The Supreme Allied Commander of Corn
October 15, 2009

When the world last left Wesley Clark in early 2004, he was a streaking meteor of a presidential candidate. Still fresh from leading NATO in the Kosovo war, he arrived as a savior for the left, who saw a bulletproof patriot that the rest of America could believe in; hero of the netroots, beloved by Michael Moore and Madonna; hope of the Clintonites, delighted by such a clean ideological slate. Alas, after five blazing months, Clark for President flamed out. There are the conventional explanations: He got in too late. He didn't play in Iowa.

Today At TNR (October 15, 2009)
October 15, 2009

The ‘Civilian Surge’ Myth: Stop Pretending That the U.S. Can Actually Nation-Build, by Steven Metz A Geek Grows in Brooklyn: Jonathan Lethem and the Disappearing Line Between High and Low Art, by William Deresiewicz From Supreme Allied Commander to … Ethanol Lobbyist? The Strange Journey of Wesley Clark. by Lydia DePillis Scheiber: Was Wall Street Safer in the Hands of Stodgy WASPs? Cohn: Tearing Apart the Latest Misleading Report on Health Care Hey Conan, Here’s the Real Reason Why You Don’t Want to Live in Newark, by Jonathan Rothwell Why Won’t Baseball Adopt Instant Replay Already?

Why Lindsey Graham Flipped
October 14, 2009

In ClimateWire today, Darren Samuelsohn has a valuable profile of Lindsey Graham, who's emerged as the highest-profile swing vote on climate change, especially after his Times op-ed with John Kerry over the weekend urging the Senate to pass legislation. It seems Graham's been particularly impressed by the national-security arguments in favor of curbing America's carbon dependency: Sen. Lindsey Graham spent his summer testing out lines on global warming.

Nobels, Labs, Hubs, and Breakthroughs
October 13, 2009

One thing to say about the recently announced Nobel Prize in Physics is that it illustrates, as Congress mulls the nation’s R&D budgets, the economic rationale for bigger research investments.

The Sunstein-Thaler Version of the Public Option?
October 08, 2009

The Huffington Post has broken the news that yet another incarnation of the public could be coming into favor with Senate Democrats: a plan that would begin with a robust, national public plan, but allow state governments to “opt out” of the system should they chose. It’s worth noting that the compromise carries echoes of the Cass Sunstein-Richard Thaler school of policy design—the government would try to nudge things in the right direction by making the public plan the default option, but gives states the ability to opt out if they had the impetus, energy, and will to exclude themselves.

What Washington Should Do to Create Jobs
October 08, 2009

Rob Shapiro is the chair of the NDN Globalization Imitative and chairman of Sonecon, LLC. Policymakers and pundits who finally are worried about a "jobless recovery" should consider this: Our actual prospects are worse than that term suggests.   The initial expansion we may already be experiencing will be notable not for a lack of new jobs, as the phrase "jobless recovery" suggests, but for substantial, continued job losses.   Total employment will continue to decline for many months and perhaps as long as two years, as it did after the 2001 recession.   Nor will it be enough to aim for simpl

A Smarter Planet Begins with Smarter Cities
October 07, 2009

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and that is expected to swell to 70 percent by 2050. This was the backdrop for this year’s World Habitat Day, which falls on the first Monday of October of every year to bring attention to the needs of inadequate shelter, unsustainable development, and other challenges faced by cities and towns around the globe. This year’s activities were co-hosted by the United States for the first time, featuring kick-off remarks by HUD Secretary Donovan, U.N.

Today at TNR (October 7, 2009)
October 07, 2009

Hey Moderate Democrats, Stop Making Excuses for Blocking Health Care Reform! by The Editors The Case for Responding to Ahmadinejad: Why the Holocaust Still Matters, by Michael Oren Meet the Next Glenn Beck, by Michelle Goldberg Cohn: Consumer Protection, Except for the Part About Protecting Consumers, by Jonathan Cohn How Louis XIV’s Favorite Underling Invented the Police State, by David Bell Scheiber: Obama's Pay Czar is Actually on the Right Track, by Noam Scheiber Peretz: The US and Egypt Co-Sponsored a UN Resolution on Freedom of Expression. What the Hell Is Going On?

Breaking Down Spain’s Green Jobs Spending
October 02, 2009

We, like everybody else, have a lot of interest in the nature, size, and costs of developing a "green economy," and so are interested in understanding the existing scholarship. One of the most influential scholars on the subject recently has been an associate professor at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Gabriel Calzada Álvarez.

Drunk with Power
October 02, 2009

In 2001, an entrepreneur named Tom Casten traveled down to southern Louisiana, near the small town of Franklin, with a clever idea. For decades, the area had sustained a pair of chemical plants that produced carbon black, a grimy powder used in printer ink and tire rubber. But the owner of one of the plants, Cabot Corporation, was struggling to compete against cheap tire imports from abroad, and desperately seeking ways to cut costs. That’s where Casten came in. He pointed out that the gas left over from the carbon-black process was just getting wasted--burned off and flared up into the sky.