Why Americans will really, really hate Congress in 2013

The incoming 113th Congress is likely to face the wrath of an irate electorate in a few days, as the current Congress apparently has dropped the ball on New Year’s Eve fiscal cliff negotiations. There still might be a smaller budget deal on Monday, as reports from Washington indicate Democrats have eased up on tax […]

Is Andrew Johnson the worst president in American history?

This weekend marked the birthday of perhaps the most-maligned president in American history. But was Andrew Johnson really that bad, or just the target of some second-guessing historians? Johnson was born in 1808 in North Carolina. He served in the Senate and the House and as governor, and then military governor, of Tennessee. It was […]

Is bipartisanship anything more than a buzzword?

What do Starbucks, Seinfeld, and Congress have in common? They all know that compromise and bipartisanship are the way forward. With the fiscal cliff looming, it will take a true spirit of bipartisanship to keep the economy from faltering. But with a divided Congress and White House still seemingly at odds, is all this talk […]

Five biggest political stories of early 2013

As a big year in Washington winds down, five major stories are looming over a divided Congress as the New Year starts. The political world in 2012 was dominated by two stories: the battle over health care and the general election in November. After the smoke cleared, the Democrats and President Barack Obama came out […]

10 facts about 10 new members of Congress

Which new member of the House is a former reindeer farmer? Who is the biggest new tea party name in the Senate? Here’s a look at 10 new members of Congress with unique backgrounds. The 113th Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2013, and it’s a diverse bunch. There will be 90 new members […]

Will Congress have a New Year’s Eve cliff countdown?

The official countdown clock for the fiscal cliff starts on Thursday, and a big question will be if Congress will be in session next Monday night. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are set to resume work on fiscal cliff talks on Thursday, assuming the president’s return from Hawaii isn’t delayed by bad weather. That […]

Newspaper’s freedom of information use questioned

The decision of a New York newspaper to publish the names of handgun owners has sparked a new debate about the Freedom of Information Act and how it relates to two constitutional amendments. The First Amendment allows the media to publish information of public interest, and the Second Amendment, as interpreted under a Supreme Court […]

The Constitution in 2013: Gains or losses on rights?

The Supreme Court–the place in America where the Constitution most often gets new meaning–moves into 2013 after a momentous year of re-examining the core constitutional structure of the U.S. government. As the New Year unfolds, the court switches its center of attention from constitutional architecture to constitutional rights. Many other public actors, of course, contribute […]

Washington’s Christmas crossing as a special ops mission

On a blustery Christmas Day in late 1776, George Washington led a daring attack in what we would call today a “special ops” mission to attack pro-British forces in Trenton. At midday, historical re-enactors will celebrate the event by crossing the Delaware River in front of several thousand people, in a relatively safe event. The […]

Five things to fear most about the fiscal cliff

If politicians can’t agree on a fix to the current fiscal cliff situation in Washington, you’ll likely be missing a few thousand dollars from your paycheck next year. Here’s a quick guide to five fiscal-cliff outcomes that could directly affect you. The fiscal cliff is the expiration of tax cuts made since Bill Clinton’s presidency […]