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 […]

Living dangerously in a second nuclear age

Many academic conferences and government panels have been convened this year to recall the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.  This was the most dangerous crisis of the Cold War, and it’s surely worth studying for this reason. But the Cuban Missile Crisis gets too much attention. Focusing on any single crisis […]

Boehner’s Doomsday Plan fizzles out, fiscal cliff on course

In a shocking development, John Boehner’s Plan B, or Doomsday Plan, was defeated by his own party on Thursday night, leaving the nation on course to go over the fiscal cliff in about 10 days. Stories were coming out on Friday about a dramatic meeting in the House basement on Thursday night and a Republican […]

How would the Mayans handle the fiscal cliff?

All things Mayan are getting a lot of publicity this week, and one topic we’ve tossed around is how would such an advanced society handle a current problem: the fiscal cliff scenario? In reality, researchers are discovering new clues and facts about the Maya every day, and no one knows for sure how they would […]