The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 28 Aug 2014 06:09:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKThu, 28 Aug 2014 06:09:00 -0400Here's one more reason to block the Keystone XL pipeline<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">The policy debate over the Keystone XL pipeline (as opposed to the political one) in many ways boil down to railroads. Supporters of Keystone say there's no point in blocking the construction of massive pipeline that will traverse the United States, since the projected 510,000 barrels of oil the pipeline would transport could just be moved around on trains. Either way, they say, the oil is coming out of the ground and it's going to be burned.</p><p dir="ltr">However, there is reason to think that transporting a monstrous influx of new oil by rail would be a lot more difficult than many imagine.</p><p dir="ltr">It's not because...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:09:00 -0400The world is on fire and neither Democrats or Republicans have a clue<img src="" /></P><p>The world is<em> en fuego,</em> with American interests at peril and President Obama's foreign policy failing to stem the chaos. The mood may be as brittle as it was in 2002, the first elections after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, but even though the country is definitely paying more attention to the world's problems as the economy improves at home, the midterm elections in America are just not being fought over foreign policy. This is unusual, but it isn't surprising: Neither party has a clue on foreign policy.</p><p>Democrats are divided about Obama's response to the Syrian civil war, the sudden...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderWed, 27 Aug 2014 11:08:00 -0400In defense of Obama's golfing<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Earlier this month, when the military-equipped local cops in Ferguson, Missouri, first began launching tear gas canisters at protesters enraged over the shooting by a white officer of an unarmed black teenager, social media lit up with anger at President Obama for attending a party. It's a familiar refrain &mdash; though one that usually focuses not on Obama's party-going or vacationing, but his golfing.</p><p class="p1">Obama's critics have long derided him for golfing while Putin rolls into Ukraine, or while ISIS does all the evil things they do. Some ding him for golfing when he could be speaking up for Senate...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:15:00 -0400How Democrats might goad the GOP into shutting down the government<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama is expected to announce by mid-September whether he will circumvent a recalcitrant Congress and press ahead with immigration reform on his own terms. "Executive action," as it's come to be known, could be as robust and consequential as providing de-facto earned amnesty for millions of undocumented immigrants now living in the shadows. That decision would reverberate widely. Democrats have usually been afraid that if Obama decided to showcase the apogee of presidential power, the counter-reaction among conservatives and revanchists would cost Democrats an intolerably high political...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderWed, 27 Aug 2014 09:25:00 -0400After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race<img src="" /></P><p>The prolonged spasm of fury that followed the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., appears to have subsided. The actions of the Ferguson police department &mdash; allowing Brown's body to remain in the street for four hours after his death, withholding for days the name of the officer accused of shooting him, deploying military weaponry and strong-arm tactics against protesters and journalists &mdash; helped to keep the unrest at a rolling boil for nearly two weeks.</p><p>But the protests were initially sparked by outrage at...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:31:00 -0400When it comes to ISIS, our Congress is full of cowards<img src="" /></P><p>I don&rsquo;t know about you, but when I hear that Congress has a rock-bottom 15 percent approval rating, I wonder: How could the number possibly be so high?</p><p>There are many reasons to hold Congress in contempt.</p><p>There&rsquo;s the shameless back-scratching, logrolling, moneygrubbing, and pork-barrel spending that is as old as the institution itself, but which has gotten a major boost in the post&ndash;<em>Citizens United</em> era.</p><p>Then there&rsquo;s the polarization and institutional dysfunction, rooted in rule changes, gerrymandering, and the ideological self-sorting of the parties in recent decades....</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:07:00 -0400How Rand Paul's GOP opponents will use his minority outreach against him<img src="" /></P><p>It's just a matter of time. There <em>will</em> be a backlash against Rand Paul's efforts at minority outreach, spearheaded by Republicans who see this as an opening to the Kentucky senator's right in the 2016 presidential primaries, especially in the wake of the crisis in Ferguson.</p><p>Paul's outreach to African-Americans has largely consisted of rhetoric very much in line with his libertarian principles, such as criticizing the prison industrial complex and the militarization of local police. And right now, the discontent on the right is mostly rumbling beneath the surface, on conservative listservs and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:06:00 -0400Paul Ryan's 6 favorite books about economics and democracy<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> Capitalism and Freedom</strong> by Milton Friedman (Univ. of Chicago, $17.50). Republicans of late have confused corporate favoritism and special earmarks with pro-market policy. That's called crony capitalism. Friedman schools us on a better way to unleash the power of free markets: Be pro-market, not pro-business.</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>The Road to Serfdom</strong> by Friedrich von Hayek (Univ. of Chicago, $17). Hayek wasn't just an economist; he was an intellectual dissident whose ideas stand as a bulwark against collectivism's empty promises. </span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Democracy in America</strong> by Alexis de Tocqueville (Penguin, $14). What isn't to like about...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 24 Aug 2014 14:00:00 -0400Working-class politicians aren't always best for the working class<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>If you live in an area that votes Democrats into office, you've likely heard politicians go on ad nauseam about their humble beginnings. That's because when voters hear that a candidate has working-class roots, they assume that candidate is progressive on economic issues.</p><p>In reality, though, there's no difference between how a mill worker's child and a doctor's child behaves once elected.</p><p>That's according to a study, by Duke's Nicholas Carnes and Princeton's Meredith Sadin, that asked, "What, if anything, do voters infer when they learn whether a candidate was raised in a more or less privileged...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Avital AndrewsSat, 23 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0400Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry<img src="" /></P><p>If you're planning a second presidential bid &mdash; especially if your last one didn't go so well &mdash; getting indicted would seem to be, at the very least, a major roadblock.</p><p>But the news that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is facing felony charges has so far brought the man nothing but support and sympathy. As the <em>Texas Observer's </em>Forrest Wilder put it, "Judging from the reaction of national pundits and journalists, the verdict in the case of <em>State of Texas vs. James Richard 'Rick' Perry</em> is already in: Rick Perry is not just innocent; he's being railroaded by liberal Democrats in a vindictive...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/abby-rapoport" ><span class="byline">Abby Rapoport</span></a>Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:10:00 -0400