Michael Barone

Posted April 15, 2014

By any realistic standard the equal pay problem is minor, certainly in comparison to the growth-stifling effects of the current tax code and the unsustainable trajectory of current entitlement programs.

Posted April 11, 2014

Forty years is roughly the length of a working lifetime -- and long enough for history to have taken some unexpected turns. And to have proved that long-term forecasts based on extrapolations of existing trends usually end up wide of the mark.

Posted April 08, 2014

If you've been following events in Ukraine closely, you may have seen maps, available at electoralgeography.com, showing how the ethnic Russian areas voted heavily for one candidate and the ethnic Ukrainian areas for another.

Posted April 04, 2014

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1830, he was struck by how many Americans were participating in voluntary associations. It was quite a contrast with his native France, where power was centralized in Paris and people did not trust each other enough to join in voluntary groups.

Posted April 01, 2014

America's two major political parties are inevitably coalitions, forced by the winner-take-all Electoral College and the need of candidates in single-member congressional districts to amass 50 percent of the vote, or nearly that, to win election.

Posted March 28, 2014

"This is my last election," President Obama said in words caught on an open mic. "After my election, I have more flexibility."

Posted March 25, 2014

Will Hillary Clinton be elected America's next president? The polls suggest she will. Recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics show her winning 67 percent of the vote in Democratic primaries, with no other candidate above 11 percent.

Posted March 21, 2014

America used to be a land with great upward social mobility, but isn't anymore. America never was a land with great upward social mobility. Which do you believe? Keep in mind that your answer will have significant implications for public policy.

Posted March 18, 2014

It is reminiscent of the quandary faced by Gen. Maurice Gamelin on the evening of May 15, 1940. Suddenly he realized that German panzer troops had broken through the supposedly impassable Ardennes.

Posted March 11, 2014

Last month, Barack Obama traveled to snowy St. Paul, Minn., the same place where in the sunnier days of June 2008 he predicted that his clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination would be remembered as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the earth began to heal."

Posted March 07, 2014

Solipsism. It's a fancy word that means that the self is the only existing reality and that the external world, including other people, are representations of one's own self and can have no independent existence.

Posted March 04, 2014

February marked the fifth anniversary of the reemergence of the label "Tea Party" in American politics. It was in February 2009 that Rick Santelli delivered his famous rant on CNBC, and a few days later, a group calling itself the Tea Party Patriots was organized.

Posted February 28, 2014

What motivates people to demonstrate in central squares, day after day and week after week, against repressive regimes at the risk of life and limb? It's a question raised most recently by events in Ukraine and Venezuela.

Posted February 25, 2014

Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill famously said that all politics is local. And it mostly was, in his time: He was first elected to the Massachusetts legislature's lower house in 1936 and became its speaker in 1949, and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1952 and became its speaker in 1977.

Posted February 21, 2014

It is 611 miles from the United Auto Workers headquarters in Detroit to Volkswagen's assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. It's a long day's drive, about 10 hours almost entirely on Interstate 75, but it turned out to be too far for the UAW.

Posted February 18, 2014

The roots of American liberalism are not compassion, but snobbery. That's the thesis of Fred Siegel's revealing new book, "The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class."

Posted February 14, 2014

Disparate impact. That's a phrase you don't hear much in everyday conversation. But it's the shorthand description of a legal doctrine with important effects on everyday American life -- and more if Barack Obama and his political allies get their way.

Posted February 11, 2014

Is Barack Obama trying to shift alliances in the Middle East away from traditional allies and toward Iran? Robert Kaplan, author and geopolitical analyst for the Stratford consulting firm, thinks so.

Posted February 07, 2014

America succeeds because Americans fail and forgive. That's the intriguing message -- or part of it -- of Megan McArdle's new book "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success."

Posted February 04, 2014

Henry Waxman and George Miller are retiring from the House and not running for re-election after 40 years as congressmen from southern and northern California.