The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 19 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKFri, 19 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves<img src="" /></P><p>As they prepare to take control of Congress, Republicans are looking to change the rules of the game. To lend budget-busting tax cuts the illusion of fiscal responsibility, conservatives would codify the notion that these cuts pay for themselves into congressional accounting rules.</p><p>Democrats should not allow this to happen. But if conservatives insist on fudging the numbers, liberals shouldn't shy away from making creative budgetary arguments of their own.</p><p>The accounting device promoted by the right is known as "dynamic scoring," and it's politically significant because of the basic policy positions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/joel-dodge" ><span class="byline">Joel Dodge</span></a>Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500Cuba should beware of Westerners bearing gifts<img src="" /></P><p>The normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, announced Wednesday by President Obama, is a highly welcome step. Our hostile posture against Cuba stopped making sense in 1989, if not before then, and it's long since time we allowed the country back into the full community of nations. If the U.S. can get along with China and Vietnam, there's no reason it can't do the same with Cuba.</p><p>The president can't lift the embargo against Cuba, since that was imposed by Congress. Though dead-end reactionaries like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham will likely fight for the embargo tooth and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:06:00 -050010 outrageously pricey tax breaks that Congress just gave away<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The Senate, on its way out at the close of the 113th Congress, approved the extension of more than 50 tax breaks, collectively known as "tax extenders," which had expired at the end of last year. The provisions cover everything from business research costs to NASCAR tracks and will now apply to tax year 2014.</p><p>The extenders will expire again in two weeks, however, and Congress will have to revisit their renewal in the New Year. It's a process that tax experts abhor, as many incentives inherent in the extenders can't have their full effect without providing the beneficiaries a degree of certainty...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric Pianin and Rob GarverThu, 18 Dec 2014 16:30:00 -0500Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide<img src="" /></P><p>In the wake of the Senate report cataloging a whole lot of torture committed by the CIA, Dick Cheney has been reduced to arguing that torturing people &mdash; even innocent ones &mdash; is worth doing if you eventually get good results. The ends justify the means.</p><p>I can see why he makes this argument &mdash; he's simply got no other option. It is now obvious that what the CIA did was illegal, brutal torture. Claims that it kept the nation safe are all that Cheney has left.</p><p>But Cheney is wrong: Torture doesn't work and never has.</p><p>I have referenced the work <em>Torture and Democracy</em>, by Darius Rejali...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:08:00 -0500Almost (really) famous: 9 former Supreme Court candidates<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong><span >1. </span><span >Dallin H. Oaks<br /></span></strong>After suffering a debilitating stroke, William O. Douglas reluctantly retired from the Supreme Court in 1975. Douglas, who was in office for 36 years, was determined to outlast Gerald Ford's presidential term after Ford had unsuccessfully attempted to impeach Douglas while serving as House minority leader five years earlier. While Ford selected Seventh Circuit judge John Paul Stevens to replace Douglas, he considered several other candidates, including Brigham Young University President Dallin H. Oaks.</p><p>Six years later, while serving as a Utah Supreme Court justice, Oaks was...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Scott AllenWed, 17 Dec 2014 12:20:00 -0500What the media gets wrong about Jeb Bush<img src="" /></P><p>Jeb Bush's unexpectedly early interest in the Republican nomination is a pundit's dream. It has already occasioned a thousand and one good tweets about his language: he will "actively explore" a bid, which, yes, haha, is funny, but it's also the phrase used by the Federal Election Commission to determine whether a candidate can raise money for the purpose of a presidential campaign.</p><p>But he's in! He's a Bush! What more do we know about him?</p><p>You'll hear that he represents the "moderate" wing of the party, the party of his father, the welcoming, inclusive, pro-immigration wing of the GOP. And you...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderWed, 17 Dec 2014 07:13:00 -0500What is Jebonomics?<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Jeb Bush has "decided to actively explore the possibility" of becoming the third member of his family to seek the presidency. So now comes the donor and staffer outreach, the perfunctory listening tour with voters, and, apparently, an eventual e-book outlining his vision for America.</p><p dir="ltr">But what will the former Florida governor's big ideas be? Or to put it into Jeb-speak, what will his BHAGs, his "big, hairy, audacious goals," be?</p><p dir="ltr">This is a politician, after all, with a reputation as a policy wonk. Can he live up to it and blow our collective mind with his economic agenda? Or will he too cautiously...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/james-pethokoukis" ><span class="byline">James Pethokoukis</span></a>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 06:04:00 -05004 big questions for Jeb Bush<img src="" /></P><p>Jeb Bush kicked off the 2016 presidential contest in earnest today, announcing in a Facebook post that he would "actively explore the possibility of running for president." The move falls a couple steps short of a formally declared candidacy, but it does send an unmistakable signal to the Republican Party that the Bush family is back in the mix less than six years after the last Bush left the White House.</p><p>Here are four questions Jeb Bush will have to address as he prepares for a possible 2016 bid:</p><p><strong>1. Is he conservative enough?</strong><br />The GOP has changed a lot since the days of Bush's father, whose most...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:10:00 -0500George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock<img src="" /></P><p>The latest issue of <em>Rolling Stone </em>features an interview with the comedian and actor/director Chris Rock. And when the talk veered to politics, Rock had some pretty smart and subtle insights about the way American politics work.</p><p><strong>1. There's a real distinction between knowing about current events and <em>knowing</em> about current events.</strong><br />"I always had, like, a dumb-guy's view of current events. Always kind of know a little bit of what's going on. If I knew any more about current events, I probably wouldn't talk about it. Do I really want to talk about Tim Geithner? No, I'd shoot myself in the head. I had...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderTue, 16 Dec 2014 09:05:00 -0500Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place<img src="" /></P><p>I used to like Dick Cheney.</p><p>I can still remember watching him on NBC's <em>Meet the Press</em> back in the early 1990s, when he was serving as defense secretary under President George H. W. Bush. Whether he was talking about the collapse of the Soviet Union or making the case for expelling Saddam Hussein's army from Kuwait, Cheney was impressive. Unlike so many career politicians and Washington bureaucrats, he came off as charming, sober, smart, unflappable, and sincere.</p><p>Today? Well, I'll give him this: He still seems sincere.</p><p>Some day I hope some psychologically gifted writer will turn his attention...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 06:02:00 -0500