Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Politics

ICYMI: Why We Love Amateurs in the White Ho...

ICYMI: Why We Love Amateurs in the White House

Jonathan Rauch’s late 2015 piece on this subject is worth a read (or re-read). Here are a few highlights: “The presidency, it’s often said, is a job for which everyone arrives unprepared. But just how unprepared is unprepared enough?” “It is well known that to be elected president, you pretty much have to have been […]

Dear America, Please Remember Sko...

Dear America, Please Remember Skokie

In recent weeks, America’s presidential campaign politics have gotten uglier. Much uglier. The protests have gotten out of hand. Showing up at political events to call candidates’ supporters names like “racist” and interrupt their speeches has become commonplace. Individuals have climbed onstage uninvited in order to promote their own political causes or, in at least […]

Mark Leibovich, This Town (Penguin Group, 20...

Mark Leibovich, This Town (Penguin Group, 2013)

Political junkies indubitably will devour Leibovich’s chatty take on Washington, DC. I myself have a limited interest in and patience for the self-obsessed DC press-political gaggle. I tend to be more interested in political and social phenomena than chatter about them. Yet, I enjoyed Mark Leibovich’s This Town (Penguin Group, 2013). For one, Leibovich frequently […]

Tim Alberta, “The Cabal That Quietly Took Over the House,” National Journal, May 23, 2...

Tim Alberta, “The Cabal That Quietly Took Over the House,” National Journal, May 23, 2013

I do not much care for the use of the term “cabal”—it is sensational and critical. That noted, I did find this article interesting. It considers the role that the Republican Study Committee (RSC) has played in the House of Representatives. The RSC was founded in the 1970s as a conservative counterweight to the purported […]

Jeffrey Toobin, “Heavyweight: How Ruth Bader Ginsberg Has Moved the Supreme Court,” The New Yorker, March 11, 2...

Jeffrey Toobin, “Heavyweight: How Ruth Bader Ginsberg Has Moved the Supreme Court,” The New Yorker, March 11, 2013

Toobin’s profile of Ginsberg, not surprisingly, is admiring.  No surprise there—Toobin is a liberal who likes her liberal jurisprudence. But Justice Ginsberg herself is hard not to admire. She is astonishingly accomplished, and she gets on well with her colleagues, even the sometimes caustic conservative Scalia. (They attend operas together.) Toobin’s piece is an interesting […]

Bob Woodward, “Time for Leaders to Delegate on the Budget,” the Washington Post, January 3, 2...

Bob Woodward, “Time for Leaders to Delegate on the Budget,” the Washington Post, January 3, 2012

  Bob Woodward has proferred an interesting idea—elected official should delegate greater responsibility for crafting a budget deal.  He points out that congressional staff were awfully close to a deal in October 2011 that raised revenues and cut spending. Woodward writes, Some staffers were ready to break out the champagne. They had a pipeline straight […]

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