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December 19, 2014
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Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East

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a katz / Shutterstock.com

What Is Chuck Schumer Up To?

The senior senator from New York says he was surprised that nine paragraphs in a 6,600-word speech got all the attention. He shouldn’t have been.

Posted on Dec 17, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama’s Boehner Bailout

How often will President Obama come to House Speaker John Boehner’s rescue even when Republican leaders aren’t willing to give much in return? And does the president want to preside over a split in his party?

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

In Politics, Does Evidence Matter?

Whatever your views, you should want government programs to achieve what they set out to do.

Posted on Dec 8, 2014 READ MORE



a katz / Shutterstock.com

White Views on Ferguson Are Complicated By Age, Region and Politics

The events in Ferguson, Mo., have actually led to that national conversation on race we regularly recommend to ourselves.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE



Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

The Imperial Congress

Now that we have a Republican Congress versus a Democratic president, voters will have a much easier time seeing who stands for what.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Thank a Politician Today

It’s a rotten moment to be an elected official. This Thanksgiving, I want to thank a few good people we’re losing to retirement or electoral defeat.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Exposes Republican Malfunction

The president’s immigration action has forced the contradictions of the Republican establishmentarians into the sunlight.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

A Mission for Jeb Bush

The most important struggle in American politics over the next two years will be inside the Republican Party.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Governs for the Nonvoting Majority

Obama’s Republican critics say that his forceful approach on immigration, climate change and net neutrality show he isn’t paying attention to what the voters said in the midterm elections. They’re right.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE



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Obamacare vs. Scaliacare

It’s one thing for Congress, elected by the people, to undermine the Affordable Care Act. It’s quite another for the hyper-activist conservative justices on our Supreme Court to do it.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

You Can’t Govern on Fantasies

When high-mindedness collides with reality, reality usually wins.

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE



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Worse Than 2010

For Democrats, the 2014 election was not the 2010 Republican landslide. It was worse.

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Still Counts on ‘Hopey-Changey Stuff’

President Obama has always had a thing about hope as an antidote to cynicism.

Posted on Nov 3, 2014 READ MORE



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Moderate Thunder Out of Brownbackistan

If Republicans do as well nationwide next Tuesday as many expect, they should pay attention to what’s happening in Kansas.

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 READ MORE



Facebook/MichelleNunnGA

The Blue-Collar Imperative

Democrats in Kentucky and Georgia are pushing hard to win back the white working-class vote from Republicans.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE



Flickr/Tom Wolf Rights reserved.

When Government Was Good

Democrats are unlikely to have a great evening on Nov. 4, but they may have found a star in Pennsylvania.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Billionaire Elections Turn Off Voters

There is far too much complacency about big money’s role in this year’s campaigns, on the grounds that both sides have plenty of it. This misses the point.

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Tar Heel Rebellion Against Conservatism

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has been buoyed by her state’s disaffection for conservative cutbacks and restrictions on voter rights.

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Where’s the Gratitude?

President Obama is clearly frustrated that having inherited an economy that was at death’s door, he is getting remarkably little credit for getting it back on its feet.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Will the Election Turn on Terrorism?

The threat from Islamic State “is personal for us in New Hampshire,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 READ MORE



Ryan Johnson (CC-BY-SA)

Eric Holder and RFK’s Legacy

When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE



Denis Kornilov / Shutterstock.com

The Mystifying Election

There is something deeply satisfying about the troubles punditry is having in nailing down exactly what’s happening in the 2014 elections.

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 READ MORE



BasPhoto / Shutterstock.com

For the Love of Scotland

Scotland’s referendum on independence will be decided by voters whose hearts say yes but whose heads say no.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



Center For American Progress (CC-BY-ND)

Can Congress Be Responsible?

There was a moment in the last quarter-century when the Congress of the United States made the nation proud. It did so across all its usual lines of division: Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, hawk and dove.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Facebook/Greg Orman

When Moderates Fight Back

The missing component in the machinery of American politics has been moderate-to-liberal Republicanism, and the gears of government are grinding very loudly. You wonder if Kansas and Alaska have come up with a solution to this problem.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Beyond the Sound Bite

In contemplating President Obama’s foreign policy, Mark Twain’s reference to Richard Wagner’s music—it’s “better than it sounds”—comes to mind.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

2014 and the Limits of Rage

The short-term future of politics in the nation’s capital will be determined in large part by which party ends up in control of the Senate. But for a sense of the long-term future of politics in the country as a whole, watch the governors’ races.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE


Obamacare, Beyond the Label

The most significant bit of election news over the last week was the decision of Sen. Mark Pryor, the embattled Arkansas Democrat, to run an ad touting his vote for the health care law as a positive for the people of his increasingly Republican state.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



Elvert Barnes (CC-BY-SA)

Ferguson Divides Us Less Than We Imagine

African-Americans are not alone in being horrified by the killing of Michael Brown.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Where Goes the Neighborhood?

Consider how our definition of “neighborliness” has evolved. Once upon a time, being neighborly meant “reaching out to the people who lived next door” by, among other things, “offering to watch the kids in a pinch.”

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Plain Vanilla Bipartisanship

When does Congress become so embarrassed by its laughably low approval ratings that its leaders decide to pass laws to make our country a modestly better place?

Posted on Aug 6, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Can the Voters Change the GOP?

The central issue in this fall’s elections could turn out to be a sleeper: What kind of Republican Party does the country want?

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The GOP’s Impeachment Two-Step

If you attack the president repeatedly for law-breaking, executive overreach and deceiving the public and Congress, do you have an obligation to impeach him? This is the logical question Republicans are now trying to duck.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Paul Ryan’s New Clothes

Paul Ryan is counting on this: Because he says he wants to preserve a safety net, speaks with concern about poor people and put out a 73-page report, many will elide over the details of the proposals he made last week in his major anti-poverty speech.

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Blind Ideological Justice

By effectively gutting the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, two members of a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals showed how far right-leaning jurists have strayed from impartiality.

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 READ MORE



katatonia82 / Shutterstock.com

Will Flight 17 Sober Us Up?

American politics was trundling along on its usual unserious and trivial trajectory when news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine shook the world. Suddenly, the stakes in public life and foreign policy were very high.

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 READ MORE



Photo of Glenn Beck by Gage Skidmore. (CC-BY-SA)

Bordering on Heartless

Glenn Beck says he has come under fierce attack from some of his fellow conservatives for a grave transgression.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Where Does the Buck Stop?

Some elections are contests between voters who are happy and voters who are not. This fall’s elections are of a different sort: Since almost all the voters are unhappy with politics, the battle will be over which party gets the blame for dysfunction, inaction and disillusionment.

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Our Progressive Constitution

Many kinds of conservatives contend that everything they believe is thoroughly consistent with the views and intentions of our 18th-century founders.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



Dirk Loop (CC-BY)

The Vital Incoherent Center

Here’s one political paradox: A substantial majority of Americans do not fit neatly into the conventional “liberal” and “conservative” boxes, yet there is no coherent political center. Those who dream of a middle-of-the-road third party are destined to be disappointed.

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Thad Cochran’s Democratic Campaign

“There is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.”

Posted on Jun 25, 2014 READ MORE



A Year of Living Negatively

The prospect of months of attacks and more attacks reflects the depth of disillusionment with Washington.

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Dick Cheney’s Chutzpah

It’s not every day that a leader of the previous administration suggests that the current president is a “fool” and accuses him of intentionally weakening the United States.

Posted on Jun 18, 2014 READ MORE



Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com

Where’s the Bread and Butter?

The 2014 campaign is being waged against a backdrop of national news dominated by everything except the core economic worries of most Americans.

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Eric Cantor and the Tea Party Purge

In 1961, John F. Kennedy said: “In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Seeking Sanity on Sgt. Bergdahl

It’s hard not to be cynical after the display of rancid partisanship that greeted the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years as a Taliban-held prisoner of war. The Greatest Generation would not have acted this way.

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/Chief Hospital Corpsman Josh Ives

Will Congress Be as Brave as Shinseki?

If you want a prime example of what’s wrong with our politics, study the response to the veterans’ health care scandal. You would think from the coverage that the only issue that mattered to politicians was whether Gen. Eric Shinseki should be fired.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Comes as Close as Ever to Explaining His Doctrine

By laying out a long-term foreign policy vision in a speech at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama challenged his critics, at home and abroad, not to speak in vague terms about American “decline” or “weakness” but to answer the question: Exactly what would you do differently?

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Brief History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a peculiarly appropriate holiday for our times. Its origins lie in the Civil War, which resulted from the failure of a deeply polarized political system to settle the question of slavery.

Posted on May 26, 2014 READ MORE



Gil C / Shutterstock.com

The Two GOP Establishments

The language commonly used to describe the battle going on inside the Republican Party is wrong and misleading. The fights this spring are not between “the grass roots” and “the establishment,” but between two establishment factions spending vast sums to gain the upper hand.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE


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