The Great Debate

Editor’s note: Reader comments in the age of social media

By Reuters
November 7, 2014

During the past few years, much has changed about how readers interact with news. They find coverage in diverse places and in new ways. They watch video, use graphics and calculators and relate to content far differently than in the past.

25 years after its fall, Vladimir Putin puts Berlin Wall’s lessons front and center

By Lucian Kim
November 7, 2014

East German citizens climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the border was announced

On Nov. 9, Germans will celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most beautiful moments in their troubled history: the day that ordinary people, with ordinary aspirations, brought down the Berlin Wall. Not a shot was fired, not a drop of blood was shed, and in less than a year, divided Germany was reunited, paving the way for the reunification of a continent cut in two by the Cold War.

Every political landslide carries the seeds of its own destruction

By Bill Schneider
November 7, 2014

U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell holds a news conference after he was re-elected to a sixth term to the U.S. Senate at the University of Louisville in Louisville

You can’t govern the United States from Capitol Hill. Republicans learned that after they took over Congress in 1994. House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed a mandate to enforce his “Contract with America.”  What he had was a mandate to make deals with President Bill Clinton.

What is the best way for the U.S. to counter Russia’s natural gas threats?

By Leslie Palti-Guzman
November 6, 2014

General view of Bogorechanske gas storage facility in Ivano-Frankivsk region near Ukraines western borders

After last week’s gas agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union — which made clear Russia’s energy dominance over Europe — some have asked whether the U.S. could use its gas reserves as a “geopolitical weapon” to “stand up to Russian aggression,” as U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement earlier this year.

Why reports of the death of the salesman are greatly exaggerated

By Frank Cespedes
November 6, 2014

To match Feature CHINA-AUTOS/SUV

Perhaps it’s time for a re-think of “Death of a Salesman.” After two decades of talk about the “new economy” and the “disruption” of certain professions by the Internet, you might think that sales as we know it is as stale and outdated as Willy Loman — a function that has been “disintermediated” by the digital revolution.

from John Lloyd:

Should the West withdraw from the world to win its love?

By John Lloyd
November 6, 2014

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st rest as they wait to pack their weapons for shipment back to the United States at Camp Virginia, Kuwait

In his original and argumentative history of the Anglo-American domination of the past three or more centuries, Walter Russell Mead writes that both the UK and the United States believed their imposition of a world order served the highest interests of humanity. From Oliver Cromwell’s denunciation of Spanish cruelty in the 1650s to Ronald Reagan’s characterisation of the Soviet Union as an evil empire in the 1980s, the two main Anglophone states have seen their global expansionism as a blessing for the world: what’s good for us is good for everyone.

from Jack Shafer:

One journalist’s vote for divided government

By Jack Shafer
November 5, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama departs after delivering remarks on student loans at the White House in Washington

Count the Washington press corps as unintended beneficiaries of last night's slaughter of the Democrats by the Republicans. Now, with the Republicans taking of the Senate in addition to the House, leaving them in control of all congressional committees, we can expect up to twice as many Capitol Hill investigations into alleged fraud, abuse, waste, and perfidy by the Obama administration. Witnesses called! Testimony given! Evidence subpoenaed! Executive privilege claimed! 

The 3-step guide to de-radicalizing jihadists

By Arie W. Kruglanski
November 5, 2014

Militant Islamist fighters on a tank take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province

It might seem hard to believe but, according to psychological science, even the most hardened jihadists can be de-radicalized.

A quick guide to the smartest midterm election analysis

By Allison Silver
November 5, 2014

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addresses supporters with his wife Elaine Chao at his midterm election night rally in Louisville

Early Election Night, there was a lot of parsing of the term “wave election.” It sure quacks like one. The Washington Post had no trouble declaring a GOP wave well before midnight Tuesday. (The piece posted at 11:33 p.m., but pulls together too many stats to have been written on the spot.)

from Stories I’d like to see:

Did Islamic State really call a convention of nuts and have 15,000 people show up?

By Steven Brill
November 4, 2014

Islamic State fighter gestures from a vehicle in the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, after the Islamic State fighters took control of the area

Last week, the Guardian reported, “The United Nations has warned that foreign jihadists are swarming into the twin conflicts in Iraq and Syria on ‘an unprecedented scale’ and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism.”