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Opinion: Of Shakespearean Lessons and Art That Makes Us Think
The president doth tweet too much, methinks

The artistic licenses taken by The Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” would be appreciated by the bard himself, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Public Theater)

When Barack Obama burst onto the national stage and consciousness with his eloquent speech of unity at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, listeners delighted at its deliberate thoughtfulness — the flip side of the George W. Bush “everyman” style. (And yes, that the polished orator was the child raised without a father and the other had a lineage of political privilege was part of the irony and appeal of the shiny, new package.)

President Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, was, as everyone knows, the opposite of all that — a man of immediate reaction and few, sometimes incoherent and contradictory words, often strung together in 140 characters or less. Those who favored this new style eventually read the former’s quality of reflection as indecision, and compared President Obama, often unfavorably, to “Hamlet.”

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Survey: Optimism Grows Among Democratic Staffers
Aides are more confident minority party can block GOP agenda

The top three Democrats in the Senate, from left, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray leave a policy luncheon in the Capitol on April 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican congressional staffers remain hopeful that they’ll enact significant legislation in 2017, but their Democratic counterparts are gaining confidence that they can block the GOP agenda, according to the June Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill aides.

Two-thirds of the Republican respondents expected it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll enact legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But only one in five of the Democrats said the same.

Opinion: Jon Ossoff and the New Breed of Yellow Dog Democrats
How politics in a onetime Southern GOP stronghold have changed

By the kind of campaign he ran in Georgia’s 6th District, Jon Ossoff is emblematic of a New Southern Democrat, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It’s Election Day in Georgia, so this column goes to print before we know the outcome of the 6th District special election to replace Dr. Tom Price in Congress. But whether Karen Handel, the Republican, pulls off a win or Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, manages an upset, it is well-understood here that the politics of this once solidly Republican district have changed, almost overnight.

The fact that Ossoff became so competitive, so quickly in this race was almost entirely because of Donald Trump. Trump was certainly the reason Democratic activists across the country pumped $20 million into a district where the biggest tourist attraction is a giant red chicken in front of a vintage KFC. Trump was also the reason countless Ossoff volunteers told me they were working for him “because at least it is something I could do” after Trump won in November.

Opinion: A Don’t-Blame-Us Congress Ducks on Syria
Be bipartisan and authorize a war

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban on May 25, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is, of course, not nearly as important as the struggle in GA-6 that is testing what happens when you inject more than $50 million into a single House race and batter the voters into submission with attack ads.

And the topic could not possibly compete with the learned analyses of Megyn Kelly’s NBC interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — a TV show that was probably the biggest broadcast since King Edward VIII went on British radio to announce his abdication to marry “the woman I love.”

Senate Obamacare Repeal Vote Possible Next Week

From left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., could ask their colleagues to vote on a bill reordering the health insurance system as early as next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate could vote as early as next Thursday on legislation to reader the U.S. health care system, a lawmaker and lobbyists tell CQ Roll Call.

That is an ambitious timeline, especially since no legislative language has been made public and several lawmakers are still unsure exactly what proposals are under consideration. But GOP aides say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is eager to move on past the health care issue and is charging ahead with a vote despite the uncertainty surrounding whether it could pass.

Opinion: Donald Trump — the Affirmative Action President and His Enablers
Different rules — or no rules — for different people

President Donald Trump is the guy who doesn’t bother to read the book but tries to bluff his way through the oral support, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

House Speaker Paul Ryan offered the excuse “He’s just new to this” for Donald Trump after former FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that the president has done and said things that were inappropriate, even if they don’t turn out to be illegal. It sounded like something you would say in defense of a toddler who dives face-first into the birthday cake because he hasn’t yet learned what a fork is for.

President Trump is that guy — and it’s a guy 99 percent of the time — who doesn’t bother to read the book but tries to bluff his way through the oral report. Sometimes that guy is funny. When he is in a position to weaken long-held European alliances, jeopardize troops on a base in the Middle East or shred America’s safety net as well as ethical guidelines set by the founders in the U.S. Constitution, no one should be laughing. A “gentleman’s C” won’t cut it when so much is at stake.

Trump Contradicts His Own Account of Comey Firing
Appears to acknowledge that he is being investigated for obstruction of justice

President Donald Trump fired off another round of tweets on Friday decrying the “Witch Hunt” against him over the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and possible ties between his associates and Russia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, who has contradicted top aides about his firing of FBI Director James Comey, on Friday fired off a tweet at odds with his own statements about the decision that triggered a special counsel probe.

Trump, alluding to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, wrote that he is being “investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” He then, as he does almost daily, referred to the Justice Department’s Russia election meddling probe as a “Witch Hunt.”

Opinion: In Praise of Congressional Openness
Why the tension at the core of American democracy is worth it

An FBI evidence response team gathers outside of the Aldi grocery store near Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during baseball practice on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the tear-stained hours after the baseball field shootings, House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy sounded the right note as he said in his opening prayer, “We are blessed by a free and open society. … But once again, we are reminded there is a vulnerability that comes with that openness.”

That is the tension at the core of American democracy as we stumble through this terror-soaked century. How do we maintain the close connection between the government and the governed without elected officials having to don bulletproof vests every morning along with their American flag pins?

Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Legislation Reintroduced
Bill would allow states to set their own laws

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who support legislation that would enable states to set their own medical marijuana policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have reintroduced legislation that would enable states to set their own medical marijuana policies.

That is at odds with a letter U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent to congressional leaders, in which he asked that federal medical marijuana protections be reversed.