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Tag: Ruth Marcus

Scary Primary Results

Partisan Democrats are delighted about Christine O’Donnell’s Republican primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle in the race for the open Delaware Senate seat. I’m despondent.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


A Myth About Job Creation

It is taken as gospel among politicians of both parties that small business is the engine of job creation. Obama, McCain, Bush, Kerry, Clinton and Reagan have made that claim. Only one problem: The assertions are overblown and simplistic.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


Getting to Know Our Celebrity President

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour just said we know less about Barack Obama “than any other president in history.” Maybe he should read one of Obama’s autobiographies.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 READ MORE


The Tax-Cut Hand Grenade

The president’s position that the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year should be extended permanently is fiscally reckless.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE


Shed This Word, Now

Indulge me, please, while I rant about my new least favorite word: shed. Not as in dog hair. As in jobs. As in, “The economy shed (fill in the blank) jobs last month.”

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 READ MORE


Church Picnic With a Buzz

It has not been clear whether, or how, the tea party would seek to accommodate the religious aspect of the conservative movement. Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally illustrated one potential route.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE


Let’s Be Honest About Taxes

We need to do something about tax expenditures, those spending programs disguised as tax breaks that cost us close to $1.2 trillion a year.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE


Boehner’s Bumper-Sticker Politics

The man who would be speaker outlined his agenda Tuesday in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland: economic policy reduced to, literally, five easy tweets.

Posted on Aug 24, 2010 READ MORE


Is Congress Subsidizing Slackers?

Congress has acted, after a cruel delay, to renew the extension of unemployment benefits for as long as 99 weeks. This raises the question: Do the beefed-up benefits encourage people not to work?

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Samantha Appleton

Give the First Lady a Break

As a political matter, the mother-daughter getaway to a five-star resort on the Spanish Costa del Sol was not a good idea. But I’d just as soon not have my First Family vacations determined by focus groups.

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 READ MORE


House of Entitlement

After reading the ethics reports on Reps. Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, the obvious question is: What is wrong with these people? The tempting answer: They’re members of Congress.

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 READ MORE


Celebrity Cures All

Sarah Palin’s failed candidacy and her ascendance to the ranks of political celebrity were, it turns out, the best thing that could have happened to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE


Time Out for Recess Appointments

A recess appointment should be a last step in cases of egregious delay, not one of the first. That standard was nowhere near met in the case of President Obama’s latest appointee.

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 READ MORE


Pitfalls of Soaking the Rich

Rich Trumka—the AFL-CIO president intercepts any attempted honorific with an easy “Call me Rich”—comes armed with charts. His first one is, literally, in shades of gray. Its message is anything but.

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE


After the Recession, Belt-Tightening

This is no time for retrenchment, but the deficit projections coming out of the Congressional Budget Office are alarming and will only get worse if we dawdle.

Posted on Jul 4, 2010 READ MORE


Unhinged on the Right

To hijack the horrors of the Holocaust and slavery in the service of a political campaign demeans the candidate and, worse, dishonors the victims. Decency demands that some comparisons be off-limits.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE


Arbitrary and Capricious, Indeed

If you’re worried about judicial activism, take a look at the Ronald Reagan-appointed federal judge in New Orleans who just lifted the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep-water drilling.

Posted on Jun 24, 2010 READ MORE


The Satire Keeps Spilling Out

And sometimes, life imitates farce. Thus the spectacle of BP’s Chief Executive Officer Tony “I’d like my life back” Hayward spending the weekend at a yacht race.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 READ MORE


Mean Girls in Politics

What is this, middle school? Women are marching forward in politics, but the new Republican nominee for senator from California is taking us back to the cattiness of the school cafeteria.

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 READ MORE


Cyberspace Dunderheads

I’ve come down with a bad case of the shallows. That’s technology writer Nicholas Carr’s term—and the title of his new book—for the invisible, invidious impact of computers on the modern brain.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE


Not a Job for Angry Daddy

The presidency is not a play in two acts. The disaster in the Gulf is not six characters in search of a leader. So why the coverage of President Obama and the oil spill as theater criticism?

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 READ MORE


Intoxicated on Fundraising

“You don’t have to drink. You just have to pay.” Has there ever been a better summary of how Washington works—and the need for campaign finance reform—than this line from a 2007 e-mail?

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 READ MORE


There Goes Palin’s Neighborhood

I’m with Sarah Palin on this one. Her new neighbor, it turns out, is author Joe McGinniss. Coincidence? I think not. McGinniss wrote an unflattering profile of Palin for Portfolio magazine last year, and he’s now writing a book about the former Alaska governor.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Palin Refuses to Learn Anything

Sarah Palin has had ample time now, outside the crash course of a presidential campaign, to develop and exhibit some understanding of the issues. Her learning curve, from all the available evidence, is a flat line.

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE


The Soul Mates Bork and Paul

That Robert Bork took a stand against the Civil Rights Act in 1963 is bad enough; back then, Bork had plenty of company. That Rand Paul seems to hew to these views in 2010 is as disturbing as it is amazing.

Posted on May 23, 2010 READ MORE


Political Preschool

In understanding the foibles of politicians, I’ve always found it is a benefit to have spent large amounts of time with toddlers.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE


Straight Women, Too, Play Softball

She’s not gay, OK? Actually, the all-too-public discussion about the ought-to-be private topic of Elena Kagan’s sexuality would be easier if the Supreme Court nominee were gay.

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE


Advise and Wimp Out

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has—or had, anyway—the right vision of what confirmation hearings for the high court should be.

Posted on May 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

The Arc of Women’s Progress

The first woman to be dean of Harvard Law School. The first woman to be solicitor general. But: the fourth woman, if Elena Kagan is confirmed, on the Supreme Court.

Posted on May 10, 2010 READ MORE


Did Privilege Play a Role in Lacrosse Killing?

The question has to be asked: Is it something about athletes? Something about entitled college athletes? Something about lacrosse?

Posted on May 6, 2010 READ MORE


The Unintended Consequences of Good Government

Arizona’s bold election reforms just backfired. Public financing and an attempt to stop gerrymandering may be to blame for the state’s immigration law.

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE


The Republican to See Suddenly Won’t Deal

It isn’t easy being a caucus of one. Sometimes you don’t even agree with yourself. Just ask Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Democrats’ go-to Republican.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010 READ MORE


4.5 Steps to Building a Better Filibuster

My approach on the filibuster is the same as Bill Clinton’s on affirmative action: mend it, don’t end it. Here are four and a half steps to a better filibuster.

Posted on Apr 20, 2010 READ MORE


The Supreme Court’s Audio Anxiety

In the age of Twitter and video-chats, the court apparently still finds that allowing the public to hear audio of its proceedings would be overly intrusive.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE



No Way to Treat a Senator

There is something weird going on in the Republican Party when Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is the voice of reason. There is something dangerous going on in the Republican Party when he is vilified for it.

Posted on Apr 13, 2010 READ MORE


Get Ready for a More Conservative Supreme Court

Here is an unsettling thought for those who waited eight years to have a Democratic president appointing judges: Barack Obama could well end his first term with a more conservative Supreme Court than the one he inherited.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE


The Criminalization of Bullying

Bullying should be taken seriously—by teachers, administrators, parents and, yes, fellow students. I’m doubtful, though, that criminal prosecution is the best way to punish or prevent it.

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 READ MORE


Obama’s Base Problem

No flesh-and-blood president could live up to the imagined heights of candidate Obama, but a broader Democratic Party guarantees disappointment for all, some of the time.

Posted on Apr 4, 2010 READ MORE


Voyeurism and Sexual Intimidation Have No Place in Business

Turns out the Republican National Committee staffer who accompanied a group of donors to Voyeur, a bondage-themed nightclub in West Hollywood, and then turned in an expense account seeking reimbursement for the nearly $2,000 tab, was a woman.

Posted on Mar 31, 2010 READ MORE


Those Were the Days

The partisan segmentation of newspapers that existed in the early part of last century is gone, along with too many newspapers themselves, only to be replaced by partisan segmentation in other forms of media.

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 READ MORE


Take Two Doses of Caution and Call Me in 2014

No one really knows how such sweeping changes to the health care system are going to play out.

Posted on Mar 24, 2010 READ MORE


Score One for Skepticism

Democrats are delighted with the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of their health care bill, but the Republicans have good reason to be skeptical.

Posted on Mar 18, 2010 READ MORE


This Bill Is Pro-Life Enough Already

There are any number of good reasons for House Democrats to vote against health care reform. Abortion isn’t one of them.

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 READ MORE


John Roberts
White House / Pete Souza

Chief Whiner

The chief justice is a big crybaby. To listen to John Roberts, you’d think that mobs of pitchfork-waving Democrats had accosted a handful of trembling justices.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 READ MORE


Going Nuclear, Again

Get ready for the new nuclear option. You may remember the old version, legislatively speaking, which came up during the George W. Bush-era controversy over filibustering judicial nominees.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Feckless on Ethics

Sometimes I think I’ve gotten too cynical after so many years in Washington. Then I remember the House Ethics Committee.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


A Perturbing Argument on ‘Don’t Ask’

Gen. Norton A. Schwartz’s claim, echoed by Gen. George Casey, that letting troops serve openly would “perturb” the military is just silly.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 READ MORE


Dealing With the Democrats

President Obama’s health care fight is not with the Republicans, but with members of his own party, especially those in the House.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 READ MORE


A GOP Star Is Born

If you are asking, as former President George W. Bush did jokingly the other day, “Who the hell is Marco Rubio?” you probably won’t be for long.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


What Bayh’s Departure Says About the Senate

The Senate, with its endless holds and 60-vote points of order, may be the epitome of a place that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE


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