Category Archives: Separation of Powers

The State of the Union: Putting First Things First

State of the Unions.  What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing. Ok “absolutely nothing” is an oversimplification.  But as best political scientists are able to discern, presidential speeches in general—like last night’s State of the Union—have little independent effect on … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas, Political Behavior, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment

Reforming Polarization and Gridlock: Series on Congressional Reform

For someone who studies congressional development, the past couple years have been frustrating. Many people with noble intentions proposed reforms to remedy our dysfunctional Congress. However, these discussions have almost universally missed the causes of gridlock and polarization. They offer remedies … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Polarization, Political Institutions, Senate, Separation of Powers | 1 Comment

The Debt Ceiling and the Decline of American Democracy

Jacob Hacker and Oona Hathaway, both professors at Yale University, have a very good op-ed in today’s New York Times. I definitely recommend it. To sum up their argument, the U.S. has a democracy problem. The U.S. Government is unable … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Elections, Electoral Institutions, Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Theory, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 2 Comments

Are Better Legislation and Lower Federal Spending on the Horizon?

One of my favorite places to take in varying perspectives of current political events and issues is Politico’s “The Arena.” In this forum, Politico poses a question to a panel of respected political observers—ranging from political scientists, historians and journalists to … Continue reading

Posted in Bicameralism, Legislative Politics, Separation of Powers | Leave a comment

Yucca Mountain

When teaching American politics to undergraduates, I always seem to find a handful of examples or issues that transcend each lecture.  The politics surrounding Yucca Mountain is my next universal (tired?) example.  Articles in CQ and the NYT about the … Continue reading

Posted in Bicameralism, Separation of Powers | Leave a comment