Sep 11, 2013

U.S. spends over $16 billion annually on counter-terrorism

Amount the U.S. intelligence community proposed to spend on counter-terrorism in fiscal 2013.

Sep 10, 2013

Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not

The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle […]

Sep 10, 2013

The falling price of a smartphone

Decline in the average selling price of smartphones over past two years.

Sep 6, 2013

In foreign affairs, Americans are less receptive to moral arguments

Americans generally are less willing to support foreign policies on moral or humanitarian grounds than when they are cast as directly benefiting the United States or its allies.

Sep 4, 2013

Most members of Congress have little direct military experience

Veterans make up a smaller share of Congress than at any time in the past five decades.

Sep 3, 2013

Current Congress is not the least productive in recent history, but close

As Congress gets ready to return from its August recess and address the pressing issue of whether to take action in Syria, it does so amid largely unfavorable views from the public. Seven-in-ten Americans have a “very” or “mostly” unfavorable opinion of Congress, according to the Pew Research Center’s most recent survey in July. That matches the […]

Aug 30, 2013

Chart of the Week: The “black budget”

Using documents obtained from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post has published the first-ever detailed look at the U.S. government’s intelligence spending — the “black budget,” so called because, though the overall spending figure has been made public since 2007, the specifics have not. For its combination of newsworthiness, clear and efficient presentation […]

Aug 30, 2013

Black incomes are up, but wealth isn’t

Although household-income growth for African-Americans has outpaced that of whites since the 1960s, those gains haven’t led to any narrowing of the wealth gap between the races.

Aug 28, 2013

King’s “I have a dream” speech, by the numbers

Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech 50 years ago today on Washington D.C.’s National Mall and Memorial Parks has become one of the most famous, and quoted, pieces of oratory in U.S. history (though that wasn’t apparent to everyone at the time). But how well have the aspirations King so memorably expressed been realized? We ran […]

Aug 26, 2013

Can we all get along? For most, the answer is yes

Most blacks, whites and Hispanics say they get along reasonably well with each other — and at modestly higher levels than in the recent past.