Blog Profile / Washington Post: Monkey Cage

Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
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Archived Since:March 19, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Democrats are contesting more state legislative seats than they have in decades.

Everyone’ is talking about whether Democrats can take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and about the record number of candidates running for the 435 House seats up for election this fall. Less noticed is the same phenomenon at the state level. In November, 6,066 state legislative seats are up for grabs, and more candidates […]

Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products won’t work. Here’s why.

Reportedly, the White House will announce new tariffs this week on imports from China. But do trade sanctions actually work? Since January, President Trump has followed up on campaign promises to get tough on China by raising tariffs on a number of Chinese products — including washing machines, solar panels, steel and aluminum. Though not […]

Why did Russia poison one of its ex-spies in Britain?

Two weeks ago, Britain was shocked when a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned with Novichok, an extremely toxic Russian nerve agent, in Salisbury, England. The military-grade type of nerve agent suggests that the Russian government was linked to the poisoning. British Prime Minister Theresa May asserts that the Kremlin is “highly likely” to […]

Is Nancy Pelosi unpopular because she’s a woman — or because she was speaker of the House?

On March 13, Conor Lamb delighted most Democrats with his apparent upset win in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. But one of Lamb’s campaign promises had raised eyebrows: The candidate openly endorsed replacing Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats, perhaps because she has long been unpopular. Show More Summary

How will you know if there’s E. coli in your marijuana? No one’s figured out how to test and regulate it yet.

Most Americans live in states that permit some people to sell, buy and consume cannabis, despite ongoing federal prohibition. Twenty-six states have medical marijuana programs, and nine states explicitly allow recreational cannabis — though cannabis storefronts haven’t opened yet in all of them. And each election cycle, voters expand the number of states that allow […]

In the TV thriller ‘Occupied,’ Russia has Western democracy on the run

“Occupied,” the Netflix thriller about a Russian “soft invasion” of Norway, is back with new episodes. When the first season dropped in October 2015, this near-future tale of a resurgent Russia subverting a rich and stable Western democracy, while a divided European Union and an isolationist United States turn a blind eye, seemed like a […]

Putin won reelection yesterday. Now he’s a ‘lame duck.’ What will that mean?

To nobody’s surprise, Russian President Vladimir Putin won reelection to a fourth term yesterday, by a wide margin. With Putin’s (last?) presidential election in the books, I reached out to my colleagues at PONARS-Eurasia for a quick take on the implications of Sunday’s election in Russia. Here’s what they had to say. Brian Taylor, professor, Maxwell […]

Remember the Cold War? Putin has brought it back.

As Russia headed to the polls Sunday to reelect President Vladimir Putin, there was one policy that they were implicitly reviewing. Many remember Russia’s Cold War strategy of invading, destabilizing and intervening in other countries’ governance. Putin has apparently once again made this his policy. Consider, for instance, that since late 2013, Russian policy toward […]

Sham 69, ‘If The Kids Are United’: The Week In One Song

This week: Students nationwide stage walkouts to protest government inaction in the face of gun violence.  

Should U.N. peacekeepers launch preemptive strikes? The Cruz report seems to think so.

The year 2018 marks the 70th year of U.N. peacekeeping. Against the backdrop of ongoing and intense violence in places such as Syria and Congo, what happens next for this form of conflict intervention? Various proposals are on the table in the lead-up to an overhaul of the United Nations  peace and security architecture by 2020. […]

The ‘campus free speech crisis’ is a myth. Here are the facts.

Universities are supposed to be places where you confront unfamiliar and challenging ideas. According to some critics, however, students today are turning their backs on that concept of welcoming free speech. Instead, the argument goes,...Show More Summary

Most lawyers don’t understand cryptography. So why do they dominate tech policy debates?

On Wednesday, the Trump administration appointed the renowned computer science professor Ed Felten to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). This is the first time that a nonlawyer has been appointed to the board, even though it has oversight responsibilities for a variety of complex technological issues. The bias toward lawyers reflects a […]

How the U.S. can prepare for a major election hack

Before the 2016 election, at least 21 U.S. states’ registration databases or websites were targeted by hackers and seven states were successfully “compromised,” although there’s no evidence that votes were altered. As U.S. intelligence agencies recently made clear, the risk to voting systems continues in 2018. Show More Summary

Yes, the Parkland kids could change U.S. gun policy. Here’s what it would take.

Could the nascent post-Parkland movement against gun violence — led by teenage survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida — change the American relationship with guns? Parkland students have organized a March for Our Lives for March 24 and are hoping 500,000 people will attend. Their hope is that this will […]

The 13th Floor Elevators, ‘Reverberation’: The Week In One Song

The Parkland, Fla., massacre continues to reverberate, as multiple companies cut ties with the National Rifle Association and change their policies on gun sales.

Donald Trump says trade wars are ‘good, and easy to win.’ He’s flat-out wrong

In a tweet Friday, President Trump said that trade wars were “good, and easy to win.” When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country […]

Trump’s election has polarized Americans’ views of the future

It is well known that Democrats and Republicans have different views of the world. From current affairs to specific facts, Americans’ opinions are sharply delineated by their political party. But, since President Trump’s election, Americans also have become more polarized about something different: their views of the future. Over the past three years, I have […]

Trump has announced massive aluminum and steel tariffs. Here are 5 things you need to know.

President Trump has reportedly decided to impose new tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on imports of aluminum. This comes after the Commerce Department conducted two lengthy — but mostly closed-door — investigations under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Under this law, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross […]

This is why Indian immigrants won’t benefit from Trump’s immigration plan

President Trump has been arguing for a new immigration policy, in which highly skilled immigrants are favored over anyone else in line, including family members (which his administration calls “chain migration”). And many Indian immigrants support that approach. In fact, the Republican Hindu Coalition held a recent rally — with about 200 Indian Americans attending […]

What Italy’s economic woes mean for Sunday’s vote

These days, no one is more negative about the European economy than the Italians. In Sunday’s general elections, here’s how Italy’s hard economic times will likely factor. A decade after the start of the euro-zone crisis, Italy’s gross domestic product has yet to return to its 2007 level. Unemployment is around 11 percent, while youth unemployment […]

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