David Brooks must not read Newsweek. Or the Washington Post. Or The New Republic. Or, apparently, his own newspaper. Brooks, it seems, has not read any of those publications' explications of how a bill becomes law, and he has written an entire column based on his misunderstanding.
The McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court case, argued on March 2, was a good opportunity for liberal advocates of gun rights to present their case in briefs.
Regular readers of Newsweek.com are probably aware that sometimes we deploy sarcasm or irony to make points. I did not mean to be taken literally when I suggested that Republicans should declare all Massachusetts elections to be national referenda, nor did my colleague Daniel Stone when he said, regarding how the media covers and categorizes violent acts of protest, "Terrorists have beards [and] live in caves." And sometimes, as with all publications, a given sentence in one of our items...
I was pretty hard on Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) the other day, so I think it's only fair that I recognize his sensible op-ed in the Sunday New York Times. Bayh argues that bipartisanship has declined (duh).
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) cast his impending retirement as an expression of disgust with Congress to do the people's business. So now that he's liberated from the obligations of raising money and similar grimy political considerations, we can expect Bayh to spend his remaining months in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body working with apolitical, high-minded intentions to do the people's business.
From NPR: The President's Council of Economic Advisers expects the U.S. to add an average of 95,000 jobs each month this year. In the annual Economic Report of the President, the CEA predicted that unemployment would remain at 10 percent in 2010, dipping down to 9.2 percent in 2011.
I've been hard on congressional Republicans recently for pandering to voters' ignorance by offering politically appealing but irresponsible slogans instead of a credible conservative vision of how to meet America's challenges, even those they harp on Obama for failing to address, such as our rising budget deficits.
A news item caught my eye Thursday, but it seems to have passed through the news cycle largely unnoticed: the Senate approved, by a straight party-line vote of 60-39, the annual increase in the debt ceiling.
Over at Politics Daily, conservative commentator Matt Lewis articulates the conservative case for mass transit, especially trains and trolleys. Although sparing the environment from the impact of America's unsustainable driving habit is the most frequently cited reason on the left for reinvesting in mass transit, the word appears nowhere in Lewis's piece.
Michael Cohen wrote a piece for us Tuesday on how America has become increasingly ungovernable due to voters' disregard for basic arithmetic. If you take money out of the federal Treasury, via tax cuts, and you increase spending—via, say, a constant, wasteful military buildup, launching wars of choice, expanding entitlement spending, and stabilizing and stimulating the economy to avert a Great Depression—you will increase deficits and accrue debt.
As Michael Isikoff reported on Declassified, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown does not support President Obama's counterterrorism policies, while Democrat Martha Coakley does.
One thing that has been lost in all the political bickering over Sen. Harry Reid's comments about President Obama's skin tone and dialect is the question of whether his comments were out of date in terms of their substance, not just their language.
At least, insofar as picking running mates goes. Of all the juicy revelations spilling out from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book Game Change, my favorite so far is the relatively unsalacious, but totally amusing, reports of beef between Obama and Joe Biden (which the White House denies.) Obama, you see, was mad about Biden's gaffes. "How many times is Biden gonna say something stupid?" Obama supposedly demanded to know.
Harold Ford, Jr., the handsome young scion of a prominent Tennessee political family, once seemed to have promising political future. He was a moderate New Democrat congressman, hawkish on the budget deficit and foreign policy, not unlike another child of a Tennessee Democratic dynasty 20 years before who went on to big things: Al Gore Jr.
Ezra Klein notes, responding to complaints that the process by which health-care reform was passed is somehow less wholesome than with legislation past, "It's common to compare the legislative process to making sausage—the point being that it's ugly and grimy and you'll like it better if you don't watch too closely." Matthew Yglesias counters: "Sausage-making, whether you want to make it or not, is the way you make delicious sausage.
Politico and Avi Zenilman at WhoRunsGov have been covering the Republican reaction to the Christmas Day alleged attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight before landing in Detroit.
New York Democrat Louise M. Slaughter, who chairs the House rules committee—and, as CNN notes in a non sequitur in her bio line, is the only microbiologist in Congress—announced in a Web op-ed for CNN on Wednesday afternoon that she thinks the Senate version of health-care reform is too weak.
I love to say "I told you so." So, I told you so. The Associated Press reports, "Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, viewed by many New York Republicans as a savior for the struggling party, said Tuesday that he won't run for political office next year." Apparently, Giuliani realized that making a lot of money while living in New York City would be more fun than battling the state's other top Republicans for a senatorial or gubernatorial nomination and then opposing either a Democratic...
So, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) is, understandably, aggravated that Democrats bribed Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to vote for health-care reform by giving his state, and only his state, full federal funding for Medicaid expansion, while other states have to pay their fare share.
The most important vote for health-care reform won't be the one that happens on Christmas Eve, when the bill presumably passes. It won't be the final vote to end debate.
My first instinct was to judge the final deal that secured Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb) support to be the kind of bad policy lamentably required to get anything done in a system where a resident of an empty, square-shaped state gets proportionally 50 times the representation of every Californian.
Ross Douthat has a very good column in The New York Times today, arguing that conservatives both deserve credit for the role that mass incarceration has played in reducing crime and that they should embrace policies that will reduce our incarceration rate while preserving those gains.
When the shocking news was announced that President Obama would receive a Nobel Peace Prize, many pundits across the political spectrum were understandably critical of awarding the world's most prestigious honor to a president who had just assumed office.