March/April 2013

Why Agencies Are Always Missing Their Deadlines

Even the best mainstream news stories on the regulatory process tend to mention the number of deadlines an agency has missed as if that’s an indication of its performance. But that kind of coverage is actually an indication of just how little we know about what’s going on behind the scenes. For one, deadlines are… Read more »

He Who Makes the Rules

Barack Obama’s biggest second-term challenge isn’t guns or immigration. It’s saving his biggest first-term achievements, like the Dodd-Frank law, from being dismembered by lobbyists and conservative jurists in the shadowy, Byzantine “rule-making” process.

The Republican Case for Waste in Health Care

Conservatives love to apply “cost-benefit analysis” to government programs—except in health care. In fact, working with drug companies and warning of “death panels,” they slipped language into Obamacare banning cost-effectiveness research. Here’s how that happened, and why it can’t stand.

Reality-Based Mental Health Reform

Preventing mass killings like the one in Newtown may be impossible. But there’s plenty we can do to reduce violence by the mentally ill in general. And the tools are right there in Obamacare.

McCruzyism … Too big to jail … Wake up, Democrats

Wake up, Democrats It’s time for Democrats to wake up to the need to get out their voters in nonpresidential election years. This is where Republicans have been winning races for state legislature, governor, attorney general, and the U.S. Congress. The state legislatures, with their governors’ consent, determine how redistricting is done for both their… Read more »

Chasing Shiny Objects

In a nonelection year like this one, the narrative arc of American politics is set by the State of the Union address. The president lays out his policy proposals, and for the rest of the year Washington reporters follow the drama of how those proposals are faring in Congress. The story tends to unfold like… Read more »