October 10, 2013 |
Wilfried Martens, who led nine Belgian governments and the European Union's Christian Democrat group, died Oct. 9 at his home in Lokeren, in the Belgian province of East Flanders. He was 77. The family confirmed the death. Mr. Martens had heart problems. As prime minister, Mr. Martens led governments with socialists, liberal and grand coalitions in the 1980s and early 1990s and proved capable of keeping the volatile factions in the nation together. He also helped found the European People's Party...
October 9, 2013
Dan Balz was exactly right about the roots of the shutdown, as outlined in his Oct. 6 front-page article, " The shrinking middle ground ," about the hyperpolarization of Congress. It has reached such an extent that the extremes have become the standard-bearers for each party; moderates have no example to follow in the middle. The tipping point was gerrymandered districts and closed primaries. Resolving these problems is the only sure way to return to moderation. Our political system segregates the two sides with a barricaded...
October 9, 2013 |
IS THERE a way out of the political standoff that is paralyzing government and endangering the global economy? At the moment, it hardly seems so. But we see a glimmer of hope in suggestions from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The government shutdown is into its second week , and a lot of folks are suffering . If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by next week, the federal government will find itself unable to pay all its bills, with potentially dire consequences. President Obama says he will not negotiate...
October 6, 2013 |
The Supreme Court on Monday resumes its role as the uneasy arbiter of America's intractable social conflicts with a new docket that features battles over affirmative action, campaign finance and abortion, among other divisive issues. No single case may thrust the court into the national spotlight as did its cliffhanger ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's signature health-care law in 2012 or June's victories for advocates of same-sex marriage . But...
October 6, 2013 |
The government "shutdown" can teach us a lot about American politics. Even after it's over, a central question will remain. Why did they do it? Why did congressional Republicans trigger a shutdown for which they would predictably be blamed and from which they could win few Democratic concessions? The conventional answer blames stupidity, craziness and fanaticism. This is too glib and partisan. It misses a deeper cause that, I believe, helps explain why politics has become more dysfunctional.
October 6, 2013
QUOTE OF THE WEEK "We are winning. . . . It doesn't really matter to us [how long the shutdown lasts] because what matters is the end result. " — An anonymous senior Obama administration official , as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. The White House quickly distanced itself from the quote, which Republicans used to cast Democrats as uncaring. BY THE NUMBERS $2.85MNewark Mayor Cory Booker (D) raised $2.85 million for his Senate campaign between late July and late September, a...