Republicans in the South Dakota legislature just declared a state of emergency. Why? So when they overturn a major anti-corruption law that voters passed at the ballot last November, those voters won't be able to fight them. Apparently, a law overturned due to a state of emergency can't be repealed by voters with another referendum. The New York Times Editorial … Continue reading NYT Ed Board: South Dakota Legislators “Shameless” and “Cunning”
By now, you've probably heard rumors that Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause and could get impeached. Emolu-whats? If, like me, you didn't grow up using the word "emoluments" around the dinner table, here's a quick definition: an emolument is "a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office." Our framers were pretty darn scared … Continue reading Is Trump Violating the Constitution?
I missed this great Quartz piece back in early December on how to cope with a president who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD. Perhaps counterintuitively, it's one of the more comforting pieces I've read since the election; like any good mental health diagnosis, it provides the necessary context and clarity to move from confusion to action. Here's a good excerpt: … Continue reading 10 Ways to Cope With a Narcissistic President
If you haven’t been following politics this week, here’s a quick roundup of what Republicans managed to do in a seven-day window: The House of Representatives passed The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 – a bill that Talking Points Memo says “could cripple the ability of government to regulate private industry.” If the Senate passes the … Continue reading GOP Roundup: January 8th through 15th
Fantastic article in Vox this week by Thomas Pepinsky, an associate professor of government at Cornell who has extensively studied authoritarian governments. The whole piece is worth reading, but if you're only going to read a couple paragraphs, make it these ones: The reality is that everyday life under the kinds of authoritarianism that exist today is very familiar … Continue reading How to Know When You’re Living in an Authoritarian State
Republican Jason Chaffetz kicked off his chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee – a group of 42 members of Congress who, in their own words, "exercise effective oversight over the federal government and will work proactively to investigate and expose waste, fraud, and abuse" – by making a thinly-veiled threat to Walter M. Shaub, Jr., the man in charge of monitoring ethics breaches … Continue reading The Latest Republican Assault on Ethics