The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 18 Apr 2014 09:30:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKFri, 18 Apr 2014 09:30:00 -0400The Democrats have a mega-donor problem<img src="" /></P><p>Reducing gun violence and curbing global warming are high priorities for most Democrats. So theoretically, they should be thrilled about plans by like-minded billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer to pour money into this year's midterm elections.</p><p>But there's a huge catch: The uber-rich pair could help Democrats lose the Senate and do worse than expected in the House.</p><p>Call it the luck of the Democrats. They get a couple of rich guys willing to target both Republicans <em>and</em> moderate Democrats who oppose their liberal agendas. The GOP gets the Kochs &mdash; a couple of hard-headed brothers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Jill LawrenceFri, 18 Apr 2014 09:30:00 -0400What liberals get wrong about having kids<img src="" /></P><p>Like the rest of the developed world, the birth rate in the U.S. has been falling for many years: in 2012, it was measured at an all-time low of 63.0 per 1000 women aged between 15 and 44. Without immigration, the birth rate alone would not be enough to replenish the U.S. population, and in many developed countries the population is shrinking. For example, Japan is on track to return to its 1950s-era population by 2050 or so, and from there it will continue to fall dramatically.</p><p>Liberals tend to celebrate these trends, or at least tacitly endorse them. Though overpopulation isn&rsquo;t the huge...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0400Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?<img src="" /></P><p>New York state recently signed on to the National Popular Vote movement, an interstate compact designed to do an end run around the Electoral College, which as everybody knows is an outdated institution that at its worst can throw the presidency to the guy who failed to win the popular vote. Hendrik Hertzberg explains:</p><p >Here's how it works: Suppose you could get a bunch of states to pledge that once there are enough of them to possess at least 270 electoral votes &mdash; a majority of the Electoral College &mdash; they will thenceforth cast all their <em>electoral </em>votes for whatever candidate gets...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:40:00 -0400Why Democrats are gearing up for a rocky ride in Colorado<img src="" /></P><p>Recently on <em>Political Wire</em>'s podcast, we brought on Lynn Bartels, a longtime political reporter for the <em>Denver Post</em>, for a fascinating discussion about Colorado politics and the state's all-important Senate and gubernatorial races.<br /><br />Here are four takeaways.<br /><br /><strong>1. Democrats are scared about Cory Gardner's Senate candidacy, but not just because he could win the race.</strong> This Colorado Republican, who previously said he would stay in the House, shocked the political world when he decided to run for the Senate against incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) after all. Bartels said that Gardner is seen as a likable...</p> <a href="">More</a>Taegan GoddardThu, 17 Apr 2014 12:27:00 -0400How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood<img src="" /></P><p>The 1970s &mdash; a time of cultural malaise, androgynous fashion mistakes, and street crime. A lot of subversive but critically acclaimed movies from this era (from <em>Annie Hall</em> to <em>M*A*S*H</em>) reflected America's somewhat disaffected zeitgeist. But beneath the surface, a new genre of patriotic action hero was emerging.</p><p>Charles Bronson turned vigilante in <em>Death Wish</em>, a film that spoke to the crime problem endemic in big cities like New York. And Clint Eastwood as Inspector Harry Callahan (aka "Dirty Harry") took on criminals and the bleeding-heart liberals whose "technicalities" prevented him from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400Why I'm a pro-life liberal<img src="" /></P><p>Though public opinion on abortion actually reflects a very nuanced debate, with opinions based around factors like the pregnancy's term and the reason for termination, there are really only two positions debated in the media: ardently for the unrestricted availability of abortion regardless of motive, or ardently against abortion under any circumstances &mdash; and how <em>dare </em>anyone suggest otherwise. And since these positions tend to cleave along party lines, a stance on abortion that shows a political affinity different than the typical Left-Right divide is almost untenable, at least if one hopes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:23:00 -0400One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet)<img src="" /></P><p>As I've written before, one of the most environmentally damaging &mdash; and least publicized &mdash; consequences of drilling for natural gas is the release of methane. Natural gas burns cleaner than any other traditional fuel, but is composed mostly of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if it leaks before it can be burned. Now there are indications that the situation is worse than we thought. Researchers just finished a new study on methane leaks in Pennsylvania natural gas wells, and the results are very, very bad:</p><p >Drilling operations at several natural...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:21:00 -0400How Putin and his ilk are redefining democracy -- Big Brother-style<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>It's been tough, recently, to discern the difference between dictatorship and democracy. Vladimir Putin's recent demonstration of political chutzpah, for example, raises again the question: How do autocrats like Putin get elected in a <em>democracy</em>? Answering this question requires acknowledging that democracies are not what they used to be.</p><p>During the past two centuries, democracy sounded like what they taught us in civics class: free and fair elections, competing political parties, respect for freedom of expression, division of political powers, and the rule of law. Not anymore. Just because countries...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Silvio WaisbordTue, 15 Apr 2014 11:28:00 -0400Will the GOP sideline social conservatives in 2014?<img src="" /></P><p>It's no secret that Republicans are in search of a sweet spot in today's political environment that will allow them to expand their base while not diluting their core values. The disappointing results from the 2012 election highlighted the difficulties in determining the correct path to electoral success. Stumbles on the campaign trail dogged Republicans in the both the presidential contest (Mitt Romney's discussion of the "47 percent," for example) and congressional races (gaffes from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock on abortion that cost the GOP two Senate races it should have won).</p><p>Ever since...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:06:00 -0400Can Scott Brown make a comeback in New Hampshire?<img src="" /></P><p>James Pindell, political director for WMUR-TV, gave us some fascinating insights into New Hampshire on the <em>Political Wire</em> podcast, including a special focus on former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's newly announced U.S. Senate campaign in the Granite State.<br /><br />Here are five takeaways from the conversation:<br /><br /><strong>1. Scott Brown's candidacy shouldn't have even happened.</strong> When Brown dropped hints late last year that he wouldn't rule out a Senate run in New Hampshire, it was entirely possible that he wasn't seriously considering it. "Republicans already had a whole host of candidates by the time he announced...</p> <a href="">More</a>Taegan GoddardMon, 14 Apr 2014 12:16:00 -0400