The White House finally surveys the devastation to come
The White House today, at long last, released a fact sheet outlining what sort of cuts we can expect in domestic discretionary spending if the automatic budget cuts (“the sequester”) are permitted to take effect on March 1. What the hell took so long? READ MORE >>
Yes, a bad government is worse than a bad boss. But that's not the point.
"Even Tim knows that [it's] not exactly my style," Andrew Sullivan writes, to desire "the replication of Downton Abbey in Pret-A-Manger." Correct. I never took Andrew for a Lord Grantham type. But in this instance he sure argues like one. READ MORE >>
My latest TRB column for the print magazine is about the incursion of "emotional labor" into low-wage sectors where it doesn’t belong. The piece has received some criticism from readers who don’t endorse my distinction between routine courteousness ("service with a smile"), which a boss has every right to expect, and the more fawning behavior demanded by cultish employers like Pret A Manger, which gives me the creeps. READ MORE >>
The news that the Washington Post is looking to sell its 15th Street headquarters, where it’s resided since 1950, makes me very sad, because my first job in journalism was in that newsroom. Or rather, an ersatz version of that newsroom. Perhaps I should explain. READ MORE >>
The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger
For a good long while, I let myself think that the slender platinum blonde behind the counter at Pret A Manger was in love with me. How else to explain her visible glow whenever I strolled into the shop for a sandwich or a latte? Then I realized she lit up for the next person in line, and the next. Radiance was her job. READ MORE >>
Last week I wrote that the appellate decision striking down President Barack Obama’s January 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board identified a real constitutional problem. READ MORE >>
I was all set to go into a swivet about the federal appeals court's decision against President Obama's recess appointments for the National Labor Relations Board (and, by implication, his appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Would it be all right with the D.C. Court of Appeals if we had a functioning government? Apparently not. READ MORE >>
The real deal struck about reform: There would be none.
As I predicted, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's calendar-freezing machinations to reform the filibuster turned out to be much ado about nothing. Reid and McConnell have struck a deal to eliminate filibusters on "motions to proceed," leaving intact filibusters on the actual legislation. In exchange, the minority will be guaranteed the chance to bring two amendments to the floor. READ MORE >>
There is no better example of social and economic policy discussion as an idle pastime for the rich than the World Economic Forum at Davos. These guys make the millionaire schmoozers at the Aspen Ideas Festival look like short-order cooks. READ MORE >>