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Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.
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John Boehner's Attempt to Fix Things Before He Leaves Congress

September 30, 2015 The most immediate consequence of John Boehner’s decision to resign as House speaker likely will be felt in federal offices throughout the country on Thursday morning: They will open as scheduled. Before announcing his departure, Boehner had been under heavy pressure from conservatives to shut down the government if Democrats...

Will Chicago Outsource Its 311 Operation?

September 29, 2015 There's a reason why 311 call systems have become one of the most popular innovations for cities big and small over the last 15 years: They create a direct link between residents and their local government, allowing people to register complaints without clogging emergency phone lines and providing city officials...

Why the Top Lawyer in Pennsylvania Can't Practice Law

September 23, 2015 What happens when a state’s top lawyer is barred by the state’s top court from actually practicing law? Pennsylvanians will soon find out. The state Supreme Court suspended the law license of Attorney General Kathleen Kane as she awaits trial for criminal charges. She is accused of leaking grand-jury testimony...

Republicans Swear This Shutdown Will Be Different

September 9, 2015 Conservatives in Congress are mounting what will likely be a futile fight to defund Planned Parenthood, even if it means shutting down the entire federal government. Just those first 12 words amount to the journalistic equivalent of “It was a dark and stormy night...” This is a path the Republican...

Kansas Courts Could Shut Down After This Ruling

September 8, 2015 What began as merely a fiscal mess in Kansas has become a full-blown judicial crisis. On Wednesday, a district court ruled against the state, and threw out a 2014 law passed by Republicans that took the power of appointing chief judges away from the Kansas Supreme Court and handed it...

The Story Behind Ben Carson's Surge in the GOP Polls

September 4, 2015 The Ben Carson surge that everyone was waiting for is finally here. The conservative neurosurgeon has been a source of fascination for both the Republican grassroots and the media ever since he critiqued President Obama, who was seated only a few feet away, at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013....

Conservatives Plotting Against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner Could Force a Shutdown

September 2, 2015 It has become an annual harbinger of autumn in this era of divided government: The calendar swings from August to September, Congress returns from its long summer break, and Republican leaders try to figure out how to keep the federal lights on past the end of the month. In 2013,...

The Air Force is Setting Up Tests to Find the Better of Two Fighter Jets

August 31, 2015 If you’re the Pentagon, how do you choose between an aging, but dependable, fighter jet and a brand new aircraft that you’re not quite sure is up to the job? You have them fight it out, naturally. That’s essentially what the Air Force said it would do when it announced...

The Air Force Will Test the F-35 Against the A-10—But Not Until 2018

August 31, 2015 If you’re the Pentagon, how do you choose between an aging, but dependable, fighter jet and a brand new aircraft that you’re not quite sure is up to the job? You have them fight it out, naturally. That’s essentially what the Air Force said it would do when it announced...

Is Fiorina Better Off Being Left Out Of The Next Debate?

August 27, 2015 Carly Fiorina’s strong performance in the B-list Republican debate, and an ensuing bump in the polls, quickly gave rise to a widespread assumption that the GOP’s lone woman candidate had earned her place alongside the top-tier contenders during the next primary debate. That assumption, it turns out, was premature. Fiorina...