In the Tank
October 28, 2009

The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President By Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster, 707 pp., $35) In her infamous first sentence of The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm swings for the fences and proclaims that "every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." She means that journalists use their human subjects and then dispose of them; that we con them in person by "preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness"--it occurs to me to note that however bleak print's future seems

It's Not Just the Public Option
October 27, 2009

Topic number one in health care reform right now is the public option--and, in particular, Senator Harry Reid's decision to push a bill that includes an "opt-out" proposal. But Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, had relatively little to say about it on Tuesday, when she appeared at TNR's health reform conference. Her keynote address barely touched upon the subject.

Wyden's Choice--And Yours
October 27, 2009

Click here to read Jonathan Cohn's take on the comments made by Nancy-Ann Deparle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, about the public option at today's TNR health care conference. What good can the public option do if not enough people can access it? That’s the question that Senator Ron Wyden has been raising a lot lately. And he did it again this morning, at TNR's health care reform event.

Sudan's Quest for Lobbyists
October 27, 2009

According to an FBI press release, Robert Cabelly, who attempted to lobby on behalf of Sudan from 2005-2007, has just been indicted on eight counts--including money laundering, passport fraud, and conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign power. In 2006, his work for Sudan was legal, since the Bush administration's State Department granted him a waiver to lobby in the United States.

Slideshow: The Obamas' Taste in Art
October 27, 2009

James Gardner, formerly the architecture critic of the New York Sun, now writes on culture for several publications.  It must be nice to be the president.

Putin's Game
October 27, 2009

After years of stalemate, negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear development program seemed to progress last week when an Iranian delegation in Vienna agreed to the export and modification of its low-enriched uranium. The resulting optimism did not last. Officials in Tehran demurred, insisting that they needed more time to study the proposal and could not meet Friday's deadline to ratify the agreement. While Iran's stonewalling came as a disappointment to the United States, it did not come as a surprise.

If I Were Barack Obama, The People I’d Be Most Tee’d Off About Would Be J Street. And Maybe He is.
October 26, 2009

Now, everybody who reads me knows that I am not a big supporter of administration policy on the Middle East. But, then, I am not a big supporter of its foreign policy almost anywhere. No, let me correct that. Not "almost anywhere." But "anywhere." That said, I don't believe that President Obama is trying to weaken the United States or its allies.

White House Official Touts the Excise Tax, Still Fuzzy on Public Option
October 26, 2009

Is it curtains for the strong public option? Over the past week, the White House has taken a lot of heat for not going to bat for it, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reportedly just decided that the Senate bill will include a watered-down proposal that would allow states to opt out of a national public plan.

Slideshow: Dick Cheney's Top Ten Most Combative Statements
October 26, 2009

Dick Cheney is not one to hold his fire. After leaving the White House, he's eschewed the low profile taken by past vice presidents in order to blast the Obama administration's national-security decisions frequently and openly. Click through this TNR slideshow to see the top ten most combative statements made by Cheney since January 20, 2009.

Today at TNR (October 26, 2009)
October 26, 2009

Paradise Lost: Is California Finished? by John B. Judis We Now Have a Black President. Was Booker T. Washington Wrong? by Steven Hahn Senate Dems to Obama: We Could Use a Little More Help Here, by Jonathan Cohn Can a Self-Described 'Boring as Hell' Candidate Really Lead a Major American City for 20 Straight Years? by E.J. Dionne Jr. Writing Is Increasingly About Speed. What a Shame. by Damon Linker The News Keeps Getting Worse for the Class of 2009, by Noam Scheiber The Art of the Impossible: Building Megaprojects During the Recession, by David Jackson The T.E.