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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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The Pentagon Sent Extra Military Gear to School Districts Too

September 15, 2014 The same Pentagon program that provides surplus military equipment to local police departments has also provided heavy armor and weapons to school districts, and a group of civil rights groups are calling for an end to it. A coalition spearheaded by the NAACP and Texas Appleseed, a social justice organization,...

What the White House Means When It Says 'We're at War' with ISIS

September 12, 2014 The White House finally admitted Friday what was abundantly clear to everyone: The United States is at war again. But in the view of the administration, the "war" against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that President Obama described in his primetime address on Wednesday night is not a...

George W. Bush Never Wanted To Be a 'Wartime President'

September 12, 2014 Former President George W. Bush marked the 13th anniversary of 9/11 by speaking at a luncheon in Cleveland, where he voiced regret that the terrorist attacks turned him into a "wartime president." Appearing at a fundraiser for Cuyahoga County Community College, Bush offered up recollections from that fateful day in...

Boehner Says He'll Give Obama What He Wants on ISIL

September 11, 2014 In an exceedingly rare statement from a top congressional Republican, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that Congress should give President Obama what he wants to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. "Frankly, we ought to give the president what he's been asking for," Boehner told reporters...

House Benghazi Select Committee Finally Gets Around to Holding a Hearing

September 10, 2014 The once-ballyhooed House Select Committee on Benghazi will hold its first public hearing next week, more than four months after it was created. The House voted to create the panel in May, and after party leaders named members to the committee, it promptly disappeared from view. Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)...

John Kerry Stops in Baghdad Ahead of Obama Speech

September 10, 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced stop in Baghdad on Wednesday to meet with Iraq's new prime minister ahead of President Obama's address to the nation on his strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Kerry made the visit to congratulate the recently appointed leader, Haider al-Abadi, on his...

AmeriCorps Is Almost Old Enough to Drink

September 9, 2014 Like many of its volunteers, AmeriCorps is almost 20 years old. Three of the four living ex-presidents will join President Obama – two from afar – in celebrating the national service organization's 20th birthday on Thursday, the White House said. Former President Bill Clinton will speak with Obama on the...

Republicans Mum on ISIL Until They Can Attack Obama's Plan

September 9, 2014 Republican congressional leaders are deflecting the tough questions about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria until they hear President Obama's plan for defeating the terrorist group. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was repeatedly pressed by reporters Tuesday about whether he believes U.S. ground troops are needed in the Middle...

White House Swears Obama's Immigration Delay Is His Last One

September 9, 2014 The White House is really serious this time: President Obama will act to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants before the end of the year. Obama had promised to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer, but on Saturday he announced that he would delay the move...

The Campaign Against ISIL Could Outlast Obama's Presidency

September 8, 2014 The strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that President Obama will outline to the nation on Wednesday will be a campaign that takes years and be passed on to his successor. Multiple reports on Monday morning quoted senior administration officials signaling that Obama's stated plan...