Looking at three maps sheds some interesting light on the the politics of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline’s geography resonates in an interesting way with political and demographic geography.
We can start with two maps that show the proposed route (on the left) and the dates in which counties reached … More >
Republicans have won a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology. Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards. This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy … More >
The most interesting thing about Chris Christie’s apology is that it was no apology.
An apology is a speech act – an utterance that is in some way world-changing. Apologies change the world by reversing the power of speaker and addressee: the speaker puts himself intentionally in a one-down position as … More >
In the short run, limiting the filibuster will strengthen the hands of environmental regulators. What about the long run effects?
The filibuster arguably served a useful function when it allowed the minority to block action in extraordinary cases where its views were especially intense. It became no longer tolerable when it … More >
“I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt,” says Sen.Tom Coburn, R-Okla. “We won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest.”
This is crazy talk. While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments … More >
It slipped under the radar screen due to all the furor over the impending government shutdown, but the NY Times ran an important article two weeks ago about the debt ceiling. The Republican plan is apparently to condition their agreement to raise the debt ceiling and save the country from default on … More >
Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute have a very nice op-ed this morning about America’s political dysfunction.
I, however, found it sad: their fantasy is for pressure to work in America’s interest to be directed toward Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate … More >
It takes guts to oppose food safety. But that’s no problem for the House GOP. According to the New York Times, today’s House farm bill (July 11, 2013) wasn’t content to eliminate food stamps, it also took aim at food safety:
One overlooked provision in the bill came from … More >
In order to fully understand what the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court have been up to when they make decisions that affect our democracy, as they did last week on voting rights, you need to understand what the Republican Party has been up to.
The modern GOP is based … More >