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POLITICAL COMMENTARY

  • Raping Culture By John Stossel

    A new documentary calls colleges like Harvard and Notre Dame "The Hunting Ground," where rapists prey on women. A bipartisan group of senators demand new rules to "curb campus sexual assaults."

    Apparently, new laws are needed because at colleges, sexual assault is "epidemic." Rape is so common that there is a "rape culture."

  • If America Is Mars and Europe Venus, How Is Europe Doing? by Michael Barone

    "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus," wrote Robert Kagan in "Of Paradise and Power," published in 2003, just as the United States went into Iraq. Americans, he wrote, see themselves in "an anarchic Hobbesian world," where security and a liberal order depend on military might, while Europe is "moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and co-operation."

  • Open Internet Survives Weird Politics By Froma Harrop

    Net neutrality won the day in Washington, and that wasn't supposed to happen. Republicans indignantly opposed regulating Internet service, currently dominated by a few cable giants. Texas Republican Ted Cruz called it "Obamacare for the Internet" (in his world, fightin' words).

    The lobbying money and muscle of Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner no doubt stoked the lawmakers' passions. And when the Federal Communications Commission voted to prevent Internet service providers from establishing fast lanes for favored customers, its two Republican members voted against it.

  • Watch Out for China Winning its 100-Year Marathon By Michael Barone

    In reflecting on relations between the United States and China, Henry Kissinger in his 2011 book, "On China," notes that since he and Richard Nixon ventured to Beijing more than 40 years ago, "Eight American presidents and four generations of Chinese leaders have managed this delicate relationship in an astonishingly consistent manner, considering the difference in starting points."

  • Politicians for Local Control, Except When They're Not By Froma Harrop

    The people of Denton, Texas, recently voted to ban fracking within the city limits. They were tired of the noise, lights and fumes caused by the 277 gas wells, some placed right next to housing developments. A blowout in 2013 covered homes in clouds of benzene. Some had to be evacuated.   

  • Religion in Politics: A Look at Data from the New American Values Atlas By Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    On Wednesday, the Public Religion Research Institute released its new American Values Atlas. It is full of information regarding the American public’s religious identity, political views on hot-button issues such as abortion and immigration, and demographic information for regions, states, and major metropolitan areas. This atlas should prove to be a highly useful resource, especially because of the incomplete state-by-state data in recent exit polls.

    Using this treasure trove of new data, the Crystal Ball took a look at three major religious groups in the American public: white evangelicals, the unaffiliated, and Catholics.

  • Kochs and Unions by John Stossel

    Lots of people sure hate the Koch brothers.

  • The 2016 Political Environment Has Shifted by Michael Barone

    Like it or not, the 2016 presidential race is now well under way. Republican candidates are flocking to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Hillary Clinton, in-between $200,000 speeches at universities, is reported to be in seclusion developing her economic policies.

    It's easy to get overwhelmed by minutiae, but sometimes a twist of events turns out to be important, even 12 months away from the first caucuses and primaries. And of course, always keep in mind that most minutiae turn out to be trivial.

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  • New Food Agency? Hold the Hysteria By Froma Harrop

    As things now stand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees steaks, chicken thighs and eggs out of their shells. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an eye on salmon, apples and eggs in their shells.

    Fifteen government entities now supervise food safety, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (seafood).

  • Barack Obama's 'Reckless Disregard' of the Law by Michael Barone

    Reckless disregard. It's a phrase in legal writing that means "gross negligence without concern for danger to others." And it's a phrase that characterizes much of the attitude toward law of an administration headed by a man sometimes described as a constitutional scholar.