Leaving Afghanistan matters. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

What Mattered This Week?

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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President Barack Obama announced plans for Afghanistan. That certainly matters. The new plan probably represents the high side of expectations -- expectations being a slower withdrawal (at least of my expectations).

What didn't matter? Sacking the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs probably won't affect the outcome of the VA scandal. It allowed a bunch of Democrats in Congress, and running for Congress, to act as if they were tough on the scandal and allowed Obama to look as if he was acting decisively. What really matters is whether Obama keeps pressure on the department to reform which, in turn, will be more likely if Congress and the press keep the pressure on him.

That's what I have. What have you noticed? What do you think mattered this week?

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To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net