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Can an Electorate Hold Its Political Elite Accountable: The Case of François Fillon

Can a political elite hold itself accountable? Left to its own devices, absent a virtuous citizenry, a political elite is able to exploit a conflict of interest in both wielding the authority of government and using that power even to constrain the elite itself. Unfortunately, even where an electorate is virtuous, the dispersed condition of the popular sovereign is an impediment to galvanizing enough popular will to act as a counter-power to that of a political elite, which is relatively concentrated and well-informed. In early 2017, the problem was on full display in the E.U. state of France, with little the federal government could do given the amount of governmental sovereignty still residing at the state level. So the question is whether an electorate can galvanize enough power to counter that of a political elite.

François Fillon in trouble for corruption amid an ensconced political elite. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

The full essay is at “François Fillon.”

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PC wimps at UC-Berkeley

By now, tons of ink has been spilled talking about the riot that happened prior to Milo Yiannopoulos’s performance at UC-Berkeley. Hopefully, this post will talk about something that hasn’t been talked about. I hope this takes a bit more of an historic perspective than those other articles. I hope this article exposes the wimpiness […]

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Another ill-informed do-gooder

Michelle Brane of the Women’s Refugee Commission was on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night. During the interview, Ms. Brane said a couple things that were either spin or were dishonest. My first impression is that Ms. Brane’s statements were proof of her ignorance. Carlson started the conversation by saying “I’m looking at the polling on […]

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Elizabeth Warren, unhinged

To nobody’s surprise, Elizabeth Warren’s statement on President Trump’s pick of Judge Gorsuch was filled with criticism. Sen. Pocahontas started by saying “President Trump had the chance to select a consensus nominee to the Supreme Court. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he failed that test. Instead, he carried out his public promise to select […]

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SEIU Healthcare’s corruption?

This article highlights some questionable activities during the SEIU Healthcare’s organizing drive. If these PCAs can get an investigation into SEIU Healthcare started, look for that investigation to thin out SEIU leadership. Several statements in the article are important for the readers to hear about. First, Russ Brown, who is helping with the law firm’s […]

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Obstructionist Dems stage walkout

This morning, Senate Democrats staged a protest walkout of the Finance Committee hearing. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch had scheduled confirmation votes for Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin. Instead, Democrats proved that they’re incapable of governing. (It’s impossible to govern if you don’t show up, right?) The simple truth is that this walkout essentially ended the […]

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Obstructionist Dems stage walkout

This morning, Senate Democrats staged a protest walkout of the Finance Committee hearing. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch had scheduled confirmation votes for Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin. Instead, Democrats proved that they’re incapable of governing. (It’s impossible to govern if you don’t show up, right?) The simple truth is that this walkout essentially ended the […]

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Democrats’ manufactured uproar

This article points to the possibility that the Democrats’ uproar over the so-called Muslim ban is manufactured. The article starts by saying “Many of President Donald Trump’s core political supporters had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down. The relaxed reaction among the kind of voters who […]

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Interesting legal theory

This article puts forth an interesting legal theory, though I’m not sure it’s applicable. The novel legal theory revolves around whether President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities is unconstitutional. I’m betting this theory fails. In the article, Damon Root brings up the original Obamacare lawsuit, otherwise known as National Federation of Independent Business v. […]

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Feinstein’s dark moment

Sen. Feinstein’s statement on President Trump’s executive order on extreme vetting represents the Democrats’ national security policy. In her statement, Sen. Feinstein, (D-CA), said “Under the president’s executive order, Syrian refugees can only come to this country if they are Christian—regardless of the level of persecution or need. To me, this an unbelievable action. It’s […]

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The Resistance vs. The Donald

Earlier this week, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced that Senate Democrats would be willing to filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS pick if the pick is certified as mainstream by Sen. Schumer. This article highlights the fact that President Trump isn’t a typical Republican in that he’s willing to fight back. During an interview with Sean Hannity, President […]

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Democrats’ wishful thinking

This article contains a little wishful thinking. Sen. Franken told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that “no Democrat will vote to confirm Betsy DeVos” and that “Democrats were actively looking for Republicans to vote against her.” That’s wishful thinking and then some. There isn’t a chance that Republicans will vote against an education secretary that’s a major […]

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Premium relief bill passed

Republicans and the DFL found a way to compromise this week. Republicans accepted Gov. Dayton’s plan to provide premium relief for people buying health insurance on the individual market but made too much to qualify for federal premium support. Gov. Dayton accepted the Republicans’ reforms. In the end, neither side got everything they wanted, which […]

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The DFL’s ideological superiority?

DFL State Rep. Rick Hansen is worried that the Trump administration’s review of the EPA’s grants and contracts might prevent some of his pet environmental projects from getting completed. He isn’t sure what’s happening so he’s jumping to conclusions rather than waiting until this Friday, which is when the review is supposed to finish. According […]

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Gov. Dayton proposes single-payer

Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka should reject Gov. Dayton’s proposal to ‘reform’ health care by going to a single-payer plan. The article starts by saying “A new form of health insurance could be available next year to Minnesotans in the individual health insurance market if a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton gains approval […]

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Reject this request until…

Minnesota State, aka MnSCU, has requested a budget increase of $178,000,000 over the next biennium. The higher education committees should reject that request if it isn’t tied to significant reforms. MnSCU is run by a chancellor who’s in way over his head. MnSCU’s Board of Trustees is, at least theoretically, supposed to provide oversight over […]

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MnSCU’s leadership failure

Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight how unimaginative MnSCU leadership is, adding that the legislature isn’t doing its job in pushing much-needed reforms on MnSCU’s Central Office. The chief culprit at MnSCU is Dr. Rosenstone, though he’s abetted by MnSCU’s Board of Trustees. As I said in Monday’s post, MnSCU’s Board of Trustees is […]

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The Schumer Option

When I wrote this post, I hadn’t read Stephen Hayes’ devastating article about Sen. Chuck Schumer’s dishonesty. In the post, I wrote that Democrats put a higher priority on their PR stunt, aka “the Resistance”, than they put on protecting national security. I wasn’t as cynical as I should’ve been. According to Hayes’ article, according […]

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Open letter to Dr. Larry Jacobs

To: Larry Jacobs, Walter F. Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota From: Gary Gross, Uppity Peasant Subject: The US Constitution Dr. Jacobs, during your appearance on Almanac this past Friday night, you said that conservatives should be “on high alert” because President Trump didn’t mention the Constitution in President Trump’s Inaugural […]

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DFL’s, Tina Liebling’s hysteria

Tina Liebling’s most recent e-letter update is a portrait of the DFL’s hysteria. I first noticed Rep. Liebling’s hysteria when I spotted this hysterical tweet, which said “House GOP passed plan to let insurance companies sell junk insurance w/o coverage for things like cancer, Lyme disease, autism.” Rep. Liebling didn’t like it when I challenged […]

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