On the Map: Who Hasn’t Passed a New Immigration Law?
August 09, 2010

According to the president, a state-by-state patchwork of immigration laws is “unacceptable.” Yet states--not to mention cities, towns, and counties--across the country continue to propose, debate, and pass immigration-related legislation at a record pace. Arizona may be getting most of the attention now, but states and localities have been addressing the issue--from the standpoint of law enforcement, health, education, housing, and identification--for years. The practice is so rampant there’s a whole new book just out on the subject (disclaimer: I co-authored one of the chapters).

Tactical Radicals Storm The Castle
July 27, 2010

The Republican Party has the enormous good fortune of having a highly popular Senate candidate, Mike Castle, running in Delaware, a state with an overwhelming Democratic tilt. Except Castle has a right ring primary challenger named Christine O'Donnell, who's been endorsed by the Tea Party and may grab the endorsement of Jim DeMint and possibly Sarah Palin: O’Donnell, a marketing consultant challenging Castle from the right, told POLITICO she’s been courting support from both DeMint and Palin, in the hope of adding some energy to what has so far been an obscure primary fight.

The Draft Boss Hogg Movement Is Alive!
July 13, 2010

I still can't believe this is happening: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) is getting pushed by major Republican donors to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Barbour, a two-term governor, described himself as a “fat redneck” with an “accent” in a recent interview with CNN. Casino magnate Steve Wynn, a major Republican donor, is leading a group of friends who are encouraging Barbour to run, according to the New York Post.

The PICTURE: American Abstraction
July 07, 2010

Fireworks are kinetic drawings inscribed in the sky. On the night of July 4, in the little upstate New York town of Narrowsburg, we stood on the bridge over the Delaware River and watched with a few hundred other people as the bursts of choreographed color exploded overhead. I had been thinking about the fantasy element in American art for a week or so, since I saw the Charles Burchfield show that has just opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Why Brandeis Matters
June 29, 2010

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life By Melvin I. Urofsky (Pantheon, 955 pp., $40) I. In 1916, Herbert Croly, the founder and editor of The New Republic, wrote to Willard Straight, the owner of the magazine, about the Supreme Court nomination of Louis Brandeis. Croly enclosed a draft editorial called “The Motive of Class Consciousness,” and also a chart prepared by a lawyer in Brandeis’s office showing the overlapping financial interests, social and business connections, and directorships of fifty-two prominent Bostonians who had signed a petition opposing Brandeis’s nomination.

Fact and Familiarity
June 16, 2010

Restrepo National Geographic Entertainment Human Rights Watch International Film Festival Let It Rain IFC Films “War is hell.” General Sherman’s three-word definition has never been surpassed. He meant to dispel prevalent notions about glory, which he called moonshine. Factual knowledge, he apparently thought, would diminish war. The still camera had already started to support him; now there are also film and video.

Adam Wheeler's Resume
May 18, 2010

[This is a guest post by the TNR staff.] This morning the Times had a small item on Adam Wheeler, a Delaware native who faked his way into Harvard who managed to con the university out of $45,000 in financial aid. (He falsely said that he had perfect SAT scores, for instance.) He now faces 20 criminal charges, including identity fraud and falsifying an endorsement or approval. In fact, Adam Wheeler recently applied for an internship at the magazine; specifically, an internship for our literary section. We did not accept him.

Some Smart Ideas On Transportation
May 12, 2010

One of the more surprising aspects of the mammoth Senate climate proposal (that's a big honking pdf, by the way) released today was the bit on transportation. Kerry and Lieberman took a very different tack on this subject than the House did—and it's a stunning improvement. For starters, the cap-and-trade program would generate about $7 billion in revenues from selling carbon permits to oil companies and refineries. That money would then get split evenly in three ways: 1) One-third would go toward federal grants for big transportation projects.

Close Call
May 10, 2010

Last Wednesday, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln took to the Senate floor and delivered about as fiery a speech as you’ll hear in the chamber, at least on the subject of financial reform. “Currently, five of the largest commercial banks account for ninety-seven percent of the [derivatives market],” she said.

The Health Care Repeal Fantasy
April 20, 2010

Ramesh Ponnuru has a long piece in National Review arguing that Republicans can indeed repeal the Affordable Care Act. The piece isn't totally unconvincing as a potential long-shot scenario. But it does suffer from a couple severe weaknesses. First, it dwells on the possibilities of gaining a House majority, but fails to grapple with the more important question of how Republicans could obtain 60 Senate votes. Since every Senate Democrat voted for the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will need to gain 19 Senate seats, in addition to the House and White House, to repeal the law.