The New Republic

Wolffe at the Door
August 04, 2009

Richard Wolffe, the former Newsweek correspondent and author of the best-selling book Renegade: The Making of a President, who now works at Dan Bartlett’s PR firm Public Strategies, Inc., is shopping a new book about President Obama, TNR has learned. According to a person familiar with the book proposal, Wolffe’s project is titled “30 Days: A Portrait of the White House at Work.” In the proposal, Wolffe writes that he has personal relationships with Obama officials at “the highest level” who have already “expressed support informally” for the project.

Internal Combustion
August 03, 2009

Ever since the June 12 election, the world has seen signs of serious rifts in the ranks of the Islamic regime in Iran. The main locus of these tensions was between the regime (led by the triumvirate of Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) and regime defectors like Mir Hossein Moussavi, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mohammad Khatami, and Mehdi Karubi. The opposition repeatedly stood up to Khamenei, defying his orders instead of accepting them as absolute and final.

Stupid Quotes
August 03, 2009

Michelle Malkin appeared on ABC's This Week yesterday to talk about the racial issues in Obama's sit-down over beer with Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley. We thought her comments were pretty obtuse and wholly unenlightening, and decided to compile some examples of other commentators who've made similarly ill-advised statements on political shows. Click through to enjoy the ridiculousness.   Peggy Noonan went on ABC's This Week shortly after the release of the torture memos from the Bush administration and said "Sometimes in life you just have to keep walking ...

In Extremis
August 03, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Things are looking up for the Republicans, relatively speaking. President Obama's poll numbers have dipped, GOP recruitment for the 2010 elections is going better than expected, and the heath care battle has been rough on the Democrats. On top of that, the surveys show Republicans now leading in this year's two major governor's races, in Virginia and New Jersey. There's just one problem: The country still doesn't like Republicans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week captured the public's mixed verdict.

Cash-for-clunkers Goes Haywire
July 31, 2009

Politico is reporting that the government's "cash-for-clunkers" program has already run out of the $1 billion it was given after only a week in operation. It's a bit crazy: All told, in just five days, some 300,000 people traded in their older, inefficient cars in exchange for a $3,500-$4,000 voucher to buy newer, more efficient cars. (Part of the crush this week was due to a backlog—dealers were reportedly offering the rebates long before the rules officially went into effect.) Now, as we've noted before, the actual environmental benefits of this program may well prove modest.

Too Soon, Again
July 30, 2009

Two weeks ago, Natasha Estemirova, a human rights activist in Chechnya, was kidnapped and murdered. A fierce defender of those victimized by the region's conflicts, Estemirova joins Anna Politkovskaya and others on a growing list of Russian activists slain for revealing dark truths about lawlessness in Chechnya. We asked Usam Baysaev, a journalist and activist, to remember his friend. It’s hard for me to write in the past tense about Natasha Estemirova. I feel as if I’ve always known her, but today, she is no more.

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
July 30, 2009

WASHINGTON -- The problem with "teachable moments" is that the term sets up one group of people as teachers while another group is consigned to the role of pupils. In a democracy, that's troublesome. In the conflict between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley over Gates' arrest at his own home, all parties in the national conversation believe they should be the teachers.

The Economics Of Airport Security Water Bans
July 30, 2009

I'm not sure if this counts as "environmental," but David Zetland has a fun post on the economics of banning people from bringing water through airport security gates. His prediction? The ban will likely never been lifted.

How To Cut Transportation Emissions In Half
July 29, 2009

If the United States really and truly wants to curb its oil use and lower emissions from the transportation sector, then, sorry to say, but cranking up fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks isn't going to be nearly enough.

The Great Beer Debate, Ctd.
July 29, 2009

As long as Jason is recommending boutique brews for the Gates-Crowley sit-down, I thought I'd suggest a still-further-outside-the-box alternative, something that would remind all concerned that, whatever our differences as Americans, there is far, far more we have in common. What better way to do that than with the product advertised in what is reportedly North Korea's first beer commercial?   Globalpost asked an award-winning ad exec to comment on the commercial.