Political Reform

Kelly: DeMint's Departure Is Just the Beginning

  • By
  • Lorelei Kelly,
  • New America Foundation
December 18, 2012 |

Late last week, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., announced he was leaving the Senate to become president of The Heritage Foundation, the country’s most influential conservative think tank. From his new office perch just five minutes from the Senate floor, DeMint, a tea party gladiator, will enjoy unrestricted power to pursue America’s ideological renewal at six times his Senate salary. Members of Congress cashing in on their experience is nothing new. But it would be wrong and simplistic to assume DeMint is trading his institutional power as a senator for money and ideological purity.

Kludgeocracy: The American Way of Policy

  • By Steven M. Teles, Johns Hopkins University
December 10, 2012

The last thirty years of American history have witnessed, at least rhetorically, a battle over the size of government. Yet that is not what the history books will say the next thirty years of American politics were about. With the frontiers of the state roughly fixed, the issues that will dominate American politics going forward will concern the complexity of government, rather than its sheer size.

The Sidebar: Snap Judgment

December 7, 2012
Louie Palu gives a photojournalist's perspective on the controversial NY Post cover photo and Lorelei Kelly explains how budget cuts in the 90s gave us the partisan Congress we have now. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Why Congress Can't Deliberate

  • By
  • Lorelei Kelly,
  • New America Foundation
December 4, 2012 |

The new Congress next year will likely inherit high-stakes standoffs over many complicated issues, from financial credibility to immigration. Our elected leaders must be able to make difficult trade-offs and craft policies that reflect the best expert knowledge.

In its current dysfunctional state, however, Congress cannot have nuanced deliberations or make knowledgeable judgments. One big reason is that it no longer has the capacity to produce unbiased public-interest information.

Imagine a Congress That Can Do Great Things

  • By
  • Tamar Jacoby,
  • New America Foundation
March 14, 2012 |

With just months to go before the presidential campaign ends all meaningful activity on Capitol Hill, members of Congress are struggling to move a few must-pass pieces of legislation. One of the most pressing is the highway bill, which Congress is considering this week. Not only does all federal funding for transportation depend on passing a bill by March 31; the highway trust fund itself is scheduled to go broke in 2013 and the deal in the making pays for only two years.

This is essential national maintenance. Yet Congress is - you guessed it - gridlocked.

GOP Hypocrisy on Religion: Quran Burning vs. Contraception

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
February 27, 2012 |

There’s a lot to admire about conservatives. By conservatives, I mean people who believe that when you cast aside the inherited wisdom of past generations in a bid to make society dramatically better, you usually make it worse. The problem with many in today’s Republican Party isn’t that they share this skepticism about change. It’s that they apply it selectively. When conservative principles restrain their country, their religion, their class, today’s conservative leaders cast them aside.

Programs:

The Progressive Case for Corporate Tax Reform

  • By Bruce Stokes, Senior Transatlantic Fellow for Economics, German Marshall Fund
January 26, 2012

In his January 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for cutting taxes for companies that produce in the United States, especially high-tech manufacturers. He proposed eliminating deductions for firms that move jobs abroad. And he suggested a minimum tax on all multinational corporations.

Hear Us Now?

  • By April Manatt, with Stephen G. Blake, Joe Mathews and Troy K. Schneider
October 20, 2011

Hidden in all the bad news about California’s troubles is this delightful paradox: Californians, while living in a state that experts say is ungovernable, have within their reach new tools that give them greater power to govern themselves than ever before.

5 Reasons Why Now Is the Perfect Time for Initiative Reform

September 19, 2011

(originally published at Fox & Hounds Daily)
Do you have ideas to offer on initiative reform? Great. Now should be your moment.

What's Next California, the Documentary

September 9, 2011

What's Next California, a documentary report produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and hosted by Judy Woodruff, will air on PBS SoCal tonight at 8:30 pm and again at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 13th.

The program offers a glimpse into the deliberations of the 412 Californians who attended and participated in the Deliberative Poll in Torrance over the weekend of June 24-26, 2011.

For additional broadcast dates and times near you, click here:

http://action.nextca.org/schedule

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