National Commentary

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The liberal arc of U.S. policy

Matt Grossman, Special to the Washington Post
Apr 11 2014 - 10:00am

Conservatives in Congress are the prime suspects in Washington's dysfunction. Veteran congressional watchdogs Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann called the previous session the "worst Congress ever," and they did not hold back in assigning blame: "The Republicans are the problem," they said. After a fruitless government shutdown last fall, even House...

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While the world is watching Eastern Ukraine, is anyone watching Assad?

David Kenner, Foreign Policy
Apr 11 2014 - 9:49am

BEIRUT -- Amid opposition claims of new Syrian chemical weapons attacks, President Bashar Assad is fast approaching an important deadline for removing his stockpiles of the deadly armaments from from the country. It doesn't appear that he's going to meet it.Assad, under the terms of a September agreement that averted a threatened American military...

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The Talk Radio Party?

Cagle Cartoons, Michael Reagan
Apr 11 2014 - 9:47am

So what does the Tea Party want this fall?A repeat of 2010, or a repeat of 2012?The Tea Party succeeded spectacularly in 2010.Its principled enthusiasm put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives and, if the Tea Party hadn't been so stupid in several races, it should have given the GOP control of the Senate.

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A risk worth taking

An Editorial, The Washington Post
Apr 11 2014 - 9:44am

If electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, live up to their potential, millions of nicotine addicts in the United States will use them. To some public health advocates, that sounds terrible. People should kick nicotine rather than cultivate their dependence with a barely regulated product that seems designed to addict children. The...

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A vote for optimism

Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post
Apr 11 2014 - 9:42am

The widespread conservative media freak-out over Jeb Bush's potential presidential candidacy has mostly centered on his expressing empathy for those who come illegally to the United States seeking a better life for their families. But something else is going on. Some have accused Bush of fearing the parry and thrust of campaigning.Yet according to...

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The Grim Repo: Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Act

Cagle Cartoons, Tina Dupuy
Apr 10 2014 - 2:52pm

It was 2007 and we were all gathered around the kitchen table. It was my husband; his parents, Frank and Rachel (not their real names); and me spending a Sunday afternoon catching up. Everyone, it seemed at that time, had just bought a house. Their modest three-bedroom tract home, which they were a year from paying off, was now worth half-a-...

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Income tax procrastinators, unite!

Cagle Cartoons, Danny Tyree
Apr 10 2014 - 1:55pm

Suddenly, I don't feel so alone.According to the Internal Revenue Service, roughly one in five Americans file their federal and state income tax returns in the final week before the April 15 deadline.Yes, every year, despite my best intentions, I wind up rushing to complete my returns at the last minute. A dark cloud and a constant nagging doubt...

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Hillary and the hard question

John Dickerson, Slate
Apr 10 2014 - 11:27am

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton has answered a question about her presidential journey again. (Tea leaf readers to the front office, please.) During an interview as a part of an appearance at a marketing conference, the former secretary of state said: "I am thinking about it, but I am going to continue to think about it for a while. ... The hard...

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Germany is key to reining in Russia, as in the past

Arthur I. Cyr, Standard-Examiner
Apr 18 2014 - 3:20pm

"To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war," said Winston Churchill in 1954, supporting the principle of nations negotiating. Those wise words from a great leader who understood war should be kept in mind regarding the Geneva accord on the crisis in Ukraine.Churchill made the comment during the early years of the Cold War, after effective cooperation...

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How not to talk about wealth inequality

Cagle Cartoons, Tina Dupuy
Apr 18 2014 - 11:58am

Have you heard we live in an oligarchy? Perhaps you've been told America is a plutocracy? Is that because of widespread demagogy?Circumlocution: a big word meaning using unnecessarily lofty words to express an idea.Welcome to the baffling world of liberal-speak.Oligarchy, plutocracy and demagogy: The holy trinity of sesquipedalian polysyllable...

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It’s not too soon to get excited about baseball

Bloomberg News, Stephen L. Carter
Apr 18 2014 - 11:57am

It's hard to believe that one-tenth of the Major League Baseball season has already slipped into the past. Fans pay almost no attention to the standings until around Memorial Day. Baseball plays the longest season of any major sport, and is, for that reason, an excellent counterpoint to the gotta-know-right-now bustle of our world. To take...

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The Big Bang, the multiverse and you

Cagle Cartoons, Danny Tyree
Apr 18 2014 - 11:55am

In 1979 Robin Williams declared, "Reality...what a concept!" Today his exclamation might be, "Infinite realities: way too much concept!"To be sure, science fiction and comic books have for decades exploited the idea of a multiverse (e.g. our universe -- with an estimated observable width of 92 billion light-years -- is just one of many universes...

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A mental health checkup

An Editorial, The Washington Post
Apr 18 2014 - 11:53am

The country's inadequate mental health system gets the most attention after instances of mass violence of the sort that the nation has seen repeatedly over the past few months. Not all who commit these sorts of atrocities are mentally ill, but many have been. After each, the national discussion quickly, but temporarily, turns toward the mental...

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Putin has no good reason to honor deal on eastern Ukraine

An Editorial, Bloomberg News
Apr 18 2014 - 10:38am

Talks in Geneva on the unrest in eastern Ukraine have concluded with an agreement by the foreign ministers of the European Union, Russia, Ukraine and the United States for all sides to "de-escalate tensions and restore security."Measured by the hour, the talks were a success: They went on much longer than expected. Measured by results? Not so good...

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The audacity of cynicism

John Dickerson, Slate
Apr 17 2014 - 12:35pm

WASHINGTON -- How do I get you to pay attention to this story? I could type out a balanced tale about an incremental change in White House spin and message control, relying on your discernment, patience and kindness toward all the creatures of the Earth. Or, I could say that Barack Obama is a cynical and manipulative liar. The first approach would...

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Fall of the House of Bush?

Cagle Cartoons, Joe Gandelman
Apr 16 2014 - 11:23am

Are hard-line Republican conservatives about to implement their own version of political entitlement reform? Are we now witnessing the beginning of the fall of the House of Bush?If Edgar Allen Poe were alive and writing political analysis, it might make a nice story. Only a few weeks ago reports said influential Republicans were trying to draft...

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