More Firepower for Inflection Point
August 28, 2009

Exciting news from inside TNR: We just got Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC, to join our roster of dignitaries and pacemakers for our event on the current state of the economy. Gensler will tangle with Barney Frank, Eliot Spitzer, Christina Romer, Andrew Cuomo, Bill Ackman, David Wessel, and others on some of the most important questions facing the nation: How have we handled the financial collapse thus far? What could have we done better, and what can we do better still? What will our economy--national and global--look like after the recovery?

Mullen: Battling Taliban "Like Fighting the Marines"
August 28, 2009

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, via Joe Klein: "Last week I spoke to a couple of Army Rangers who had just engaged the enemy. They said it was like fighting the Marines. The Taliban were well trained, better organized, much tougher fighters than they'd been in the past."

Worth Reading
August 27, 2009

Bernanke feels your pain: the chairman falls prey to identity theft.  Fed may not spend all $1.25 trillion set aside for mortgage securities. Society won't necessarily benefit from a post-finance job market. An argument against the banning of flash-trades? Another defense of the Taylor Rule by its creator. Has the placebo effect become more powerful?

The Three Faces Of Ben Bernanke
August 25, 2009

Ben Bernanke will be nominated for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. But which Bernanke are we getting? There are at least three.  The Bernanke who led the charge to rescue the US (and world’s) financial system after the Lehman-AIG collapse.  If you accept that the choice from late September was “Collapse or Rescue,” this Bernanke did a great job. The Bernanke who argued for keeping interest rates low as the housing bubble developed. This Bernanke was part of the Greenspan Illusion--the Fed should ignore bubbles and “just clean up afterwards.” Is that still Bernanke’s view?

More on the Administration's Drug Deal
August 25, 2009

What kind of deal did the administration and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus make with the drug industry? And was it a good deal? I (try to) answer those questions in an article that appears in TNR's latest print edition--and is running on our (new!) home page today. As I note, albeit briefly because of the print edition's space constraints, three other articles advanced this story before I came along. One was a New York Times article, in which PhRMA chairman Billy Tauzin first spilled the beans about a key concession his group had secured.

The Logic of Reappointing Bernanke
August 24, 2009

The big news from Martha's Vineyard is that Obama is appointing Ben Bernanke to a second term as Fed chairman. I've explained before why I think this is a good idea--Bernanke has been creative, even highly unorthodox, at precisely the moment when the economy demanded these qualities from the Fed, and when a conservative, by-the-book approach would have likely sent us into a depression.

Now the GOP Loves Medicare? It's So Hard to Keep Track...
August 24, 2009

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. In this morning’s Washington Post, RNC chairman Michael Steele weighs in with what he modestly calls a “Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights.” Continuing on the death panel theme, Steele comes out against various mythical rationing measures no Democrat proposes or supports.

Exclusive: Time To Vote Enzi Off The Island?
August 06, 2009

President Obama just finished a meeting with the six senators now at the center of the health care reform narrative. Three Democrats, three Republicans, all of them from the Finance Committee and all of them trying, in theory, to do what four other congressional committees have already done: Report health care legislation to the floor. The Gang of Six, as they’ve become known, have been negotiating for weeks, fighting over everything from taxes to public insurance options. And they've managed to blow through every deadline, whether imposed by themselves or somebody else.

Bill Clinton Frees Nk Prisoners
August 04, 2009

A statement from Pyongyang via Reuters: "Kim Jong-il issued an order of the chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission on granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labor in accordance with Article 103 of the Socialist Constitution and releasing them," KCNA said in a statement which carried a Pyongyang dateline. And so the former president, long dormant, returns to the public eye in a sudden and dramatic way. --Michael Crowley

The Guns Of August
August 02, 2009

How the White House can survive the cruelest month.