John B. Judis

Obama's Learning Freeze
January 26, 2010

I defer to Noam on the administration’s motives for announcing this spending freeze and on the real impact of the freeze on spending. But I want to say two things about it. First, if it was done to appease bond traders (where have we have heard that before?), it is ridiculous. Interest rates aren’t exactly soaring these days. It is not 1993.

Tumbling Dice
January 25, 2010

I continue to hear people saying that Martha Coakley’s defeat in Massachusetts had nothing or very little to do with the approval of the Obama administration in that state. For those who continue to adhere to this opinion, let’s look at some other states where the decline in a candidate’s polls can’t be explained away by the Democratic candidate’s ineptitude.

Does He Feel Your Pain?
January 20, 2010

Forget Massachusetts. Obama's problem is nationwide.

Barack Obama, You Remind Me of Herbert Hoover
January 05, 2010

Barack Obama has been compared to almost every American President of the last hundred years--favorably to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan; and unfavorably to Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.

Football and concussions
December 31, 2009

  I’m a big fan of Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins. Unlike her colleague Michael Wilbon, she was willing to expose the utter incompetence of Michael Jordan as a sports executive during the time he ran the Washington Wizards. So I was willing to be convinced when I saw her column this morning defending Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach who was fired for punishing a player for sitting out practice after incurring a concussion. But I have to say that she lost me in the first paragraph.

Obama and Golf
December 30, 2009

In response to Michelle Cottle’s complaint about Barack Obama’s devotion to golf, Paul Krugman quotes H. L. Mencken’s comment about former Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith: “The Al of today is no longer a politician of the first chop. His association with the rich has apparently wobbled and changed him. He has become a golf player…” Then there is conservative theorist Russell Kirk’s comment about Dwight Eisenhower. Asked in the late 1950s whether he agreed with the John Birch Society’s charge that Eisenhower was a communist, Kirk replied that Ike was “not a Communist, but a golfer.”

Foer Is One of the Five Best
December 18, 2009

I had to learn this from Frank Foer’s proud father --  Frank's  book on soccer, How Soccer Explains the World: an Unlikely Theory of Globalization was recently named by Sports Illustrated as one of the most five most influential sports books of the decade.

Speak No Evil
December 17, 2009

The lines most cited in Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech were those about evil: “Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism--it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” These lines won approbation from both liberals and conservatives.

California GOP Nightmare
December 14, 2009

Washington Post writer Michael Leahy has an excellent report on the war within California’s G.O.P. The latest episode was an unsuccessful Republican attempt to recall a fellow Southern California Republican legislator, Anthony Adams, who had the gall to vote for Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s state budget, which, in the face of a projected $42 billion deficit and unpaid state worker salaries, included modest tax increases.

Obama, Niebuhr, and U.S. Politics
December 13, 2009

In the wake of Barack Obama’s speech in Oslo, there has been much talk--some of it based on intellectual hearsay--about the influence that theologian Reinhold Niebuhr had on Obama.

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