The Great Debate

The minimum wage fight: From San Francisco to de Blasio’s New York

By Ken Jacobs and Michael Reich
February 11, 2014

In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama urged cities and states to bypass Congress and enact their own minimum wage increases. “You don’t have to wait for Congress,” he stated.

What unites Democrats? Republicans!

By Bill Schneider
February 7, 2014

Back in 1901, Finley Peter Dunne’s character Mr. Dooley said, “The Dimmycratic Party ain’t on speakin’ terms with itsilf.” Is that happening again now? You might think so, given the talk about a populist revolt on the left.

Populism: The Democrats’ great divide

By Robert L. Borosage
February 5, 2014

One day after President Barack Obama called for moving forward on trade authority in his State of the Union address, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared, “I am against fast track,” and said he had no intention of bringing it to a vote in the Senate.

Drones: From bad habit to terrible policy

By Naureen Shah
February 4, 2014

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently lambasted legislation that may prevent the White House from transferring the lethal drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department. The provision is in a classified part of the bill, so the public may never know what it says.

Can Obama circumvent Washington?

By Bill Schneider
January 31, 2014

Washington is broken,” Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, said in September 2008. “My whole campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have to fundamentally change how Washington works.”

Obama’s address: Borrowing from Bubba and the Gipper

By David Kusnet
January 29, 2014

Many presidents don’t have the problem of salvaging their second terms because the voters threw them out of office. Among those who win reelection, the successful communicators, such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, used many of the techniques that President Barack Obama deployed in his State of the Union Address last night. He is likely to repeat them often this year, which is one that will determine whether his administration is remembered as transformational or transitional.

On NSA, Obama still says ‘trust me’

By Ari Melber
January 17, 2014

President Barack Obama’s speech on Friday on intelligence reform marked a bullish shift in his approach to the National Security Agency.

Christie: Crossing the line

By Bill Schneider
January 15, 2014

Back in the 1970s, a Jewish organization commissioned a poll to investigate anti-Semitism in the United States. The poll included several open-ended questions. One asked, “Is there anything in particular you like about Jewish people?” The answers were recorded verbatim.

Filling judicial vacancies to protect the progressive legacy

By Herman Schwartz
January 13, 2014

What could never happen, finally did.

For more than 30 years the Democratic Senate caucus feebly stood by as Republicans seized control of the federal courts. Now, however, faced with a GOP filibuster of nominees for three vacancies on the appeals court that could determine the fate of most of President Barack Obama’s initiatives, the Democrats have at last responded.

2014: Another election about Obamacare

By Bill Schneider
December 23, 2013

Here we go again.

2014 will be the third election in a row in which Obamacare is the central issue. The Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, contributed to a fierce voter backlash against Democrats in November 2010. After the Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, the issue seemed to be settled by Obama’s re-election that November.