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POLITICAL COMMENTARY

  • Privacy vs. Security: How the Debate Changes by Froma Harrop

    The pilot who crashed the Germanwings plane, taking 150 lives, was too ill to work, according to doctors' notes found at his home. But Germany's strict medical privacy laws barred the doctors from conveying that judgment to the airline.

  • Where the Red Line Came From -- Before it Was Crossed By Michael Barone

    There are still nearly two years left in Barack Obama's presidency, but historians looking back on his record in foreign policy will surely identify one costly error: his refusal to follow through on the implied threat in stating that the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons would be a "red line."

  • Country Music, Tea Party 'Populism,' and Ted Cruz By Joe Conason

    Nobody who knows Ted Cruz -- the Texas freshman Senator who became the first official contestant for the Republican Party's presidential nomination this week -- doubts that he is very, very smart. That includes Cruz himself, whose emphatic confidence in his own superior intelligence has not always endeared him to colleagues and acquaintances (whose opinions of his personality are often profanely negative).   

  • Can Family Breakdown in Low-Education America Be Reversed? Maybe By Michael Barone

    Our kids, at least many of them, are not doing very well. The reason, writes Harvard professor Robert Putnam in his just-published "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," is the "two-tier pattern of family structure" that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to prevail today.   

  • Obamacare Should Be Less Complex by Froma Harrop

    Let's start on an upbeat. Next to what we had before, Obamacare has been a spectacular success. The Affordable Care Act has brought medical security to millions of previously uninsured Americans and has helped slow the rise in health care spending.

  • Why This Scandal Won't Hurt Hillary By Larry J. Sabato

    Admit it: You love a juicy scandal. We claim to be high-minded and policy-oriented, but our noses are buried in the accounts of the latest political calamity -- and we read those stories before anything else.

    The Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy is just the latest entrée in a decades-long, calorie-rich menu provided by the former first lady and her husband. But will it make a difference in 2016?

  • Gentrify! by John Stossel

    No matter what you do, modern liberals will tell you you're wrong.

  • The Sun Is Rising on Solar Panels, and There's No Fighting It By Froma Harrop

    On the average sunny day, Germany's huge energy grid gets 40 percent of its power from the sun. Guess what happened one recent morning when the sun went into eclipse. Nothing.   

  • Gentry Liberals Have Increasing Clout in Chicago's Shrinking Electorate By Michael Barone

    Rahm Emanuel heads into a runoff April 7 in his bid for a second term as mayor of Chicago. He's the favorite going in, having won 46 percent in the Feb. 24 first round against longtime local officeholder Chuy Garcia's 34 percent and topping 50 percent in recent polls.

    Emanuel, President Obama's first White House chief of staff and architect of the Democrats' 2006 takeover of the House, is politically astute, energetic and profane. Given all that, it's surprising that his support is down from the 55 percent he won in the first round in February 2011.

  • Measuring the Moral Posture of Rand Paul By Joe Conason

    Expecting morally serious debate from any would-be Republican presidential contender is like waiting for a check from a deadbeat. It could arrive someday, but don't count on it.

    Yet listening to someone like Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., feign outrage over a real moral question can still be amusing, if you know enough about him to laugh. The Kentucky Republican has seized on stories about millions of dollars donated by Saudi Arabian agencies and interests to the Clinton Foundation, demanding that the Clintons return those funds because of gender inequality under the Saudi version of Islam.