Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

Don’t Play Poker With Mitch McConnell


By John Feehery

Sen Mitch McConnell official.jpg

“Sen Mitch McConnell official” by United States Senate – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I wouldn’t want to play Texas hold-em with Mitch McConnell.

To win at the iconic poker game, featured often on ESPN and the Discovery Channel, you have to have patience.

You have to strike when you have favorable cards, bluff when you don’t, and put all the chips on the table when you are confident of victory.

Nobody is better at this than the Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky. (more…)

Free Trade: Theory and Reality


By John Feehery

15-cent prices on notebooks at Walmart.jpg

“15-cent prices on notebooks at Walmart” by B137 at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The first major law passed by the Congress under our current Constitution and signed by President Washington was the Tariff Act of 1789. Declared the Second Declaration of Independence by the local newspapers at the time, the new law put taxes on products made overseas to benefit American manufacturers.

James Madison, as a leader in the newly formed legislative branch, navigated passage of the law, attempting to balance the sectional interests of the country. Southerners largely favored lower tariffs, because they exported the bulk of their products (mostly cotton and tobacco) overseas, while Northern manufacturers favored higher duties, because they didn’t want the competition from Europe and their market was largely domestic.

Before the income tax was enacted, tariffs made up the bulk of revenues for the government. (more…)

Lincoln Is Murdered


By John Feehery

An iconic black and white photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.

“Abraham Lincoln November 1863″ by Alexander Gardner – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

“The past is never dead.  It is not even past.”  So wrote William Faulkner and truer words were never written.

I am slightly older than a half century, and three of my lifetimes ago, Abraham Lincoln was gunned down at Ford’s Theater.  He died at 7:22 on Tax Day, although when he died, the Internal Revenue Service hadn’t yet been established.

The Civil War was a marvel of technology, and it would usher in military tactics and engineering that would make World War I and then World War II possible. (more…)

How Can A Senator Win the White House When the American People Hate Congress?


By John Feehery

111th US Senate class photo.jpg

“111th US Senate class photo” by U.S. Senate, 111th Congress, Senate Photo Studio – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in The Hill)

For 44 years, being a senator wasn’t a sufficient qualification for winning the White House.

Before Barack Obama used his brief tenure in the upper chamber to catapult to the Oval Office, Jack Kennedy was the last senator to move straight to the nation’s highest elective office.

There are roughly 100 folks in the Senate now who believe that they are qualified to be president, so I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising that, over the last couple of weeks, three senators and one former senator have announced they are running for the White House. (more…)

Driving At Night (Thanks to US Airway/American Airlines)


By John Feehery

Aa b767-300er n363aa arp.jpg

“Aa b767-300er n363aa arp” by Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone) – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Two bad things can happen when you drive late at night.

First, you might fall asleep.  And of course that’s bad.

Second, there are a lot more bad drivers when it gets dark out.  Drunk drivers.  Sleepy drivers.  Drivers that can’t see very well.

My wife Kerry reminded me of all of those things as we drove north from our vacation spot in Florida, making the case for why we couldn’t drive through the night with our two kids in the back seat. (more…)


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