John B. Judis

End State

California is a mess, but I love it all the same--especially the Bay Area, where I lived for 15 years. I went to Berkeley in 1962--a refugee from Amherst College, which at that time was dominated by frat boys with high SAT scores. I didn't go to Berkeley to go to school, but to be a bus ride away from North Beach and the Jazz Workshop. In a broader sense, I went to California for the same reason that other émigrés had been going since the 1840s. I was knocking on the Golden Door. Immigrants from Europe had come to America seeking happiness and a break with their unhappy pasts.

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TAKE A HIKE

If readers of The New Republic’s website will let their eyes stroll down the right side of the page, they’ll discover a blog called “The Avenue.” It’s not the sexiest title, and it’s not about the latest White House rumors, but it’s one of the best running commentaries on how the federal government, and state and local governments are trying, or failing, to rebuild the economy.  I’d point to a comment by Mark Muro and Sarah Rahman on the occasion of the Nobel Prize for Physics about how the corporate labs where breakthrough research was nurtured have largely been shut down. And how the Obama a

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Golden Daze

I hesitate to recommend a play that only those who live in or are visiting Washington D.C. can see. Be that as it may, if you are here, consider a trip to the Shakespeare Theater to see Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist. Jonson is my favorite of the Elizabethans.

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Trouble in Beantown

A month-old labor dispute in Boston has taken a curious twist. It began when on August 31, a hundred housekeepers at three Hyatt hotels in Boston were fired and replaced by workers from a Georgia company, Hospitality Staffing Solutions. The housekeepers, some of whom had worked for Hyatt for over twenty years, were making between $14 and $16 an hour plus health, dental, and 401(k) benefits. Their replacements were to make $8 an hour with no health benefits.

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Job One

The only way Obama can pull his presidency back from the brink.

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I got a message about Karel van Wolferen's comments from Tag Murphy, the author of The Weight of the Yen.  Tag adds the economic dimension to van Wolferen's argument: I completely agree with what Karel wrote.

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Unlike Isaac Chotiner, I rarely watched Robert Novak (or any of the other instant experts) on television, but I read his and Rowland Evans' column since at least the early 1970s. Let me put in a word here for Novak the columnist rather than the media "prince of darkness." Novak came into column-writing as a journalist, and his columns were almost always based on reporting as well as opinion, so you could learn something from reading him whatever you thought of his political opinions.

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The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Jonathan Cohn www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep Jon Cohn is too modest to plug his own appearance last night on the Colbert Show, so I'll do it for him. The health care debate in this country has become completely screwball. To the right wing and their covert allies in the insurance industry, it's about death panels. To the Washington Post editorial page, it is entirely about how big the deficit will be in 2015.

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The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Jonathan Cohn www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep   Jon Cohn is too modest to plug his own appearance last night on the Colbert Show, so I'll do it for him. The health care debate in this country has become completely screwball. To the right wing and their covert allies in the insurance industry, it's about death panels. To the Washington Post editorial page, it is entirely about how big the deficit will be in 2015.

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This is not the first time I’ve had my doubts about Clive Crook as an economics columnist. I had a debate with Crook in 1997 about the benefits of economic globalization. I had misgivings; Crook did not. “Growing economic interdependence,” he wrote, “is on balance an enormously good thing.” Four months later, the Asian financial crisis hit. And look at the world economy today, plagued by currency imbalances and excess capacity in key industries. Now Crook, who is a featured columnist for The Financial Times, is back at it again. He is advising American President Barack Obama to raise taxes.

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