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What Makes Us Politic


Politicians Gonna Politic

Is there something to the idea that a politician who no longer faces re-election is free to pursue new policy solutions without needing to kowtow to special interests?



White Kids Will Be Kids

Even the “good” kids—bound for college, upwardly mobile—sometimes break the law. The difference? They don’t have much to fear. A professor of race and social movements reflects on her teenage years and faces some uncomfortable realities.

What Makes Us Politic


The 2016 Presidential Race Has Already Started

And this is the most exciting part.

The Law Won


America Is Built on Torture, Remember?

The people arguing that torture contradicts our country’s historical virtues are dead wrong.



A Leak at the Federal Reserve

Ben Bernanke ordered an internal review of a previously undisclosed leak that found its way into a newsletter for big investors, revealing confidential bond-buying details.



Right- and Left-Wingers More Physically Active Than Centrists

New research from Europe finds those on the political extremes spend more time exercising than those in the middle.

What Makes Us Politic


How Representative of the U.S. Is the 2015 Senate?

Not very, but more so than it used to be. A story in three charts.

The Law Won


The Experience of Dignity: Community Courts and the Future of the Criminal Justice System

At the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, the idea is deceptively simple: People are more likely to get better if you treat them with fairness and respect.



How the KKK Helped Create the Solid GOP South

Researchers present evidence that the Klan, in the 1960s, effectively moved working-class Southern whites into the Republican column.



Are Employers Required to Accommodate the Health Needs of Pregnant Women?

Here’s some preparatory reading for the latest gender rights fight, Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service.

The Weekly Wonk


This Game Is Rigged

The failure to indict the police officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown has sparked a national conversation about race in America. While it’s necessary to talk about overt and institutionalized racism, it’s also necessary to discuss the subtle and unintentional racism that is present in our country.

What Makes Us Politic


For Most, There’s Never a Right Time to Protest

Every important movement faces significant push-back; that doesn’t mean it won’t succeed.

The Law Won


Secrecy and the Needle: Ohio’s Scary New Lethal-Injection Policy

Instead of fixing a broken system, the state is seeking to shroud it.

The Law Won


The Year of Data-Driven Government Accountability

Voters on just about every continent are rightly demanding that public officials govern with relentless efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and transparency.

True Crime


How to Beat a Polygraph

Visualize cool beers on warm summer nights.

What Makes Us Politic


What an Electoral Game Changer Actually Looks Like

Despite the usual array of punditry, there’s not much President Obama could have done in the weeks leading up to the recent mid-terms to change the outcome.

The Law Won


Why Is National Security Agency Reform Stalling?

Privacy has a branding problem. And until we address that, your personal data is going to be up for grabs.

Quick Studies


Attitudes About Race Affect Actions, Even When They Don’t

Tiny effects of attitudes on individuals’ actions pile up quickly.

What Makes Us Politic


Yes, Republicans Can Still Win the White House

If the economy in 2016 is where it was in 2012 or better, Democrats will likely retain the White House. If not, well….

Quick Studies


Feeling—Not Being—Wealthy Cuts Support for Economic Redistribution

A new study suggests it’s relative wealth that leads people to oppose taxing the rich and giving to the poor.

What Makes Us Politic


Why Do We Elect Corrupt Politicians?

Voters, it seems, are willing to forgive—over and over again—dishonest yet beloved politicians if they think the job is still getting done.

The Rest of the World


They Steal Babies, Don’t They?

Ethiopia, the Hague, and the rise and fall of international adoption. An exclusive investigation of internal U.S. State Department documents describing how humanitarian adoptions metastasized into a mini-industry shot through with fraud, becoming a source of income for unscrupulous orphanages, government officials, and shady operators—and was then reined back in through diplomacy, regulation, and a brand-new federal law.

Quick Studies


Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

True Crime


For Juvenile Records, It’s ‘Justice by Geography’

A new study finds an inconsistent patchwork of policies across states for how juvenile records are sealed and expunged.

Our Machine Overlords


The FBI’s Dangerous Misrepresentation of Encryption Law

The FBI no more deserves a direct line to your data than it deserves to intercept your mail at the post office. But it doesn’t want you to know that.

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Stop Trying to Be the ‘Next Silicon Valley’

American cities often try to mimic their more economically successful counterparts. A new study suggests that it's time to stop.

Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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