Houston

Bad Company
May 27, 2010

WASHINGTON—So who is in charge of stopping the oil spill, BP or the federal government?  The fact that the answer to this question seems as murky as the water around the exploded oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico suggests that this is an excellent moment to recognize that our arguments pitting capitalism against socialism and the government against the private sector muddle far more than they clarify. There are many tragic ironies bubbling to the surface along with the oil. Consider the situation of Gov.

Think Locally, Act Globally
May 26, 2010

Did anyone notice that NEC director Larry Summers quietly exploded old-fashioned urban policy last week?  He didn’t mean to. In a speech at the Brookings-White House Council on Automotive Communities summit on May 18, Summers set out to talk about the economy, and how to stimulate manufacturing in general and auto manufacturing in particular.   He identified four policy areas that are particularly important: the availability of credit; exports; innovation and R&D; and human capital. More credit, more exports, more innovation, and more educated workers could, in conjunction with huge and su

New Video Suggests Gulf Spill Far Worse Than Thought
May 14, 2010

Yesterday, NPR's Richard Harris had an important Gulf scoop—the oil spill may be much, much larger than both BP and the U.S. government have been saying. Here's Brad Johnson's follow-up: Based on “sophisticated scientific analysis of seafloor video made available Wednesday,” Steve Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, told NPR the actual spill rate of the BP oil disaster is about 3 million gallons a day — 15 times the official guess of BP and the federal government.

The Ron Weaver Story
May 10, 2010

Matt Hinton recounts a great story of an athletic fraud: [Ron] Weaver started out as a junior college player at Monterey Peninsula College in 1984, and moved on to become an all-conference player at Division II Sacramento State, where he used up his eligibility in 1988. From there, Weaver tried out with the Houston Oilers, failed to catch on in Canada and matriculated home to Salinas, Calif., to work in the family liquor store.

Is There Enough Space For Carbon Sequestration?
April 27, 2010

One ever-popular idea for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from coal plants is to capture the CO2 at the smokestack and bury it underground. Up until now, the biggest hurdle here has always been cost: While burning coal is relatively cheap (that is, if you ignore the pollution, the coal ash spills, and the devastation wrought by mountaintop mining…), sequestering CO2 can be pretty pricey—pricier than efficiency and even a lot of renewable power options. But now it turns out there may be another problem.

Glorious Misfits
March 30, 2010

Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Abstraction with Wood San Diego Museum of Art Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective Tate Modern   Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection Hirshhorn Museum   Formal values are personal values. What holds us in a painting or a sculpture is not art history but an individual’s history, some inner necessity or imperative that has been expressed through the forms available at a particular time. There are classicists and there are expressionists in every age, and the twentieth century was no exception.

Tavis Smiley's Backstep: Why Not Just Have a Party?
March 18, 2010

Not long ago, Tavis Smiley did something I would not have expected, which is rare. He announced that he was discontinuing his annual State of the Black Union conferences. These have been powwows where the Usual Suspects are invited to make the usual points: roughly decrying racism while genuflecting to the radical idea that people are responsible for repairing their own culture too.

The Republican Civil War
March 02, 2010

All across the country, Republicans are fantasizing about a gigantic electoral tide that will sweep out deeply entrenched Democratic incumbents this November. In their telling, this deep-red surge will be so forceful as to dislodge even legislators who don’t look vulnerable now, securing GOP control of both houses of Congress. But could this scenario really come to pass? That will depend, in part, on what type of Republican Party the Democrats are running against in the fall. Hence the importance of this year's Republican civil war.

The Republican Civil War
March 02, 2010

All across the country, Republicans are fantasizing about a gigantic electoral tide that will sweep out deeply entrenched Democratic incumbents this November. In their telling, this deep-red surge will be so forceful as to dislodge even legislators who don’t look vulnerable now, securing GOP control of both houses of Congress. But could this scenario really come to pass? That will depend, in part, on what type of Republican Party the Democrats are running against in the fall. Hence the importance of this year's Republican civil war.

Aviation Data Suggests a Mixed-Bag of Rail Riders
February 22, 2010

Now that we’re a full week past the initial high-speed rail announcement, we’ve taken the time to resurvey some of the elements of this massive investment. Demand is one of those elements and it’s critical to projecting ridership. One method we’ve designed to measure HSR demand is corridor air travel. By offering specific boarding information, federal air data provides a stellar source of passenger travel information between any two metropolitan areas. Using the data we published back in October, here is how the corridors receiving at least $200 million stack up.

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