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TNR Q&A: Dr. Stephen Schneider
November 09, 2009

Not many Ph.D. students expect their research to generate outrage among Washington pundits decades later, but, as it turns out, that's exactly what happened to Stephen Schneider. Back in 1971, Schneider was studying plasma physics at Columbia and moonlighting as a research assistant at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Explaining Geithner's Call Log
October 09, 2009

Simon Johnson raises a fair question in response to this AP scoop about the bankers Tim Geithner was in touch with early in the Obama administration. Here's the AP: The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies -- Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Patients Without Borders
September 11, 2009

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, is a bleak, dusty factory town across the border from El Paso, Texas. Long a nexus for drug runners vying for control of smuggling routes, it has earned a reputation for gunfights, abductions, and murdered women. In recent weeks, the violence fueled by drug cartels has spiked, and not for the first time. There have been beheadings, public shootouts, and murders of dealers, police, and bystanders. The U.S. Consulate has issued a travel advisory for the area.

The Dostum Chronicles
September 09, 2009

Shiberghan, Afghanistan (one day before the election)—There was no mistaking the general’s “castle.” Its pastel-colored two-storey walls and lapis cupolas shocking amidst the drabness of the surrounding neighborhood. Somewhere inside the compound was General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the most notorious of Afghanistan’s warlords. In almost three decades as a militia leader, Dostum has earned a reputation for ruthless brutality towards enemies, as well as an opportunist’s disregard for alliances, which have shifted without notice.

Mine Enemies Make Me Wiser
August 12, 2009

The verse is from Psalms 119, that is, King David, poet and hero. Robert Malley and Hussein Agha are (let me just to be polite say "adversaries" instead of) enemies of Israel. That is why they are so welcome in the New York Review of Books and, of course, on the op-ed page of the New York Times where their latest missive, "The Two-State Solution Doesn't Solve Anything," appeared on Tuesday. (The same piece was published simultaneously in the Guardian, the closest thing to a pro-jihadist publication in ordinary journalism.) While fronting as an academic at St.

'Wall Street Journal' Finds The Perfect Democrat?
July 17, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal contains an op-ed by someone named Ted Van Dyk, a disillusioned Democrat that has fallen out of love with Barack Obama. "The first warning signals for me came with your acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention," Van Dyk writes. "In it, you stressed domestic initiatives that clearly were nonstarters in the already shrinking economy. ... Cut back both your proposals and expectations." Who the heck is this guy?

Hillary The Architect
July 15, 2009

This afternoon, Hillary Clinton gave what I thought was an excellent speech laying out the Obama administration's approach to the world. A sizeable portion of the Washington foreign policy establishment packed the Council on Foreign Relations to hear her remarks, and the secretary was accompanied by a gaggle of lieutenants, including (from my view of the room) special envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, and a number of assistant secretaries, including Rose Gottemoeller, Andrew Shapiro, and P.J. Crowley.

For Comic Relief: Here Now From Yassir Arafat's Assistant
May 28, 2009

The world of the Palestinians could be comic if it were not so tragic.  Just look at what these people believe.  And the people near the top.  You think Jews are paranoid. Well...

Obama By A Coin Flip
March 07, 2008

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

Crap, Actually
April 27, 2004

Anyone seeking evidence of the death of romantic comedy will find it in abundance in Love Actually, which arrives in video stores this week. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (best known for penning Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral), Love Actually announces its ambitions early: Too bold to offer us a thin, unconvincing romance, it instead offers us half a dozen.

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