The Fix: Master Archives
Americans now see Russia as the United States' top foreign foe, as its image across the Pacific Ocean hits lows not seen in decades.
But on that second count, Russia is actually in some good company -- with no less than America's top ally: Israel.
A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows 38 percent of Americans now have an unfavorable view of Israel, which in recent days has launched a ground operation in Gaza that has resulted in more casualties than its allies would prefer (witness John Kerry's reaction). The death toll in the current conflict includes more than 500 Palestinians.
Russia Today and Russia's permanent mission to NATO no doubt couldn't believe their luck. As the United States and its allies increased criticism of Russia's links to the separatists that their evidence showed shot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17, here was a still-popular former member of Congress willing to say that his government was moving too fast, engaging in propaganda to impugn Russia.
For every 500,000 residents in Vermont, there are 10 full-time reporters covering the state's statehouse -- the best margin of people-to-reporters of any state in the country, according to a newly released study from the Pew Research Center.
Other small population states -- Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota etc. -- have somewhere between three and five full-time reporters covering their respective statehouses per every 500,000 residents. More worrisome is that many of the country's biggest population states have a minuscule number of people covering what their politicians are doing. In California, there is .6 of a reporter covering the goings-on in Sacramento for every 500,000 people in the state. In Florida, it's .9 of a statehouse reporter per every 500,000 people.
Being president is the most powerful job in the world. At which you will almost certainly fail.
Why? For lots of reasons up to and including:
* The decline of the bully pulpit as a persuasion mechanism
Americans are angry at Congress -- more so than basically ever before. So it's time to throw the bums out, right?
Well, not really. In fact, Americans appear prepared to deal with their historic unhappiness using perhaps the least-productive response: Staying home.
A new study shows that Americans are on-track to set a new low for turnout in a midterm election, and a record number of states could set their own new records for lowest percentage of eligible citizens casting ballots.
In January 2012, Newt Gingrich made headlines by calling President Obama the "food stamp president." By the most obvious metric, the line was accurate: During the first Obama term, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the official name of the food stamp program), climbed dramatically. As we noted at the time, that was mostly because more and more Americans were living in poverty -- thanks to the recession that greeted Obama at his inauguration.
The New Yorker's Evan Osnos has been working on a profile about Vice President Biden for months, and it finally published this week -- with a big focus on the vice president's role in the Ukraine crisis. Osnos conducted many interviews with Biden -- and even talked to President Obama. You should read the whole thing -- especially since the New Yorker archives are now open for browsing this summer -- but here's a look at some of the most interesting tidbits.
No, nothing is going to get done legislatively between now and when Congress heads out on on its August recess in two weeks' time. And no, when members get back for a brief session this fall, they won't be doing much of anything then, either. But there actually is a time when Congress has been getting plenty done: in lame duck sessions conducted after the November election but before the new Congress is sworn in the following January.
California's leading Democrats are remarkable specimens of longevity. The state's two senators are 73 and 81. Gov. Jerry Brown is 76. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, perhaps the best known Democrat in the state, is 74. Between the four of them, they've held their current positions for over eight decades.
But a "political shakeup looms," Politico wrote Monday, with young upstarts looking to replace the state's longstanding party leadership. So what's the story here? Is it that, like the rest of the country, politicians are living longer and staying on the job for more years than previous generations, stimieing younger politicians who want to advance?
There's something of a bombshell headline this morning at Politico: "Dim views of Hillary Clinton’s time at State."
The story, which is based on a new poll conducted by GfK, has quite a different take than previous polling on Clinton's record as secretary of state, which has regularly shown that people view her as a success. In fact, a Washington Post poll just last month showed 59 percent of people approved of her tenure.