Federalism

Dubuque isn’t liking AFFH; neither will the rest of America

Featured image I wrote here about how the federal government, pursuant to its Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) agenda, is forcing the city of Dubuque, Iowa to provide low-income housing to residents of Chicago. As in almost all of my writing about AFFH, I relied on the reporting of my friend Stanley Kurtz. In response to Kurtz’s article, Dubuque’s city manager stated that the article is “not an accurate representation of Dubuque’s »

AFFH-world comes to Iowa

Featured image In discussing the radical implications of President Obama’s “Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing” rule (AFFH), I typically point to what happened in Westchester County, New York as a sneak preview. But Stanley Kurtz directs our attention to an even more chilling example — Dubuque, Iowa. In Westchester County, Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development forced the local government to build low-income housing in an upscale community and to encourage people »

Thoughts on Oregon

Featured image Paul has offered a good account of the standoff under way in eastern Oregon, but everyone should take in the analysis of Randall O’Toole of the Cato Institute, an Oregon native with special expertise on forest and rangeland bureaucracy. Randall doesn’t think there are any good guys here: There are no good guys to cheer for in the militia takeover of an Oregon federal office building on January 2. The ostensible issue »

End the Western Land Wars

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports this morning on Nevada cattle ranchers other than Cliven Bundy who are being denied access to public grazing lands on the pretext of drought, even though northern Nevada’s grasslands have grown robustly this year (in part because northern California and Nevada haven’t been nearly as parched as southern California).  Here’s the lede to “Grazing Limits Feed Tension in Nevada”: BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev.—Rancher Pete Tomera slowed »

Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy

Featured image On Saturday, I wrote about the standoff at Bundy Ranch. That post drew a remarkable amount of traffic, even though, as I wrote then, I had not quite decided what to make of the story. Since then, I have continued to study the facts and have drawn some conclusions. Here they are. First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of »

Standoff at Bundy Ranch Ends, With Photo of the Year So Far

Featured image Before I had quite figured out what to make of the Bundy Ranch standoff, it appears to have been resolved. The Bureau of Land Management has announced that in view of the risk of violence, it is withdrawing its forces, which include snipers, from the area. (How many federal agencies employ snipers, anyway? Too many, it is safe to say.) The county sheriff negotiated the terms of the federal government’s »

A Modest Proposal for the Federal Parks

Featured image Glenn Reynolds notes the latest Obama administration outrage: by peremptorily closing the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee, without giving notice to those who live in the area, the administration needlessly endangered the safety of a number of schoolchildren in order to make a political point. But what is the political point? Sensible people will draw the conclusion that the Feds can’t be trusted. Glenn writes: If I were in Congress, I’d »

Americans’ Approval of Federal Government Falls to New Low

Featured image A basic assumption underlying our federal system is that in general, a governmental unit that is closer to the people will be more responsive and more efficient than one that is more remote. Therefore, the presumption should be in favor of local or state government control, rather than federal. This presumption has been borne out by experience, as Americans have traditionally expressed more confidence in their local governments than in »

We’re number 34

Featured image Over at NRO’s Corner, Veronique de Rugy draws attention to the Freedom in the Fifty States Index just released by Professor William Ruger and Jason Sorens. Professors Ruger and Sorens have a companion column on the index in USA Today. The index ranks states based on public policies affecting economic, social, and personal freedoms (e.g., bans on trans fats and the audio recording of police, licensing laws, taxes, mandated family »

Will Obamacare lead to a change in the relationship between the feds and the states?

Featured image Last month, Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott announced his consent to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the Sunshine State. As we observed at the time, however, Scott agreed only to support the expansion if the legislature votes in favor of it, a condition that might very well not be satisfied. Since then, Republicans in both chambers of the Florida legislature have blocked the Medicaid expansion in committee. And Will Weatherford, Florida’s »