Congress recently forbade President Obama from bringing Guantanamo inmates to the United States, or even preparing a place in the U.S. to which the terrorist prisoners might someday be transferred. The specific action Congress took was to renew earlier bans on the president spending any appropriated funds for those purposes.
There have been many articles in the last year with some variation of the headline "GOP Surrenders on Obamacare." The stories mostly concern a tendency among some Republican policy elites to adopt the Washington conventional wisdom that Obamacare cannot be repealed because it has already become deeply entrenched in American life.
If, before the Democratic presidential debate in Iowa Saturday night, a Republican operative had been told that, in the wake of the Paris attacks: 1) Hillary Clinton would refuse to apply the phrase "radical Islam" to ISIS; 2) Bernie Sanders would maintain that climate change is a greater threat to national security than ISIS or Islamic terrorism in general; and 3) Martin O'Malley, with Clinton's agreement, would insist that the U.S. stick to a proposal to admit 65,000 Syria refugees into the country -- he would have been delighted at the prospect of future ads portraying Democrats as in denial about the threat Islamic radicalism poses to the United States.
There's a reason Benghazi Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy offered Hillary Clinton the chance to testify in a private, closed hearing. And there's a reason Clinton chose to appear in an open setting, with the whole world watching.
One odd thing about the Republican presidential race is that the strong front-runner, Donald Trump, isn't fundraising.
Stephen Colbert spent nine years mocking conservatives on a comedy program premised on mocking conservatives. It was a good fit; Colbert's political views lean left, and even after leaving his right-wing loudmouth character behind, he's been happy to dive into the most contentious political issues of the day. (Just watch the video he made in June celebrating the Supreme Court gay marriage decision and deriding its dissenters.)
The Sept. 16 prime-time Republican debate at the Reagan Library went on for three hours.
The case of Kim Davis -- the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses -- has highlighted a deep cultural gap in the Republican Party. And no one has exploited that gap more than Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor running for president.
Yes, Donald Trump deserves credit for putting immigration in the middle of the Republican presidential debate. But at the same time, Trump has focused much of the conversation either on side issues, like birthright citizenship, or on impossibilities, like the mass deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.
ATLANTA -- It's likely the Donald Trump melodrama is the only news you've heard from the RedState Gathering of conservatives in Atlanta. But something unusual happened here, and it had nothing to do with Trump.
Some political insiders have dismissed the upcoming debate for second-tier Republican presidential candidates as the "kids' table" debate.
Some conservatives have seen efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and also from other public places around the South, as the beginning of a slippery slope in which roads and landmarks named after Confederate figures are changed, monuments are removed, and a significant part of American history is obscured from view.
In January 2007, shortly after entering the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton traveled to Iowa, where one of the first questions she faced was about her vote to authorize the war in Iraq.
"As long as you've got enough money for gas, you can stay in the race," says one veteran Iowa Republican operative of the sprawling 2016 presidential field. "It's going to take a long time for this to play out."
It's conventional wisdom that the 2016 Republican presidential race is at such an early stage that the polls don't matter. They're just a measurement of name recognition at this point, some observers say, and the only people really paying attention to the campaign are reporters and hard-core party activists.
There's an emerging conventional wisdom that the 2016 presidential race, once predicted to be mostly about economic issues, will instead be dominated by foreign policy.
Recently, a representative from the Hillary Clinton camp delivered a message to Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor preparing to challenge Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
For many conservatives, the fight against Obamacare has been the defining battle of President Obama's years in the White House.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, believes passionately that the United States needs more skilled foreign workers. He has long advocated increasing the number of so-called H-1B visas, which allow those workers to come to the U.S. for several years and, in many cases, work for lower wages than current employees. Schmidt is frustrated that Congress hasn't done as he and other tech moguls want.
The White House and some Democrats are livid over congressional Republican attempts to circumvent President Obama's authority to make a nuclear arms deal with Iran. They have a right to be angry -- but not to be surprised.