The Great Debate

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.

Obamacare’s endless exemptions

By Mitch McConnell
December 20, 2013

Thursday night, the White House announced yet another exemption from the pain Obamacare is causing so many Americans. This latest “fix” would allow some Americans who’ve lost plans to exempt themselves from Obamacare requirements by claiming the law imposes a “hardship” because it’s “unaffordable.”

Danger and delay on dirty bombs

By Kenneth N. Luongo
December 16, 2013

When highly radioactive material that can be used in a “dirty bomb” is moved to or from a hospital in New York City, it is done in the dead of night on cordoned streets with high security.

from David Rohde:

Honor Mandela by stopping a genocide

By David Rohde
December 11, 2013

As South Africans cheered President Barack Obama’s speech at the funeral of Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a nation of 4.6 million people 2,500 miles north was being torn apart by religious hatred.

Obama: Building trade to build growth

By Edward Alden
December 5, 2013

The Obama administration has quietly embraced the most ambitious agenda on trade and investment liberalization in the past two decades.

Can Obama ever close Guantanamo?

By Daphne Eviatar
November 21, 2013

Twelve years ago this month, President George W. Bush issued an order authorizing the U.S. military to detain non-U.S. citizen “international terrorists” indefinitely, and try some of them in military commissions. Within two months, those seized in the “war on terror” following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan were being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Broaden the German-U.S. dialogue about snooping

By Jane Harman and Volker Perthes
November 21, 2013

Germans are not naive: They know that states spy, and that attempts to listen in to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conversations were to be expected. But they didn’t expect that the United States would do this, for a decade.

What Democrats have going for them? Republicans

By Bill Schneider
November 7, 2013

Democrats had one thing going for them in the election this week: Republicans. That kept President Barack Obama’s party from faring much worse.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

No, austerity did not work

By Nicholas Wapshott
November 7, 2013

There have been a lot of sighs of relief in Europe lately, where countries like Britain and Spain, long in recession, have finally started to grow. Not by much, nor for long. But such is the political imperative to suggest that all the misery of fiscally tight economic policies was worth the pain that there are tentative claims the worst is now over and, ipso facto, austerity worked.