The Cul-De-Sac Backlash
February 09, 2010

Via Sarah Goodyear, it looks like a number of city and regional planners are starting to declare war on the cul-de-sac: Early last year, the state of Virginia became the first state to severely limit cul-de-sacs from future development. Similar actions have been taken in Portland Oregon, Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. What they are beginning to realize is that the cul-de-sac street grid uses land inefficiently, discourages walking and biking, and causes an almost complete dependence on driving, with attendant pollution and energy use.

College Education: Metros’ Anti-Recession Vaccine?
December 30, 2009

Are regional college education rates a stay against metro unemployment in bad times?

Eight Pieces, Really One: Iran, Israel's Military Doctrine, The President And One Dumb Jewish Woman, The Wages of Copenhagen, The Christmas Terrorist, We Should All Stop Talking About The Middle East
December 26, 2009

Jews usually go out to the movies on Christmas ... and then they go out to eat "Chinese." I've spent it writing. Below is my harvest. I wish you all good cheer. Here are the motifs of my writing day. Alas, none of them cheery. 1. THE REAL GRIM REAPER: HOLY DAY VICTIMS IN IRAQ AND PAKISTAN 2. COLD COMMON SENSE ABOUT IRAN FROM, MIRABILI DICTU, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" 3. A WISE EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTER: "WE SHOULD SHUT UP ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST" 4. A SOBER "TIMES" PIECE ON ISRAELI MILITARY DOCTRINE 5.

Recovery? Depends Where You Look…
December 15, 2009

The latest edition of MetroMonitor--our ground-up view of the recession and recovery--is out today, looking at economic indicators through the third quarter of 2009. The bottom line: It’s still a big country. Some places had largely recovered by September, while others still hadn’t bottomed out yet. Check out the report for all the details, but here are a few amuse- bouches to whet your appetite: The manufacturing belt surges… but it may be temporary.

Daily Treatment, Too Much Going On Edition
December 02, 2009

Too much going on today for this blogger to cover. Fortunately, I'm not alone on the beat... Reform without a public option would still be a progressive victory. Chris Bowers But if progressives give ground on the public option, what will they get in return? Ezra Klein Opponents of health care reform tell a lot of lies. Jonathan Gruber When they're not lying, they're stalling. Ben Smith, Sam Stein Of course, sometimes they're just confused. Steve Benen You think McAllen, Texas, is full of wasteful spending? It's not as bad as Lubbock. And neither compares to Miami.

Food Stamps and the Growing Suburban Safety Net
December 01, 2009

An important federal program that tends to fly under the radar received some unprecedented real estate this past weekend--an enormous spread on page A1 of Sunday’s New York Times. Jason DeParle’s article, and some nifty interactive maps on the Times website, portray the recent rapid growth of the food stamp program, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or by its rather unfortunate acronym, SNAP.

Governors Still Aiming For A Comeback
November 23, 2009

 Last week, the Republican Governors Association held a conference outside Austin where the group predicted that the ideas-oriented campaigns of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell would serve as harbingers of the 37 gubernatorial races next year--an issue I touched upon in a piece a few weeks ago. While Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, the chairman of the committee, is coming out as the public face of the RGA, the real brains behind the group seems to be executive director Nick Ayers. Click here to read about how he is angling the RGA to lead the Republican comeback.

Truther Consequences
October 07, 2009

Alex Jones is a husky man with short sandy hair, weary eyes, baby cheeks, and the kind of deep, gravelly voice made for horror-movie trailers. And it’s horror he has in mind. "Your New World Order will fall!" he screams through a megaphone at the shiny façade of a nondescript office building. "Humanity will defeat you!" A syndicated radio host, filmmaker, and all-around countercultural icon based in Austin, Texas, Jones has long been one of the country’s most significant purveyors of paranoia.

Examining Immigration's Pause
September 30, 2009

For the past decade or so, every time the US Census Bureau released new data, headlines would blare “Immigration Up in the US.”  More recent headlines have been hopeful: “Immigration offers Cleveland a chance to import the future.” Others wistful: “Current waves of immigrants offer hope for St. Louis' future.” But mostly, they just repeatedly announced that immigrants were still coming to the United States in large numbers.

September 10, 2009

After calling an extraordinary special session, the Roberts Court is now debating whether to reverse decades of cases that allow the government to restrict the campaign spending of corporations. Defending the regulation of corporate speech, Elena Kagan, in her first argument on behalf of the Obama administration, made a strategic concession.