First Read wades into the debate over liberal disappointment with the Obama presidency: When the liberal blogosphere confab, Netroots Nation, kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas, it will inevitably further the "Why are progressives disappointed in Obama?" storyline. In the past few months, liberal commentators have bemoaned that the public option wasn’t included in the health care law, that the financial reform legislation -- which President Obama will sign into law today -- isn’t strong enough, and that Gitmo still isn't closed.
Futurist/urbanist/cultural provocateur Joel Kotkin was back again yesterday on the WSJ op-ed page declaring that the “back-to-the-city movement is wishful thinking.” His evidence: steep declines from peak in condo prices in a handful of big Sun Belt cities, including Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. That and the results of a few surveys indicating continued residential preference for suburban over urban environments. (The piece more than echoes a similar one he penned for the Journal in 2007.) But why look at these indirect data points when you can go to the source: recent city population t
Brookings’ comprehensive State of Metropolitan America report focuses on the demographic and social trends shaping the nation today. That’s population, race and ethnicity, income, education and the like. But we’re also lucky enough to have data from the U.S. Census on commuting patterns.
Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero By Abigail Green (Harvard University Press, 540 pp., $35) In 1827, an upright, well-to-do English gentleman, traveling through the Levant with his lady wife, ran into some dirty weather en route from Alexandria to Malta. But this particular gentleman was called Moses and his notion of calming the sea was to throw the afikoman half of the middle matzoh of the Passover seder into the churning waters. Apparently, as Abigail Green tells it, in some Sephardi traditions the breaking of the afikoman symbolizes the parting of the Red Sea.
Nationwide, the economic recovery looks more fragile than it did just a few months ago. GDP is growing at a moderate pace but not nearly as rapidly as at the end of last year. Almost no private sector jobs were created in May. The unemployment rate dipped from 9.9 percent in April to 9.7 percent in May, but mostly because fewer people were looking for work. Nearly half the unemployed in May were out of work for more than six months.
A few hours ago, I boldly predicted that we have only scratched the surface of the nuttiness of Sharron Angle, newly victories Republican Senate candidate in Nevada. The oppo research is starting to flow. Via TPM, it turns out that she opposed flouridation: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in April 1999 that the state assembly, of which Angle was a member, voted 26-16 for a bill that required fluoridation in two counties including the cities of Reno and Las Vegas. Angle was a strong opponent of the measure.
The federal transportation finance system is broken and will be short on cash for the foreseeable future. Some regions—like the growing Phoenix, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, and Denver metropolitan areas—have meanwhile achieved system viability through unusual self-help yet even so face massive outstanding maintenance and capacity needs. Is there a deal to be done? Perhaps there is. Check out, for example, the intriguing concept for a new federal-metro partnership in transportation finance being shopped around by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) in Arizona.
Last week on this blog, I riffed about one of the more interesting findings to emerge from our State of Metropolitan America report—that demographically, our nation’s major metropolitan areas didn’t always look very much like their geographic neighbors. To illustrate the point, I looked at the Southeastern seaboard, which counts metropolitan members from each of the seven demographic categories we identify in the report, from the “Next Frontier” region of Washington, DC to the “Industrial Core” area of Augusta, GA. We argue that metropolitan demographic peers may have more to learn from one
This is the final installment of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. (Click here to read parts one, two, three, and four. And click here to subscribe to TNR.) Mass. Panic Nancy Pelosi was in the Old Executive Office Building when one of her advisers gave her a message: Obama wanted her next door, in the White House. Martha Coakley was about to lose the election for Ted Kennedy’s old seat and, with it, the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority. Obama had summoned Harry Reid, too, and together they discussed options.
Check out the Intermountain West states on this map from the Metro Program’s “State of Metropolitan America.” Now look at the major metropolitan areas—Phoenix, Denver, Provo and Ogden, Albuquerque and others. Do you notice how most of the major metropolitan areas except Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and Boise have being seeing growing shares of their workers commuting by public transit? It’s but one finding among dozens in the extensive drill-down on what’s happening in U.S.