"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction," James Madison wrote in Federalist Number 10. "The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice." Consider us alarmed. Our sense of alarm has been growing for some time. From the moment Barack Obama entered the White House, the Republican Party has cast itself as the Party of No.
On Wednesday, the Interior Department finally terminated a program few people had ever heard of: the royalty-in-kind (RIK) system, which allowed oil and gas companies to drill in public lands and pay the government in oil, rather than cash. Over the past decade, the program, run out of an office in suburban Denver, had allowed companies to underpay the government by $10 million.
So this is what Matt Damon has been keeping bottled up during all those taciturn hours playing Jason Bourne. In Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, Damon plays--and plays very, very well--a character in every way the opposite of his efficient, amnesiac superspy: a babbling bumbler who goes undercover for the FBI to gather information against his own employer but winds up exposing mostly himself.
The Citigroup CEO apparently made the comment in response to a question at a 92nd Street Y event last night. The question was about his star commodities trader, Andrew Hall. Interestingly, the Journal piece adds this detail: "The response elicited murmurs from the audience, which included Citigroup employees." One wonders if those were murmurs of agreement or disagreement...
Beyond the Baucus Bill: How Liberals Can Still Win on Health Care Reform, by Jonathan Cohn The Stockholm Syndrome: When Free Speech Laws Are Only Free to Some, by Benjamin Birnbaum Megan Fox and the Banality of Cannibalism, by Christopher Orr Why Obama’s New Missile Defense Strategy Is Good for Both Hawks and Doves, by Peter Scoblic The TNR Q&A: How the U.S. Can Calm the Brewing Latin American Arms Race, by Ben Bernstein THE STASH: Is the Treasury Department Spurring Inflation? by Zubin Jelveh Yes, Some of the Republican Opposition to Obama Is Racist. So What?
When Zvi Mazel was summoned to the Swedish Foreign Ministry back in January 2004, he knew he was in trouble. As Israel’s top diplomat in Stockholm, the 64-year-old had just done something markedly undiplomatic--not exactly rare for Israeli envoys. No, he hadn’t remarked upon the “yellow skin and slanted eyes” of Asians. No, he hadn’t taken part in a child-pornography ring.
From the Boston Globe: When the housekeepers at the three Hyatt hotels in the Boston area were asked to train some new workers, they said they were told the trainees would be filling in during vacations. On Aug. 31, staffers learned the full story: None of them would be making the beds and cleaning the showers any longer. All of them were losing their jobs.
McLEAN, Va.--Will the bitter, smoldering feelings let loose by Washington's health care fight ricochet across the Potomac River and decide Virginia's race for governor? Will a Republican be able to escape his right-wing record and his incendiary past writings to rebrand himself as a pragmatist? The battle for the Virginia statehouse always gets outsized national attention because of its unusual timing, just a year after a presidential election.
On the advice of my physician, I do not watch or listen to Glenn Beck, preferring to follow his exploits via the serial bouts of hysteria he inspires in his fans. So it was news to me to learn that he spends a lot of time hawking the works of the late W.
It's out! Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus just released his proposal for health care reform. It's a "chairman's mark," which, again, means it's written in regular English rather than the gobbledygook of legislation. Gobbledygookification will take place later on, when--and if--the full Finance Committee passes it. Whether that will happen is unclear. In the last twelve hours, committee Democrats who were not part of Baucus's bipartisan Gang of Six have raised all sorts of objections.