Worth Reading
September 28, 2009

NY Mag profiles the founder of conspiracy-theory mongering blog Zero Hedge. On the search for fraudulent pollsters. Cleveland Fed says end of Treasury support for Fed won't be inflationary. Robert Shiller defends financial innovation. A case against mortgage securitization. How the Fed's plan to drain reserves could go wrong.

Birds of a Feather--HUD’s Neighborhood-Based Housing Strategy
September 24, 2009

The steady accretion of decades of social programs at the federal level leads to frequent violations of the duck test. For instance, just because a neighborhood’s subsidized housing might exhibit the same physical and social problems as distressed public housing, that doesn’t mean it’s public housing. It could be something else entirely--project-based Section 8, or tax credit units, or single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages.

The G20’s Already Global Host
September 22, 2009

Stewart O’Nan’s sepia-toned reminiscence of Pittsburgh past in the weekend Wall Street Journal on the eve of the G20 certainly showcases his ability as a prose stylist, but it wildly misses the mark in discussing the not quite so Steel City’s role in the global economic firmament. O’Nan asks,”Is Pittsburgh, maybe the least international city in the U.S., with all of its recent successes and entrenched problems, a model for the whole world?

Today at TNR (September 16, 2009)
September 16, 2009

Why Is Obama Repeating Bush’s Iraq Mistakes…in Afghanistan? by Michael Crowley The Financial World’s Most Influential Columnist Is a Trash-Talking, Borderline Inscrutable Genius Who Makes You Sleep Badly at Night, by Julia Ioffe What Doctors Really Think About Health Care Reform, by Harold Pollack Galston: Unemployment Numbers May Put Democrats out of Work, by William Galston What Did It Mean to Die in the Warsaw Ghetto?

Economic Recovery? Not So Fast!
September 10, 2009

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, released yesterday, painted a cautiously optimistic portrait of the state of the nation’s economy. The New York Times, reporting on the Beige Book, heralded a “slow and still fragile recovery” that is “taking hold across the country.” But even if the data bear out this anecdotal assessment, don’t think that a robust recovery is going to appear in your metro area anytime soon. Here’s why: In many parts of the country there are few signs of recovery. Of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, only Dallas (covering Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico) re

(Cardboard) Bears Gone Wild!
August 27, 2009

A local FOX affiliate in Cleveland strikes exactly no fear into anybody's heart with this hilarious, campy reenactment of a black bear sighting. This is local news at its finest.

At What Cost?
July 14, 2009

Negotiations over health care reform screeched to a halt late last week when 40 centrist Democrats--members of the House Blue Dog Coalition--signed a letter saying they could not support the House’s emerging legislation without significant changes. Their major complaint? They said the House bill would not do enough to bring down health care costs and, by extension, limit the taxpayers' liabilities. Without more changes to reduce the cost of medical care, they warned, it would be unwise to back massive expansions of insurance coverage.

The Green Bubble

SOMETIME AFTER THE release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, environmentalism crossed from political movement to cultural moment. Fortune 500 companies pledged to go carbon neutral. Seemingly every magazine in the country, including Sports Illustrated, released a special green issue. Paris dimmed the lights on the Eiffel Tower. Solar investments became hot, even for oil companies. Evangelical ministers preached the gospel of “creation care.” Even archconservative Newt Gingrich published a book demanding action on global warming. Green had moved beyond politics.

Status Woe
December 24, 2008

What does it take to get tagged as a shameless status-seeker in a town fueled by the eternal quest for access to power? Ask Beth Dozoretz, the former Democratic National Committee finance chair with a legendary affinity for snuggling up to the rich and powerful. (She asked pal Bill Clinton to be godfather to her now-ten-year-old daughter, Melanne.) It seems that, in the waning days of the presidential race, Dozoretz found herself at a dinner party with Michelle Obama. Not one to miss an opportunity, Dozoretz slipped Mrs.

The Discovery Of Pride
November 19, 2008

Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus GarveyBy Colin Grant (Oxford University Press, 530 pp., $27.95) I. In the pantheon of the past century's African American leaders, Marcus Garvey holds an exceedingly ambiguous place.