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Ruth Marcus / Politics

The Fallout of Dysfunction

WASHINGTON -- In any complex system, from the human body to the automobile, one malfunctioning part can strain the entire mechanism. The same is true of our out-of-alignment government.

A dysfunctional Congress corrodes the rest of the ...

Two Shades of Loyalty

WASHINGTON -- Loyalty is a quality that requires careful calibration. Too much can be dangerous; too little, demoralizing.

Differing conceptions of loyalty, and differing choices of where to act along the loyalty spectrum, form the thread that ...

The Perils of Legalized Pot

WASHINGTON -- Marijuana legalization may be the same-sex marriage of 2014 -- a trend that reveals itself in the course of the year as obvious and inexorable. At the risk of exposing myself as the fuddy-duddy I seem to have become, I hope not.

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The Insufferable Whistleblower

WASHINGTON -- Time has not deflated Edward Snowden's messianic sense of self-importance. Nor has living in an actual police state given the National Security Agency whistleblower any greater appreciation of the actual freedoms that Americans enjoy...

In a Muddle Over Metadata

WASHINGTON -- In policymaking, as in life, there is an important difference between can and should. Whether a particular practice is constitutional does not make it sound. Whether the government is permitted to do something does not ...