The Estranged Legislative and Executive Branches

September 28, 2016
Hugh Heclo’s A Government of Strangers, published 40 years ago, described the very different worlds of high-level federal appointees and the civil-servant worker bees they purportedly manage. Today… Read More

Proposed: A New Congressional Regulatory Office

September 22, 2016
If Congress has often been unwilling to actively control the output of the administrative state, over the years it has also become effectively unable to do so. As the… Read More

Coalition Urges Strengthening Congressional Oversight of Intelligence

September 13, 2016
In anticipating of the new Congress, a coalition of 33 groups is urging Congress to adopt new chamber rules to strengthen its oversight of intelligence agencies and… Read More

The Legislative Branch’s Big Oversight Problem

May 26, 2016
The federal government has seen a century of growth. In 1915, the government had only a handful of departments, 400,000 employees (half of whom worked for the U.S. Postal… Read More

Strengthening Congressional Oversight Through Crowd-Sourcing

May 23, 2016
Congress has a big problem when it comes to oversight. The federal government has grown vastly larger over the past century, but Congress has done little to empower itself… Read More

Don’t like the president’s “power grab” on ISIS? Blame Congress.

October 2, 2014
Pundits on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bomb ISIS targets without seeking congressional approval.  For example, Andrew Sullivan compares Obama’s actions to… Read More

Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part 2)

August 28, 2014
In a recent post, I explored whether it’s possible to quantify Bill’s value to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (see here).  In other words: Do voters reward (and punish) Hillary… Read More

Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part I)

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August 7, 2014
In presidential elections, relationships matter. For example, political scientists know that the relationship between economic conditions, the number of causalities in war, and the incumbent’s party affiliation explain the… Read More

The State of the Union: Putting First Things First

February 13, 2013
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… Read More

Google Politics: “Register to Vote”

September 7, 2012
This from Google Politics today on the Twitters: Here are some additional data from Google Trends for you to chew on.  Thoughts on the relevance or irrelevance of these data are… Read More