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COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL BARONE

  • 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.   

  • 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.

  • Will Hispanics fire up America? By Michael Barone

    "Firing up America" is the cover line on the March 20 issue of The Economist, heralding a 16-page special report on America's Latinos. Its tone is resolutely upbeat -- perhaps a bit too much so.   

  • Letter From 47 Senators States the Obvious: Obama-Iran Deal May Not Last By Michael Barone

    In her brief press conference at the United Nations, Hillary Clinton led off with a denunciation of the letter to Iranian leaders signed by 47 of the 54 Republican senators. This was in line with Democratic talking points -- a sign that the former secretary of state was, perhaps a bit nervously, taking care to curry favor with the Obama administration.   

  • Obama's Policies Leave Democrats Weak Candidates in 2016, Except -- Maybe -- Hillary Clinton by Michael Barone

    The controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails and her unconvincing press conference at the United Nations have gotten many Democrats and others thinking the unthinkable: Clinton may not be the Democrats' 2016 nominee for president. And it has many asking the question -- scary for Democrats -- of who else could be.

  • King v. Burwell's Very Existence Says a Lot About Obamacare By Michael Barone

    On Wednesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the IRS's decision to pay subsidies to lower-income health insurance buyers in states with federal insurance exchanges -- even though the Obamacare legislation authorizes subsidies only in states with exchanges "established by the state."

    The Obama administration is thus in the uncomfortable position of arguing that the president's signature law says what it doesn't say. Nevertheless, initial analyses of the oral argument suggest the government might win.

  • Most Members of Congress Share Netanyahu's View By Michael Barone

    If anyone had any doubts that most members of Congress oppose the Obama administration's proposed nuclear deal with Iran, they can put them aside after viewing the response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress Tuesday.

    Fifty-some Democratic members chose not to attend. Joe Biden arranged to be out of town, and Barack Obama let it be known that he didn't even have time to watch on television. But the House chamber was packed, the galleries were filled and Netanyahu was interrupted multiple times not only with applause but boisterous cheers.

  • 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."

  • 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."

  • 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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