Archive

Date

January 14th, 2015

The Man or the Moment

    We measure our presidents against not only our hopes for the present, which are sometimes unreasonable, but also our understanding of the past, which can be just as flawed.

    Has a misreading of history informed a misappraisal of Barack Obama?

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Why DC's matriarchy matters, and the rest of the country needs to catch up

    The nation's capital didn't wait for 2016 to make political history.

    We started the year with three women in the District of Columbia's most high-profile jobs - mayor, police chief and schools chancellor - the only big city in the country to have such prominent female leadership.

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Watching the Republican Congress's first 100 days

    The 100-day evaluation is a marker in U.S. politics - superficial sometimes, though often a leading indicator. By April 15, 2015, the tone and motivation of the new Republican Congress may be apparent.

    Those first 100 days won't make clear which measures will or won't pass the 114th Congress; no one can anticipate intervening events over the next 600 days.

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Watching Fox makes you more conservative, MSNBC makes you more liberal

    What decided the 2000 election? A few hanging chads? The Supreme Court? Or was it Fox News?

    A new working paper argues that former President George W. Bush's popular vote total would have been 1.6 percentage points lower in his race against former Vice President Al Gore if Fox had not launched four years earlier. The paper provides new evidence that Fox and MSNBC have a real influence on how their audiences are likely to vote.

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Time for the GOP to pitch in

    With Republican majorities in both houses, the new Congress should begin by focusing on traditional GOP priorities: improving the nation's sagging infrastructure, reforming an unwieldy tax code and finding ways to boost middle-class opportunity.

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The Moral of the Kulluk

    The cover story of The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, "The Wreck of the Kulluk," by McKenzie Funk, is one of those articles that you can't put down even though you know how it turns out. The Kulluk was an offshore exploratory drilling rig, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, which, in December 2012, ran aground in some of the most inhospitable waters in the world.

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Hard truths and coin-operated Speed Queens

    The dryer went kaput. We ordered a new one, but the pile of laundry couldn’t wait until a way-past-New Year’s Eve delivery. So my wife and I ushered in 2015 at the laundromat.

    I wished Mitt Romney could have been with us, there among the people who pay a penalty every day for being poor.

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January 8th

Setting America’s Priorities for 2015

    Marci Rosenberg, a senior speech language pathologist at the University of Michigan, earns about $73,000 a year.     

    Desmond Patton, who studies the problems of gang violence, is a professor at the University of Michigan. He earns about $80,000 a year.

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Privilege of 'Arrest Without Incident'

    The day after Christmas, a shooter terrorized the streets of a Chattanooga, Tennessee, neighborhood. According to the local newspaper, the shooter was "wearing body armor" and "firing multiple shots out her window at people and cars." One witness told the paper that the shooter was "holding a gun out of the window as if it were a cigarette."

    There's more:

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Presidents and the Economy

    Suddenly, or so it seems, the U.S. economy is looking better. Things have been looking up for a while, but at this point the signs of improvement - job gains, rapidly growing GDP, rising public confidence - are unmistakable.

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