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When Lincoln's State of the Union Leaked

January 20, 2015 In this age of political posturing, the White House tries to scoop itself on the State of the Union message by pre-publicizing it in dribs and drabs. But in Lincoln’s day, leaking this affair of state was treated as a scandal—one that might have meant a world of hurt for...

Analysis: Americans Need to Re-embrace Sacrifice

December 6, 2012 The most impassioned debate in the nation’s capital last summer wasn’t over the role of government or the fragile economy or even the ill-tempered presidential campaign. At issue: Should Stephen Strasburg continue to pitch? The Washington Nationals’ phenom had undergone surgery in 2011, and general manager Mike Rizzo vowed to...

Inauguration will set tone for Bush presidency

January 19, 2001 Rumors swept through the capital that the Democratic nominee, who had been so narrowly and (to his partisans) so unfairly defeated, was coming to Washington to have himself sworn in as President. This would mean a coup d'etat, in effect, or a civil war. Armed troops patrolled the rooftops along...

Next President may not face gridlock

November 14, 2000 It is eerie how evenly divided the electorate was on Nov. 7, and not only in the presidential race. The total votes cast nationally for Democrats and Republicans for the 435 House races were dead even. The same held true for the 34 Senate contests and the 11 races for...

DOT assembles family of crash test dummies

April 11, 2000 The next generation of crash test dummies is coming of age. Within weeks, officials say, the Department of Transportation and the Office of Management and Budget will sign off on a new regime of crash testing that will bring diversity of size to the sacrificial dummies. Until now, all crash...

Republicans seek Social Security statement changes

January 10, 2000 Why not use the federal government to do itself in? The Social Security Administration has begun to send annual statements to all Americans over 25, just before their birthdays, to report on the payroll taxes they've paid and the retirement benefits they can expect. The Heritage Foundation, however, with some...

Government is the enemy no more

October 18, 1999 This wasn't the Gary Bauer of political lore. Maybe it was because he was speaking to a roomful of secular, skeptical journalists at the National Press Club in Washington, as well as a nationwide television audience via C-SPAN. The Republican presidential candidate, the favorite son of many religious conservatives, invoked...

Innovator at Veterans Affairs pays the price

July 20, 1999 Now we know, yet again, the price of innovation. At the Veterans Affairs Department, with its stodgy bureaucratic traditions and hyper-attentive constituencies, the Innovator in Chief has quit. Done in by the political forces he had stirred up, Kenneth W. Kizer, the head of the agency's mammoth medical system, has...

Thinking Small

January 26, 1998 Once upon a time, President Clinton was a man of big policy ideas. In his first address to a joint session of Congress, shortly after taking office five years ago, he "challenged" Americans to join him "on a great national journey." And they did, for a spell. They accompanied him...

Appointments: Plodding Pace

March 31, 1997 It was your basic Washington pseudo-event. On a patch of the Capitol lawn, nine members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus took turns at a movable rostrum and complained to a thin arc of reporters and political supporters on March 20 that the Clinton Administration is dissing Hispanics in filling its...

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