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Matthew Cooper

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Analysis: How Chuck Schumer saved Chuck Hagel

January 15, 2013 It shouldn’t have been a shock that Sen. Chuck Schumer announced he’s backing Chuck Hagel. In the tale of two Chucks, a Schumer “nay” would have been devastating—a signal to Democrats and Republicans alike that the Nebraskan was no friend of Israel. That would have made it very uncomfortable for...

Zero Dark Thirty is about more than torture

January 9, 2013 Zero Dark Thirty came to Washington on Tuesday night with the kind of premiere Washington loves—canapes at the Newseum and a soupcan of controversy. Outside the screening, protesters donned hoods and orange jump suits. Inside you could see Andrea Mitchell and Mark Warner. Folks buzzed about the torture sequences. After...

The 6 Habits of Highly Effective Chiefs of Staff

January 9, 2013 There’s a scene in The West Wing where the president is off to give the State of the Union and the designated survivor — the cabinet member who would be president should the Capitol be destroyed — comes to visit. President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) asks him: "You got a...

What history says about Chuck Hagel's Senate chances

January 7, 2013 It’s almost irresistible to compare Chuck Hagel’s controversial nomination and the failed bid of John Tower in 1989. The differences and similarities between the two defense secretary wannabes offer some insight into how much Hagel might be bloodied and how Washington has changed in the intervening years. Like Hagel, Tower...

Analysis: What Mark Kirk Can Teach a Hypocrite Congress

January 3, 2013 Everyone on Capitol Hill is delighted to see Sen. Mark Kirk return to work today, almost a year after his stroke. Kirk was vigorous and only in his early 50s when he was felled last year, and the illness hit everyone hard. For Kirk, it sparked some new thinking about...

Defense secretary possibility made name opposing global warming accord

December 20, 2012 When Chuck Hagel's name first came up to be Defense secretary the reaction was positive -- a Douglas Dillon/Robert Gates-style GOP appointment for a Democratic president that was bipartisan and helped Democrats buttress an area where they'd been perceived as being week. In the last few days, attention on Hagel's...

Poll shows ambivalence on fiscal cliff, support for Rice

December 4, 2012 As the White House and congressional Republicans try to keep the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff, a new survey finds that the public is amenable to raising taxes on wealthier Americans and as averse as ever to cutting entitlement programs. The results are found in the latest...

The new Congress: Nine things to know

November 6, 2012 For all that talk of voter anger, things look pretty much the same as they did 24 hours ago. Congress is still the same bundle of dysfunction and dyspepsia that it was on Tuesday. The turnover of what looks to be a miniscule number of Senate and House seats—mere puddles...

Postal Service defaults on payment to Treasury

October 1, 2012 To no one's surprise the U.S. Postal Service failed to make a $5.6 billion payment to the Treasury on Sunday. Congress has punted on the question of a solution until after the election. Expect Congress to fight Postal Service efforts to put ending Saturday delivery on the table as well...

Meteorologists ask lawmakers for a weather commission

September 28, 2012 A coalition of meteorologists is asking Congress to create a weather commission to examine how best to improve forecasting and help the country deal with billions of dollars of weather-related damages each year. The University Center for Atmospheric Research "would advise federal policymakers on setting priorities for improving forecasts and...

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