My Favorite Proposal to Amend the Constitution


Earlier this week, we had guest commentary from Michael Farris and Nick Dranias on Article V reform. We hear lots and lots of talk about how we need to amend the federal Constitution. I have lots of friends tell me how important it is to have a Balanced Budget Amendment and a congressional term limits amendment. I agree. But I think it’s probably just as important – and maybe more so – to limit the immense power of federal regulators by constitutional amendment. One reason for that is that at … [Read more...]

Introducing “Article V 2.0”: The Compact for a Balanced Budget


After we ran our piece yesterday about Mike Farris’s appearances in Arkansas next week, it occurred to me that we ought to make it clear that Farris’s approach to Article V activism isn’t the only path to federal constitutional reform. The following is a guest editorial from Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, who presents his own take on Article V strategies below.   Introduction What if the states could advance and ratify a powerful federal balanced budget amendment in just … [Read more...]

Is It Time to Trip the Article V Fire Alarm?


Article V of the Constitution provides that, “The Congress...on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments...”  Has the time come for the states to exercise this option?  Michael Farris, the National Director of the Convention of States Project (, will be in Arkansas during the week beginning September 29 for a number of speaking engagements where he will address this issue and present the … [Read more...]

Why Arkansas Voters Don’t Like Higher Internet Sales Taxes


The following is a guest editorial from Andrew Moylan (executive director, R Street Institute) and Doug Kellogg (communications manager, National Taxpayers Union) about the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is proposed federal legislation that would allow state governments to tax out-of-state businesses. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the Internet sales tax enforcement scheme outlined in the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) is not actually a new tax; in fact, both opposing sides of the debate … [Read more...]

Last Week’s Desperate Political Attacks: A Brief Review


Now that election season has arrived, the scent of desperation in the latest attacks on Republican candidates is becoming increasingly apparent. If you want to see this desperation catalogued, you can take a look at Max Brantley’s regular contributions to the Arkansas Times’ blog, which have recently functioned as a kind of flea market for bottom-tier campaign attacks. In the past few days, I knew that Brantley’s peculiar aggregation of attacks reminded me of something, but I couldn’t figure out … [Read more...]

Arkansas’s Republican Future


Fred Barnes just published a fascinating article in the Weekly Standard about the collapse of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. He visited Arkansas last week and interviewed (and quoted) a lot of smart, perceptive people. He also talked to me. One interesting thing about Barnes’s piece is that it lets the facts speak for themselves. He draws attention to the timeline of the erosion and disappearance of our state legislature’s Democratic majority, which began two years after President Obama … [Read more...]

Happy Labor Day


Happy Labor Day! – a day that always reminds me of Maya Angelou’s maxim, “Nothing will work unless you do.” A few weeks ago, the right to work took a big step forward in Arkansas. You might remember that, earlier this summer, an Arkansas businesswoman – hair braider Nivea Earl – sued the state of Arkansas over its excessive licensing requirements. The state’s response: Arkansas just folded, allowing hair braiders to do their work, free of the heavy hand of government, at least for a few … [Read more...]

This Week’s McDaniel Scandal


A few days ago, David Koon published an excellent article in the Arkansas Times on the Gyronne Buckley scandal – which is to say, the scandalous response of Arkansas public officials to the injuries its agents inflicted on Buckley. (The state Claims Commission found that Buckley was the victim of fabricated evidence from a corrupt cop; Buckley served over a decade behind bars before the state Supreme Court determined in 2010 that he had been subject to an unfair trial, which ultimately led to … [Read more...]