and the need to rapidly reproduce hardware that in the past would have been acquired from Ukraine, the flow of which has been interrupted by Russia’s ongoing war on that nation. In addition, as reported in a story this past weekend, there is also massive corruption. With each failure, there is a management shakeup, but the underlying systemic quality problems never seem to get fixed.

These most recent failures should be the last straw in demonstrating the immediate need to free the nation’s civil space policy from dependence on the dysfunctional Russian space industry. But Congress continues to misprioritize the budget and the direction to NASA necessary to do so.

Watch Me Testify Before Congress About Free Speech on Campus Today at 2:00 p.m. [LIVE STREAM]

 

shutterstock_225535513My organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has been fighting to protect freedom of speech on college and university campuses since 1999. Throughout my career, I have seen countless examples of campus speech codes—absurd, often unconstitutional restrictions on the free speech of college students and professors. From restricting free speech to tiny, out of the way “zones” to overbearing “harassment” policies, campus speech codes come in many forms but have far-reaching consequences.

It is with great honor that I share with you that today I will address the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice to talk about speech codes and the general state of free speech on America’s public college campuses.

Please tune in to the live webcast at 2:00 p.m. EDT today using this link.

Why Republicans Should Oppose Term Limits

 

Today, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would impose a six-year term limit on members of the House, while Senators would be held to 12 years in office. This is a magnificently stupid idea.

I worked on Capitol Hill for eight years back in the ’90s and early 2000s. I came into the job right before the 1994 elections and saw the incoming Republican majority as an opportunity for me and my ilk to do our part to re-make a Constitutional government. Like most Republican staffers on the Hill, I was bright, but young and laughingly inexperienced. As a result, I got my rear kicked day after day by my Democrat counterparts.

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As I understand it, Hillary Clinton didn’t merely ignore an arbitrary policy when she employed a personal email for official government business — which certainly included classified information — and even went to the very unusual length of setting up her own private server at home. She broke the law. Her actions were criminal.  Yet […]

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I knew a guy in college who was studying to become a priest. His knowledge of history and apologetics was rudimentary. His philosophy was shallow. He was a meek character, exhibiting no particular strengths and aptitudes. But his faith was joyous and enthusiastic. His commitment to God was simple and constant. And through this simple love he provided better […]

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This Congressional Majority Is Brought To You By Air Conditioning

 

This time of year when — after a blizzard or two — I inevitably receive a phone call from my desert-dwelling relatives inquiring about the weather. Once I inform them of the local temperature or how much snow is on the ground, their reaction generally implies that I must travel with a team of sled dogs equipped with emergency brandy barrels and live in an igloo. I respond that – thanks to our pre-human ancestors – we have learned to harness the awesome power of fire; however freezing it may be outside, the water is still liquid in my home and the temperature quite comfortable. With the awkwardness of the conversation having reached its peak, we generally move on to how the kids are doing.

After a recent such conversation, I began thinking more about modern civilization’s ability to keep the inside at around seventy degrees no matter the conditions outside. When I say seventy degrees I’m referring to Fahrenheit, of course. With Celsius I find it’s easy to remember freezing at zero and boiling at one-hundred, but what thinking person can make sense out of anything in between? Yes, not the first time I have bashed the metric system.

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I am married to the most dangerous type of lawyer, a law school professor. I call this the most dangerous type of lawyer because it creates new lawyers. It’s a bit like when you get your gremlin wet – not that AMC you had in the seventies, the movie from the eighties – and it […]

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I got a promotion at work; now I’ve got a subordinate! Only, the company has some funny rules about how exactly he does his job. See, I just set goals, and he figures out how to accomplish them. If he screws something up, I can’t fix it myself, I gotta let him fix it. And […]

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