Archive for November, 2011

Whigging out

November 30, 2011

Presidential candidates, political observes, and Americans in general aren’t usually known for their intense support of Congressional power. But even by those standards, the last few weeks have really been something else: I’ve already  reviewed Rick Perry’s plan for Congress;  Drew Westen rubbed my whiggism the wrong way; the GOP debate last Tuesday was...
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The Other Caucuses

November 29, 2011

In the wake of Representative Frank’s decision to retire, there has already been some speculation about who will be the top Democrat on the House Committee on Financial Services next Congress. But wait, you say, isn’t that simply a matter of looking at the seniority list of the committee democrats, and seeing that Rep....
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Senior Moment

November 28, 2011
Senior Moment

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2012, after 16 terms in the House. Massachusetts will also be losing Rep. John Olver (1st district), who announced his retirement last month after 10 terms in the House. Representative Frank is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial...
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Imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

November 23, 2011

Blog posts will be light for the rest of the week — I’m in upstate New York with the family. But as a libertarian, I feel compelled by my own conscience to spread the word about what took place at the GOP convention last night. As regular readers know, I’m not a huge fan...
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Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part III: Strategies

November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part III: Strategies


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Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part II: Issue Choice

November 22, 2011
Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part II: Issue Choice


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Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part I: The Outlook

November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving Briefing Book, Part I: The Outlook


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Ready Steady Stoned

November 21, 2011

This post is named after the second album by my all-time favorite indie band, The Figgs. I always thought it was a wonderful title for a record. It’s also the first phrase that popped into my head when I read this op-ed, which you will be hearing a whole lot about on Monday, despite...
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The Adventures of Link(s)

November 19, 2011

Two things I have enjoyed reading and thinking about in the last few days, with a quick take on each: Baseball is changing in the post-season. Ben Morris had what I thought was the most interesting take on the new system. See also Jon Bernstein on what the system won’t fix, and Christina Kahrl...
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By the Numbers: Constitutional Amending in the House

November 18, 2011

Later today, the House of Representatives will vote on House Joint Resolution 2, a proposal to amend the Constitution. Here is the text: Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by...
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All the news that’s fit to incinerate

November 17, 2011

Three weeks ago, I asserted that Drew Westen had achieved anti-perfection with a New York Times piece. But he may have outdone himself last night. Last time, people were joking on Twitter that his article had been so completely shredded that the only thing left to go after was the grammar and punctuation. Mr....
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More on Perry’s Plan: A Whig Perspective

November 16, 2011

I’m still digesting Rick Perry’s plan to uproot and overhaul Washington. There’s just a lot to take in. There’s been some good writing around the blogsphere already on the congressional side of things — Jamelle Bouie and Jonathan Bernstein and Matt Yglesias addressed many of  the fundamental problems with populist downsizing and amatuerization of...
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Research Note: Member Pay

November 15, 2011
Research Note: Member Pay

In his plan to overhaul Washington, Rick Perry states that: When the first Congress convened in 1789 following the ratification of the Constitution, federal lawmakers were paid $6 a day, and an annual salary of $1,500 was not authorized until 1815. Had Congressional salaries merely risen with inflation, a member of Congress today would...
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I’ll take “Things That Surprised Me” for $200

November 15, 2011

Each Congress, quite a few pieces of legislation are introduced to amend the Constitution. If you look through the House Joint Resolutions introduced this Congress, you will find the following: proposals for a balanced budget amendment; proposals for term limits on Members of Congress; a proposal for a parents’ rights amendment; proposals to cap...
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The other rule 22

November 14, 2011

Last Tuesday, former president Clinton gave his support to altering the 22nd amendment so that it only limited the number of consecutive terms a person could serve as president, allowing people to leave office and serve again later: I’ve always thought that should be the rule … I think as a practical matter, you...
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Church Democracy

November 13, 2011

Our church was holding elections this morning for the pastoral council. So much to talk about, but just a few quick points here. 1) I’m a huge fan of democratically-structured institutions of civil society. At my wife’s request, we go to a Catholic church, which I have always rated low the self-democracy scale. It’s...
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More Congressional Jargon

November 12, 2011
More Congressional Jargon

A few months ago, I put up a post with a long list of Hill jargon in response to a short-but- good published article (subscription required). Since my original post was pretty well received, here’s an updated version with another three dozen terms. As with the first installment, this isn’t formal terminology related to...
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All Quiet on the Western Front

November 11, 2011

Two quick items and then a bunch of recommendations for excellent blog reads from this week: 1. I haven’t said anything about Penn State, mostly because I don’t have the heart to really get into it. I tried to read the grand jury presentment, but I had to stop because it I couldn’t take...
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Debate Q&A on ‘ObamaCare’

November 10, 2011

Question: How many times was the word “Obamacare” said during the debate last night? Answer: Based on this transcript, it was said 11 times. Question: Who said it? Answer: Bachmann said it four times. Romney said it three times. Perry and Santorum said it once each. Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, and Cain never said it....
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Turn-out, tune-in, and roll-off in Fairfax County, VA

November 9, 2011

Reported below are voter turnout and roll-off figures for last night’s elections in Fairfax County, Virginia. Data was assembled from election returns available here. Turnout is calculated from the reported 696,083 eligible voters.  Races allowing a voter to pick multiple candidates from a field are denoted with an M (and total votes divided by...
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