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Politics

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In the age of simplicity, nuance is a liability, not a strength Senator Elizabeth Warren has suspended her campaign. With comparatively more realistic and detailed plans and the talent to explain them, she should have easily beaten Senator Bernie Sanders for the hearts and minds of the progressive left wing of the party. But she didn’t. Why not? Was it sexism alone, or was more at work? Warren Wasn’t My Preferred Candidate First, I should…

There’s a new genie that’s popped from the lamp to help pay for the wishlist of multi-trillion dollar programs, and it’s got a smart-sounding name: “Modern Monetary Theory.” It’s also got a very heavy lift, because of the staggering federal spending ambitions of both Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Each candidate would more than double the size of the entire federal government. To get a feel for the scale of the federal spending that…

I went to the bank yesterday to get a document notarized, and struck up a great conversation with the lovely associate manager, Roxana. Noticing an Eastern-European accent, I asked her about her background, and she said her family came to the United States from Romania in the 80’s, fleeing the Ceausescu regime. I mentioned that I don’t think many Americans know much about Romania, nor how truly evil Nikolae Ceausescu was. I asked her what…

What does last night’s New Hampshire primary tell us about the developing 2020 presidential race? Here are my top three takeaways: The chances of a brokered (i.e., contested) convention have never been higherTrump demonstrated record turnout for an incumbent, suggesting a core of enthusiasm which has expanded since 2016Warren’s campaign is toast: does she position for a Sanders running-mate nod? I also think we’re underestimating the relatively high likelihood of some kind of “black swan”…

I’m with Mitt Romney: I’d vote YES on Article I and NO on Article II. The enormous powers of the Executive Branch should not be marshaled or weaponized to damage, investigate or monitor political opponents. That’s a terrible precedent. This goes for a president coaxing foreign allies either with favor or via threatened-withheld resources to get them to launch a damaging investigation, or getting them to announce one. And it also applies to allowing a…

The Constitution’s apportionment clause makes the wealth taxes advanced by both Senators Sanders and Warren clearly unconstitutional. That’s not to say a wealth tax is impossible. Just as when federal income taxes were enacted, there is a way to have a legal wealth tax: the Constitutional Amendment process. But the Constitution first requires two thirds of the House and two thirds of the Senate to pass an Amendment. Then it requires 75% (i.e., 38 of…

Esek Hopkins was the brother of Stephen Hopkins, Governor of Rhode Island and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed the first Commander of the Continental Navy in 1775. A few months later, the Continental Congress declared independence, and Commander Hopkins suddenly became the most powerful naval officer in the new United States. Despite their decision to bestow this position on him, Commander Esek Hopkins held the Continental Congress in very low regard.…