Vol. 43, No. 2

In This Edition

Over the past 30 years, conservatives have successfully branded anyone who supports raising taxes as being a liberal.

Q&A with Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Meredith Freed sits down with the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference to discuss politics, policy and the future of the GOP


At a time when some Republicans are being accused of wanting to dismantle government, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gets behind an ambitious plan to make government in the Hoosier State smaller and smarter.

Making Government Work: Only Five?

To end the widespread decay within the Pentagon, what must first be eliminated are not bad programs, but bad habits

Fiscal Disorder

With the budget process in Washington broken, a national conversation on reforming it is long overdue.

The Promise of Bipartisanship and the Perils of Reconciliation

As President Obama pledges to work with Republicans, Democrats on the Hill consider a tactic that could sharpen the partisan tone.

An Appointment Made by the Public, Not in the Backroom

Americans want their voice to be hear in Congress. Yet four states haven’t elected their newest Senators.

From the Bully Pulpit: Meeting the Nation’s Challenges on Health Care

One of Congress’ leading experts on health care lays out principles for reform in an April 2nd speech before the Ripon Society.

A Holiday to Invest

The government is spending billions to jump start the economy. here is a no cost proposal that could so the same thing.

Congress by the Numbers

The Republican record and how Democrats drove the economy into the tank.

A Scalpel for President Obama

During his campaign for President, Barack Obama promised many things. One of his promises was to govern from the middle. Yet four months into his administration, it has become increasingly clear that he faces two main obstacles in fulfilling this promise and achieving this goal.

Lowi’s Intent and the Origin of Sunset

It received a good bit of attention in the 1970s, due particularly to Common Cause, a prominent reformist group. They improved on it and, innocently, stole the idea from me by giving it a new and more quotable name: “Sunset legislation.”

Ripon Profile of Lisa Murkowski

Youth suicide is a national crisis as well – especially in rural America and among our native populations.

Ripon Profile of Lisa Murkowski

Name: Lisa A. Murkowski

Hometown: Born in Ketchikan, AK; raised in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Southeast, AK; currently residing in Girdwood, AK.

Occupation: United States Senator from the State of Alaska.

Previous Jobs: Anchorage District Court attorney, 1987-89; Attorney, 1989-98; Alaska House of Representatives, 1998-2002; U.S. Senate, 2002-present.

Individual who inspired me as a child: My earliest inspirations were the teachers in my life, starting with my grandmother who was a second grade teacher in Ketchikan. I have strong memories of all the teachers during my elementary school years. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Buness, made a huge impression on me and my love for learning. I didn’t realize it at the time but she was trained in the Montessori method. So we touched, smelled and tasted, engaging not only our minds but all of our senses. It was active and fun learning. Mrs. Buness made education come alive for me. Had I not studied law and served in elected office, I would have followed my dream to teach.

Historical figures I would most like to meet: I’ve always loved stories about female aviators, such as Amelia Earhart and Beryl Markham, the great British female pilot. They were real aviation pioneers and their daring-do has always appealed to me. I would also love to have met the great explorers of the Arctic: Men such as Admiral Richard Byrd and Roald Amundsen as well as countless others who braved the challenges of Arctic exploration. I am fascinated by pioneers of last frontiers, and Alaska has lured many of them.

Issues facing America that no one is talking about: Youth suicide is an area I have focused on as a member of the Senate Health Committee. Alaska’s youth suicide rate is three times higher than the national average. While it’s a very serious problem in my state, it’s not just an Alaskan issue. It’s a national crisis as well – especially in rural America and among our native populations. What’s fueling this crisis? Is it a disintegration of the family, a failure to inspire kids in school, the easy availability of alcohol and drugs? I suspect it’s a combination of many things. I don’t have the answers to this problem; perhaps more mental health professional intervention in our high schools and screening programs are good places to start. I do know that we just can’t leave struggling kids to deal with emotional crises alone.

What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: The Republican Party needs to better reflect the diversity of our nation. We need to improve our outreach to women, Hispanics, African Americans and Native Americans. If people feel that we are the party of only a select constituency, we will remain in the minority. If they recognize that we’re the party that will help their small businesses to succeed, that cares about reducing costs for their family, whether for health care or energy or housing, then I think the GOP can regain the majority.