The Biggest Challenge Facing Both Romney and Obama
January 19, 2012
Unless something dramatic happens—fast—the general election will soon be upon us, with Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee, and President Obama fighting for a second term. But if the primary season has proven largely predictable, the next phase of the presidential campaign will likely have more than a few surprises in store. Romney and Obama will be competing on a playing field more polarized along partisan and ideological lines than at any time in recent history.
The Rise and Fall of Bill Daley: An Inside Account
January 18, 2012
When President Obama announced that Bill Daley would no longer serve as White House chief of staff, he pronounced himself chagrined by the move but explained that Daley had an understandable desire to return to Chicago. “In the end,” the president told reporters in the State Dining Room, “the pull of the hometown we both love—a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations—was too great.” As a face-saving gesture this may have been understandable, but as an explanation for Daley’s departure it strains credulity.
Romney's 15-Percent Problem
January 17, 2012
Would it be possible for Mitt Romney to handle the problem of his tax returns any worse than he has? By withholding them as he has, he has built up anticipation among political reporters who could generally care less about such matters. Romney's equivocating answer in the debate last night about whether he would release the returns sent Fox News' audience-response "hedge-ometer" machine literally off the charts. Then this morning he went ahead and confirmed the most salient fact in the returns: that he pays a rate of only about 15 percent.
TNR Exclusive: More Selections From Ron Paul’s Newsletters
January 17, 2012
Ron Paul has recently suggested there was only a “total of about eight or ten sentences” of “bad stuff” in the newsletters that he regularly used to publish under his name. This assertion was patently false: As TNR has shown, the newsletters contained dozens of statements marked by bigotry and conspiratorial thinking.
Was the Mandate a Mistake?
December 26, 2011
The individual mandate is the most unpopular element of health care reform. It has also made the new law vulnerable to a court challenge, however weak that challenge may seem. So were President Obama and his allies mistaken to include a mandate in the law? Paul Starr thinks so.
TNR Exclusive: A Collection of Ron Paul’s Most Incendiary Newsletters
December 23, 2011
For years, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that dispensed political news and investment advice, but also routinely indulged in bigotry. Here's a selection of some especially inflammatory passages, with links to scanned images of the original documents in which they appeared. Race “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived?
"I'm Sorry, You're Too Stupid To Collect Unemployment"
December 19, 2011
The House "reform" of unemployment insurance, which is included in its payroll-tax extension bill, is actually a reduction in benefits. Right now you can collect unemployment insurance up to 99 weeks. Under the House bill, you can collect only up to 59 weeks. By this logic, if you have a loaf of bread and I slice off two-fifths of it then what you're left with is reformed bread. You're welcome! Or so I thought. But it turns out that this Republican measure actually does include, in addition to the 59-week limit, a few changes to how unemployment insurance is handed out.
Why Eric Holder’s Effort to Help Minority Voters Could Backfire
December 16, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder is correct to crack down on the Republican operatives in various states around the country working to discourage voter turnout. But it’s a sad kind of correctness. Holder’s intervention will protect black America in the short term, but the philosophy of this intervention will likely work to our detriment in the long term. The problem is the disparate impact doctrine: The federal government ought to be treating interventions based on it like chemotherapy, as a desperate measure for a temporary period.
December 14, 2011
On a warm Saturday in early July, an employee at the Maryland Historical Society placed a call to the police. He had noticed two visitors behaving strangely—a young, tall, handsome man with high cheekbones and full lips and a much older, heavier man, with dark, lank hair and a patchy, graying beard. The older man had called in advance to give the librarians a list of boxes of documents he wanted to see, saying that he was researching a book. At some point during their visit, the employee saw the younger man slip a document into a folder.
(Another) Romney Lie on Health Care
December 13, 2011
Mitt Romney's $10,000 wager during Saturday night's debate has gotten all the post-debate attention. And that's a shame, because what Romney said after proposing the bet also deserves scrutiny. It was about health care reform and why he objects to the Affordable Care Act. Romney's answer was hypocritical -- and, more important, it was a flat-out lie. Put aside, for the moment, the question of whether Romney was dissembling about his previous statements on the individual mandate.