The populist moment in Europe and the United States
Why populists are dominating politics in Europe and the United States.
As surgeon general, he infuriated the right and became famous
As Reagan's surgeon general, he took bold positions on AIDS and abortion and infuriated the right wing.
New evidence that Bush undermined a two-state solution
George W. Bush's started a secret war on Hamas. Is Obama continuing it?
Obama's Defense pick barely survives his Senate grilling
Obama's Defense pick barely survives his Senate grilling by John McCain and Ted Cruz.
How income inequality could be slowing our recovery from the Great Recession
Given today’s report of economic contraction, it’s worth tuning in to a recent debate between liberal economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman.
When Barack Obama nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, I assume that he knew what he was getting into. The debate over Hagel’s nomination won’t be about whether he is qualified to run the Pentagon and to negotiate budgets with Congress, but about Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran. Initially, some of Hagel’s critics charged that he was an anti-Semite. But these charges rightfully met with derision.
It is tempting, in view of Barack Obama’s re-election, to look back on his first term as a rousing success, but it was not. Obama got his initial stimulus and his healthcare bill, but he made political errors in the first two years that helped Republicans retake the House and a majority of governorships in a crucial redistricting year. And in 2011, he made back-room concessions on the budget that seriously imperiled the economic recovery. So I still don’t share Jon Chait’s halcyon view of the Obama presidency. But Obama learned from the difficulties of his first term.
If you look at the House Republican vote, you find regional divisions that mirror the Red-Blue divisions in the national electorate. All in all, 85 Republicans voted for the Senate resolution and 151 voted against it. The opposition was centered in the Old South. Southern Republicans opposed the measure by 83 to 10. The delegations from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina were unanimously opposed.
Republicans want to reduce the size of the federal government, and they won’t take no for an answer. “I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” Grover Norquist famously declared. And in negotiations over the fiscal cliff, they have insisted on cutting spending rather than raising taxes. “The President wants to pretend that spending isn’t the problem,” House Speaker John Boehner has complained. Democrats, for their part, have responded defensively.