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    The Popup Presidency

    I went to the White House website this morning, whitehouse.gov, looking for a copy of the President’s statement on the Boston Marathon Bombings, and instead found the front page roadblocked by this popup ad: Now, the White House’s website is inevitably – and properly – going to reflect the president’s governing agenda. But it shouldn’t be necessary to explain why the White House deserves an | Read More »

    Terror in Boston

    Terror in Boston

    Early reports are often misleading, and there will be time enough for politics when the facts are in. But we know this much, so far: there were multiple explosions around the finish line of today’s Boston Marathon, there are a number of people dead and many horrible injuries, and authorities confirm there were multiple bombs. The Marathon is a huge target – a ton of | Read More »

    Same Sex Marriage Is Not the Same As Opposite Sex Marriage

    Same Sex Marriage Is Not the Same As Opposite Sex Marriage

    At the core of the two same-sex marriage cases argued this week before the Supreme Court is the fundamental question of whether the Constitution requires the state and federal governments to treat same-sex marriage exactly the same as traditional, opposite-sex marriage for all purposes for all time, or whether it is permissible to draw reasoned distinctions between the two, ranging from California’s simple reservation of | Read More »

    Christine Quinn and the NY City Council Punish The Creation of Jobs

    Christine Quinn and the NY City Council Punish The Creation of Jobs

    It would be hard to design a more obvious example of why New York City employers should be terrified of Christine Quinn’s Mayoral ambitions than the passage earlier this month of an unprecedented bill allowing lawsuits for damages by unemployed job-seekers against any employer that tries to hire in the City: When the law takes effect in three months, the city will be the fourth | Read More »

    Jane Mayer’s McCarthyist Attack on Ted Cruz

    Jane Mayer's McCarthyist Attack on Ted Cruz

    The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, in a pair of blog posts, served up the latest attempted Democratic Party talking point on freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz: that Senator Cruz is the second coming of Joe McCarthy. (ThinkProgress coordinates with a predictable illustration for those too simple-minded to get Mayer’s point). As it happens, I have some firsthand knowledge of the subject of Mayer’s vague, thinly-sourced | Read More »

    Reflections on the American Revolution: The Militia

    Reflections on the American Revolution: The Militia

    How did thirteen colonies, with a barely functioning central government and a thrown-together, underfunded and poorly supplied army of constantly fluctuating size and composition, win the Revolutionary War? One reason was the colonies’ ability to rely on their common citizens to supplement the Continental Army with local militia. I’ve looked previously at the demographic and physical conditions and foreign alliances that shaped the war and | Read More »

    Reflections on the American Revolution: The Generals

    Reflections on the American Revolution: The Generals

    How did America win its independence? In Part I of this essay, I looked at the population trends, foreign alliances, and equipment and weather conditions under which the American Revolution was fought. Let’s add some thoughts on the leaders of the principal combatants: the American and British generals. The American command was far from perfect – but the war could have turned out very differently | Read More »

    Reflections on the American Revolution (Part I of II)

    Reflections on the American Revolution (Part I of II)

    I’ve recently been reading a fair amount on the American Revolution, especially David McCullough’s 1776 (which should be required reading for every American).* The more you read of the Revolutionary War, the more there is to learn, especially about the vital question of how the colonists pulled off their victory over the vastly wealthier and more powerful Great Britain. The standard narrative of the American | Read More »

    Harry Reid’s Priorities: Immigration, Not Assault Weapons

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gives some revealing insight into how he sees the Senate’s priorities this spring – priorities, in line with his support back home in Nevada, that are long on addressing immigration and not so high on banning “assault weapons”: Calling for a “cautious” approach to gun control, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid downplayed the chances of the Senate renewing an assault-weapons | Read More »

    More Cigarette Taxes Equals More Cigarette Smuggling

    More Cigarette Taxes Equals More Cigarette Smuggling

    A recent study from the Tax Foundation and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy looking at cigarette taxes and cigarette smuggling reminds us, yet again, of how big government always ends up legislating the Law of Unintended Consequences. Tax That Smoker Behind The Tree You have to tax something to fund government, and if you’re taxing sales, cigarettes are as good a target as any: | Read More »

    Silver Linings in the Fiscal Cliff Deal

    Silver Linings in the Fiscal Cliff Deal

    I will not try to convince any conservative that the final fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate with only a few dissenting votes and needed Democratic votes to pass the House with a divided GOP caucus is a good deal, nor that it is the best deal available under the circumstances. It is, however, important to remember that this was a deal negotiated under | Read More »

    Gun Control, Gun Rights, Gun Politics and Newtown: Part I of II

    The school shooting atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut has, predictably, touched off another round of the perennial gun-control debate. Especially for parents of young children (my youngest is the same age as most of the victims), the horror of the shootings is almost beyond description, and tends to make rational discussion impossible. And also unseemly, as Jonah Goldberg has explained. More to the point, this is | Read More »

    Republicans: Don’t Get Outbid On Taxes

    Republicans: Don't Get Outbid On Taxes

    Unlike some of my RedState colleagues, for reasons I explained on Tuesday, I agree with the basic theory behind John Boehner’s Plan B solution to the tax side of the fiscal cliff standoff: rather than trading Republican blessings on tax hikes for illusory “spending cuts,” let Democrats get the tax hikes they want with no pretense that Republicans support them, pass a bill making permanent | Read More »

    Republicans Must Retreat, Not Surrender, on the Fiscal Cliff

    Republicans Must Retreat, Not Surrender, on the Fiscal Cliff

    It’s time for John Boehner and the House and Senate Republicans now engaged in the fiscal cliff negotiations to learn a lesson from George Washington: when faced with fighting a losing battle, the wisest course is to retreat rather than surrender. Washington’s Retreats George Washington didn’t get to be the Father of His Country by leading his often outnumbered and outgunned troops on suicide missions. | Read More »

    Why You Can’t Trade Taxes For Spending

    Why You Can't Trade Taxes For Spending

    Should Republicans trade tax hikes for spending cuts? Much of the debate over the current fiscal cliff standoff centers around discussions of “ratios”: Republicans will agree to X dollars of tax hikes, Democrats will agree to Y dollars of spending cuts, and so forth. Much of this discussion is based on numbers that are misleading or worse, because Washington doesn’t calculate taxes and spending the | Read More »