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Politics

Green Shoots of Bipartisanship

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Could this city actually be working? The past week has witnessed several developments -- on the Iran nuclear agreement, Medicare reimbursement rates, and fast-track trade authority -- that offer grounds, if not for irrational exuberance, then for tempered optimism.

Emphasis on tempered. Legislative gridlock has not magically ...Read more

Hillary's Vapid Launch

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The more I watch Hillary Clinton's announcement video, the less I like it. This may be putting it mildly.

I understand what Clinton & Co. were trying to do: Make the moment less about Hillary, more about the voters. Downplay the sense of Clinton as inevitable juggernaut and entitled successor to the dynastic throne.

Clinton'...Read more

Extending Rights to Transgender People

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The White House now offers a gender-neutral restroom, for use by men, women and anyone whose gender is less than certain. If this news tempts you to giggle -- please refrain.

Certainly, the bathroom wars are a bizarrely outsized aspect of a serious subject, which is ensuring full rights for transgender Americans. Bring up the ...Read more

Make a Deal with Iran -- and Congress

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- If President Obama had his way, Congress would simply keep its pesky nose out of the Iran nuclear deal. Given his critics' behavior, it's easy to understand such presidential bristling. Still, the better course -- and, more to the point, the unavoidable course, given Republican majorities in both houses -- would be for the Obama ...Read more

Indiana's Odious Law

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- There are three essential questions to ask elected officials -- and those running for office -- in the usefully messy aftermath of the fight over Indiana's ill-intentioned law to protect religious freedom.

Before I get to the questions, let me expand on that description:

The fight over Indiana's especially odious version of the ...Read more

Sharp Elbows Jab Both Ways

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- If you looked in my Washington Post personnel file, you would find an ancient evaluation that describes me as having "sharp elbows." More precisely, being perceived as having "sharp elbows."

At the time, I thought this assessment was unfair. In retrospect, it was probably more accurate than I realized. Either way, it prompted me ...Read more

A Checkup for Obamacare

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

"In a few moments, when I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."

--President Obama, March 23, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Not exactly. Five years after the Affordable Care Act became law, the reality of reform remains hotly contested.

When it comes to the wisdom of the law, that'...Read more

Senators, Do Your Job

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Let's get a few things straight about the delay in confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general. It's outrageous. It also has nothing to do with her race or gender.

Contriving prejudice where none exists demeans the importance of fighting discrimination. And it demeans those who drop such ugly hints.

To wit, Illinois Democratic ...Read more

Can Anybody Around Here Pass a Law?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- As if more proof were needed about congressional dysfunction, witness the spectacle of the last two weeks, in which the Senate managed to grind itself to a halt over a human trafficking bill that both sides want to pass.

The bill would create a fund to recompense trafficking victims, paid for by fines on offenders. The snag, as ...Read more

Seeking the Seal of Academic Approval

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- College acceptance letters go out -- actually, college admissions web portals go live -- in a few weeks. This column was originally intended to help calm anxious high school seniors, and their anxious parents, about the whole crazy-making process.

Then, in the course of a single day this past week, one friend emailed to fret about...Read more

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