What's the Big Idea?

Michael Foley
Simplified explanations of in-depth topics in politics; public policy; and more, with an unapologetic center-left bias.
Created 02 Dec 2020
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  • Extending the Break
    28 Sep 2021 • 1 min read
    Hi there. A few weeks ago, I told you that I’d be taking a break to catch up on other projects. The truth is, there’s one major project I’m working on that will continue to demand my attention. I’ve t...
  • Programming Note
    13 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read
    Hi there. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be taking this week off from writing the newsletter to focus on other projects with pressing deadlines. I hope to be back to it next week with shorter...
  • 20 Years of Grief
    10 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read
    Hi there. Today’s newsletter is a special reading list, dedicated to tomorrow’s 20-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I hope that you’ll pick a few of these articles and essays to read and ...
  • All in the Family
    09 Sep 2021 • 1 min read
    Hi there. It’s time to take another look at Congress’s reconciliation bill. Today, I want to zero in on the aspects of the bill that stem directly from President Biden’s American Families Plan. I’ve t...
  • And Justice for All
    07 Sep 2021 • 2 min read • 1 0
    Hi there. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I only recently read Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson’s powerful memoir Just Mercy, which recounts S...
  • Weekend Reads
    03 Sep 2021 • 2 min read
    Hi there, and happy Friday! Let’s jump right into the articles and essays that will keep you informed through the weekend. Afghanistan New York Times: “We Have to Try”: Lawmakers Rush to Assist in Afg...
  • BidenCare
    02 Sep 2021 • 3 min read • 1 0
    Hi there. For the better part of a century, most Democratic Presidents have pushed for major expansions to healthcare access. Truman presented a plan for universal healthcare in the 1940s, but was blo...
  • The Unbearable Weight of History
    31 Aug 2021 • 5 min read
    Hi there. I’ve been thinking a lot about history. America’s war in Afghanistan— our longest military operation ever— just ended in grim fashion, and it feels necessary to look to the past to understan...
  • News You Need
    30 Aug 2021 • 1 min read
    Hi there. I hope you enjoyed your weekend— and if you live on the Gulf Coast, I hope you’ve managed to stay safe and dry. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some thoughts and readings on American history, and ...
  • Weekend Reads
    27 Aug 2021 • 3 min read
    Hi there, and happy Friday! It’s time to run down the articles and essays that will keep you informed through the weekend. You shouldn’t be surprised that the vast majority of today’s readings involve...
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