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Articles written by Lee H Hamilton

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 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

How presidents get their facts

Here’s a basic truth about people who make decisions about public policy: they rarely have all the facts they want. Yet policy has to get made anyway. No one is confronted more often with this conundrum than the President of the... — Updated 1/15/2020

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

We need regular ways to hold presidents accountable

“I ask how and why this decision was reached,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said in the Senate recently. He was calling for an investigation into President Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of Syria. “Are we so weak and so... — Updated 10/30/2019

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Why people prefer democracy

A wave of protests is roiling Moscow. Millions of people, young and old, have been crowding the streets in Hong Kong. If democracy is on the ropes worldwide, as many voices currently insist, you’d have a hard time making the... — Updated 10/2/2019

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Compromise is the essence of our democracy

You may not be ready for next year’s elections, but in political time, they’re coming up fast. Which means that at some point you’re almost certain to hear someone announce, sternly, “I. Will. Not. Compromise.” And if... — Updated 6/12/2019

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

What would make Congress better?

A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a group of students and decided to start with a point-blank question: Is Congress doing a good job? There were perhaps 100 people in the room, and not a single one raised his or her hand. So... — Updated 5/1/2019

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

What does it really mean to be patriotic?

Patriotism has been on a lot of people’s minds lately. French President Emanuel Macron recently criticized President Trump and other world leaders for their “us versus them” view of patriotism. “By putting our own... — Updated 11/28/2018

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Here's why I believe in America

It’s so easy these days to despair about the future of our country. It feels like half the people I run into just want to pull the covers over their heads and ignore the news. There’s dysfunction at the highest levels of... — Updated 9/19/2018

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Forest management reforms needed to stop our forests from going up in smoke

The sight and smell of choking haze and dangerous levels of smoke from burning forests have become all too common during our Pacific Northwest summers. Major fires have struck Central Washington time and again, year after year,... — Updated 8/29/2018

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Washington's latest deal is little cause for celebration

You can understand why President Obama and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle sought to cast their end-of-October budget deal in the best possible light. They avoided a potentially catastrophic national default. They... — Updated 11/18/2015 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

This time was supposed to be different

The most important function Congress serves is to debate and pass the federal budget. I know — it also levies taxes, imposes or relaxes regulations, and once in a while nudges our social, economic or political order in a meaningf... — Updated 8/12/2015 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

We need both insiders and outsiders in Congress

Members of Congress get categorized in all sorts of ways. They’re liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; interested in domestic affairs or specialists in foreign policy. There’s one important category, though, that I... — Updated 7/1/2015 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Why run for office?

I spend a fair amount of time talking to students and other young people about Congress and politics in general, and I’ve noticed something. It used to be that I’d regularly get asked how one runs for office. Nowadays, I... — Updated 6/17/2015 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Now it's time to focus on growing the economy

Recent economic news has been broadly reassuring. Retail sales are strong, November saw the best job gains in three years, the federal deficit is shrinking, the stock market is robust, and the Fed is expressing enough faith in the... — Updated 12/30/2014 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

Look up, Americans, it's not as bad as you think

We are one glum country. Trust in the federal government is at historic lows, according to Gallup. More than half of the respondents to an October Rasmussen poll think our best days are behind us. And just a few weeks ago, an... — Updated 12/17/2014 Full story

 
 By Lee H Hamilton    Opinion

What lies ahead

Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections over the past few weeks, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country. In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser. It’s the... — Updated 12/3/2014 Full story

 

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