The Editors

Just a Tiny Bit of Sincere Sympathy for Rick Perry
November 03, 2011

It’s been a bad few months for Rick Perry—actually, just a really bad entire campaign. His poll numbers are in the toilet; recently he has found himself in the news mainly for his campaign’s possible role in stoking allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, and for a strange and fumbling speech he delivered last Friday in New Hampshire, which led many to wonder if he was drunk. For the most part, we are relieved by this development. Perry would be a terrible president, far worse for the country than Mitt Romney.

The Worst Lists
November 03, 2011

50 Most Beautiful PeopleThe Hill  Is there anything less useful than this bloated vanity project? The apparent Republican bias only makes it more suspect. The Worst 50 States in America Gawker   How do you squander the potentially compelling idea of assessing the weaknesses of each of our nation’s states?

Over-Rated Thinkers
November 03, 2011

Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Yesterday we named the most powerful, least famous people in Washington. Today’s installment: DC’s most over-rated thinkers. NEWT GINGRICH Maybe it’s the Ph.D., his extensive bibliography, or his constant appearances on Fox News, but Newt Gingrich has held on to his reputation as the “ideas man” of the Republican Party for too long. Last May, when Gingrich was contemplating a run in 2012, Eric Cantor swooned over his intellect and The Washington Post published a story headlined: “Newt Gingrich has Ideas.

The List of Lists: TNR Names the Country’s Best and Worst Lists
October 27, 2011

THE BEST LISTS Best Places to Work in the Federal Government Partnership for Public Service Ranking nearly 300 agencies and subcomponents with survey data from more than a quarter of a million civil servants, this list is the ultimate look at which U.S. bureaucracies are healthy and functioning, and which need serious improvement.

October 26, 2011

As everyone by now knows, Solyndra, a California-based solar panel manufacturer, has gone bankrupt and defaulted on $535 million in loans, the payment of which was guaranteed by the Department of Energy (DOE). And, as everyone also knows, a White House official, who was connected through his wife to a law firm that worked for Solyndra, may have inappropriately involved himself in the loan process. The apparent conflict of interest inside the administration is inexcusable, of course. And it’s obviously not a happy occasion when a company defaults on government-backed loans.

In Praise of Robert Ford, the Saving Grace of America’s Syria Policy
October 20, 2011

Since the Syrian people began their uprising against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Americans have been told repeatedly that there is little they can do about the situation. Experts in think tanks, universities, and the halls of U.S. government have been eager to remind us that the conditions in Syria—with its fractured opposition, brutal and loyal military forces, and fragile regional neighborhood—simply didn’t leave much room for Americans to make a difference. But Robert Ford, our ambassador in Damascus, never seemed to accept this simplistic line of thinking.

The Country's Oddest Lobbies
October 19, 2011

THE BALLOON COUNCIL: “to educate consumers and regulators about the wonders of metallic and latex balloons and the proper handling of them” and “affirming America’s ongoing love affair with balloons.” MEN'S DEFENSE ASSOCIATION: “In defense of fathers, family, and manhood, since 1971.” THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ROCKETRY: “advances the hobby of sport rocketry” and seeks “to ensure that rocketry continues to be safe, educational, and fun.” NATIONAL BISON ASSOCIATION: “a non-profit association of producers, processors, marketers and bison enthusiasts” that aims “to bring together stakeholders t

Worst Words in Washington
October 12, 2011

Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Earlier this week we named DC's most over-covered stories, most over-rated thinkers, most powerful, least famous people, and TNR's favorite people. Today's installment: the worst words in Washington.

Our Favorite People
October 12, 2011

Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Earlier this week we named the most over-covered stories, DC’s most over-rated thinkers, and the most powerful, least famous people in Washington. Today’s installment: TNR’s Favorite People in DC. RICHARD CIZIK As the National Association of Evangelicals’ chief lobbyist in D.C. for ten years, Richard Cizik pushed evangelical-supported legislation. That is, until he was ousted in 2008 for his increasingly progressive opinions—he told NPR that his views were “shifting” on gay marriage and implied that he had voted for Barack Obama.

October 12, 2011

Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Last week we named DC's most over-covered stories, most over-rated thinkers, most powerful, least famous people, TNR's favorite people and the worst words in Washington. Today's installment: DC's sell-outs. EVAN BAYH When Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh announced that he did not intend to run for office in 2010, on the eve of the deadline for the primaries—despite pleas from both President Obama and Rahm Emanuel to stay in the race—he opened up another Senate seat for Republicans and left Democrats scrambling.