Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts Threatens Democracy

Despite the abysmal popularity of Congress, only eight members lost re-election in 2016. More than nine out of 10 races were not the least bit competitive. The incumbents won overwhelmingly, with margins you would expect in North Korea, Russia or Zimbabwe. Lack of competition has a "seriously corrosive effect on the integrity of democracy...We must … Continue reading Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts Threatens Democracy

Trump Week 1: Disastrous

Trump from Day 1 sewed needless division and controversy. On Day 7, he signed an executive order essentially banning Muslims from seven countries. Initial reports suggest this move is disastrous. The only good sign is that numerous Republican senators say this ban was poorly thought out and completely ineffectual. It hurts refugees, friends and allies. … Continue reading Trump Week 1: Disastrous

Breaking Gridlock: Bipartisan Achievements in Obama’s Last 2 Years Are Few, But Do Exist

Despite its reputation for hyper-partisan dysfunction, polarization and gridlock, the 114th Congress did accomplish some significant things -- the most important being  $1.75 billion for medical research into curing diseases, and speeding the drug and device approval process. WPost: Republicans boasted of their achievements over the past two years. Ryan reeled off a list including … Continue reading Breaking Gridlock: Bipartisan Achievements in Obama’s Last 2 Years Are Few, But Do Exist

In Trump Era, Filibuster Could Come in Handy for Democrats

The presidency of Donald Trump in its first two years may have a Republican majority in Congress, but in no way does he have a mandate, and by no means will he have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes in the Senate, as Barack Obama did for part of his first two years. Democrats may … Continue reading In Trump Era, Filibuster Could Come in Handy for Democrats

Independent-minded Republicans Provide Hope for Bipartisan Oversight, Common Ground

One hope, however slim, in 2017-18 lies in independent-minded Republican senators who could ask tough questions and not rubber-stamp Donald Trump's nominees or agenda, who take seriously the role of Congress to provide checks and balances on the executive branch as prescribed in the Constitution. I think of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of … Continue reading Independent-minded Republicans Provide Hope for Bipartisan Oversight, Common Ground

End to Congressional Gridlock, Opportunities And Dangers for Republicans Ahead

The 115th Congress (2017-2018) provides opportunities to end gridlock and pass legislation on infrastructure investments, health care reform, financial regulation and deregulation, and possibly immigration. Congress also has opportunities to reassert bipartisan oversight into investigations, and to take back some authority it has given away to the executive branch. There was widespread frustration, on both the left … Continue reading End to Congressional Gridlock, Opportunities And Dangers for Republicans Ahead

Divided Government No More

Republicans 2017-2019 will control all three branches of government and have total responsibility for what happens. George Will: "Americans perennially complain about Washington gridlock, but for seven decades they have regularly produced gridlock’s prerequisite: divided government. From 1944 through 2016, 22 of 37 elections gave at least one house of Congress to the party not … Continue reading Divided Government No More