Worth Reading
November 20, 2009

CO2 emissions in East Asia are growing faster than GDP. Why have gold prices soared despite low demand? Krugman and Delong on whether Obama should worry about the carry trade. Our continuing housing problems. 40% of gov't debt will be refinanced in the next year.

Today At TNR (November 20, 2009)
November 20, 2009

Democrats Think They Can Win the Climate Debate by Playing up National Security Concerns. They’re Wrong. by Bradford Plumer A Suggestion for Obama in 2014: End the Drug War, by John McWhorter Werner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’: Making a Schlocky Movie This Good Is Harder Than it Looks, by Christopher Orr How Can We Start Rebuilding America? Let’s Start With This Program. by William Galston Did We Expect Too Much From Obama’s Trip to Asia?

Global Warring
November 20, 2009

For years, advocates of climate-change legislation have struggled to find a sales pitch that will sway even the most hardened of skeptics. Polar bears, green jobs, urgent pleas to think of the grandkids … none of them have quite done the trick. But recently, a new argument has come to the fore: the national security case for cutting carbon emissions. At a hearing in October, Senate Democrats invited military leaders and strategists to speak about both the dangers of America’s oil dependency and the potential for rising temperatures to create new security threats around the globe.

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy by Biography
November 19, 2009

The Washington Post writes today about the limits of Obama's biography in foreign policy. The paper's story notes that Obama talked extensively about his biography and personal experiences in Asia, then asks: But is his biography-as-diplomacy approach beginning to show its limits? Obama does not fly home with any big breakthroughs or any evidence that he has forged stronger personal ties with regional leaders.

Obama in Seoul: My Problem with Foreign News
November 19, 2009

I used to be the foreign editor of In These Times in Chicago. I didn’t particularly enjoy the job, because I have never been fascinated with the world outside of the United States. I am not sure whether I could find Honduras or Liberia on a map, and I have never mastered the current spelling of Chinese names.

Afghanistan Troop Decision This Week?
November 17, 2009

Could be: Obama returns from Asia on Thursday. "There is a sense" that he has made up his own mind. A source who closely follows AfPak professionally and has been right about such things in the past thinks Thursday is the day. And I know that a certain high-level military official abruptly scratched a planned overseas trip this week for reasons unstated. Hmmm....

Today At TNR (November 12, 2009)
November 12, 2009

Inside the Obamacare Laboratory: Have Democrats Learned the Right Lessons from Massachusetts? by Jonathan Cohn Previewing Obama’s Asia Visit: Why He Has a Rare Chance to Improve U.S.-Japan Relations, by R. Taggart Murphy TNRtv: The Jew-Hating, Gay-Bashing Westboro Baptist Church Comes to New York. Oh Boy. by Benjamin Birnbaum and Ben Eisler Should We Be Worried About the Changing Demographics of Unions? by John B. Judis Don’t Let Abortion Destroy Health Reform--Millions of Americans Will Be Far Better Off Than They Are Now, by E.J. Dionne Jr. Are People Flocking to ‘Dirty’ Cities?

Gordon Brown's Financial Shock and Awe
November 10, 2009

There are two broad views on our newly resurgent global bubbles--the increase in asset prices in emerging markets, fuelled by capital inflows, with all the associated bells and whistles (including dollar depreciation). These run-ups in stock market values and real estate prices are either benign or the beginnings of a major new malignancy. The benign view, implicit in Secretary Geithner’s position at the G20 meeting last weekend, is most clearly articulated by Frederic (Ric) Mishkin, former member of the Fed’s Board of Governors and author of "The Next Great Globalization: How Disadvantaged N

Pipeline Politics
November 02, 2009

As the world tries to cut its carbon emissions in the next few decades, natural gas will become increasingly crucial as a stopgap fuel, since it produces less CO2 pollution than coal or oil. At least, that's what the EIA thinks will happen. And the geopolitical implications of this trend are interesting.

Obama Drills Down on Afghanistan
October 29, 2009

Obama wants a study of the country at a micro-level. That seems reasonable enough in the abstract--but it's also coming a bit late. This, too, wasn't done during that January-March review? It also signals something less than a vote of total confidence in the judgment of the top U.S. commander on the ground, Stanley McChrystal. Moreover, it further indicates that we won't see a decision on troop levels in the next several days.