The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.
Loath as we are to admit it, there was no single Biggest Winner Of 2014, because the award must be handed, collectively, to the Republican Party. A case could be made for Mitch McConnell, since he will win the biggest prize of any Republican next year: control of the United States Senate.
Could a Republican-led Congress vote to end the U.S. embargo? Some Republican leaders were quick to denounce President Obama's announcement that the U.S. was restoring ties with Cuba. But how many divisions do these Cold War dead-enders control?
It's good for the rich, the powerful, and D.C.'s luxury car rental companies. But the Cromnibus is bad for America, and President Obama needs to step up with his veto pen and do the right thing.
How do bad laws get made? Quickly, for the most part. No, that's not a joke. The worst laws nearly all have one thing in common: They are rushed through very quickly, usually because Congress is facing some self-imposed deadline.
Not content with the loosened campaign finance rules made possible by Citizens United, the GOP is attempting to pass a stealth provision that would open the big money floodgates even further.
I can't accept that the major problem with our corporate tax code is that corporations need more help. I can't accept that the owners are taking home more and more while the workers take home less and less, even as they grow ever more productive on the job.
It's that magical time of year when the wee folk of Capitol Hill actually get something done. These brief bursts of activity only happen very rarely, of course, and always immediately proceed another one of the many, many long vacations Congress takes during the year.
Republicans should be more concerned about the failure of GOP leadership to address this issue. Not only did Boehner miss out on an opportunity to mend fences with a growing Hispanic voting bloc, he has now backed himself into a corner with no clear way out.
It's a sign of how far right the Republican Party has moved that John Boehner is the standard bearer for moderate Republicans. But there's a new meaning to the word "moderate" that illuminates the new political reality for the GOP and for the country.
With their longstanding allies now in Senate leadership, big polluters will seek to load up must-pass spending bills with anti-environmental riders and pass stand alone bills to block or overturn hard-fought safeguards.
While Republican leadership wants to depict Democrats and the president as uncompromising ideologues, such assertions from a group that have shown to be uncompromising ideologues falls on deaf ears.
While President Obama should be applauded for reaching past the partisan gridlock in Congress that has made it impossible to improve the lives of millions of families torn apart because of strict immigration laws, his emphasis on families over felons seems outdated and a rhetorical step backward, not forward.
While the Republicans are scrambling to figure out their next steps and keep their forces together, the president and Democrats are taking victory laps with cheering crowds of recent immigrants who are mobilizing to stand up and defend executive action.
This week, President Obama announced the temporary halt of deportations for an estimated 4.4 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. It was a welcome, if belated, move for a president who, as of April, had deported 2 million people. One might think Republicans would welcome a policy that keeps families together and rewards hard work. But the move was met with the obligatory threats of shutdowns and impeachment. "In the days ahead, the people's House will rise to this challenge," thundered John Boehner. But, really, all they have to do is what President Obama suggested: simply "pass a bill." If only Congress were as hardworking as the families whose lives their ugly inaction has put into limbo. Meanwhile, we lost Mike Nichols, a man who embodied the American dream: an immigrant who came here to realize his talents and left America better than he found it. Now there's a challenge to rise to.