opinion

Instead of Oversight, This Congress Believes in Under-Sight
Omarosa saga reminds us that no Trump offense is so big that the GOP can’t ignore it

President Donald Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn after his State of the Union address in January. No offense by the president and his administration is so big that it can’t be ignored by Republicans on the Hill, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In “Dr. Strangelove,” Stanley Kubrick’s scabrously funny 1964 sendup of nuclear war, a fanatical anti-Communist general starts pummeling the Russian ambassador for taking photographs in the inner sanctum of the Pentagon. The hapless president breaks up the scuffle by saying in an outraged tone, “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

If only Kubrick were still around to do justice to Omarosa Manigault Newman taping her own firing by John Kelly in the White House Situation Room. Even the fanatical Gen. Jack D. Ripper couldn’t match the deranged fury of Donald Trump’s Tuesday tweet calling Omarosa “a crazed, crying lowlife” and viciously likening her to a “dog.”

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?

Parsing Ohio’s 12th: Neither Party Should Rush to Conclusions Just Yet
A lot more can still happen three months out from November

If Republican Troy Balderson holds on in Ohio’s 12th District, it would look more like a sequel to the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, perhaps with a happier ending but hardly the stuff of a “red wave,” Winston writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In 1982, as a young opposition researcher at the National Republican Congressional Committee, one of “my candidates” was an equally young John Kasich running in Ohio’s 12th District.

He was the only GOP challenger to win in that first off-year election of the Reagan presidency, and Republicans have held the seat ever since. With my background in the district, I had more than a passing interest in the outcome of Tuesday’s special election there.

Why Democrats Need the ‘Dannycrats’ in Ohio’s 12th and Beyond
They have a chance to be the “adults in the room” who value diverse views

Ohio Democrat Danny O’Connor’s only path to victory in the 12th District is by winning over enough “Dannycrats,” some of whom backed the president in 2016, Murphy writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

OPINION — Do you know what a “Dannycrat” is? Spenser Stafford does. That’s because she’s a registered Republican who is planning to vote for Danny O’Connor, the 31-year old Democrat running in Tuesday’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District. Also, she is engaged to marry O’Connor after the election.

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, are you a Democrat now?’” Stafford told CNN. “And I was like, no, I cannot identify as a Democrat. I’m a Dannycrat!”

Change the Rules Already, So We Can Get Back to the Congressional Chicken Caucus
Problem Solvers’ proposal is the best idea to reform Congress in years

GOP Rep. Tom Reed joined with a Democratic colleague in the Problem Solvers Caucus to introduce a plan to “break the gridlock,” and it’s a pretty great idea, Murphy writes. But since when does problem-solving need its own support group? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It’s not often that I hear about a proposal coming out of Congress and think immediately, “Wow — that’s a great idea.” (No offense, Congress.)

But a recent move from Reps. Tom Reed and Josh Gottheimer was one of those moments. The pair is calling for changes to the House rules to incentivize bipartisanship and consensus-building over the gridlock and tribalism that we’ve all seen growing for the last 15 years or so.

Second Quarter GDP Numbers Show Tax Cuts Deliver
Strong state of economy could help GOP mitigate midterm disadvantage

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and congressional Republicans celebrate the passing of the tax overhaul in December 2017. The anti-tax cut narrative pushed by Democrats is contradicted by the strong economic growth of the last few quarters, Winston writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — No release has been more highly anticipated this summer — with the possible exception of “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” — than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ second quarter GDP numbers.

Washington and Wall Street, with a lot on the line, have been anxiously awaiting the federal government’s quarterly report card on economic growth, billed as the first really big test of President Donald Trump’s economic policies.

Why Party Brand Matters
Both major parties have a product to sell, but neither is doing a good job selling it

People want to vote “for” someone or something, but what they get from the two major parties has more to do with why the other side is so bad, Winston writes. Above, balloons drop at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Why do some companies seem to make Barron’s and Fortune’s annual “Most admired” and “Most respected” lists year after year? Why are most of them iconic brands, whether it’s newer tech giants Apple and Alphabet or generational companies like Johnson & Johnson and Walt Disney?

Successful companies build their brand based on three key fundamentals: innovative products that meet people’s needs, strong values that drive company decision-making, and a responsiveness to changing times and changing customers.

Obama’s Push for More Female Leaders Gets Help From Men Acting Out
“Men have been getting on my nerves lately,” ex-president says

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, shown here with former first lady Michelle Obama when their official portraits were unveiled earlier this year, wants more women to take leadership roles.  (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Former President Barack Obama has not been a headline fixture since he left office. In fact, with a few exceptions, the opposite has been true, maybe because he feels it’s better to keep his political distance in this partisan time or because he’s holding off in order to make a greater impact when he decides to speak up. But last week, Obama did make a bit of news when he encouraged more women to take leadership roles because “men have been getting on my nerves lately.”

Obama certainly could have been talking about certain men who were particularly vexing during his own time in the White House, and have continued to bedevil Democrats (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for starters).

Between Bubbles and Dissonance, Your News Diet Is Brutal
Our brains are wired to beat back dangers — and today, information is the biggest one of all

House Democrats hold a press conference on the president’s performance in Helsinki near a television tuned to CNN. Filter bubbles are a danger of consuming news today, Shearer writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — After President Donald Trump said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, the news media had a united front on reporting the outcome and its meaning — a rare moment in recent times.

From Fox News through CNN, from The Washington Post to The Wall Street Journal, the facts reported were that Trump had made a serious foreign policy blunder by deferring to the Russian autocrat over his own government’s analysis.

No, Dems Aren’t Disarrayed, Riven, Imploding, Eating Their Young or Battling for the Soul of the Party
By the historical standards of Democratic warfare, today’s disputes are like 6-year-olds battling with foam swords

If you believe headlines like “Democrats Brace as Storm Brews Far to Their Left,” young activists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are bringing doom and gloom to the party. But the skies are looking pretty clear from where Walter Shapiro sits. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OPINION — “Democrats in disarray” is one of those alliterative phrases beloved by pundits and political reporters. Database searches can trace it back to the Eisenhower administration, and the expression came into its own during the period when the Vietnam War upended politics.

At the end of the first year of Richard Nixon’s presidency, New York Times columnist James Reston (under a headline that you can easily guess) wrote, “It is not only power that corrupts but sometimes the absence of power, and the Democrats are following the familiar pattern. They are complaining about the failure of Republican leadership and providing very little of their own.”