East Coast

Andrew Sullivan has a post mocking the heretofore absence of commentary about the latest dust-up in Israel at TNR. You know, it was Memorial Day. Does the memory of America's fallen heroes mean nothing to Sullivan? Of course it doesn't. Many of these fallen heroes were killed by Sullivan's countrymen in the name of imperialism and monarchy, a heartless ideology of world conquest. This is the classic imperialist/monarchist method of murder, lies and distraction.

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Tanking Hard

Early on Monday, BP’s boyish CEO, Tony Hayward, sat in an open-collared white dress shirt and, rocking back and forth in a studio chair, submitted to a series of four network interviews about his company’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The questions from NBC, CBS, ABC, and the BBC differed slightly, but to all the anchors, Hayward delivered a similar line: “This is not our accident.” In other words, it's not BP's fault.

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So who pays for an oil-spill disaster like this one? Matthew Wald offers some context. Big, wealthy oil companies like BP are usually expected to pay to the cleanup costs themselves. But that still leaves the cost of all the indirect damage to fisheries and wildlife habitats in the area. In that case, under current law, an offshore rig operator is liable for up to $75 million in damages.

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Boss Hogg 2012!

Last Spring, when word first leaked that Haley Barbour was mulling a presidential run,  I replied with astonishment, "There are people who think that the solution to the GOP's image problem is to nominate a sleazy, corpulent, cigar-chomping lobbyist from the Deep South? Is Boss Hogg unavailable?" Apparently so: POLITICO has learned that Barbour is weighing the prospect of a 2012 White House bid, and convened a private meeting last Thursday with a group of some of his oldest and closest advisers, some of whom flew in from the East Coast to Jackson.

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The way we're warming the planet, we can probably expect sea levels to rise at least a meter, on average, by the end of the century. That's what most scientific projections suggest, anyway. One kink, though, is that that's just an average—the seas won't go up uniformly by one meter all across the globe. Some places will see much higher rises than that, some places much lower. Michael Lemonick has a great Environment360 piece delving into some of the factors that make sea-level rise so odd and unpredictable.

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Nuclear Standoff

As is often the case with tales of great discovery, the details of how buried treasure came to be found beneath the rolling countryside of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, have grown a little gauzy over the last 30 years. But here is the story as the prospectors tell it. One day, in March 1979, a man named Byrd Berman, a geologist by training, was driving down a road through cattle pastures when the scintillometer sitting on the dashboard of his Hertz rental car began to beep. The device, similar to a Geiger counter, was designed to detect the gamma radiation naturally emitted by uranium.

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David Leonhardt has your rundown: How you view today’s jobs report depends on snow. Coming into today, many economists believed that last month’s storms on the East Coast — which occurred right before the Labor Department conducted its monthly jobs survey — would temporarily reduce employment by a significant amount. Macroeconomic Advisers, a well-regarded research firm in St. Louis, thought the effect would be between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs lost.

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It’s a common story in the U.S.

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The latest potential Republican presidential contender is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. I wrote about Daniels back when he ran the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush, where his task was to use pseudo-populist demagoguery to deflect from the administration's disastrous fiscal record: The man Bush has deputized to explain this state of affairs to the American public is Mitchell G. Daniels, director of the Office of Management and Budget. One of Daniels's favorite techniques is to preface his views on macroeconomic policy by pointing out that he is a country bumpkin.

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Here comes another installment from the Chait archive. Jon makes the case against the seemingly harmless state of Delaware. No longer will you simply think of it for giving us the gift of Joe Biden or ... whatever else people think Delaware is good for.  Until one day several years ago, I, like most people, harbored no ill feelings toward the state of Delaware. I suppose in some vague sense I thought of it as harmless and even endearing, the way you tend to regard other small things, such as Girl Scouts or squirrels.

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