“Checks and balances” are misused, paralyze government

The checks and balances in the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions are among the most valued and unique features of American government. But their misuse now causes government gridlock. The Founding Fathers rejected the British system where power was centrally concentrated. The American Constitution created a system in which several bodies have some of the […]

Global economy reduces risk of Russia war

A funny thing happened on the way to war. It didn’t break out. The Russian takeover of Crimea might have led to war in the last century, but it didn’t this time. After Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, many Americans may be just plain tired of going to war. President Obama has laid out his policy […]

GOP moves to cut voter turnout across U.S.

Suppose you are the head of one of the two major American political parties, and elections are giving you a headache. In five of the last six presidential elections, spanning almost a quarter century, the other party has won a nationwide majority of popular votes. If you add up all the votes nationally in elections […]

Signs of Stronger Obama Leadership This Week

When Barack Obama became president, surveys showed most people thought the United States was going in the wrong direction. In his sixth year in office, that opinion is held by even more Americans. Obama was expected to make a difference. At the outset, a strong majority thought the president was doing well. Now only two […]

Young adult voters pose problems for GOP

When political conservatives met last weekend in Washington, a split in their ranks emerged. Younger activists urged the right wing to focus on economic issues and downplay opposition to same sex marriage and marijuana legislation. That divide is concrete evidence of a newly reported break between younger and older adults, not limited to conservatives. The […]

Tax reform dead on arrival, killed by Dems, GOP

Democrats and Republicans have again shown their unusual capacity to get nothing done in Washington. Both parties recognize the federal tax code is a mess, riddled with so many deals for a wide variety of special interests that it is no longer fair in the way it treats most Americans. The last time there was […]

Traditional Republicans Allow Tea Party Takeover

The recent vote on raising the ceiling on the national debt spotlighted the reason why Congress fails to act on virtually anything and manages to achieve record low popularity. The debt limit is really a sham. The debts have already been incurred, and the U.S. must pay their cost. Presumably, blocking an increase means cutting […]

Celebrate George Washington, not a parade of presidents

On Monday, we will celebrate Washington’s Birthday. Not Presidents Day, but Washington’s Birthday. That is the official U.S. government designation of the day, and it ought to be. George Washington may be fading from our national memory. Because we want to remember Abraham Lincoln and other presidents as well, the holiday honoring Washington has morphed […]