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A Defining Moment For the Court

January 12, 2014 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Constitutional arguments that seem as dry as dust can have momentous consequences. On Monday, the Supreme Court's nine fine minds will hear oral arguments about the meaning of "the" and "happen." What they decide could advance the urgent project of reining in rampant executive power.

Liberalism by Gesture

January 8, 2014 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- The era of Gesture Liberalism is at hand. It may be more amusing than consequential.

Americans who exercise consumer sovereignty wherever Barack Obama still tolerates it are constantly disappointing him. For generations they persisted in buying what he calls "substandard" policies from what he calls "bad apple" health insurers. They stopped only when he forced them to stop -- when he rescued them from their ignorance by banning their benighted preferences.

Politics, By the Numbers

January 5, 2014 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Two years from today, Iowa -- dark, brooding, enigmatic Iowa -- will be enjoying its quadrennial moment as the epicenter of the universe. And in 10 months, voters will vent their spleens -- if they still are as splenetic as they now claim to be -- in congressional elections. Some numbers define the political landscape.

What Political Ignorance Delivers

January 1, 2014 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that "the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Nevertheless, many voters' paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials' accountability.

Illuminating Lessons of 2013

December 28, 2013 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- This report on the State of Conservatism comes at the end of an annus mirabilisfor conservatives. In 2013, they learned that they may have been wasting much time and effort.

Sledgehammer Justice

December 23, 2013 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York says documents called "statements of reasons" are an optional way for a judge to express "views that might be of interest." The one he issued two months ago is still reverberating.

It expresses his dismay that although his vocation is the administration of justice, his function frequently is the infliction of injustice. The policy of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses has empowered the government to effectively nullify the constitutional right to a trial. As Lulzim Kupa learned.

The Fusion In Our Future

December 22, 2013 - 6:00pm

PRINCETON, N.J. -- In a scientific complex on 88 bucolic acres near here, some astonishingly talented people are advancing a decades-long project to create a sun on Earth. When -- not if; when -- decades hence they and collaborators around the world succeed, their achievement will be more transformative of human life than any prior scientific achievement.

Executive Discretion to the Extreme

December 19, 2013 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Republicans' long-simmering dismay about Barack Obama's offenses against the separation of powers became acute when events compelled him to agree with them that the Affordable Care Act could not be implemented as written.

Raise Minimum Wage? It's Iffy

December 15, 2013 - 6:00pm

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's one damn thing over and over."
-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

WASHINGTON -- Liberals' love of recycling extends to their ideas, one of which illustrates the miniaturization of Barack Obama's presidency. He fervently favors a minor measure that would have mostly small, mostly injurious effects on a small number of people.

Obama's Epiphanies About Governing

December 11, 2013 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- The education of Barack Obama is a protracted process as he repeatedly alights upon the obvious with a sense of original discovery. In a recent MSNBC interview, he restocked his pantry of excuses for his disappointing results, announcing that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly":

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