Politics, Moderate



Problems with federal sentencing guidelines are real and troubling

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong!" proclaimed the T-shirts worn by his supporters. Federal prosecutors, by contrast, argued that Stone deserved at least seven years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson split the difference last week, sentencing the longtime Donald Trump crony to three years and four months in prison -- a penalty that...Read more

Bloomberg's gun control platform, like his defense of 'stop and frisk,' sacrifices civil liberties on the altar of public safety

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Michael Bloomberg has been taking flak from progressives lately because of his longstanding, enthusiastic support for New York City's "stop, question, and frisk" program, a position he renounced just a week before he officially entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The former mayor's support for stricter gun control laws, ...Read more

Tackling 'very unfair' drug penalties could help Trump win

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Donald Trump, who ran for president in 2016 on a "law and order" platform borrowed from Richard Nixon, is running for reelection as a criminal justice reformer. That transformation would be more convincing and politically potent if it included things he plans to do as well as things he has already done.

This month, the Trump campaign ran a ...Read more

Republicans should think twice before endorsing the myth that impeachment requires a crime

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Marco Rubio's widely mocked justification for acquitting Donald Trump, which conspicuously avoided condemning or approving the president's conduct, was not exactly a profile in courage. The Florida Republican nevertheless laid out a defensible position that rejected a dangerously broad claim by Trump's lawyers, and in that respect, he set an ...Read more

Panic about peaceful protest reveals gun controllers' bigotry

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

After a gun rights rally in Richmond came and went last week without the "violence, rioting, and insurrection" predicted by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Talia Lavin could not believe her eyes, and she urged the rest of us not to believe our eyes either. "It seems myopic at best to describe the Monday event as 'peaceful,'" Lavin wrote in a GQ ...Read more

Trump's lawyers argue that abuse of power is not impeachable unless it breaks the law

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"Was that wrong?" George Costanza asks in a 1991 episode of "Seinfeld" after his boss confronts him with a report that "you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office." George says he has to "plead ignorance," because no one "said anything to me at all when I first started here" suggesting "that sort of ...Read more

Even the president's buddies understand the threat posed by the unconstrained use of military force

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Matt Gaetz's campaign website features press quotes describing the Florida Republican as "Trump's best buddy," "Trump's ultimate defender," and "the Trumpiest congressman in Trump's Washington." Gaetz clearly was not driven by hatred of the president when he voted for last week's House resolution against an unauthorized war with Iran.

Although ...Read more

Data suggests that 'anti-Semitism crisis' is overblown

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"We're facing an anti-Semitism crisis, and not just in this city," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared on Sunday. "It's happening across our country and planet."

De Blasio's warning, which came on the same day that thousands of people responded to recent anti-Jewish crimes in the New York area by joining a solidarity march in Manhattan, was ...Read more

Trump's inartful dodges: A look back at a year of presidential blame shifting

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

During a policy retreat in September, Donald Trump attributed his signature orange hue, which seems to be caused by the amateurish application of bronzer, to energy-efficient lightbulbs. "The light's no good," he told House Republicans. "I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst."

It was hardly the most consequential instance ...Read more

Shifting understanding of the requirement to buy health insurance elevates form above substance

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes a "requirement" that Americans "shall... ensure" that they and their dependents have "minimum essential coverage" for medical care. Seven years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts provided the decisive vote to uphold this requirement, also known as the "individual mandate," after ...Read more

Problems revealed by the DOJ Inspector General show FBI's systematic dishonesty

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Former FBI Director James Comey initially portrayed last week's damning report on the bureau's investigation of alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia as a vindication. This week, Comey admitted that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered "real sloppiness," which is "concerning."

That characterization does...Read more

Trump's defenders deny reality

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

During Monday's impeachment hearing, Republican lawyer Stephen Castor denied that Donald Trump had asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender to oppose Trump in next year's election. "I don't think the record supports that," Castor said.

That jaw-dropping moment starkly illustrated the ...Read more

Can senseless gun regulations be constitutional?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

New York's uniquely onerous restrictions on transporting guns were so hard to justify that the city stopped trying. Instead, it rewrote the rules after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a constitutional challenge to them, and now it argues that the case is moot.

Despite the obvious vulnerability of New York's regulations, the city ...Read more


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