The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 26 Nov 2014 06:10:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKWed, 26 Nov 2014 06:10:00 -0500Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Imagine this scene on Thanksgiving day. The turkey is partly carved, the mashed potatoes are being passed around.</p><p >Your Mother: What are you thankful for?</p><p >You: Well, if I can say so, I'm thankful for ObamaCare because it was great that I was able to sign up for health insurance on the internet.</p><p >Caricatured Uncle: Hope Reverend Wright isn't on your death panel! Payback for Ferguson coming to you.</p><p >Your Mother [hoping to get control of the situation]: I did something different this year with the sweet potatoes! Do you like it?</p><p class="p2">Never fear. The pundits are here to save you. <em>Think Progress</em> has a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:10:00 -0500The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama's announcement that he will use prosecutorial discretion to semi-permanently prevent five million unauthorized immigrants from being deported has brought the usual accusations of galloping tyranny from conservatives. "Barack Obama: American Caudillo" is the title of Rich Lowry's very dumb column for <em>Politico</em>.</p><p>There is more awareness from Ross Douthat, who grudgingly recognizes that George W. Bush broke some important laws in his time. But only by eliding the very worst of the Bush years can Douthat reach his desired conclusion, that Obama's executive actions are an unprecedented...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:08:00 -0500After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops<img src="" /></P><p>Several years ago, a friend of mine was pulled over by the police a few blocks from her house in Milwaukee while driving home from the airport following a business trip. Her crime? A few unpaid parking tickets. When my friend expressed dismay that they would bother to pull her over for such a minor infraction, the cops called for a paddy wagon. When it arrived, they told her to exit her car, handcuffed her, and shoved her into the van. Stunned, my friend first offered to write a check for the unpaid tickets. When that didn't win her release, she became agitated, asking about her rights as a citizen...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:05:00 -0500Hagel, Obama, and the lame-duck technocrats<img src="" /></P><p>The Chuck Hagel era at Defense came to an unsurprising and ignominious end on Monday. An early leak to <em>The New York Times</em> of Hagel's resignation unleashed a stream of anonymous sniping at Hagel from the White House, claiming that he "wasn't up to the job," and that Hagel lacked the skill set to deal with threats from abroad. In other circumstances, that would serve as an indictment of the man who hired him in the first place. After all, what purpose does a secretary of Defense serve other than to deal with threats from abroad?</p><p>Perhaps that was the reason for the strange kabuki theater that took...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:10:00 -0500Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.<img src="" /></P><p>The Affordable Care Act has been a policy success. It has substantially reduced the number of uninsured, while slowing the growth in American health care spending. The people who have been newly insured under the ACA like it.</p><p>None of these things have made the law popular among the population as a whole. But if there's one thing that's less popular than the ACA, it's repealing the ACA. For this reason, Republicans opposed to ObamaCare have to at least pretend to have an alternative.</p><p>One of these alternatives was put forward last week by Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-lemieux" ><span class="byline">Scott Lemieux</span></a>Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:01:00 -0500Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.<img src="" /></P><p>Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is out. Whether it's because he just wasn't cut out for the job or is a convenient scapegoat for an administration bedeviled by a slew of foreign policy crises, is up for debate. But what's clear is that by the end of his tenure he had been eclipsed by the military, whose clout has only risen in recent months. Here's the report from Helene Cooper at <em>The New York Times</em>:</p><p >[I]n the past months he has largely ceded the stage to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who officials said initially won the confidence of Mr. Obama with his recommendation...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:06:00 -0500Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.<img src="" /></P><p>Last week, we were treated to another instance of completely confused debate over a government financing program, this time the Department of Energy's green loans initiative. The department released a financial report on the program, which has been quite successful. A report at <em>BusinessWeek</em> claimed the program was on track to make a $5 billion profit.</p><p>The problem is that the $5 billion figure doesn't take into account the costs of financing or the rate of default. Correcting for that, the program is narrowly unprofitable. Thus, the bean counters over at the Tax Policy Center attacked, wagging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:03:00 -0500Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">President Obama on Thursday announced his much-anticipated executive action on immigration, and in doing so he lobbed a grenade squarely into the 2016 Republican primary race.</p><p class="p1">Obama's order will reshape how the feds prioritize deportations of undocumented workers, shielding an estimated five million of them from being kicked out of the country. "We shall not oppress a stranger for we know the heart of a stranger &mdash; we were strangers once, too," Obama said, quoting scripture.</p><p class="p1">By moving ahead solo before the new Congress is sworn in, Obama ensured Republicans will finally have to address immigration...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:23:00 -0500It's official: The religious right is calling it quits<img src="" /></P><p>What a difference 10 years can make.</p><p>In the weeks following George W. Bush's re-election to the presidency in November 2004, with exit polls saying that the election had been decided by voters who were moved primarily by "moral values," the religious right felt giddy. Its push to get states to adopt referenda banning same-sex marriage had been wildly successful and helped to mobilize conservatives. With the greatest political champion the movement had ever known assured of four more years in the White House, the religious right began to dream of passing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:04:00 -0500Uber, and the growing threat of corporate surveillance<img src="" /></P><p>Since the Snowden leaks in mid-2013, there has been a roiling debate about potential abuse from the surveillance state. This eventually sparked a bill to reform the National Security Agency, which was recently filibustered in the Senate by terror-baiting demagogues.</p><p>But we're missing a big part of the story. With the spread of technology, especially GPS-enabled, always-on smartphones, corporations have effectively gained access to many of the same surveillance tools used by the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. And it's easy to imagine cases in which...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:03:00 -0500