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Friday, Feb. 26, 2010
Let’s pause and give thanks to Glenn Beck. No, seriously—because that's what he's due. We owe this talk-show-host-turned-political-leader gratitude for using his televised keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Conference to so frankly outline what the conservative movement has...
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Friday, Feb. 19, 2010
"I am in control here in the White House."—Secretary of State Alexander Haig, 1981 Ah, the good old days when even a big shot like Gen. Al Haig could get in trouble for such mavericky declarations that defy basic constitutional precedents. In the 21st century, that's ancient history. We've so idealized cowboy-style rebellion in matters of war...
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Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010
Last month, President Obama proposed to freeze government spending on everything other than defense, veterans’ benefits, homeland security, Medicare and Social Security. The New York Times reported that administration officials depicted the initiative as proof of the president's "seriousness about cutting the budget deficit." Such spin may fly in Orwell’s Oceania or Washington...
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Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009
This month, a British government report admitted that one of the major rationales for invading Iraq—the claim that Saddam could deploy WMDs in 45 minutes—probably came from a cab driver. Had the public originally been told about this sketchy sourcing, there may have been a more, ahem, forceful mass opposition to pre-emptive...
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Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009
Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. The best known of these statements are memorialized on TV as "gaffes." But the ones that never become famous tend to reveal the ugliest assumptions of all. Case in point is the comment the pharmaceutical...
News Features
Friday, Dec. 11, 2009
Washington's favorite term these days is "moral hazard.” Though this buzzphrase may seem like a complex and even intimidating idea, most of us, whether we consciously or not, understand the principle because it's basic common sense. Applaud your kid for punching another kid—rather than grounding him—and you've created a moral hazard that means he'll probably punch other kids in the future. Give your dog a treat—rather than a scolding...
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Friday, Nov. 27, 2009
Pop quiz—name the political leader who said the following: "We must be willing to pull the plug before sinking more dollars into weapons that do not provide what our warriors need." Now name the leader who said this: "(W)e cannot track $2.3 trillion in (Pentagon spending) ... We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion...
News Features
Friday, Nov. 13, 2009
Let's say you're a congressperson or tea party leader looking to champion deficit reduction—a cause 38% of Americans tell pollsters they support. And let's say you're deciding whether to back two pieces of imminent legislation. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the first bill's spending provisions cost $100 billion annually and its tax and budget-cutting provisions...

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