Tuesday September 02, 2014
February 20th, 2014
Back in 1987 my Princeton colleague Alan Blinder published a very good book titled "Hard Heads, Soft Hearts." It was, as you might guess, a call for tough-minded but compassionate economic policy. Unfortunately, what we actually got - especially, although not only, from Republicans - was the opposite. And it's difficult to find a better example of the hardhearted, softheaded nature of today's GOP than what happened last week, as Senate Republicans once again used the filibuster to block aid to the long-term unemployed.
For Vladimir Putin, the winter Olympics is not about sports or international camaraderie. It’s a carefully orchestrated propaganda opportunity to try to showcase the nation’s athletes and show the world a Russia that, even with its great culture and arts, may exist only in the imaginations of those who believe in restoring the country’s previous grandeur.
The Republican response to the State of the Union address was delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. - and it was remarkable for its lack of content. A bit of uplifting personal biography, a check list of good things her party wants to happen with no hint of how it plans to make them happen.
Some Republicans envisioned a successful rope-a-dope strategy for this year's elections: Don't make mistakes, and let the Democrats stew in the juices of Obamacare and a strapped middle class.
That take-no-risks approach is unraveling. Congressional Republicans are offering proposals on major matters, and the party's right wing - whose members Senator John McCain called "wacko birds" - is omnipresent in Washington and across the U.S.
My fellow Americans, the state of the Barack Obama presidency is ... cautious? Defiant? Constrained? Humbled?
How about all of the above?
Compared to last year's State of the Union address, President Obama lowered his expectations this year. I'm sure he was thinking of the meager fruits of last year's address. The Washington Post's fact-checkers awarded him only five "wins" out of 24 proposals they checked.
The botched rollout of the health care law has called forth some good news: Republicans are so confident they can ride anti-Obamacare sentiment to electoral victory that they're growing ever-more impatient with the tea party's fanaticism. Immigration reform may be the result.
There are few moments sweeter, more humbling or more thrilling than telling someone you love how you feel.
As soon as Roger Mbede did that, he was damned.
This happened in Cameroon, which, like many African countries, treats homosexuality as if it were a curse, a scourge. He lost sight of that and made the mistake of sending several text messages that were too candid, too trusting.
It has been a year since my assistant, Jennifer Mascia, and I started publishing The Gun Report, an effort to use my blog to aggregate daily gun violence in America. Our methodology is pretty simple: We do a Google News search each weekday morning for the previous day's shootings and then list them. Most days, we have been finding between 20 and 30 shootings; on Mondays, when we also add the weekend's violence, the number is usually well over 100.
The start of any week in Washington is as unpredictable as a Super Bowl. Before Sunday night's game, everyone thought the Broncos and Seahawks would have a close one, and by the third quarter the Seahawks had so dominated the action, it became necessary to thumb through the rule book to see if pro football had a mercy rule. Traffic from Fort Lee, N.J., is more free-flowing than the Broncos offense. Who knows where the week will end up, but here are three questions worth noodling as it starts:
It is tempting to think that the declining number of subscribers at the United States's biggest cable- television companies is a symptom of the industry's malaise as it slowly slides into obsolescence. Don't buy it. The losses are accounted for in the gains by smaller and nimbler rivals.