Blogging the State of the Union
January 27, 2010

Hi everyone--Mike Crowley here. I'll be blogging throughout the State of the Union tonight. Not liveblogging, exactly (Update: I succumbed), but refresh this thread for regular updates on the latest Speech of Obama's Life. Then, stay tuned to for more fully-baked reactions from your other TNR favorites. (Click here for a transcript of Obama's speech and see below to read Jonathan Cohn's live Twitter coverage.) 9:13pm Black Tuesday tested the courage of our convictions? Hmm.

An Exchange With David Greenberg
January 19, 2010

Dear Jon, Thanks for the shout out (for my Atlantic piece) on your blog, which I just read. Given that it was so positive in tone about my article overall, I hate to complain. But given that you focused disproportionately on one small statement, which you called “bizarre,” I did want to explain myself. I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of this bill as well as you, Jonathan Cohn and Paul Starr, all of whose opinions I rely on. In fact, even before seeing your post, I had an exchange with Starr that made me think twice about my wording in the Atlantic piece.

Small Ball
January 19, 2010

In early December, the White House announced four finalists for the president’s Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award--a competition that plumbed the depths of the federal bureaucracy for ideas on how the government could save money. One finalist proposed streamlining the way the Forest Service forwards campground fees to the government. Another suggested that the Social Security Administration allow people to book appointments online rather than only by phone.

Cook's Spoiled Stew
January 15, 2010

The great Congressional horse race-picker Charlie Cook says President Obama should have paid more attention to the economy: Honorable and intelligent people can disagree over the substance and details of what President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to do on health care reform and climate change.

TNR on Haiti
January 15, 2010

The tragic earthquake in Haiti is not the first misfortune to befall our Caribbean neighbor. From slave revolts to military coups to armed U.S. intervention, the country has suffered countless natural and man-made misfortunes since it gained independence.

January 13, 2010

As readers may have discerned, if only from the Harry Reid "Negro Dialect" furor the big whoop in Washington during the last few days has revolved around Game Change, a 2008 campaign chronicle by DC press veterans John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The people flacking this book have done a brilliant job of trickling out "juicy" insider anecdotes in which major campaign figures do and say deeply embarrassing things.

Poison Penn
January 12, 2010

Since I'm already reopening old wounds from the Democratic primary, I might as well reopen another. In December of 2007, Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, went on television and seemed to go out of his way to use the word "cocaine" as often as possible. Some Obama supporters objected to the tactic. This objection, in turn, became one of the Clinton defenders' favorite examples of the baseless suspicions to which her campaign was being subjected.

Things That Could Have Been Phrased Better
January 11, 2010

From "Game Change": Mr. Heilemann said Mr. Obama told Ms. Clinton: "I understand. But I want you so badly that I'm willing to live with your husband."

Look, Intelligence Failures Are Neither Democratic Nor Republican. Alas, They Are Both Non-Partisan and Bi-Partisan.
January 07, 2010

I have made my own criticisms of President Obama and his administration's perspectives on the etiology of terrorism in the world. And the truth is that it is not yet clear in the president's head--or he is not yet being candid (which is my substitute for "frank" and "honest")--that you can't have a true view of routine mass murder in the contemporary world without having quite a harsh view of Islam today.

Seven Egyptian Christians Murdered Outside a Church After Midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas. Who Done It? Maybe a Few Isolated Extremists.
January 07, 2010

Actually, I don't think we are going to hear the phrase "isolated extremist" again, at least not from the president. In fact, the more we hear from him from now on, the more entangled and united the terrorist international is likely to appear. The shock of Detroit has probably been most traumatic for Obama himself. He really did believe that the world of Islam was a civilized order, and he simply can't believe it now. Or can he? But the Copts won't get much attention. After all, they are Christians.