Tag: FederalIsm

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. They discuss the growing popularity of learning pods, an education innovation propelled by K-12 public education’s failure to meet the COVID-19 moment. With as many as three million children enrolled in learning pods, 35 percent of parents participating in them, and another 18 percent interested in joining one, Butcher shares findings from his report on the role of pods in expanding parent-driven educational choice options. He reviews states’ responses to learning pods, as well as school choice legislation in some states that can help expand educational opportunity to families in need. The conversation then turns to the key findings from a spring 2020 report co-authored by Cato, Heritage, Pioneer Institute, and others, Rightsizing Fed Ed: Principles for Reform and Practical Steps to Move in the Right Direction, which provides a blueprint for restoring K-12 schooling authority to states, localities, and parents. Butcher also offers thoughts on how states and districts will spend federal COVID-19 relief funds, and be held accountable, the record of federally driven early childhood education efforts, and the Biden administration’s recent call to expand federal early childhood education and care.

Stories of the Week: President Biden announced the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion plan to expand America’s K-12 system, from two years before kindergarten to free community college. In South Carolina, a bill passed by the House of Representatives expands the state superintendent’s authority to remove local school boards and take over struggling schools in chronically low-performing districts.

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The fifty United States of America are not “united” on the basis of unconditional fealty to even a wholly legitimate federal government, to say nothing of a one third illegitimate one. The Constitution and its Amendments were written and ratified to protect the states and, ultimately, we, the citizens, from governmental violation of our inalienable […]

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After a brief, but unavoidable, hiatus in which is computer expired, Dave is back with new gear, and even new software that allows him to video his podcasts, in addition to hosting live stream events.

In this episode, Ricochet Co-Founder and “Cheers” Executive Producer, Rob Long joins Dave for a post mortem on Election 2020 and an assessment on where we go from here. Rob does a respectable job of trying to talk Dave off the political edge before Ricochet member and writer at The Federalist, Jenna Stocker helps to spotlight the possibility and strength of faith, family and hope. This is no small task for Jenna, who lives in Minneapolis, a place Dave described as “Mad Max territory,” after months of riots, arson, a spike in violent crime even as the city works to defund the police.

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I am genuinely glad to see so many people rediscovering the value of the Constitution: the structure it gives our government, separation of powers, checks and balances. I just wish they would also remember this insight the next time their preferred policy or politician is the one running afoul of those limits. The president had […]

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If we want to curtail the growth of the federal government devouring all state and local power we need to upgrade our crappy state flags into better flags so people can be prouder of their states and want more control at the more local levels.  Utah’s flag has always been terrible it looks like the […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have a lively discussion of the Trump administration’s withdrawal of federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project. Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand says states would no longer be able to legislate on abortion if she gets elected. And Jim offers a radical counter-proposal after learning an adversity score was added to the SAT.

It Takes a Village to Make a Village


I’m a third of the way through Tim Carney’s Alienated America and I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode of The Remnant podcast about the book. It’s no surprise to me that I like this book, as the lack of social organizations at a grassroots level is near and dear to my heart, especially when it comes to firearms ownership in America.

Gun owners are being shoved to the side in American culture, and that’s putting the right to self-defense for all Americans in jeopardy.  While my focus is on gun rights, the fact is, the decline of social communities outside of politicas is something that is hurting all Americans. So I ask you, my fellow Ricocheti, what can we as individuals to help re-create and renew the social organizations that once held our country together?

I’ve written about “Warrior Club” as one way to bond over the Second Amendment, but what are some of the other ways we can jump-start American’s involvement in the local community and preserve our other freedoms? The obvious answer is, of course, “go out and join a service organization” or “help coach youth soccer,” and that’s how things will ultimately change. The preservation of individual rights, after all, is up to the individual, not the state. However, the act of preserving our rights does not have to be an uphill climb. In addition to re-invigorating our local churches and service groups, what can we as indivivuals do on a state and national level to make such goals easier to accomplish? What tactical-level goals are out there, and how do we accomplish them?

Washington’s Bipartisan War On Federalism


The scowling face of the State

With all the talk about America’s vanishing consensus, there remains one major issue which both sides of the aisle are in full agreement: the urgent need to yoke one’s political agenda to the awesome power of the federal government.

Want to know if you can keep your doctor? What about your lightbulb? Your same-sex spouse? Your weed? Better consult with Washington.

Richard Epstein describes a potentially groundbreaking healthcare case out of Idaho, where insurers are looking to give consumers more options than are currently allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

First Principles: The Fairweather Federalist


I find curious the subject of sanctuary cities; specifically why limited government conservatives support the Trump administration’s attempts to “do something” about them. Those attempts haven’t yielded much other than litigation, and so the Trump administration has started talking about arresting local officials who do not play along. Similar is the Attorney General’s recent decision to rescind the Cole Memo, paving the way for federal prosecutors to begin cracking down on marijuana producers and retailers in states where such a thing is legal.

We have the phenomenon of those conservatives who talk about the virtues of federalism, states’ rights, subsidiarity, and limited government but it all goes right out the window when it comes to Mexicans or pot.  

Richard Epstein explains the contents of President Trump’s new executive order on healthcare, explores the controversy around a White House proposal to cut subsidies to insurers, and explains why conservatives who fretted about President Obama’s use of executive orders shouldn’t be bothered by this exercise of executive power.

Let the West Control Their Own Land


Washington DC controls less than 5 percent of the land in the United States. Well, states in the east and Midwest, that is. Look west of Kansas, and the feds control 50 percent of the land. To illustrate the disparity, I did what I do, and created a map.

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I have  a question that possibly has a simple answer beyond the logic I’m trying to apply. With so many excellent minds and sources of information here I submit it to Ricochet. Why do the leftist liberals who support government and government spending to provide a wide range of services to the public not embrace […]

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The Cavalry Isn’t Coming from DC – States Need to Save Themselves


Obama brought us Obamacare, the Stimulus, and doubled the debt to $20 trillion. George W. Bush brought us the Wall Street bailout and interminable middle-eastern wars. Congress, alternately run by Democrats and Republicans over the past 16 years, approved all of these messes. And seeing how everyone in DC — politicians, press, lobbyists, and probably Uber drivers — have spent the past five months in an endless slap fight, we shouldn’t expect the Beltway to produce much of consequence for the foreseeable future.

How do we enact conservative change in this environment? The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation. But since that effort might be frowned upon, let’s just ignore the lot of them the best we can and focus closer to home.

The United States wasn’t designed to be run by some far-off mandarins in an imperial capital. Most day-to-day responsibilities were handed to each state, and most state responsibilities were handed to counties, cities and towns.