The Great Debate

The best way to spend the $6.2 billion Congress set aside to fight Ebola

By Bill Frist
December 12, 2014

Ebola treatment facility specifically built for medical workers who become infected is seen in a U.S. Army handout picture in Monrovia

If we have learned anything from the Ebola epidemic, it’s that managing and treating infectious disease globally and at home is a continual commitment — not just the latest issue in the news cycle. As we search for a vaccine, rapid diagnostic test or wonder drug, the best-known strategy is still containment and access to adequate healthcare resources. The chink in our infectious-disease armor is preparedness and training, not the lack of a blockbuster drug.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why political gridlock works for the U.S. economy, but not for Japan or EU

By Anatole Kaletsky
November 7, 2014

U.S. President Obama hosts a luncheon for bi-partisan Congressional leaders in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House in Washington

Is gridlocked government a betrayal of democracy? Or does it allow citizens to get on with their lives and businesses, unencumbered by meddlesome politicians?

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.

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! 

How congressional hawks plan to kill Obama’s Iran deal

By Trita Parsi
October 27, 2014

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani gives a news conference on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York

Negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program have not even concluded yet some members of Congress are preparing to manufacture a political crisis over a deal. Their beef? President Barack Obama may initially bypass Congress and suspend sanctions imposed on Iran to make a deal possible and only later ask lawmakers to end them permanently when it is determined that Iran has complied fully with its obligations under the deal.

If U.S. joins Islamic State fight, how will it get out?

By Bill Schneider
September 10, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

When President Barack Obama makes the case for military action against Islamic State militants on Wednesday night, it won’t be hard to convince Americans to get involved in the conflict. The hard part will be explaining how we get out.

from Breakingviews:

Ushering Eric Cantor to revolving door

August 7, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Executive orders: Part of the framers’ grand plan

By Brianne Gorod
March 19, 2014

President Barack Obama has used his executive authority to stop deporting undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children. The administration has also announced that it will stop requesting mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders.

Can Congress control the CIA?

By David Wise
March 13, 2014

The current fight between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA – each accuses the other of spying on it – is part of the deep, continuing struggle between the legislative and executive branches of government over the wide-ranging power of the intelligence agency in the post-9/11 world.

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.