October 20, 2009

Thursday October 8, 6:30 a.m., the phone rings. I pick up sleepily. "My family! My family! Magda … my family!" I hear sobbing and low, sad groans on the other end.

Today at TNR (October 20, 2009)
October 20, 2009

Is There Really a Middle Way? The Problem with Half-Measures in Afghanistan, by Stephen Biddle The Return of TNR's Truman Scale: Grading the Important HELP Bill by Jonathan Cohn Your Babysitter’s Family Is Stranded on the Roof of a Flooded Building in the Philippines.

Energy Pork: Why the Green Future May Take a While
October 19, 2009

Stephen Power has a good story in the Wall Street Journal that explains a lot about why America’s clean energy future may be a while in coming.  Power notes that although Energy Secretary Steve Chu set out this year to begin reshaping America's energy future with a network of highly-focused, results-oriented research labs, lawmakers have been busy with business-as-usual. He reports that instead of fully funding Dr.

What Has Two Long Ears And Powers Lightbulbs?
October 16, 2009

Sweden's newest renewable energy source? Adorable little bunnies: Every year, the city of Stockholm kills off thousands of rabbits in an effort to protect trees and shrubbery in the city’s extensive network of parks and green space. ... Tuvunger explained that it doesn’t take many newly released rabbits to do what rabbits are known for doing, much to the detriment of Stockholm’s efforts to control the size of its rabbit population.

The Movie Review: ‘Where the Wild Things Are’
October 16, 2009

Near the end of Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, as young protagonist Max is abandoning the fantastical creatures who have crowned him their king, the Wild Things plead, “Oh please don’t go--we’ll eat you up--we love you so.” The line neatly captures one of the central insights of Sendak’s slim masterwork: the close proximity in the preadolescent mind between affection and aggression, between the loving and the eating. Spike Jonze’s film adaptation, which he co-wrote with Dave Eggers, expands Sendak’s tale considerably, but rather than lose track of this insight, the movie

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.