A Wave Election in America? (Elizabeth Drew, Project-Syndicate)

With the world mesmerized by the United States’ presidential race this year, the race for control of the US House of Representatives and the Senate has been largely overlooked. But the outcome of the congressional elections could make or break the next president’s agenda.

Is Hezbollah less dangerous to the United States? (Daniel L. Byman, Brookings)

Get terrorism analysts around a bar (always a disturbing scene) and ask them which group is most formidable, and you’re likely to get a surprising answer. It’s not the Islamic State, or even al-Qaida and its various affiliates. Rather, it’s the Lebanese Hezbollah, often darkly praised as the “A-Team” of terrorist groups, and the regularly trumpeted threat the group poses.

US leadership in global education: The time is now (Rebecca Winthrop, Brookings)

As the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition says, “Education is one of America’s most important global investments, not just because it’s the right thing to do—it’s also the smartest.”

Brookings experts on the biggest issues in election 2016 and beyond (Brookings)

As part of a new Institution-wide initiative, Brookings experts have identified the most important issues shaping the 2016 election and are sharing their best ideas for how to address them.

Infrastructure issues and options for the next president (William A. Galston, Robert Puentes, Brookings)

Our nation’s infrastructure facilities are aging, overcrowded, under-maintained, and in desperate need of modernization. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 12th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure and assigns particularly low marks for the quality of our roads, ports, railroads, air transport infrastructure, and electricity supply. It is abundantly clear that to be economically competitive in today’s world, adequate investment in infrastructure is critical. And yet, U.S. spending on infrastructure has declined over the past five decades.

Americans more tolerant of offensive speech than others in the world (Pew Research Center)

In a variety of arenas, Americans are debating the boundaries of free expression. Dean John Ellison’s recent welcome letter to incoming University of Chicago freshmen proclaimed that the school would not support “safe spaces” or “trigger warnings,” pouring more fuel on heated debates about campus free speech. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick generated controversy by kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice in the United States. And social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are struggling with how to handle online hate speech.

Support for marijuana legalization continues to rise (Pew Research Center)

The share of Americans who favor legalizing the use of marijuana continues to increase. Today, 57% of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 37% say it should be illegal. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed.

Time to Get Real About Russia Cyber War (Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, CFR)

Our democracy is under attack by Russia, but almost no one is treating the situation with the gravity it deserves. President Obama is loathe to retaliate. Would-be president Donald Trump denies that any attack is happening. And the media are acting as enablers for the attackers.

Las Vegas gambles on the next presidential debate (Richard V. Reeves, Brookings)

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority knows the value of money. So the decision by the Authority to spend $4 million to host the third and final Presidential debate on October 19th, has to be seen as a decent bet on the PR value that would accrue to the city, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where the encounter will take place. UNLV itself has subsequently spent an additional $4 million.