Politics, Moderate



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

A bogus tip, a deadly raid, and a fraudulent search warrant highlights loose police practices in Houston

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Are you confident that police will not break down your door tonight? If so, it's probably because you assume the warrant required for such an armed invasion of your home has to be based on reliable evidence of criminal activity.

But that is not true in Houston, as a federal indictment unsealed last week shows. According to the indictment, a ...Read more

There's yet another looming threat to e-cigarettes

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

President Donald Trump reportedly has reconsidered a plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a reversal that was widely portrayed as a triumph of politics over public health. Yet that criticism more aptly describes the proposed ban, which would have sacrificed the interests -- and potentially the lives -- of current and former smokers in the name of ...Read more

Puppies and kittens trump the Constitution

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

I guess I should say at the outset that I do not favor torturing puppies and kittens. But there is a difference between opposing cruelty to animals, which is already illegal in all 50 states, and supporting a law that makes such conduct a federal felony.

That distinction seems to have eluded every member of Congress, which unanimously approved ...Read more

Trump's desperate attempt to stop a grand jury from seeing his tax returns invokes kingly powers

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Donald Trump's desperate attempt to block a New York grand jury subpoena seeking his tax returns, which he once promised to publicly release, makes you wonder anew why he is so keen to prevent anyone from looking at those records, even in secret. But the case also raises the more momentous question of whether presidents have an unqualified right...Read more

Cops don't need another excuse to hassle innocent drivers

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

At any given time, millions of Americans are forbidden to drive because their licenses have been suspended, often for reasons that have nothing to do with traffic safety. But their cars can still be legally driven by relatives, friends and neighbors.

Given that reality, should police be allowed to pull over a car simply because it is registered...Read more

O'Rourke's scheme would be an ineffectual attempt to enforce arbitrary distinctions

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Beto O'Rourke is taking flak from other Democratic presidential contenders for supporting mass confiscation of military-style rifles, a proposal several of them view as an impractical campaign gimmick. Although they are right about that, all the Democratic candidates are guilty of magical thinking on this issue; they support an "assault weapon" ...Read more


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