The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usTue, 22 Jul 2014 14:15:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKTue, 22 Jul 2014 14:15:00 -0400The latest ObamaCare decision makes it official: We need more liberal judges<img src="" /></P><p>After the passage of ObamaCare in 2010, dozens of conservative wonks, activists, and lawyers began poring over the text of the law, trying to find some legal foothold to overthrow as much of it as possible. First they argued that the law's individual mandate was unconstitutional in <em>NFIB vs. Sebelius</em>, which was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2012. However, the decision weakened the law by making its expansion of Medicaid optional, which led most conservative states to reject it and deny coverage to millions of poorer Americans.</p><p>Then, in <em>Burwell vs. </em><em>Hobby Lobby</em>, conservatives attacked the scope...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:15:00 -0400The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama surely has more than 99 problems &mdash; but here's one: He doesn't feel the need to even <em>look</em> like he gives a damn, even as parts of the world all but crumble on his watch.</p><p>Obama is obviously smart and emotionally evolved &mdash; and maybe that's why he's embraced the "no drama" ethos so tightly. He never looks worried. His face never evinces concern. His voice never quivers. His body language doesn't change. At all. He walks at the same languid pace regardless of the situation.</p><p>You might think this evenness is a good thing. Sometimes it is. But if there's a pressing geopolitical...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:10:00 -0400A letter to Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times<img src="" /></P><p>Dear Andrew Rosenthal,</p><p>As editorial page editor of the <em>New York Times</em>, you're a very busy man. But I was so excited by Timothy Egan's column from last weekend that I couldn't resist writing to thank you for your good work &mdash; and to pass along a handful of proposals for some op-eds of my own. (My bosses at <em>The Week</em> are a little skittish about taking on the kind of bold pieces Egan has inspired me to write.)</p><p>It was so thrilling to read in the pages of America's leading newspaper about how "faith-based fanatics" are making this the "summer of the violent God," with religious zealots rampaging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:05:00 -0400Progressives' hot new poverty-fighting idea has just one basic problem: Science<img src="" /></P><p>Many young progressives think they have found a fail-safe way to end poverty: a universal basic income (UBI). The idea is very simple, they say: Every month, the government cuts a check to everyone. Period. That way, no one has to fall below the poverty line.</p><p>The UBI is an old idea, which also has a storied history on the right. Many conservatives like the idea of a simple welfare system that would replace arcane programs and nosy bureaucracies.</p><p>And indeed, right-winger that I am, I was for a very long time a strong proponent of a UBI. But now I oppose it.</p><p>What happened? I looked at the best...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:19:00 -0400Why progressives shouldn't freak out about Australia's carbon tax fail<img src="" /></P><p>Climate hawks the world over hung their heads last week, as Australia's new government, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, axed its carbon tax. One of the more aggressive climate policies, the policy had made some real progress in cutting Australia's emissions, which are very high.</p><p>Australia's policy had covered about 60 percent of all its emissions, and levied a tax of about $23 per ton of carbon emitted. In 2015, it was supposed to evolve into a cap-and-trade plan, and link up with the EU's similar carbon-trading system. Now all that's left are a few minor subsidies for emissions reduction....</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:14:00 -0400Why conservatives should ignore Todd Akin and Rick Santorum<img src="" /></P><p>There is no shortage of books advising Republicans on how to win more elections and perhaps reclaim the White House. But only two big-name authors seem to be selling blueprints for how the party can lose.</p><p>Of course, neither Rick Santorum nor Todd Akin actually wants Republicans to lose. Both men have won elections themselves. But if their recent media blitzes to promote their new books are at all representative of their advice to the GOP, it is help Republicans can do without.</p><p>Two years removed from blowing a surefire Senate pickup opportunity for Republicans in Missouri, Todd Akin is out with...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:05:00 -0400How Google Street View could save us from climate change and gas explosions<img src="" /></P><p>Monitoring methane leaks is a huge pain in the neck. Why? Because the extraction and distribution infrastructure is spread out all over the place. You've got the production and refining process, the big transmission pipelines, and the minor pipelines going to literally millions of different businesses and houses, fueling stoves and water heaters.</p><p>The leaks in minor pipelines are especially tough to tackle, because getting good measurements over such an enormous area takes a ton of effort and time. According to the EPA, about 20 percent of the methane emitted by the natural gas industry comes from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:04:00 -0400Why objective journalism is a crock<img src="" /></P><p>One of the most persistent ideas about how journalism should be performed, famously associated with the late David Broder of <em>The Washington Post</em>, is that journalists shouldn't be biased. They should simply report the facts, neutrally and without any ideological coloration. They should be "objective."</p><p>Luke Russert of NBC briefly invoked this idea when I criticized his assigning blame to American drug users for gang violence in Latin America:</p><p >If you listened to initial words or read my subsequent tweets, I never take a position on the "war on drugs" or legalization. My position was that recreational...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:10:00 -0400The political battleground of the future is already in your shopping cart<img src="" /></P><p>The other day I was blocked from viewing a blog because I was using the wrong browser.</p><p>I use Firefox, and the blog owner had prohibited that browser from viewing her site in response to the defenestration of former Mozilla CEO Bredan Eich over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Instead of the site, I was automatically redirected to a message about the importance of standing up for what's right, along with helpful links to sites that would allow me to download alternative browsers.</p><p>Inventive as this example of political protest may be, it is hardly unique. In fact, across the political spectrum...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Josiah NeeleyWed, 16 Jul 2014 10:26:00 -0400The GOP's ridiculous executive-authority hypocrisy<img src="" /></P><p>Speaker of the House John Boehner wants to sue President Obama. Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin wants to impeach President Obama. And Republicans across the board are in a froth over the president's allegedly aggressive use of executive authority.<br /> <br />And yet, there are some issues that have so discombobulated Republicans that they are turning their lonely eyes to Obama for answers: Namely, the influx of Central American child migrants on America's southern border. Faced with the unappealing prospect of using their own congressional power of the purse to solve the problem...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:12:00 -0400