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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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House Republicans Won't Vote on an ISIL Resolution Unless Obama Asks For It

September 5, 2014 The House will only vote on a formal resolution authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State if President Obama makes a direct request for congressional action. That's the message the new majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has been delivering privately to lawmakers in recent days, according...

Kevin McCarthy Doesn't Want the Government's Marshmallow Roasting Advice

September 4, 2014 The new House majority leader is picking a fight with the Obama administration over marshmallows. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was installed as Eric Cantor's replacement a month ago, took the U.S. Forest Service to task on Thursday for devoting a 700-word blog post to the timeless tradition of marshmallow...

U.S., Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Team Up to Thwart Boko Haram

September 4, 2014 The U.S. is planning a "major" new security program to help Nigeria battle Boko Haram terrorists, a senior State Department official said in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Thursday. "Despite our collective efforts, the situation on the ground is worsening," the assistant secretary of state for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield,...

What Grover Norquist Learned at Burning Man

September 3, 2014 Grover Norquist has survived his first Burning Man, and he had a ball. The conservative activist known for his crusade against higher taxes trekked out to the weeklong party in the Nevada desert, taking the metaphor of the "fish out of water" almost too literally. Norquist came away impressed with...

Even Supreme Court Justices Cite 'Internet Facts' (Just Like the Rest of Us)

September 3, 2014 Supreme Court justices could stand to do a better job checking their facts, and like most of society's ills these days, it's the Internet's fault. Now, it's not as if the justices are scouring Wikipedia late at night to find citations for their opinions. But according to a new study...

U.S. Won't Raise Terror Threat Level Even Though U.K.'s Is 'Severe'

August 29, 2014 The U.S. is not following the United Kingdom in raising its terror threat level in response the Islamic State and the defection of citizens from both countries to fight with the terror group, Obama administration officials said Friday. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced earlier in the day that Britain's...

Coast Guard Narrowly Avoids Sparking World War III

August 27, 2014 The U.S. Coast Guard fired at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, nearly adding to a long list of global headaches for President Obama. Fortunately, the incident ended quickly with nobody hurt, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, according to a CNN report. The Iranian boat had...

John Boehner's Greatest Acts as a Wind-Up Monkey

August 26, 2014 John Boehner made a startling revelation Tuesday in a new video released by his office: The Speaker of the House is little more than a wind-up monkey operated by his staff. The video, titled "Monkey in the Room," opens with a shot of Boehner sitting in a comfy leather chair...

Paul Ryan Says His Big Ideas Will Have to Wait

August 25, 2014 Rep. Paul Ryan may want the Republican Party to make a more assertive case for its conservative proposals, but don't expect a major legislative push to enact his ambitious agenda even if the GOP wins the Senate this fall. In an interview with The Wire, the GOP's vice presidential nominee...

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Beg Each Other to Run for President

August 22, 2014 You run. No, you run. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan sat down for their first joint interview since losing the 2012 presidential race on Thursday night, and after the customary round of bashing President Obama, Megyn Kelly of Fox News got down to the key question of the moment:...