Noah Kristula-Green

This bonus season, with encouragement from the White House, Wall Street firms have been paying their employees less in cash and more in stock. The idea is that vast cash bonuses encourage reckless, short-term decisions—while stock awards incentivize long-term planning that creates lasting value. The practice has set Goldman Sachs bankers howling. “Some employees say the shift could leave them short of cash," the Wall Street Journal reported, "since stock comes with restrictions on how quickly it can be sold.


It's certainly not the new OPEC but, at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, a plucky bloc of low-lying oceanic nations has been exerting outsize influence over the developed world. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), whose members are among the most vulnerable to climate change, is threatening to torpedo talks in lieu of dramatic emissions cuts. Just who are these countries? How are they making the world listen? Click through this TNR slideshow to find out.

The World Cup is only six months away, and adding to the list of South Africa’s many hosting challenges is accommodating one of the world’s most peculiar teams: North Korea, who will be competing for the first time since 1966. When the team merely qualified in June of this year, they were greeted back home as heroes, with hoards of fans welcoming them at the airport with pink and red pom-poms while showering them with flags and leis. Last week, the team found out their first opponent will be international powerhouse Brazil.


Is this the end of Dubai's construction boom? Over the past decade, the tiny emirate has been on a tear, building the world's most ambitious hotels and luxury towers. But last fall, the financial crash strangled the country's credit lines, causing the cancellation or postponement of many of those exotic building plans. Now the debt troubles of Dubai World, the country's investment arm, threaten to finish the job. Click through this TNR slideshow to see some of the Dubai megaprojects that are either dead or on the chopping block.

Ahh, the pundit-driven presidential boomlet. Every so often, a Washington prognosticator like David Brooks will latch on to an obscure figure--someone like the attractive, socially-conservative neophyte Senator John Thune--and extol his (or her) virtues to the heavens, explaining why only this person can redeem the party and become the next president. Admittedly, it sometimes works, but it's often just a passing fantasy. Click through this TNR slideshow for a look at this year's crop of media-created white knights.

Where have all the RINOs gone? Not long ago, the GOP contained a number of recognizably liberal politicians, often identified as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). But they've been hounded out of the party by movement conservatives, who have campaigned relentlessly against what they consider ideological apostasy. Click through today's TNR slideshow to see the last few members of this vanishing species.

DC Public Schools Commissioner Michelle Rhee is the closest thing the education world has to a celebrity. (Education Next recently photoshoped an image of Rhee in medieval armor, under the heading "DC's Braveheart") Her take-no-prisoners approach to education reform, sometimes at the expense of tenured teachers, has won her much attention nationally--and many enemies here in the District.


Dick Cheney is not one to hold his fire. After leaving the White House, he's eschewed the low profile taken by past vice presidents in order to blast the Obama administration's national-security decisions frequently and openly. Click through this TNR slideshow to see the top ten most combative statements made by Cheney since January 20, 2009.

The saga of "Balloon Boy" is not yet over. The child captured the nation's attention when he was thought to be floating away in a large silvery balloon; but then he was subsequently discovered hiding in an attic and remarked that he did it “for the show.” Since that remark, there has been speculation that the mysterious antics of "Balloon Boy" were actually a publicity stunt. If true, it would not be the first time families have tried to prank a nation. Click through for a look at "Balloon Boy" and other hoaxes from history.

As the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races head into the November 3 election, the ads are flying. Some are slick, some are stupid, and some are downright sleazy. Click through this TNR slideshow for a collection of spots from each race.