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Author Archives: Katherine Revello

Broader GOP Tensions Resonate in Debate Infighting Over Surveillance

Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The apex of Thursday night’s prime time GOP debate came as the discussion, never that robust, devolved into two contenders for the nation’s highest office shouting at each other, ironically over hugs. Paul and Christie sparred over the post-9/11 perennial tensions between national security and civil liberties. Paul, who has adopted the fresh-faced libertarian banner is best known for his ...

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An Overview of the Fox News “JV” Debate

Thursday night’s so-called JV debate offered little new insight into the candidates. Topics ranged from the American economy, foreign policy, the dominance of Donald Trump in the race and why each candidate’s vision was the best option. Logistically it’s worth noting, with 17 candidates running, a candidate needs to only be polling at 5.9% to achieve a plurality of the ...

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The Legacy of Legacy-Oriented Bureaucrats

Credit: cliff1066™ (CC)

Modern American political statesmen, much like their positional forebears- those decadent and oft inept kings of old- appear increasingly concerned with legacy. Hoary kings had to ceaselessly fight squabbling barons and civil unrest from the rabble they exploited. President Obama and John Kerry have to contend with a Senate that dares question their rightness and an American public, uneducated and ...

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Why political endorsements should be obsolete

Already, as in every election cycle, heavyweight politicians and insipid celebrities are drawn, like moths to a flame, to campaign trail and commercial appearances for endorsement spots. This culture, which promotes the puerility of groupthink, and depresses the meritocracy that should underlie popular elections, is one of soft despotism. It holds colloquy- the battlefield of ideas at the heart of ...

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Treasury Admits Regulation Hurts Business


For years adherents to the Austrian school of economics have been making the case that regulation bars access to economic opportunity, making it harder for the average producer to access and process from the boons of capitalist interactions. Now validation of that principle is coming from an unlikely place: the federal government. A report recently released by the Office of ...

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Moral Outrage Over a Lion, But Not For Dismembered Babies

Simba-lism-A.F. Branco political cartoon

There are many days when, after reading the news, it would be natural to look up and see Rod Serling, cigarette smoke swirling around him, standing in a corner giving a trite summation of how events like the Supreme Court assuming a legislative role should be soberly analyzed and learned from, in the twilight zone. Unfortunately, this is reality. And ...

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Verbal Sparring Over Iran Deal Highlights Larger Political Common Sense Deficit

Il Duce Obama

With the reputation of the Obama administration over its negotiated deal with Iran, the heated defense mounted by Kerry and other officials is hardly surprising, nor is the equally impassioned response by Republican candidates. Both sides display an utter deficit of common sense. Most notably, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee rather bombastically likened Obama’s actions to leading the Israelis to ...

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Ted Cruz Proves Presidential Mettle in Clash With Code Pink


For conservatives, intellectualism can often be a stumbling block. A politician may be a gifted orator with a logical, detailed message, but reason cannot be forced on those with an agenda, especially when that agenda is wrapped up in bromidic insults instead of facts. Once distracted from the flow of their thought processes, and unwilling to engage in emotional demagoguery, ...

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Does Modern Populism Have an Answer to Modern Political Problems?

For many efficaciously disillusioned Americans, populism is the sole redeeming hope on which hangs a return to political virtue. Yet, modern populists, both left and right, have a spotty record of success. True, the Tea Party and anti-Wall Street, class warfare leftists have seen electoral success in the last couple of elections. However, after assuming power, they have done little. ...

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Electoral Models: Why Past Successes Shouldn’t Dictate the Future

RCP average 2016 presidential polls

The linear tyranny of time is a major problem with which political scientists must grapple. Public opinion both influences and is influenced by the metrics scientists use to capture attitudes towards hot button topics and assess the competitiveness of local, state and federal races. But, all the tools used to measure current races are based on successful algorithms from past ...

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Jim Webb’s Unassuming Populism

While most of last weekend’s media coverage was focused on the bombast that was Donald Trump’s FreedomFest speech, former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) was giving an interview on Fox News Sunday. Over the course of the segment, Webb agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in his criticism of the Iran nuclear deal. He suggested he would be open ...

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William Jennings Bryan Lives Again in Donald Trump


The presidential election of 1896 was by no means a placid one. Civil War issues still lingered in a continuing sense of economic and civil unease. These tensions were not allayed by rapid westward expansion, made possible by the Industrial Revolution. Not only was small town America seemingly destined for extinction under this revolutionary connection, but it ramped up economic ...

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Silence of the Lambs

To both religious and secular prophesiers, men are sheep. There is a striking duality in this image. They are innocent and docile, and conversely biddable. In Jeremiah, the Lord declares how he will lead the wicked Babylonians “like lambs to the slaughter,” and make that storied city a horror to the world. Modern America stands on the precipice of such ...

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The Washington Redskins and the Death of Federalism


Federalism in America has seemingly reached the point of being nothing but a romantic daydream for quixotic political idealists. Neither states nor individuals, whose retention of rights beyond those enumerated in the Constitution are safeguarded by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, seem to have any interests that the federal government considers beyond its purview if there’s some altruistic crusade that ...

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