Obama woos GOP, finally

So it’s good to see that the president has finally started calling some Republicans. He’s even invited some to share a meal. And not just moderates, but also those who have been his most vocal opponents — like John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. This, of course, is something completely different. After his re-election, the president was asked about […]

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In Rare Dose of Comity, Congress Takes Early Steps to Avoid Government Shutdown

Congressional leaders in both parties say they have no interest in shutting down the government when its funding expires late this month. Recent history suggests we should therefore be nervous it will happen. For the past two years Congress has jumped from one avoidable crisis to another, and even the shrewdest politicians seem no better than armchair pundits at predicting […]

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A Sequester No One Wants

By the end of the week, everything changes. Severe spending cuts will unleash waves of devastation across the U.S. Picture air travel snarled. Meat inspections curtailed. National security imperiled. Seventy thousand children booted from Head Start programs, 10,000 teaching jobs jeopardized, disability payments delayed, aid withheld from needy Americans and foreign governments perched on the brink of chaos. Hundreds of […]

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Sequester Showdown

We are facing a moment in Washington. Both Republicans and Democrats have decided, in poker lingo, to go all-in on the same hand, the looming set of mandatory across-the-board cuts known as the sequester. Both sides agree it is bad policy, which will be unnecessarily harmful to the economy, and both believe this bad policy once enacted in all of […]

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A Sequester By Any Other Name . . . Would Probably Make More Sense

While Washington officials and reporters are practically zombie-walking around town chanting “sequester” like “redrum,” a poll out from The Hill this morning shows that about two-thirds of voters don’t know what the word means. Some were even under the impression that sequestering involved pitching an elected official out of office. Part of the problem is that the word and its […]

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Brennan Hearing Shows a Restless Congress on Drones and Terrorism

As you might expect from a public hearing about the activities of the CIA, John Brennan’s Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday was not exactly a font of detailed information about America’s intelligence and counter-terror operations. In an afternoon when he maintained a tough resolve against occasionally testy Senate questioners—Chuck Hagel could learn a few things from this guy!—Brennan revealed virtually […]

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Pot Plans: Efforts Surge in Congress to Reform Marijuana Laws

Driven by a groundswell of public opinion, Colorado and Washington state last November became the first states in the U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That wave of support, it now seems clear, has echoed through the U.S. Congress, which Tuesday formally questioned the federal government’s prohibitionist drug policy in the form of marijuana reform bills. Representatives Jared […]

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Obamacare and GOP Governors – Is This a Tipping Point?

Opposing the Affordable Care Act appears to have gone from a principled stance to an impracticality for some Republican governors. In a move drawing fierce criticism from some conservatives, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (who campaigned in 2010 on a platform that included denouncing the health care law) announced on Monday that he supports a vast expansion of his state’s Medicaid […]

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