Jon Cassidy

Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org.

Rights to Life, Liberty, Property Deemed Optional

 

Let’s play a game. You get one swing at destroying the rule of law. We’ve got three contestants. Who wants to go first? Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that trials are a nuisance and that brown people with cash will be presumed guilty of something something drugs something something. Civil asset forfeiture has […]

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Texas Is Reconvening Its Legislature

 

It’s tempting, at a moment when Republicans are falling just short of the votes they need to accomplish even a mild reform of Obamacare, to imagine what they could do if we just sent a few more of them to Congress. Texas offers a case study of why that just isn’t the case. The Texas […]

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We Find Out Who Is Right, and Who Is Dead*

 

There is a hazard associated with reading up on something for a few hours and then dashing off an article — you may miss something important, making it obvious to all that you have no idea what you’re talking about. The upside of making poor arguments for a living is that you do pick up […]

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Obamacare Is Killing People

 

So the Republicans are murdering tens of thousands of people with their Obamacare replacement, according to the headlines and tweets I keep seeing. I think they’ve got it backwards, though. It’s Obamacare that’s killing people, and just two classes of states are showing any immunity. Deaths from opiate overdoses are on the rise across the […]

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Where Modern Democrats Lost the Plot

 

The Democrats had the best marketing strategy. Consider their general approach for the half-century ending in Clintonism. Their basic pitch was a Weberian value proposition, that simply by caring, by making a commitment (however transient), by having some emotional investment in an issue, one entered a realm theretofore known as virtue. If the good, then, […]

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U.S. Ruled by Executive, Legislative, Judicial Branches… and Richard Cordray

 

Could Congress create a fourth branch of government? Maybe break off a piece of what the executive branch handles now — commerce, say, or agriculture, or maybe even defense — and create a new office supported by its own dedicated tax stream and the authority to levy penalties? The president could still appoint this officer […]

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Trump Grasps at Power, Finds It Elusive

 

There are two kinds of power — let’s call them hard and soft. Hard power has to do with authority, while soft power is the capacity to reach beyond one’s domain and influence others. It is the power to shape events, to change minds, even to redirect history. Donald Trump is fixated on hard power […]

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Dodd-Frank Is Obamacare Bad

 

Inside Job was one of the worst documentaries ever to win an Oscar. The 2010 flick, in which Matt Damon narrates the supposed roots of the 2008 financial crash, is dumb. It’s not Fahrenheit 9/11 dumb, of course, but it’s basically the opposite of The Big Short, both book and movie versions. The latter explores […]

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Mau Mau Redux: Charles Murray Comes in for Abuse, Again

 

Phrenology is a valid science. Well, almost. In 1981, the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould came to fame with the publication of The Mismeasure of Man, a chronicle of supposed racism in science, and a critique in particular of the idea that intelligence exists in a form that could be measured by anything so vulgar as […]

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Sophisticated Man Is Stupid

 

“Man is stupid, you know, phenomenally stupid; or rather he is not at all stupid, but he is so ungrateful that you could not find another like him in all creation. I, for instance, would not be in the least surprised if all of a sudden, apropos of nothing, in the midst of general prosperity […]

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