John B. Judis
November 04, 2009
Republicans are proclaiming victory after their candidates won statehouses in New Jersey and Virginia. And well they should. These were both states that went for Barack Obama in 2008. But how much do these elections really say about Obama and the prospects of the national Democratic Party? Some network commentators, citing suspiciously high approval ratings for Obama in New Jersey and Virginia, claim the elections say nothing at all about the president and his party.
Is Verizon better than Comcast?
November 02, 2009
Two years ago, I wrote about my long-standing problems with Comcast’s broadband and television service. The intermittent outages, the frequent slowdowns, the unavailable phone support, and the incompetent repair people, to whom Comcast had outsourced its service to customers. So why did I stick with Comcast? Well, the people Verizon sent over couldn’t figure out how to connect the FIOS line from the garage across the house to the cable television and computer. In addition, Comcast not only promised to be good but made me one of those $99 a month offers for phone, internet, and TV that I couldn
October 26, 2009
Americans are used to presidential candidates promising to get tough on China only to turn tail once they are in office. Could the same be true of German Chancellor’s promises to get tough with Russia? The Financial Times has an extraordinary report on “The New Ostpolitik,” between Germany and Russia. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel first ran four years ago, she was highly critical of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s warm relationship with the Russians. Indeed, after leaving office, Schroeder became the chairman of Nord Stream, which is owned by the Russian firm, Gazprom, and is deve
October 26, 2009
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.
TAKE A HIKE
October 20, 2009
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
October 12, 2009
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.
Trouble in Beantown
September 29, 2009
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.
September 22, 2009
The only way Obama can pull his presidency back from the brink.
More on Japan and Democracy
September 01, 2009
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.
More Than The Prince, A Reporter
August 18, 2009
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.