Did the Senate Kill Private Finance in Infrastructure?
March 27, 2012

The federal transportation reauthorization passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this month is notable for its (relative) bi-partisanship and for putting in place several key reforms. The bill’s new dedicated freight program, more efficient project delivery mechanisms, and increased in funding for innovative finance programs are all important and laudable, setting the stage for a truly transformative six-year bill in 2013.

My Love Is Bigger Than A Honda
February 24, 2012

In case you missed it, Mitt Romney today decided that the way to endear himself with the state he grew up in was to brag that he buys a lot of the cars it makes. This included uttering a line that will resonate far beyond the all-but-empty football stadium in which it was spoken: “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs.” Not surprisingly, Michigander Jon Chait has the best theory on what the heck Romney was thinking with this riff, which will take its place as number, what, 27 on the clueless list: It does make sense, in an extremely narrow way.

The Mobility Myth
February 08, 2012

When Americans express indifference about the problem of unequal incomes, it’s usually because they see the United States as a land of boundless opportunity. Sure, you’ll hear it said, our country has pretty big income disparities compared with Western Europe. And sure, those disparities have been widening in recent decades. But stark economic inequality is the price we pay for living in a dynamic economy with avenues to advancement that the class-bound Old World can only dream about.

One Year Later: The Failure of the Arab Spring
January 24, 2012

I. A year has passed since liberal America and the liberal opinion class, in particular, went ecstatic over the Arab debut into the modern world. I know that my standing in that class is suspect. So, being a bit flummoxed myself by the not altogether dissimilar developments in the vast expanse from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia, I conquered my doubts and made a slight stab for hope. But I quickly realized that I was wrong and left the celebration.

October 12, 2011

Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Last week we named DC's most over-covered stories, most over-rated thinkers, most powerful, least famous people, TNR's favorite people and the worst words in Washington. Today's installment: DC's sell-outs. EVAN BAYH When Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh announced that he did not intend to run for office in 2010, on the eve of the deadline for the primaries—despite pleas from both President Obama and Rahm Emanuel to stay in the race—he opened up another Senate seat for Republicans and left Democrats scrambling.

June 23, 2011

Transgender people are some of the least protected, most persecuted people in the United States.

Weak One
May 28, 2011

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced his candidacy for president on Monday, just a week after fellow presidential contender Newt Gingrich managed to torpedo his own nascent campaign within a matter of days. Could Pawlenty avoid the same fate?

The Hidden Tradeoffs of GOP Candidates
May 24, 2011

[Guest post by James Downie] Last week, Ezra Klein suggested that perhaps the lack of enthusiasm among the GOP establishment for Tim Pawlenty lay in his unimpressive record as governor, including his reliance on "accounting shortcuts" to try to close the deficit, rather than actually cutting the size of the state government. Indeed, one of Pawlenty's favorite habits was shifting costs to local governments, as documented here: Pawlenty oversaw dramatic reductions in higher-education funding and refused to spend more on early childhood programs.

Romney Stock: Buy!
May 23, 2011

Mitch Daniels announced over the weekend that he will not seek the presidency. As far as I can tell, conventional wisdom holds this is good for Mitt Romney, the frontrunner about whom no Republicans seem particularly enthusiastic. The theory goes like this: Daniels, the governor of Indiana, had great potential as a candidate. He was smart and conservative. He was likeable, with a few endearing quirks.

The Rust Belt, Still a Bit Rusty
May 19, 2011

  The economy may be recovering but many, if not most, Americans don’t seem to have noticed. A story by Michael Fletcher, from Wednesday’s Washington Post, helps explain why. The article focuses on manufacturing jobs in the Midwest--i.e., the Rust Belt. The manufacturing sector was in decline even before the recession began; during the downturn, that decline continued. Now, though, factory jobs are starting to come back and, as noted in this space previously, the unemployment rate across the Midwest fell at a reasonably quick pace over the last year.