News & Features

Why America Works

Jim Jaffe

It is true that Congress enacts few new laws, but a census of legislation action is hardly a measure of government efficacy.  It may merely indicate that we’re talking a pause as we try to come up with a majoritarian position on a number of complex issues ranging from immigration to climate change.  There’s no glory in acting quickly but imprudently, and the main lesson of Obamacare is that making big changes with the slimmest of majorities throws sand in the gears until  we reach an equilibrium point where a substantial majority of voters agree with the outcome.

Missouri Puts National Guard on Alert Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement

Washington Informer

Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order Monday activating the Missouri National Guard to support law enforcement during any period of unrest that might occur following the grand jury’s decision concerning the investigation into the death of Michael Brown. The Governor said the Guard will provide support for law enforcement’s objectives of maintaining safety and protecting constitutional rights.

America’s Middle Class Struggles to Preserve Retirement Security

Pamela Yip

“Half of today’s working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire,” according to the National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. That conclusion is based on very conservative assumptions, according to the index, which measures the share of working-age American households at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.

China and the U.S. Announce New Climate Goals

John H. Cushman, Jr.

The United States and China announced new goals for reducing their global warming pollution in the coming decades, with the U.S. ramping up its rate of decarbonization in five to 10 years and China promising that its carbon emissions will peak in the next 15 years. The announcements, which came at a multinational summit in Beijing Tuesday, made clear for the first time the commitments that the two biggest sources of greenhouse gases will make as part of the urgent United Nations negotiations. 

How Democrats Lost the Midterm Elections

Dave Helfert

Democrats across the country could have run on issues the public cares about; issues the public supports. Instead, they ran away from them.  They could have referred to the Affordable Care Act, rather than the dreaded ‘Obamacare,’ and pointed out that 10 million Americans now have healthcare coverage who didn’t before. Even if they didn’t want to suggest that the country is better off with more healthy people, they could have mentioned that 10 million fewer people will now have to rely on hospital emergency rooms for healthcare. 

India’s ‘Kiss of Love’ Campaign Misses the Mark

Sandip Roy

The problem is that the protest ought not to be about kissing at all. The original protest in the state of Kerala was sparked by a string of moral policing incidents. A theater artist and her colleague were detained for traveling together at night. A couple was arrested for suspected “immoral activities” on a bench in Alappuzha, especially suspicious because the woman was not wearing anything to indicate she was married. An IT professional in Kochi was beaten up by drunk men for riding pillion on a male colleague’s motorbike. 

How Dynasties Shaped American Politics

Hal Gordon

For a nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal, this country has produced a remarkable number of political dynasties. John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, was the son of second president John Adams. Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, was the grandson of ninth president William Henry Harrison. And, of course, President George W. Bush, our 43rd president, is the son of George H.W. Bush, our 41st president.

Why Have Feminists Remained Silent on the Lena Dunham Controversy?

Stephanie Stark

When a powerhouse for good is exposed for extreme deviance, supporting institutions turn their heads and trivialize grave accusations in order to protect their interests. In the cases of the Catholic Church, the Ray Rice scandal, and now the accusations against Lena Dunham, abuse is treated as a pithy mishap, a bad apple, a misleading vignette of an otherwise exemplary institution. The feminist world is abandoning its values just because we love her. It’s choosing to do PR for Lena instead of journalism.

How Much Did Obama’s Immigration Delay Affect Latino Voter Turnout?

Colorlines

Twenty-three percent of non-voting Latinos who responded to the poll said that Obama’s decision to delay executive action made them more enthusiastic about the president and the Democratic Party, while 60 percent of non-voting Latinos said the delay made them less enthusiastic. This is notable because Latinos have historically backed Democrats by wide margins.

Distancing Themselves From Obama Is What Cost Democrats

Peniel E. Joseph

As the losses for Democrats mounted during the course of election night, any number of pundits questioned the Democratic Party’s Obama Avoidance Syndrome. That philosophy failed to aid Democrats in Kentucky and Georgia hoping for upset victories. The party’s reluctance to embrace the Obama administration’s successes in providing health care, lowering unemployment and saving the nation from a great recession proved to be their undoing.

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