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RB Holbrook

Minneapolis, MN
Commenter for
3 years 36 weeks

Recent Comments

Because nothing is more conducive to discourse in a democracy than getting other people mad, right? Politics as a cage match is exactly what the Founders had in mind.

Posted on 04/15/14 at 10:16 am in response to Wisconsin Republicans put the S-word on the table

Very interesting discussion. I would only point out that, before the Declaration of Independence, the idea of an "appeal to heaven" when the people "have no other remedy in this, as in all other cases where they have no judge on earth" was borrowed from John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government, published in (I think) 1690.

The "appeal to heaven" was a motto on the early American "Pine Tree" flag. It doesn't have the in-your-face quality of "don't tread on me," so it isn't...

Posted on 04/15/14 at 12:48 pm in response to Wisconsin Republicans put the S-word on the table

Mr. Emmer talked about nullification or, as it is sometimes called, "secession lite."

Posted on 04/14/14 at 11:05 am in response to Stop me before I amend again: DFLers' constitutional paradox

A requirement that proposed amendments pass both houses by a 60% majority is an improvement over the current system. It still lets it be too easy to bring an amendment before the electorate.

A better way of doing it is the way Nevada brings amendments to the ballot. In that state, amendments have to be passed by both houses of the Legislature in two successive sessions--not calendar years, but two successive biennial sessions. The votes for an amendment would have to come from...

Posted on 04/14/14 at 11:07 am in response to Stop me before I amend again: DFLers' constitutional paradox

How many times does this one have to get mentioned? It's cute until you try to decide what happens if "none of the above" gets a majority.

If you are disgusted by the candidates, write in a name or leave it blank.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 02:27 pm in response to Stop me before I amend again: DFLers' constitutional paradox

I understand that many voters feel disenfranchised. I'm just not sure what a "none of the above" offering accomplishes. I understand there are states that have this option on their ballots, but I don't understand what would happen if "none of the above" wins a majority, or even a plurality, of votes.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 03:59 pm in response to Stop me before I amend again: DFLers' constitutional paradox

Initiative is a very bad idea. Look at California--the various laws passed by initiative in the areas of taxation and school funding have rendered the state practically ungovernable. What seems like a good idea today may turn out to be inefficient or unworkable later on, but it is very difficult to repeal a law enacted by initiative. Proposition 13, for example, capped property taxes back in 1978. The state has gone from one budget crisis to another since then. Just cut spending, you...

Posted on 04/15/14 at 09:31 am in response to Stop me before I amend again: DFLers' constitutional paradox

I agree that referendum would be a good thing. I like the Colorado veto referendum, where a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor can be vetoed by the voters.

The problem with treating initiated statutes like any other for purposes of repeal is that it defeats the whole purpose behind initiative. Presumably, the voters act when the legislature can't or won't. Letting them undo the voters' actions easily makes that direct action a nullity.

Posted on 04/11/14 at 01:20 pm in response to Republicans claim near-total power to cancel minimum-wage raises

Why not? Why is a 16 year old's work less valuable than that of a 25 year old?

PS Amy had nothing to do with the story, sitting as she does in the US and not the Minnesota Senate.

Posted on 04/11/14 at 01:22 pm in response to Republicans claim near-total power to cancel minimum-wage raises

West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 US 379 (1937).