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POLITICAL COMMENTARY

  • 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.

  • The Slave Wears Prada: Confusion on the Red Carpet by Froma Harrop

    Lupita Nyong'o picked up an Oscar last year for her searing portrayal of a scarred captive in "12 Years a Slave." But many in the Academy Awards audience -- just reminded of the misery depicted in a film clip -- must have felt a bit mixed up when the woman they associated with a tormented slave floated up the stage stairs in a sumptuous sky-blue Prada gown, holding up the pleated skirt lest she trip on the yards of luxury.

  • Why Outside Spending Is Overrated By Alan I. Abramowitz

    The Koch brothers and their network of wealthy conservative donors recently announced that they intend to spend almost $900 million on the 2016 elections. This level of spending by a group operating independently of any candidate or political party would be unprecedented in American politics. In fact, it would exceed the combined spending by the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee during the 2012 election cycle. Understandably, this announcement reinforced concerns among Democrats and liberals that spending by the Koch brothers and other conservative groups could give Republican candidates a crucial advantage in key House and Senate contests and in the race for the White House.

  • No Gatekeepers by John Stossel

    For years, people assumed encyclopedias had to be created by professionals. Then Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales attempted to create an encyclopedia without central planners.