Kalt's Law Of Presidential Facial Hair
March 26, 2010

Brian Kalt, a law professor and former college classmate of mine, has developed his own law of presidential facial hair: I thought you might be interested in the following ironclad law of American presidential politics. I call it Kalt’s Law: “Under the modern two-party system, if a candidate has facial hair, the Republican always has as much, or more, than the Democrat.” Some notes. 1. It would be the case that the Republican always has more, but for 1904 in which both the Republican Roosevelt and the Democrat Parker had mustaches. 2.

March 24, 2010

In which we, hopefully regularly, highlight articles and resources of note:  Portland, Ore. is spending $47 million on an economic development project… for the homeless. Cleveland magazine argues the city won’t be reborn until it “buries its dead” and that means demolishing vacant properties.

Enhancing Venture Capital to Drive Innovation
February 11, 2010

To create the new jobs needed in our nation, and make sure our world-leading creativity and innovation ends up creating new businesses, we need deeper pools of venture and early stage capital. Nowhere are jobs needed more than in the Midwest manufacturing belt. A recent Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program report authored by Cleveland’s Frank Samuel suggests how we might better link new technology discovery going on in the ‘Rust Belt” to new firm creation. It turns out the industrial heartland reaching from Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and St.

Rail Stimulus: Good Politics, But Don't Expect Bullet Trains
January 28, 2010

So the White House has finally announced the full list of where that $8 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail is going. Here are the two big, headline-grabbing projects: * Florida will get $1.25 billion for a high-speed line between Tampa and Orlando, which is expected to cost about $3.5 billion all told. Read Adie Tomer's critical take on the Tampa-Orlando project below. * California will get $2.25 billion to help with a planned high-speed line between Anaheim and San Francisco.

Transit: You Can’t Work if You Can’t Get There
January 26, 2010

President Obama’s speech in Lorain County, OH on Friday gives us a good excuse to examine more than just jobs in this Cleveland suburb.  Obama alluded to one obstacle---and a key to his jobs agenda--that went overlooked in most media coverage: “You can't get to work or go buy groceries like you used to because of cuts in the county transit system.” Last November, voters in Lorain rejected a sales tax hike  from 6.25 to 6.75 percent. For transit riders there the result was that, effective January 18,  Lorain County Transit (LCT) eliminated 8 of its 12 bus routesand increased fares from $2.05 to

Metro Home Price Recovery: Strong, Weak, Non-existent?
December 30, 2009

Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.

Today at TNR (November 2, 2009)
November 02, 2009

Color Commentator: Rush Limbaugh’s Race Obsession, by Jonathan Chait 'Do Not Underestimate Him': Can Nick Ayers, a 27-Year-Old College Dropout, Lead the Republicans Back to Power? by Amanda Silverman Conflicts of Interest: When it Comes to Health Care, Who Does the Chamber of Commerce Really Represent? by Anthony Wright If a Philosopher Was a Fascist, Is it OK to Ban Even His Good Ideas? by Damon Linker The Biggest Health Care Challenge That Congress Still Faces, by E.J. Dionne Jr. The National Economy May Be Recovering--But What About YOUR City’s?

Today At TNR (October 31, 2009)
October 31, 2009

From Grover “Uncle Jumbo” Cleveland to Chris Christie, a History of Smearing Heavyweights in American Politics, by Dave Jamieson The Fork in J Street: Will the New Israel Lobby Disavow Its Extreme Left Flank? by James Kirchick Philadelphia Freedom: The Most Noxious Sports Fans in America Have Gone Soft, by Buzz Bissinger Why Gavin Newsom Dropped Out, by Joe Mathews A Health Care Proposal That Should Absolutely Be in the Final Bill, by Jonathan Cohn Who Came out of the Honduran Crisis Looking the Best? Hillary. by Francisco Toro and Juan Nagle What Does Joe Lieberman Really Want?

Just a Cartoon, But Still: Is Family Guy in Blackface Funny?
October 13, 2009

To strike a note I generally avoid, I am offended. And by a cartoon. Has anybody noticed what a patronizing mess Seth MacFarlane’s new The Cleveland Show is? Cleveland is the pudgy, mild-mannered drawling pal of Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, who now has, in the parlance of the grand old days of the seventies television spinoff, “his own show.” And indeed, the whole notion of the show is in quotation marks in a sense.

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.