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Patriotism, Optimism and Good-Natured Debate

From the Right / Michael Barone /

The Fourth of July is a time to remember Americans who have contributed much to their country, and this Fourth weekend is a good time to remember two such Americans who died in recent weeks -- and whom I'd had the good fortune to know and joust with intellectually since the 1970s -- Allen Weinstein and Ben Wattenberg.

Both were sons of Jewish ...Read more

Supreme Court Lets Obama Administration Say Words Don't Mean What They Say

From the Right / Michael Barone /

For most people, words mean what they say. But not necessarily for a majority of Supreme Court justices in two important decisions handed down Thursday.

In the most prominent, King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a 6-3 majority, ruled that the words "established by the state" mean "established by the state or the federal ...Read more

Facing a Changing World Balance, Obama Makes Odd Choices

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Is the world back to where it was around the year 1800? One could come to that conclusion after reading British historian John Darwin's recent book "After Tamerlane," which assesses the rises and falls of empires after the death in 1405 of the famously bloodthirsty Muslim Mongol monarch.

From his Central Asian base, Tamerlane conquered Persia ...Read more

Clinton's Weakness in Important States

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Hillary Clinton has relaunched her campaign on Roosevelt Island with a 4,687-word speech. But it's not clear whether she and her husband, Bill Clinton, can win four presidential elections as Franklin D. Roosevelt did.

Negative news for Clinton's prospects comes in the latest Quinnipiac polls in the key mega-states of Florida, Ohio and ...Read more

Foreign Policy Downplayed in Jeb and Hillary Announcement Speeches

From the Right / Michael Barone /

American presidents have greater leeway on foreign policy than on domestic issues. Just see how President Obama is forging ahead to an agreement with Iran opposed by large majorities in Congress and among voters.

A president's personal predilections and core assumptions can have much more of an effect on his foreign policy than on domestic ...Read more

Obama Fails to Pass Trade Bill Backed By Majorities in Both Houses

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Lyndon Johnson used to say that some of his colleagues were so politically inept they couldn't find their posteriors -- actually, he used a coarser word -- with both hands. Last week Barack Obama showed that, as a legislative strategist, he belongs in that category.

It's a given that he can't achieve most of his legislative goals with ...Read more

In Turkey and Mexico, Voters try to Strengthen Electoral Democracy

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Another election, another surprise. Actually, two elections, in two countries last weekend, with surprisingly pleasant surprises. And in two very large countries: Turkey (population 82 million) and Mexico (119 million), both very important to the United States.

In the runup to the Turkish election, speculation in English-speaking publications ...Read more

Hillary Clinton's Slide in Polls Leaves Her Vulnerable

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Despite everything," the often interesting analyst Jamelle Bouie writes in Slate -- "everything" includes "the email controversy, foreign donors and the Clinton Foundation" -- "Hillary is in good shape." Good enough to leave her party "still positioned for victory."

Bouie is writing in response to the ABC News/Washington Post and CNN/ORC polls...Read more

Will Ferguson and Baltimore lead To Another High-Crime Era?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Are we seeing a reversal of the 20-year decline in violent crime in America? A new nationwide crime wave?

Heather Mac Donald fears we are, and as a premier advocate and analyst of the policing strategy pioneered by Rudy Giuliani in New York City and copied and adapted throughout the country, she is to be taken seriously. And the statistics she ...Read more

Is it Time for Civil Disobedience of Kludgeocratic Bureaucracy?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Is there any way to reverse the trend to ever more intrusive, bossy government? Things have gotten to such a pass, argues Charles Murray, that only civil disobedience might -- might -- work. But the chances are good enough, he says, that he's written a book about it: "By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission."

Murray has a track ...Read more

Colleges and Universities Have Grown Bloated and Dysfunctional

From the Right / Michael Barone /

American colleges and universities, long thought to be the glory of the nation, are in more than a little trouble. I've written before of their shameful practices -- the racial quotas and preferences at selective schools (Harvard is being sued by Asian-American organizations), the kangaroo courts that try students accused of rape and sexual ...Read more

How the World Has Changed Since World War I

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Over the past year, I've been reading books inspired by the centenary of World War I, a war with horrific casualties painful to contemplate. What helps in comprehending the scale of the slaughter is a book by one of Bill Gates' favorite authors, the Canadian academic Vaclav Smil, "Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-...Read more

Can Hillary Clinton Reverse the Six-Year Decline in Democratic Turnout?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992 by running as a different kind of Democrat from previous nominees. Hillary Clinton, Anne Gearan of The Washington Post reports, is hoping to win the presidency in 2016 by running as the same kind of Democrat as the current incumbent.

There's a certain logic in that. President Obama did win twice, while ...Read more

The Two-Point-Something Campaign

From the Right / Michael Barone /

This spring it seems as if there have been two-point-something Republican presidential candidacy announcements per week. And, since she made her own announcement April 12, Hillary Clinton has answered an average of about two-point-something questions from the press each week.

Those (imprecise) statistics illustrate the asymmetrical nature of ...Read more

British Pollsters Failed in the Increasingly Difficult Struggle to Get it Right

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"The world may have a polling problem." That's the headline on a blogpost by Nate Silver, the wunderkind founder of FiveThirthyEight. It was posted on 9:54 ET the night of May 7, as the counting in the British election was continuing in the small hours of May 8 UK Time.

That was an hour after the result in the constituency of Nuneaton made it...Read more

Big Surprise in Britain: Conservatives Beat Labour --- and the Polls

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Big surprises in Thursday's British election. For weeks, the pre-election polls showed a statistical tie in popular votes between Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party and the Labour opposition led by Ed Miliband. It was universally agreed that neither party could reach a 326-vote majority in the House of Commons. A prominent British...Read more

Why Americans Oppose Economic Redistribution Despite Income Inequality

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Skeptics about democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries argued that the enfranchised masses would use their votes to seize the property of the relatively few rich. What could be more natural?

But it hasn't happened, in this country or abroad, to anything like the extent that those would-be Cassandras feared. Nonetheless, we continue to hear ...Read more

Clinton Defenders Advance an Unpersuasive Argument

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Some of Hillary Clinton's defenders have taken to saying that voters shouldn't pay attention to the latest Clinton scandals -- the gushing of often undisclosed millions to the Clintons and their organizations by characters seeking official favors -- because the charges are just one more in a long series: Whitewater, the Rose law firm billing ...Read more

America's Politics Is Polarized, But Britain's Is Fragmented

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Next week, Britain votes in its first general election in five years. Some aspects of its politics will be familiar to Americans. Polls show voters are dissatisfied with politicians of both parties, cynical about whether they will keep their promises and closely divided between two major parties, which have been in existence for more than 100 ...Read more

Bipartisanship Is Busting Out All Over

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Like spring, bipartisanship is busting out all over. Even more so maybe: Washington in a time of alleged global warming is suffering through a chilly, wet springtime, but bipartisanship is sprouting up like gangbusters.

Exhibit A is the Corker-Cardin legislation, passed unanimously in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, providing for ...Read more

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